It’s all over the internet, on social media and news sites; everywhere you look, someone is talking about it. A friend is doing it to make some extra money. You might have even even tried it yourself. And you begin to wonder…

Why not me?

What I am talking about is called the “sharing economy.” It is a peer-to-peer, collaborative, creative economy. I sometimes call it the “survivor economy.” Whatever you wish to call it, it’s hot; it isn’t going away; and you can be a part of it!

Share your bike, your tools, your time, your money, even your home.  Every day, there is a new idea, business, and website to make it easier for You to make money on those extra things you have.

If you have it, you can make money with it.

Not sold yet? Have questions. Here is a big question – Why do it?

Perhaps, my own story will help sell you on this idea.

For over 20 years, I worked as a Producer for television commercials. Yes, those things you skip or use for a bathroom break.  In January 2010, I was told my services were no longer needed. By May, I was huddled crying in corners of my house. I knew it was bad when my therapist began calling me each day to make sure I was still alive.

After I lost my job, I couldn’t find a job.  I couldn’t even get employers to return my calls or emails.  And I was not alone. I knew many friends who had also lost their jobs in the last economic shift, what has come to be called “the last recession.” Call it what you want, it was a difficult time.

Then I found Airbnb, and I never looked back. I was able to pay all my bills, including health insurance, mortgage, cell phone and even the therapist, by using the sharing economy.  My career did pick up again, but it wasn’t the same.  

Today, I work in the sharing economy full time.

Was this my dream? Not at all.  I had never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, I didn’t even own a coffee maker. But here I am – over 4 years later and with over 300 guest reviews.

I like making someone’s trip special, knowing those first time visitors are having a great time in my city.  Or the grandparents are happy to come to my place.  I love grandparents. Making great memories for someone is a great feeling.  And the guests appreciate my efforts.

I host to save my home.

And You?

You might be thinking of going back to school, wanting to take a big trip, or recoup some of your losses from the recent recession.  Many people join the creative economy as a temporary way to make ends meet.

How do you get started?

Back in 2010, I researched other hosts, read their descriptions, pricing, photos, and tried to get a sense of how busy they were. I had questions, but I was not sure who I ask to find answers. As I got started, I made mistakes, some more costly than others. I want to help you get started without making those same mistakes!

I am all yours, your secret weapon; your very own North Star to help you navigate through the sometimes murky waters of the sharing economy.

I can guarantee that you will have questions, and I will make it my purpose to provide you with answers.

I hope you will help me by sharing in the comments section the reasons why you are looking into the sharing economy. Have you tried it before? Do you know someone who is active? I invited you to share your stories and concerns with me.

If you would like insider information on how to use what you have to make some extra cash, sign up for weekly updates.

Until next time… Happy Hosting!

(Photo: Emily Roesly via morgue file    cc licensed)

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