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By Ibi Montesino, Executive Vice President, Chief of Staff at Herbalife
It should come as no surprise to anyone that millions of people are struggling to make ends meet due to the current economy. Contributing factors include inflation reaching its highest level in 40 years, accompanied by skyrocketing food and fuel costs, and rising rents. Additionally, a higher interest rate environment is causing many companies to cut costs, often through layoffs.
So, what can people to do to alleviate the financial burden?
What to Do If You Can’t Pay Your Bills
For some, this means asking others for help. In fact, according to a recent Herbalife survey of 8,500 respondents across 10 countries, including 2,000 Americans, four in 10 people have asked their loved ones for money over the past year to deal with the rising cost of living. Results show respondents are relying on others for help with essentials, including groceries (40%) and their rent or mortgage (29%).
Asking for assistance is difficult, but it is not indicative of people’s lack of effort. In fact, 56% of respondents currently have a side hustle or other form of supplemental income. Of those people with side hustles, 55% shared they started it solely to make ends meet, 40% were looking for means to deal with the rising cost of living, 38% wanted to be less reliant on a single source of income, and 36% said they started a side hustle to have a disposable income.
Side Hustles Provide Flexibility and Opportunity to Earn Extra Income
In addition to providing an additional source of income, many side hustles are flexible, allowing people to work at their own schedule. In fact, the survey results show that Americans with a source of additional income said, on average, they needed to earn about $400 more per month to live comfortably. The research also indicates that 28% of respondents with a side hustle dedicate 3–5 hours a week to their side hustle, while 24% devote 6–10 hours per week, with an average of respondents commiting about eight and a half hours per week to that side hustle.
There are many options based on interests, resources, and availability if you believe a side hustle could be beneficial to you. Some individuals care for children or animals, while others perform housekeeping, landscaping, or other handyman tasks. These types of secondary jobs can help people earn extra money, but it can be difficult to start the business and keep it running without a support system. Often times people find a passion for a side hustle, but can’t see it come to fruition.
Direct Selling Opportunities Can Ease the Financial Strain
Some individuals find direct selling, otherwise known as network marketing, to be a more suitable alternative. This is when you are an authorized representative that sells products for a company, and the big benefit is that there is often training and a support system to help you succeed.
If you’re interested in direct selling, it’s important to find an opportunity that works best for you. Here are several simple tips to help find the right network marketing company:
- Pinpoint the ideal product or service: Finding a consumable product that sells consistently and needs replacement is a great option. Choose a product category that you’re passionate about is important because you’re more likely to dedicate time and effort to it.
- Learn about the company: Before deciding what company to move forward with, researching their background is a must. Typically, the longer the company has been in business, the more infrastructure and experience it has in helping its distributors.
- Determine start-up costs: Once you identify the right company for you, determine the cost of the start-up kit. It should contain everything you need to get started running your business.
- Study the compensation plan: This shows you how the company plans to incentivize and reward your hard work. It will also give you an idea of income expectations, income frequency and how long it will take to reach your goals.
- Confirm marketing support: Aside from your start-up kit, having access to marketing support can help you grow your business. For example, the company should help you identify the target market to understand your customers better and provide online marketing resources to help you launch effective promotions.
- Research training opportunities: Ongoing training and opportunities to connect with people going through the same experience will help inspire you and enable you to run your business better.
- Opportunity for growth: Ensure that the company has demonstrated continuous growth opportunities and is committed to helping you with resources and support as you strive to reach your goals.
No one can predict the future of the economy, but you can take control of your finances by generating additional income. Start by researching opportunities and select the best one for you.