Let’s Put Our Heads Together and Help…

Tis' the season of thanks and giving so I thought it would be the perfect time to help one of my readers with a bunch of ideas to help her situation...

And who knows, it may just help you too...

Sandy writes...

I've been meaning to email you. I'm a long time customer of yours and have even emailed you a couple of times. Your emails are ones I almost always read right away.

Here's what's going on in my life. Almost 4 months ago, my husband had a cardiac arrest at home. I called 911 immediately, and the EMTs were able to restart his heart in the ambulance.

However, he suffered brain damage, and has been in a coma ever since.

We are seemingly running out of time paid for by insurance at a skilled nursing facility, so I am contemplating bringing him home. I have a background as a nursing assistant and feel I can probably do at least as good a job caring for him, if not better, than the place he is.

The alternative is spending half our assets (mostly 401ks) so he can be on medical assistance. I just don't want to do that.

So, here's my problem. I like your idea of mystery shopping. Heck, I like ANY kind of shopping! But, I get very little chance to do any shopping at all these days.

And, if I bring Stu home, I'll undoubtedly have even less time available outside the house for any purpose.

Do you have any ideas for making money, strictly from home?

I've tried several, no, MANY internet marketing ideas (schemes, scams). Now, I'm wiser. l'm quite tech savvy, but not so well informed on how to make money ethically, legally and without spending an arm and a leg online from home.

Any ideas? Feel free to use my story if you like, in sending to your list.

Thanks, Leo!


To her credit, Sandy got right out and started mystery shopping, doing her first three jobs within a couple days but once her husband gets home, she'll have little time to do that.

Coincidentally, around the same time Sandy's question came in, I read an article from a British guru, entitled "Triple Your Income With A Simple Business Idea"

I won't hold you in suspense...his idea was to start a IRONING SERVICE...he called it an "ironing round" which in the US would probably be called an "ironing route".

Personally, as a potential customer, I LOVE this idea.   I would gladly pay someone to iron my clothes.

Would others?  I don't know but I think a fairly effective marketing campaign could be done locally which would result in a nice little business.

In any case, also at the same time this email came in I was reading a book called CHOOSE YOURSELF! by James Altucher.

He writes a lot about building your IDEA MUSCLE.

He suggests writing 10 ideas a day about ANYTHING...

-10 simple gift ideas for the holidays

-10 ways to save money

-10 ways my boss could improve her business

-10 ways to make my life easier

-10 presents to get Leo Quinn for Christmas since I just missed his birthday without so much as a thoughtless two line email that my dog could have written given enough time.

-10 ways to let people know it's your birthday without being obvious.

You get the idea.

So with that idea from James Altucher, I wrote down 10 ideas for making money from home...

-Laundry - same idea...somebody drops their laundry off and you wash, fold and iron
-Virtual assistant
-Music lessons
-Personal training
-Home care consulting- people facing the same issue would love to get an insider's view
-Phone coaching on any topic
-Loyalty Club Management
-Online portal for other home care givers to meet, provide support, encouragement, ideas, etc.


Those are mine.

I don't know if they'll help Sandy, you or anyone but I would ask you to include your own list of ideas below.

1 idea, 5 or 10.  You just never know what one idea sparks something in someone.

Try to come up with 10 and really stress that idea muscle of yours and post them in the comments section below or email them to me.

Best idea as voted by me gets a prize.  What's that prize?

I don't know....I'll come up with something.

Here in the U.S. Thanksgiving day is on Thursday so I wish you and yours a most enjoyable day.

And of course, I THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement over the years.

Leo Quinn


Please add yours... 

(Click Comments)



  • Keith Charlton says:

    There’s quite a few Etsy.com sites whose operators sell hand made crafts like jewelry from home.

  • Cheryl says:

    How about those medical transcriptionist jobs? They advertise those in my area a lot. She has the nursing background, right.
    [That’s interesting Cheryl…certainly makes sense. I think I have a cousin-in-law who did this for a time…I’ll check in with her. Thank you!-LEO]

  • Candace Brathwaite says:

    What about registering as a freelancer on the people per hour website. It is possible to edit documents or write a document for a fee.
    The website is http://www.peopleperhour.com/

  • AnnMarie says:

    Like the laundry/ironing idea – do you cook well? As a single person, I would pay someone to cook me a weeks worth of home cooked meals and pick it up on Sunday. Do you sew, knit, crochet, etc. These are all things someone else who doesn’t know how to do would pay you to do. Or consulting as a nursing assistant for people who are in the same boat as you (best way to go about setting up your home for someone who is ill like your hubby for instance – I wouldn’t know!). Also, GE Capital is paying for part-time work at home processing paperwork; they come in and set you up with the computer. Could you afford an in-home nurse one or two days a week so you can continue to do mystery shopping or consulting? This also gives you a much needed break, what you are attempting is going to be hard and isolating – you must make sure to meet your own needs, too. That’s not selfish, it’s practical and realistic. You can’t help someone else if you’re depressed. Good luck and prayers coming your way – you are very brave.

  • Dave Bross says:

    Considering the tech-savvy part how about handling marketing for local businesses via setting up an emailing/consulting service where you write and send the emails and autoresponders for local businesses?
    That would pay a whole lot better than doing piecework for people.

    If you’re on Mike Senoff’s email list he’s selling something on this that he usually gets a lot of money for for twenty bucks until the 28th.
    I don’t get anything out of suggesting that.
    I got it, it’s very good (if a bit disorganized and not so good on the transcriptions) and it could be done from home with a bit of adaptation.

    Michael’s audio interview site also has a ton of unusual ways to make money in the interviews.
    Even one on running a fruit stand, which doesn’t apply here but just to illustrate the diversity of what’s there.

    Leo, I hope you’re OK with me mentioning this.
    Michael’s site would be a very valuable resource for what’s needed here.

    Best of luck with the home care…anything but the “professionals” in that line is an improvement.
    As mentioned before, be sure to take care of yourself.


  • Kathy says:

    Make and deliver diabetic lunches to local businesses. Offer a couple of choices per day and take orders the day before or the week before. Deliver at lunch time. There are more diabetics out there than ever before and it is often hard to find healthy lunches near by. I’m sure there are some codes to obey but check it out.

    I heard about a woman who is making a living delivering healthy, raw snacks to local businesses in CA. Things like carrots, celery and dip or apples and yogurt, etc. Who would have thought!

  • Diana says:

    1. in-home child care
    2. baking/cooking as someone else mentioned above many do not have time to cook and would love it if someone could make meals. Prep and cook large amounts of soups and stews and resell to neighbors or go in with family and friends and split the cost of the ingredients. You pay less because you do the cooking. Great way to save money.
    3. grow organic herbs to sell to grocery or restaurants
    4. in addition to ironing what about sewing or repair work
    5. have any massage therapy experience or other types of skills that you could schedule in your home
    6. in home sales (avon, tupperware, pampered chief)
    7. start a blog and sell ad’s
    8. create an ebay or other online sales for surplus household items
    9. write a book
    10. book-keeping

  • Becca says:

    Rev.com offers work doing transcriptions.

    I’m fascinated with fiverr.com. There are a lot of things people will do for $5.00, and I’ve been trying to think of something I could offer for that price point. Some of the offers are as simple as commenting on forums, or sending cards. Maybe she could look around the site and see if there’s anything she could do? The idea is to come up with something you can do relatively fast and that a lot of people would be interested in.

    Depending on her skill set, she could definitely check out elance.com as well.

  • Mark Williams says:

    These are all ones I have seen others run or been involved with myself (with success). Some require certain skills, others can be done if you have a passion to succeed at it.

    1) Make and sell picnic tables
    2) Make and sell Adirondack chairs (One gentleman in my area has been doing these two things for years and he has a waiting list each Spring)
    3) Sell firewood to commercial interests (restaurants, bars, hotels – wherever there is a fireplace)
    4) Write checks/handle paperwork for the elderly
    5) Become an independent rep and sell for an existing company. I have worked with payroll providers, telecom companies and credit card companies. No charge to start, they help train you in technical aspects of product or service and what you sell earns you residual commissions for years. I earn 5 figures a year from payroll service alone. have had some clients for over 7 years and I get paid month after month.
    6) Bookkeeper for Churches – many only need a few hours a week, you could line up several and earn over $25/hour. Trick is to price by job, not by the hour.
    7) Garage Organizing Service
    8) Window Cleaning
    9) Deck/House Cleaning
    10) Dog/House Sitter

    And of course all of your ideas Leo can be run to develop an income on the side. Best of luck!


  • Susan P says:

    Taking a lead from AnnMarie’s idea above perhaps she could barter with another nurse/nursing assistant/caregiver who needs help with something she can do (computer help for example since she is tech-savy). With that time off she could do a few mystery shop jobs outside the house or just relax and rejuvenate.

    Also, since she is already a mystery shopper, some jobs are phone jobs or online only and might be a good fit for her.

  • Billie Huchting says:

    Family members can be certified in order to get paid for their
    service. Check with the National Caregivers Association or your local state office for requirements and conditions.

    I have a friend that took care of her daughter after a horrible accident and she was able to receive some income for doing so.


  • Carly says:

    Considering time is probably a huge factor here while caring for another, I hope some of these ideas will help:

    -Help create a budget for someone (who better to do that than you who are on a budget now!)
    -If you are good with computers – photo editing services
    -If you have purchased online programs before, now it’s a good time to pull them out to test them again! (I know I have a few sitting around that I haven’t put into good use…)

    Good luck! There are a million ways to make a million dollars. I think we just need to take one way, do it, and make it happen 🙂


  • Cathy V. says:

    To Diana’s post. Just a note massage therapy usually requires the person be certified otherwise it is viewed by law enforcement as prostitution, unless done under a doctors supervision.

  • Leo says:

    Good point Cathy!

  • Nick Haggerty says:

    Leo, Sandie has to make meals for her husband. They have to be nutricious and enjoyable. She should consult with the nutrisionist from the hospital where he was in to get a direction on the kind of food he should be having. Then do further research on the internet for other nutritional foods, supplements, cooking instructions and exercises that will benefit both him and her,
    As Sandie is going through this process, she can blog her difficulties, experiences and her good achievements. At the same time, she could note the recipies, sell them, or sell the products either on line or at a market. Unfortunately she will not be the only one in the position she has found herelf in.
    I hope this suggestion is not too long or complicated.


  • Kathrine Blake says:

    1)Start your own house cleaning company, where you hire others to do all the work.
    2)Study the concepts at http://www.reallove.com. Apply them to yourself and become an expert at these principles, grow into being a coach where you can do this over the phone and computer.
    3)Endure well by relying on the church you belong to. If no church membership, then invite the missionaries over from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The Church has employment specialists that serve for free. Our Great Creator knows each of us personally and cares!

  • Leo says:

    This came in via email from Janis…

    Happy Thanksgiving, Leo.

    I have been swamped with a neighborhood volunteer project – so have not checked in with any emails for past six months.

    This is a great idea – helping someone by brainstorming together…

    I have looked for work at home ideas for a long time.

    The last couple of places I have discovered and/or am familiar with are:

    1) I love the ironing at home concept. A former co-worker found someone for this in our area who had lots of customers and couldn’t take any more customers – she was that busy.
    2) customer service agent working from home – for insurance companies
    3) as a nursing assistant – don’t know why she can’t inventory her skills – to become a mentor, accountability partner in health goals, etc.
    4) If she has any cooking skills – preparing healthy lunches – or teaching small classes in her home on how to do “once a month” cooking would be great
    5) become a medical insurance advocate for people trying to straighten out their medical bills; she probably can ask better questions and might have better understanding having worked in the medical field
    6) set up an answering service in her home; this would probably involve installing several phone lines but she wouldn’t have to leave home. Several of these exist in my city and also in Dallas. This personal touch is very important to many people, i.e. business men who travel, smaller doctor’s offices.
    7) She might brainstorm with people she still knows in previous job setting to ask about what “gaps” exist that are not being covered by professions or individual contractors.
    8) don’t know what her skill set is – but there are nurse help lines for patients call for information and to ask questions.

    Please keep us posted – and let her know she has support from those of out here who have never met her.

    Thanks so much for asking for our help.


  • Ann says:

    Unload your extra possessions on eBay or etsy. Make jewelry or other craft to sell online. Supplies can be mailed to your home and product can be mailed from your home.

  • Jennifer says:

    Make and sell compost or compost tea ( either from compost or worm castings). This is becoming very popular. You can also sell worm castings ( these go for a pretty big price). Since you’ll already have the compost or worm castings, grow organic tomato plants and basil in your home and sell them this spring. Also another great thing to sell is succulents. Some of them are hard for people to find and they also sell for a lot of money :). Good luck to you!

  • Leo says:

    In all my 46 years I’ve never seen “succulent” used as a noun! Who knew? 🙂

  • Raeann Berge says:

    At this time of year she could offer to wrap packages. Some people hate doing that. Have someone put lights on the house or decorate for Christmas. Decorate windows. Window washing. Organize a room(s). (Make suggestions for doing it, as she may not have the time) That’s all I can think of right now.

    Mostly she needs to make time for herself each day.

  • Leo says:

    Love the wrapping idea! I wrap mine in old newspapers because I’m so bad at it and don’t want to waste good paper. Now it’s a “thing”… you can always spot uncle Leo’s packages.

  • shirley anderson says:

    One idea I have is to set up a service to make calls for people. So many people are pressed for time that they can`t make their personal calls. They would give her a list of calls and she could make these calls for them. She would probably charge by the call. This can be done from her home.

  • Stacy Ryan says:

    Combine the nursing background and the aging population/desire to care for loved ones in the home, this would be an opportunity to develop a “Home Care Guide for the Nonprofessional” offering tips on everything from setting up your home, scheduling time (for the patient AND YOURSELF), meals, hygiene, tools/supplies (along with links to reputable vendors, including affiliate links where applicable), etc.

    Marketing: a website with your story – including photos! Videos on YouTube with quick tips for home health care (or anything related to your nursing background) with a link to your website for more info and the sale of your “Guide.”

    Deliverables could include:
    – digital book (including links) that could be downloaded from your website as well as a kindle book on Amazon.com
    – video training series (i.e.: how I set up XYZ)
    – checklists
    – tip sheets
    – nutrition/meal planning guide
    – training(s) they will want to have (i.e.: CPR) and links to where they might get that training (online or offline)
    – webcasts
    – 1:1 coaching sessions with individuals via Skype (for a fee)
    – membership site with a forum for Q&A/member support area, perhaps with online Google Hangouts where people can share ideas

    The idea would be to chronicle the experience just like you would in a speech class to give a presentation on how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. (Then give the instructions to a friend to test and watch him/her in the process to see if everything’s included.)

    A friend’s son was in a coma after an accident and had extensive brain damage. Information like this would have been EXTREMELY valuable at the time!

    All the best to you…hope this helps!

  • c.t. says:

    I would try to confirm appointments for doctor or dentist, believe this could be done from home.

    along the same lines you could send one of a kind greeting cards/thank you/birthday cards. either for a doctor, insurance agent, etc. or offer the service on fiverr.

    good luck

  • Carol says:

    First of all I am so sorry for your situation and want to commend you for caring for your husband.

    There are many good ideas here.

    What about a personal shopper? How many people can’t get out and this could be done when you have someone to give you a break – you could include wrapping and delivery. Be sure you charge appropriately. I like the statement that you need time for yourself and that is so true.

    Are you taking advantage of all programs available to you such as social security, ssi, and hospice?

    The idea of sending birthday cards was a great one. Some banks, insurance agents, etc remember their clients this way and it could be done from home.

    Set up a secretarial service which would send letters and various forms of correspondence. Have a shredding service set up from your home as part of these services. You could incorporate many ideas into this service as the birthday card idea, calling to remind people of appointments, wrapping packages, bookeeping, billing for companies and advocating for seniors.

    A senior day care program. Your nursing abilities would allow you the essential needs to perform this. Many people take care of their parents in their homes and still have a full time job. They need a place for their family members during that time.

    What about tutoring students – any age student including those who are looking into the health care field. Become a CNA instructor and do that on the days you have home help.

    My sincere and best wishes for you in your many endeavors. My prayers are with you. That you can find one or two things that will help you provide for yourself and your husband,

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