By George A. Boyd ©2021
People often limit their possibilities for earning their income, and will take any gig to survive. There are a variety of approaches that might allow you to earn money in ways you might not have thought about. Here is the spectrum of how people earn their living:
Get any job to survive – this is the fallback for most of us… much of my working life was spent gigging it in the early ‘70s and middle ‘80s.
Prepare for work and work in that profession – this is the time-honored tradition of going to vocational school or college, getting your certificate, diploma, or degree, and then working in your field. This works when the economy is functioning well; this becomes a challenge during a recession. It becomes extra stressful when you are carrying a lot of student debt you used to earn that certificate, degree, or diploma.
I used this approach to get my first career-related job as a drug counselor: I earned my bachelors degree in Psychology and a certificate in Alcohol Drug Counseling. Was there a downside of this? Yes, I didn’t start my career until about halfway through my regular working years.
Entrepreneurship – this is starting your own business and selling a product or service. Even while I was employed at my more regular jobs after 1983, I was running my own little company to earn extra money.
If you are successful at this way of earning your money, you can become wealthy—and not just little extra cash, as I did. I’m beginning to believe now that the key to this is targeted marketing and sales.
Trusting in God and living a life of surrender and service – In this scenario, you allow Providence to take care of your needs.
This was the approach I used during the Summer of Love in 1967, when I “crashed” in different people’s houses and “panhandled” for some change to get my favorite, fish and chips. [This was in my pre-vegetarian period.]
I have some friends who have traveled across the country and the world giving lectures, and sleeping where people invite them—and sometimes in their van—and accepting whatever donations people gave them, using this strategy. This is not for the faint of heart—you need to have a lot of faith and chutzpah to make this work.
Using your creative or athletic genius to earn money – you can use this if you are particularly gifted in your art or athletic prowess. You are hired on a sports team or your acting and public speaking skill lands you a job as an actor or media celebrity. This also includes the writers, artists, and musicians, who gather a large following. When you are successful in this type, you can earn a lot of money.
I have written and published 18 books. For me, this has not been my ticket to great wealth.
Climbing the mountain of the world – You can rise to the top of corporations and politics through getting in touch with the people, whose circle of influence gives you the inside track to promotion and power. Those who work this approach in corporations and government gain access to the positions of great wealth. If you notice what C-suite officers make, you will see this can earn you a lot of money.
This never appealed to me. Plus, the professions in which I worked didn’t have ladders to great wealth.
Selling your way to the top – While many sales people are essentially gig workers, there are those that rise in their companies to become managers can make a great living. Real estate agents and brokers, big-ticket item sales people, and stockbrokers can make a lot of money.
I never was attracted to sales positions. In my weak foray into multi-level marketing at the behest and with the support of my friends, I never got anywhere: I got to a screaming five people under me. I didn’t even make enough to pay for my monthly blue green algae supplements this company was hawking.
Earning money through expressing your Soul’s mission – To tap this level, you need to be in touch with your Soul, and it has to have something it wants to share with the world. This happens when your Soul has a purpose, and it lets you know about it. If this operates in you, your career choices are, well, settled. You do what your Soul wants 24/7.
Since 2010, when I boldly stepped away from my job as an academic vocational counselor—yes, Virginia, I was actually working in my career for 19 years—I have been doing my Soul’s work full time. I have been doing metavisional readings, meditation consultations, meditation teaching and meditation teacher training, webinars, and coaching.
This has not yet brought me fame and fortune, but the joy and satisfaction I feel doing this is priceless.
If you are struggling with working in the gig economy, and taking any job you can get to survive, I would encourage you to do some visualization and imagine what it might be like to be working in one of these alternate tracks.
Sometimes, this little discovery exercise can spark an insight that will lead you uncover to what you were born to do, and you can move your working life to a whole new level—and with it, often increase your income.