I am taking a short break from my regular post series to touch on a topic that some people have expressed interest in: Making money or having a career while battling cholinergic urticaria. We all need money, and it is no secret that those with severe cholinergic urticaria can sometimes face serious challenges in their career. I also know that the typical ages in which the dreadful hives can strike (late teens and 20’s) also happen to be the time when people are just starting their careers and/or education, and money can be very tight.
So since a few people have expressed difficulty in their careers, and some of you out there may be struggling to make money (especially in this economy), I thought I would take the time to write a post in hopes that I can give you all some ideas to earn money even if you have severe cholinergic urticaria. Who knows, I may even open the door to something entirely new for some of you, and some of the information I put in this post may lead you into a new career, or open other doors for you down the line. I hope this helps.
First, The Reason Why I am NOT Writing This Post
I don’t want to give anyone the wrong idea here–I am writing this post specifically to help those who are not currently pursuing a particular career and/or those who need some temporary help until they can get their hives under control.
I am NOT suggesting people should wave a white flag and give up on their career dreams. In fact, I think you should never let go of your dreams even when you draw your last breath on this earth. Fight for your dreams, and do not give up.
But again, this is just some information to help some of you to earn a living until you can get your hives under control, and then you can pursue your bigger dreams.
Cholinergic Urticaria and Disability/ Social Security Money
I regularly search the web for info regarding CU, and I remember coming across a post on the Yahoo Answers forum that someone had written a while ago. It goes a little like this:
o.k. so i am like 99.9% sure that i have cholinergic urticaria. (heat hives) and i have had it for about 3 years now, and let me tell you it SUCKS. and i get it super bad whenever i take a hot shower, exercise, eat spicy foods, get nervous or anxious. basically i pretty much can’t do anything without breaking out in hives all over me. every single day i suffer from this and i am just wondering if i can sign up for a disability check? seriously i can’t do anything without breaking out and itching like crazy. PLEASE DON’T ANSWER THIS IF YOU DON’T KNOW FOR CERTAIN, OR IF YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT CHOLINERGIC URTICARIA IS. THANK YOU. ALSO ANY INFORMATION ABOUT THIS DISORDER WOULD BE APPRECIATED, EVEN THOUGH I HAVE DONE QUITE A BIT OF RESEARCH AND HAVE READ LOTS ABOUT IT. THANKS AGAIN. (underlining mine)
When I read this post, I could certainly relate to this person. I mean, can’t we all? CU isn’t fun. It can be nearly debilitating. Yet at the same time, I had very mixed feelings about this. On one hand, many people do sign up for disability for seemingly silly reasons (ie, being nervous in public or some odd reason). CU is certainly a much more frustrating condition than many silly reasons of disability that I’ve heard about.
Yet on the flip side of the coin, does cholinergic urticaria really prevent you from doing anything for a living? I mean, we itch when we get hot, but can’t we work in the A/C? We sometimes hive out when we are nervous, but what if we pursue writing, or some solitary career that allows you to work from the comfort of your own home? And what about the countless opportunities on the web?
After pondering on this for a few minutes, I felt pretty strongly that CU really isn’t a very good justification of going on disability. I mean, with so many opportunities out there, I think the person that loses most is the person who actually signs up for disability. A person going on disability (to me), is the equivalent of a person selling a Da Vinci painting at a yard sale for $10. I feel like anyone who does that only rob themselves from a potentially satisfying career and so many opportunities that may come their way throughout their life.
I may have mentioned this on the forum before, but I grew up in a VERY POOR household. That means I know all-to-well about things like “disability,” “food stamps,” “wic,” “section 8 housing,” and so forth. These were common phrases in my own [dysfunctional] family that I’ve grown up around my entire life. And if I’ve learned anything about these welfare programs its this: They have never helped anyone in my family do anything except STAY POOR.
When I moved out of my house into my first apartment, my wife and I had scraped together just a thousand or two to live on from working part time the previous year or two. I made the decision that no matter what happened, I would NEVER get involved with welfare programs. Watching many people abuse (and be abused) by the system my entire life taught me better than that.
And I went through some VERY difficult times financially. I mean, working part time, going to college part time, and managing these hives and food allergies that started ravashing my body left me feeling hopeless. I can still remember lying in bed so many times at night, and feeling so utterly hopeless. I could never see any hope at all, and I felt doomed to live a life of poverty and scraping from paycheck to paycheck. I could see no light at the end of the tunnel with my health, my finances, or anything else.
I had no father (he abandoned me when I was like 4), my mother was dirt poor with her 5 other kids (my half-siblings), no grandparents living, etc. I had no hope of financial assistance an any way, no trust funds or inheritance to look forward to, no mentors, no connections– nothing. Life was truly bleak in those years.
I sold nearly every material possession I owned. My golf clubs I got as a gift one year, my watch, my weight bench, and even some of my name brand clothes–they all were sold for any money I could get. I sold everything I could to survive–determined to not go on any type of welfare–no matter what happened. And you know what? Looking back I thank God for those times. Because I learned a few things along the way. I learned the true value of a dollar. I learned how to be thrifty and look for deals. Up until this time, I was ignorant with my money. Now, I am not so ignorant.
In other words, adversity taught me things I could have NEVER learned unless I experienced it first hand. It was as if I were being trained to survive financially, so that when I did finally start earning more money, I would not be such a fool with it. I also learned some new talents. I learned how to sell things online (on eBay and other sites). I learned how to ship packages. I even started to learn the way the web worked, hoping that maybe I could earn a better living.
I would have never learned these things had I waved a white flag, got on food stamps and disability, and just “got by.”
I’m not writing this to put down those who are on welfare. I know that sometimes situations and circumstances can be tough, and I sympathize with those people 100%. And there are people who really NEED to be on welfare. But at the same time, the bible says it best when it says:
For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10)
Notice it says those who “Will not work,” and it didn’t say “Those who cannot work.” There is a big difference.
But the problem with welfare is that it is often a trap for those who go on it. People often think, “Well, I can go on food stamps or welfare for a while until things get better.” But then what happens in many cases? People adapt to the monthly paycheck or food stamps, and then it is very hard to let it go–or things never get better. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard people on welfare say, “I don’t want to get a job because it will mess up my food stamps.” See, you get trapped.
Most alcoholics didn’t start drinking with the goal that they would end up alcoholics. Instead, most start out “casually drinking,” and ended up alcoholics because they got addicted and trapped in that addiction. Likewise, most people don’t sign up to be on welfare to enjoy a life of poverty and financial restrictions that make it VERY HARD to leave it once you get on it. Yet sadly that’s what happens in many cases.
I also have known many who abuse the system. They collect a check for something like a “bad back,” and yet work “under the table” all the time doing physically demanding jobs. This disgusts me, and these people should be thrown in jail and forced to sell everything they own and give back to taxpayers. Crooks. And it makes me sick to my stomach when people in my family say things like, “I’m gonna vote democrat, because they always give us the most money and help us poor people out.” Gimme a break! (Yes I was quoting something I actually heard someone say).
Okay, no more welfare sermon…
How to Make Money or Have a Career With Cholinergic Urticaria, Disabilities, etc.
So how can someone with CU actually make money? Well, it turns out there are lots of ways to make money honestly, legitimately, and securely. Before I get into them, let me say that I live in the US (and I know some people on the forum are worldwide), so much of this applies to the US. But—99.9% of this should be adaptable by finding the websites/similar websites and opportunities in your own country (and many of these sites can be used internationally).
Also, some laws or websites may require you to be 18 years old (or possibly older)–depending on the laws in your local and the website’s terms. So keep that in mind.
Okay, here we go. Here are some ways anyone can make money.
1. Sell Stuff On eBay.com, Amazon.com, or Craigslist.org etc.–If I was guessing, I would say the average person has at least $2,000-5,000 worth of stuff sitting in their homes/apartments that could easily be sold on Amazon, eBay, etc. I mean stuff they no longer want or need, like name brand clothing that doesn’t fit, DVDs, electronics, video games, etc. This was one of the ways I got started. Go to eBay.com or Amazon.com and create an account. Start listing your stuff on there, and you can start making money.
You know how I told you how my struggles led me to find other ways of making money, well this is one. I was simply looking for an efficient way to sell my stuff and get the most out of it. So I learned eBay. I learned how it works, how to list items, how to ship items, etc. Eventually, I ran out of stuff to sell. I had gotten so good at it, and I kinda enjoyed it, so I decided to pursue it more. So I started searching for stuff to buy for resale.
It didn’t take long, that I had located a few thrift stores that were selling stuff way below market value. I bought a bunch of things (guitars, etc.) and I used my credit card to buy it on credit. I started selling these for a very nice profit. I also found a “technology” sale at a local library in the paper. I went and bought up a bunch of old computers and things, and resold those for a profit on eBay. I made about $3,000 profit or so within about a month. Not a ton of money, but much better than my part time job.
So the moral of the story is this–if you have anything to sell, start selling that. Use eBay, Craigslist, Amazon, etc. Or, make your own homemade product. Some people make jewelry and homemade crafts and sell them online on these sites (or a site like ETSY.com). You could write your own eBook. Heck, if you are a girl with long hair, you can even sell your hair on a site like hairtrader.com. Money and opportunities are EVERYWHERE if you just know how to look and be positive.
2. Make Your Own Blog or Website–Yeah, so it seems everyone has a facebook these days. Well, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret–I don’t have one! And I’ll tell you why (2 reasons)–1. Because I am more interested in making money for myself than I am for Mark Zuckerburg, and 2–I am not interested in people knowing every detail of my private life.
Yeah, you heard me right. When you are wasting all your time on facebook, you are making facebook money in advertisements. You could be making that money yourself with just the same effort if you had your own blog or website.
Why not start your own blog or website? It can be a personal blog, or it can be on a certain topic of interest, or whatever. I now run several blogs, and plan to start a few more within the next few months. If you don’t know how to start a blog, then don’t worry about it. It is easy, relatively inexpensive, and I tell you step by step how to do it on my website: How to make a website. You get free software, get a domain (preferably one related to your topic or theme), and go to town. Write posts, give people tips, give your opinions, or whatever. Have fun. Post videos on youtube to promote it. Send out a press release. Have fun, and make money.
Creating a website isn’t the fastest way to make money, but within a year or two (if you do it right), it can be a very steady and solid earner. Some people make hundreds of thousands of dollars in a year with their blog or website. Some have created blogs or websites and then sold them for millions (like the 20-something-year-old who created and sold bankaholic.com).
3. Freelance Your Talents, or Learn a New Talent and Freelance—Some of the best sites on the internet for making your own money would be elance.com and freelancer.com. What’s awesome about these sites is that you can do freelance work for people, and get paid. Most have an escrow service, so the buyer pays the escrow before you even do the work. When the work is completed, the escrow service gives you the funds.
What kind of work can you do on these sites? JUST ABOUT ANYTHING. Every day people are hiring article writers, ghostwriters, SEO professionals, marketing professionals, graphic design (artwork), photographers, consultants, and all kinds of odd jobs. In fact, I would say most people on the forum could easily find SOMETHING they can do on elance. If you have an internet connection, and can type, you could probably be doing something there right now to make money.
Plus, if you have an interest in these areas anyway, perhaps you can modify your career and make it so that you are working in your dream career while avoiding all of the frustrations of dealing with hives at work.
How it works is that people post “jobs,” and you can go and make a “bid” for the job. If the person accepts your bid, then you get to work. Once the work is completed, you get paid. Pretty simple really–and if you want more details you can check out the website.
And yes, I have used this site so I can confirm that it does work well.
4. Create Your Own Product, Sell Your Own Service, etc.— I’ve already touched on this above, but you can make money by creating your own product, or offering your own service. Again, this is so huge and if you are struggling for money right now, please consider doing this. Here are just some ideas:
If You Know How To…
- Make your own music/songs–then create a youtube account, get a blog, sign up for itunes, and start promoting yourself and selling digital downloads. It may take time, but you may be able to make a good amount of money in the long run. Or, offer some instructions or lessons, and use your blog to get business locally. Think outside the box.
- Use photoshop or graphics software–then start a website, go on elance.com, or some other forum and promote yourself. People are often looking for logo designs, and things like this. You can make money sitting in your cool air conditioner at home while creating logos or doing graphic design work.
- Write–again, people are always looking for articles online for blogs, promotional pieces, press releases, etc. There are so many opportunities in writing that it isn’t even funny. And no, you don’t have to be a writer. Believe it or not, I hated writing and English in school. Yet I have written for a few websites, and my own websites, and you can do the same. It doesn’t have to be perfect. We now live in the age of “OMG’s” and LOL’s, and some bloggers (and even news media sites) have terrible grammar. Or write your own book and publish it. You can write nonfiction or fiction. Heck, you can even self-publish these days and sell digitall on Amazon.com and many other sites.
- Grow Plants–Seriously–buy flower or tree seeds, and grow them in a pot. Then sell them when they grow. People do this all the time. In fact, I bought all of my Leyland cypress trees on eBay, and they came about 12-15″ tall, and I planted almost a hundred of them. You can grow stuff from seeds and sell it.
- Sell T-Shirts or Design Your Own Clothing—Some people make purses, bags, t-shirts, and whatever. In fact, I remember hearing recently on the news about a guy who created the “Osama bin Laden is Dead” t-shirt idea, and make thousands of dollars in just a day or so. Money is out there, you just have to train your mind to find opportunities.
- Website design–if any of you are in school doing programming or anything like this, there is a big market for people familiar with HTML, programming, website design, etc. etc. Again, go on elance.com and find some jobs and bid. Make some money. Or create your own apps for ipads, iphones, etc, and sell them. Some people have hit it big with this strategy.
- Make a Million Dollars–This guy named Alex Tew got an idea to make a website with 1 million pixels, and sell each pixel for $1 (with ads). He created a website, did a press release, and offers started pouring in. Next thing you know…the darn guy pulled it off—he made a million dollars!
- Be a virtual Assistant–Some people sign up to be a “virtual assistant,” and help people or companies do tasks online. This can range from anything such as doing customer service, answering emails, and more. There are some websites that specialize in training and hiring virtual assitants, and you may even find a job on elance.com too. Most of the people hiring these are budding entrepreneurs and companies who need an extra hand and don’t want the hassle of actually hiring employees. You can work 100% from your own home in most cases.
Summary–There Are Almost Unlimited Ways To Make Money Online From Home
I have hit many of the very best (legit) ways to make money online. Most of these can be done at your pace, in your own home, and they are real opportunities with real money that can be made. You have to think positive, have an open mind, and be willing to put yourself out there.
Also, when you make money, you have to pay taxes. So don’t think because you are making money online you are somehow tax exempt. In many cases above, you will be considered to be either a “self employed” person, or an independent contractor (which is basically the same as being self employed). This means that your earnings will be subject to local, state, and federal taxes just like when you have a job. So don’t be dumb and pay your taxes always and in full. If you need help, then hire an accountant or CPA to help once you settle on something and start making money with it.
Some Common Objections to Making Money Using The Methods I Mentioned Above
Again, maybe some of you have a job and your hives don’t affect your career–in that case stick with it and best of luck. Maybe some of you aren’t interested and don’t want to do this. Again, no problems, and best of luck with your career. But I suspect that many could benefit by using the simple information above. You may have to spend a lot of time researching the things I said above, and learning new skills, but it can be done. I am living proof that you can do the things above to make money.
But some of you may be interested, but will talk yourself out if it with a negative attitude. So I want to address some of the common objections some may make:
1. But Hivesguy, I’m not smart enough and I don’t know how to do any special skills–No joke! Who is born smart enough? Seriously–you don’t have to be a genius to make money online. Yes, you may have to spend a lot of time researching things. I’ve probably spent thousands of hours to learn what I know now, but there are great resources online that can get you up to speed.
Yes, you may have to visit a library and check out a book to learn a new talent. Yes, you may have to spend hours upon hours practicing a skill to get up to speed. But it can be done. You don’t have to be the smartest person to make money. As King Solomon said:
I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. (Ecclesiasted 9:11)
And by the way, it always irritates me when people throw up their hands and say, “Oh, I don’t know how to do that.” People in my family are the worst. I’ll be like, “Hey you could write online.” And they will be like, “Oh, I don’t know much about the doing that kind of stuff online.” Yeah, well DUH. I didn’t either until I invested hours upon hours until I learned how it worked.
That is a negative attitude and it will get you nowhere in life. What would the world be like if Thomas Edison said, “Oh gosh, I don’t know nothing about electricity, I better not mess with that.” Or if Bill Gates said, “Gee, this programming and computer stuff sure is hard, I don’t know how to do it.” Or if your doctor said, “Gee, I don’t know much about the human body, I better drop outta school..” You get my drift.. You have to dedicate yourself to learn a new skill or talent, or to perfect one you already possess. So stop your whining and learn and practice if you want to accomplish something!
2. But Hivesguy, I Don’t Have Any Money–Yes, its true that in many cases it does take money to make money. But online, it often takes very little money to get started. If you don’t have money, maybe you can borrow some, sell some stuff you no longer need, or whatever. But this is no excuse in this technological age!
3. But Hivesguy, I Have Never Been to College–In my estimation, you are ahead of the game. That’s right, I think college stifles creativity and success more than anything else. And yes, my wife has a college degree, and yes Hivesguy has been to college (although I dropped out a few credits shy of graduating with my accounting degree).
The fact of the matter is that college will sometimes help you get a good JOB (although there are a lot of unemployed degrees walking around). Job stands for Just Over Broke. There is this wonderful scam I see perpetrated all over the internet and television that goes something like this: “Go back to college and start your career.” Or “Go back to collge and succeed in life.” I laugh my guts out at that propoganda. You don’t need college to be a success, and you don’t need college to have a career.
College is great if you want to be a worker bee your whole life, do nothing amazing, and eek out a living. If that’s your ticket, then by all means have a blast at college. But let’s be real for a second: Most people who do something amazing, attain great wealth, or have other amazing levels of success did it WITHOUT College! In fact, one of my favorite quotes regarding education goes like this:
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” –Jim Rohn
The fact of the matter is that education is SUPER important if you want to succeed, but SELF education is much more effective than FORMAL education. Let me give you a few examples:
- Bill Gates–Harvard dropout–and he did okay.
- Mark Zuckerburg (Facebook guy)–Harvard dropout–he is doing alright
- Larry Ellison–Dropout, started Oracle and is doing okay last I heard.
- John D Rockefeller–very little formal education, the richest of his time.
- Michael Dell–dropped out of school to start a computer company called Dell. He did pretty well.
- Richard Branson–started the Virgin company. He’s still scraping by with his billions.
- Steve Jobs–yea, the guy who creates your ipads and iphone toys, he’s doing decent these days
- Thomas Edison–had very little formal schooling, and he changed the world.
- Benjamin Franklin, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford
All of the people on the list managed to change the world (and many earned huge fortunes in the process), and they have very little or even no formal education. But the one thing they did have was….SELF education. Education is hugely important, but not formal education (at least for most jobs/careers). Formal education will get you a nice paying job. Self education will get you to a higher level of success (in most cases), and potentially earn you a fotune.
Oh, and before I get labeled as a crack pot, and people say, “Well what about all the people who are successful, and they have college degrees.” Let me just say that college degrees have little to do with success. Someone can have both a formal education, and a lot of self education. For example, someone can train formally in one profession, then go on to another profession and self education to change the world.
A doctor may have a formal education, but he may self education and experiment and find a new breakthrough–thus the self education will get him a lot more notoriety than his formal education.
Or some people may get a formal education, and combine that with a lot of self education to achieve a high level of success. But in either situation, it is almost always self education, self determination that gets the success, and the formal education is almost the LEAST responsible for it.
I mean, do you think Bill Gates was successful because of his short time at Harvard, or his years of self educating himself in programming? Do you think John D Rockefeller built his massive fortune from his few months in an accounting course? Or because he self-educated himself in the areas of his business? Do you think Thomas Edison revolutionized electricity related things because of a course he took? Or do you think he did it by pouring hours upon hours doing his own experiments and observations (hence, self educating).
So get a good education, and whether you get a formal education or not, by all means please self educate. And the best way to self educate is to learn as much as you can by finding mentors, experimenting, failing, reading every book you can, making your own notes, etc. etc.
4. But Hivesguy, My Food Stamps Will Go Down If I Start To Make Money or Get a Job—Don’t get me started!
Conclusion–So There You Have It–A Way To Earn Money Even with Severe Hives
This post is creeping to almost 5,000 words. Yikes. I hope some of the info I wrote helps some of you. You can make money, you can do it from home, and yes you can do it with hives. You may have to self educate, you may have to fail, you may have to struggle, you may have to invest a bit of money, and you may have to spend hours reading articles, books, etc. to learn as much as you can.
But it can be done, and I am living proof that it can be done. I hope this has helped some of you.
Oh, and I hope I haven’t offended anyone on welfare. I’ve been there too (not as an adult), and I know some people need it sometimes. But it is a trap, it is over-abused, and most people simply don’t/won’t work and would prefer a free paycheck. And that ain’t right.
Also, yes my hives are still gone!