A Hustler is constantly evaluating their surroundings and the resources available to them. I have said before that if all you have is time, use that time to advance your hustle. I lived in a housing project near some agricultural drainage ditches. People would go down there to catch crawdads to make soup and other foods and then sell what they could make (even just sell the live crawdads at the flea market). I used to collect cans and bottles that people threw away to gather up some money. Whatever it is that surrounds you, take a look at it and figure out who doesn’t have it. Farrah Gray took rocks and sold them as door stops. He took extra lotions from around his house and mixed them together and sold them for extra money. Farrah Gray is a Hustler.
One thing that is pretty much available to anyone in the United States is Internet access. Coffee shops, libraries, Internet cafes, schools are all potential sources of computers with cheap or free internet access.
Now, you might not be able to charge folks to use these free computers (but if you can, I might have a job for you because that would mean you are on top of your sales hustle). Anyway, so you now have this incredible resource. Every day, people like you are making a few dollars to a few thousand dollars using the Internet. I have. I was making a few hundred dollars a month on eBay about 8 years ago spending about 4 hours a month posting items and mailing them out. I didn’t do anything special. I could probably start it up again if I wanted too, but it was boring. I make better money now doing things that are more fun for me – and isn’t that the real hustle?
Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t still spend time online. I spend time for fun and I spend time for work. I visit a lot of different sites but most recently I have noticed a trend. Some call it social media, some call it social networking and some call it online “friending”. Whatever you call it, it is this century’s way of pooling your resources to get your hustle off the ground.
I am putting out a list here of sites that I visit and use on the daily basis. Some of these I may only use a few times a week because they don’t require my constant attention. Others I use when I have questions or feel the need to reach out a little. Some help me maintain my “real world” contacts and other help me meet new people who help me grow my personal empire.
These are sites that you can use to build your hustle, your crew, or plan your organization.
You may know from a previous post that there are a lot of places online to find some seed capital. Here are just a few.
Networking is important. It is really how you build your crew. When I used to run around in the streets, people knew me. I had a reputation. People knew that they could come to me to find some hard to find items or to find a deal. When I grew up, got straight and wanted to expand my hustle, I realized that I needed to create a NEW network. That guy who can get you car stereos on the cheap isn’t going to help much when you want to land that million-dollar contract. This is what you need to do – make new contacts. Each of these sites can help.
- Tribe find people in your area working their own hustles.
- Myspace the easiest to get going because you already know someone on MySpace. Yeah, you really do.
- Facebook This site used to be invite only. It is basically a MySpace knock off for the college set. Now, it is the “friendly” equivalent to LinkedIn.
- LinkedIn I have clients, colleagues and friends who contact me through LinkedIn. It is strictly business oriented. And when I get a new business card, this is the first place I go to see if we are going to hook up.
- MeetUp this site helps you find and meet people in person. My only warning here is that the entrepreneur groups have a lot of MLM salespeople. MLM is not my kind of hustle, if you can hump it out, more power to you.
Business Communities can be networking resources, but I find them more of a collaborative tool. This is where like minded people get together and expose each other to industry related news, advice and tips. I probably use these sites as much as the networking sites.
- Bank of America Small Business Online Community is a pretty cool site where you can get some advice.
- Microsoft Startup Center
- American Express Open Forum is a place where small business owners get together to share tips and ideas.
- Advisor Garage is a site where business pros ca offer help to those coming up. It is still in Beta phase now but looks promising.
- Entrepreneur.com Another resource site for you know who
- Small Business Wiki is a dumb name for a site like the others above. Dumb name, but a good resource.
- Google Analytics if your business has a website, then you need this. On one of my businesses, I track visitors, get their network location and call them up. I tell them “Thanks for visiting my website, I am calling to see if you had any questions not answered by my site.” This site is also cool if you do any marketing. You can watch your visitors spike when a new ad or marketing campaign launches and know what works.
- Google Alerts I get emails every day of my name popping up online or one of my businesses or competitors showing up in the news. This is how I do it. It gives you an excellent competitive advantage.
Everyone needs some help figuring out their money. It is easier when all your money fits in your pockets, but when you start pulling in a little extra, things get complicated. It is better to learn good habits now.
- Mint.com is a free money management site. It has a lot of cool features including letting you know when your credit card payments and bills are due via email (mine go to my cell phone). It is like a free version of quicken but a lot easier to use.
- Geezeo.com another money management site. This one has a forum called “Money Confessions” where people anonymously post how they are spending their money.
- Wesabe Another online money management site worth mentioning.
- CreditKarma is a site that lets you monitor your credit score any time you want. This site is FREE and legit.
- PayPal – Love it or hate it, Paypal is the leading way to exchange money between individuals online. Owned by eBay.
- Google Checkout – Google’s service for buying items in online stores without giving your credit card details to the merchant. No person-to-person exchanges.
- MoneyBookers – a popular alternative to PayPal, especially in countries where PayPal still doesn’t let users receive funds.
- Billster allows you to track your bills as well as helps you figure out how to split shared bills with your friends, partners or roommates.
- Annual Credit Report The government offers this site so you can get a free copy of your credit reports. It’s free, once a year.
Information and Resources
There is a lot of information out there. Here is a good start to get you rolling. This is one list that I will keep updating so check back.
- SlideShare is a site where business pros upload their PowerPoint presentations. Now you can see how the big rollers are getting the job done. This helps for that first time you have to give a presentation to a room full of suits.
- DocStoc.com There are a lot of free and downloadable documents including Non-Disclosure Agreements and Independent Contractor Agreements. It doesn’t beat a lawyer – but it is cheaper.
- SBA Small Business Planner more business help from the government
- SCORE is a site to find a mentor to give you a hand up.
- IdeaBlob is a place where people throw out ideas for new businesses or products. You never know where that next idea will come from.
- EntreWiki same thing as IdeaBlob.
So obviously this isn’t every site out there. It isn’t even a complete list of the best sites out there. It is just a list of good sites that I visit. If you are reading this post, and you run a valuable site like these, post a comment. If it looks good, I will allow it through so others can check it out. If you have a site that you don’t run but you know is cool, post it and I will set it up for others too. Also, check back because I will be updating this post as better sites show up.