Fast Money and other Shady Deals – Side Hustles

“Money is only a measure of your wealth, not a measure of your worth”. GPC 2019.

4 July 2019, Week 5

End of the Rainbow

In searching for practical means to make an income, I have found some very interesting avenues advertised on the internet. A fascinating example like “Drop-shipping” sounds too good to be true… and my gut tells me it probably is, at least for someone like me who is slightly risk-adverse. When you search the term, there are endless tutorials for sale on how to “drop-ship”, how to set up an internet shop and work from home with little or no money up front, apart from paying for the tutorial and ongoing support.

“Drop-shipping” is fundamentally a business model whereby you set up an online store advertising on social media platforms the niche items or general store items of your choice with glossy photos and videos, catchy offers and marketing hooks, secure payment methods like credit card, Paypal or direct debit, and solid policies on delivery times and refunds. Your customer finds something they like, places their order, makes their payment and then you the shop owner, purchases the item from an external source which sends the item directly to your customer, no warehousing necessary, no packaging, no walking the beat advertising your wares, no high rentals on shop fronts, no electricity, rates or public liability insurance… Sounds good right? No, not for me.

Firstly, there are the issues of 3 to 4 weeks delivery time for items, and then refunding for faulty goods that you have never laid eyes on! Secondly, and most importantly for me, the production of many of the items I could find online raise ethical questions. Many are plastic junk bits and pieces such as avocado peelers and slicers, travel mugs, t-shirts, kitchen, bath and bedroom items, and small outdoor, garage and workshop items which are mass-produced in China. Items are available online direct from distributors such as “Aliexpress”, for amounts as little as 70 cents, which calls into question the underpayment and working conditions of the assemblers in China.

Having studied sustainable development and learnt of the exploitation of many workers in poverty-stricken countries, this just goes against my ethical stance of fairness and equity. In fact, in the first hour of one of the online training videos, this issue is raised by the trainer who is quick to negate concerns which have obviously been broached by others before me. Maybe the ones who will get truly rich from this scheme are the ones selling “how-to” programs, or those willing to flog themselves to their friends and family on social media, in emails and through cold calling. No thanks!

The next get-rich-quick scheme I was introduced to by well-meaning people, was taking part in online surveys. All I found was that by registering with several of the companies as recommended by online proponents, is that spam online on social media by advertisers has gone through the roof!  I enrolled with a few companies over the past six weeks and have been invited to partake in surveys several times a week. I have now unsubscribed as each invitation would take me through several pages of questions before stating I was not in their desired demographic (I am in my 50s, female, single and low income). Not once have my details been within the advertisers’ demographic which I can only guess is aimed at high-earners and high-spenders. So, it is a big NO to online surveys for me.

I have also investigated a courier franchise which may well be an option for a viable small business, however, requires several thousand dollars up front. Maybe this is a great side-hustle for retirement or for when I get hold of several thousand dollars.

In total contrast to pursuing these fast money models, I am re-finding my passion for art and expression, being grateful for my individuality and difference from the status quo, nurturing my self-esteem and inner strengths and finding freedom from worry by self-appreciation of my real worth, with or without financial reward.

Money isn’t everything.



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