Start a service business
Launching a service business can be done without a large network, an online presence or much overhead. The easiest way to start is by telling people in your existing network what you’re offering and asking them to spread the word.
Noah Kagan from AppSumo nailed this concept. He decided to see if he could earn $1,000 in 24 hours, starting from scratch. He ended up founding a successful beef jerky subscription business that he gave to one of his students to run.
You can steal his concept, with a business like dinner catering, freelance writing or online marketing. Start by crafting a killer outreach email to get yourself up and running in just a few days.
Invest in real estate
Becoming a landlord isn’t always practical for those who are employed full-time and already strapped for cash. But you can look at buying a condo or small property in another country as a vacation getaway instead. The price tag is typically cheaper, even when you hire a local property management group to manage renters while you’re away.
Commercial real estate can also be a lucrative way to invest and earn passive income, even without a large down payment. Get started with a site like Realty Mogul, and invest in commercial real estate for as little as $5,000. You'll get vetted deals and access to high-end listings you wouldn’t otherwise find.
Launch an online resource
Share your expertise by launching an online ebook or course to help others while you earn passive income. My own ebook, 100 Days of Growth, ended up generating more income than my day job. It was a ton of up-front work, but once it was ready to go, it took minimal effort to maintain and to keep up with sales.
If writing ebooks isn’t your strong suit, launch a video course or bootcamp instead. I didn’t stop at books -- I also launched a content marketing bootcamp through ContentMarketer.io to help my clients master content-marketing abilities in 10 weeks.
Host an event
You can make money hosting events without aiming for thousands of sign-ups, vendors and high-profile guest speakers. Instead, form a free MeetUp group on a topic you’re knowledgeable about, like growth hacking, and run free events.
After you secure a loyal following, charge for an event with a reputable guest speaker. Rent out a small, upscale conference room at a nearby hotel, and grow your new MeetUp by hosting exclusive, sought-after events that charge a premium for fantastic content.
Get paid to do what you’re already doing
Take inventory of what you're doing in your free time. People who love those things can get certified by you to teach them on weekends. You get to do what you love while earning extra money at the same time.