Personally, the  whole process described here feels tacky to me (especially step 3), but that’s  just my weird hangup. Since it could help others around here, I’m still posting it…..

Love your ,


Last week I received an from a woman who’s been
unemployed for several months and is worried about losing her home.  My
heart goes out to her and the thousands of people who are in the same
situation, struggling to make ends meet.  As I considered her
challenge, I suggested several things that might help.  This week I
thought I’d share the ideas in case you, or someone you care about,
need help.

Goal – Bring in money as soon as possible.
This goal is not only designed to help pay the bills, but also to
raise self-esteem.  It’s very difficult to search for a job when you
feel defeated and unworthy.  Earning money quickly raises the
confidence necessary to put yourself out there in a strong and
bankable way.   Here are three steps that can help you fulfill this

Step #1 – Uncover a bankable skill. We all
have skills that can be used by others – all of us.  You’ll want to
identify a skill you can use to make money asap.  To do this, answer
three questions:

1.    What are you really good at?
2.    What do you enjoy doing?
3.    What have others acknowledged you for in the past?

Here are a couple of examples:

might be good at organizing and you might find that you enjoy making
order out of chaos.  In the past, your friends may have acknowledged
how organized your home looks, or how neat your office seems to be
every time they visit.  Or, you might be good at landscaping and you
may enjoy keeping your yard well groomed and attractive.  In the past,
neighbors may have commented on how impressed they are with your
ability to grow flowers or shrubs.

The answers to these
questions reveal clues to a bankable skill – something others might
pay you to do for them.  Other bankable skills include:

Running errands
Planting flowers/vegetables
Planning events
Household repairs
Auto repairs

I was starting my business and struggling to pay rent, I used my
ability to type 90 wpm to support me.  I was a strong typist, I enjoyed
the work, and people often commented on how quickly I typed.  I
offered my skills to small business owners, local universities, and
friends and family, and it helped pay the bills.

Step #2 – Set the right price.
Over the last few years I’ve kept track of the services that clients
and friends have performed for a fee.  And I’ve kept track of the
hourly rates.  This information always comes in handy when coaching
people on or on my radio show.  The hourly fees for most of
the bankable skills listed above ranged from $10 an hour to $75.  And
here’s the thing – the average hourly rate was $30 an hour!  Very few
people paid in the $10 an hour range.

Make sure that you do
some homework before you set your fee so you don’t undersell your
services.  Using search tools online makes this easy.  Just google
“fees for doing X” and see what you get!

Step#3 – Spread the word.
One of the big advantages of technology is how easy it is to tell
people about the services you provide., Facebook,
, and email, all provide great opportunities to let friends,
family, and strangers know about your bankable skills.  Have someone
help you put together a simple email, post, or notice that describes
the services you’re offering and post it in multiple places. Be sure
to let your enthusiasm, warmth, or humor shine through. Here’s a quick
example of what I mean:

Mature and responsible woman available
to make order out of chaos.  If you have an office that looks like a
bomb went off in it, a garage that’s so filled with stuff you can’t
see your car, or a closet or room that needs organizing, I’m the gal
for you.  I can clean up, shape up, and make your space shine in no
time.  Please write to me and let’s talk about how I can support you! 
(if this is your skill, please feel free to use this notice ☺).

nature of employment is changing.  I’ve written about that before. 
More and more people are turning to self-employment as a viable way to
earn a living either between jobs or in place of fulltime employment
with a company.  Some people even discover a whole new passion – being
an entrepreneur who’s calling the shots, making their own hours, and
earning more money then they ever thought possible.

Might that be you?

Take Action Challenge

you’re unemployed (or underemployed), consider the skills you’re good
at and how you might offer these services to others.  If you’re
gainfully employed, please find someone who’s looking for work and share
these ideas.  Your support could make a world of difference.

This week’s video is light-hearted – a short, funny one about a cat.  You can find it here.

Life Makeover for the Year 2009(sm) is written and produced by
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13, Newburyport, MA 01950, All rights reserved. Used with permission.