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The tough economic times brought on by the recession have caused many people to put their thinking caps on and develop creative sources of extra income. A Bloomberg Businessweek article pointed out that many of these newly born entrepreneurs are “starting small, looking into businesses they can run in addition to their day jobs, such as direct-selling, pushcart vending, and online ventures that capitalize on recession realities.”

Tough Times Drive Ingenuity

As the numbers of direct-sales consultants rises, there are an increasing number of creative solutions to help people cope with this season of financial duress.

Local Markets

Tough financial times have born ingenious ideas when it comes to sales. Crafters and growers are making their products available to local markets.

One great environment for small entrepreneurs is the farmers’ market. Local artisans and talented craftsmen can peddle their homegrown products to the people in their own communities. Similar places like flea market booths, food carts and other sorts of stands allow people to peddle their homegrown products with low, or practically no, overhead costs. These are all ways that people can turn their hobbies and talents into extra income through selling their homemade products.

Collateral Loans

For those who don’t want to start their own business but need cash for next week, there are several short-term loan options. Many people who do not qualify for credit loans have turned to short-term loans for quick help in tight times. Auto title loans are a method of borrowing where you can use your vehicle as a form of collateral. Companies such as offer these loans as a hassle-free way to help people make their next payment.

Another form of short-term loan has been around for hundreds of years. Local pawnbroker shops offer money in exchange for valuables as collateral. The TV show Pawn Stars on the History Channel has done wonders for legitimizing this industry and demonstrating how people can make money by selling their items or simply borrowing against them.


Perhaps inspired by the pawn business, others have turned a profit on old but valuable objects they have around the home or have found at garage sales. It is called “picking”…or dumpster diving, or modern archaeology or just recycling. And it may be why estate sales boomed last year.

Picking works when hungry antiquers go looking for treasure disguised as trash. Pickers, as they are affectionately called, are fond of discovering the hidden value in once lost objects. They are also fond of making extra cash. After finding discarded items, they clean, polish and restore them to be able to sell to antique shops and collectors. It is one part hobby and one part business.

Internet Entrepreneurs

One of the fastest growing markets is online. With the cheap cost of a website, people can reach a specified cliental and sell online from the convenience of their own home. Etsy is a booming website for crafted items. Ebay has also done well as people resale. Businesses can even open via an Ebay store. Other technically gifted individuals have opened Internet consulting firms or web design services.

These are all just a smattering of the way people have made the best of difficult situations. Many have even discovered ways to do what they love for a living as tough times cause them to examine their skills.

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