By Vimal Nayak
You know you’re lazy. People have told you to your face all your life. Well, at least the honest ones did. Waking up in the morning seems impossible. Especially, when all that’s waiting on the other side is the daily drudgery of a nine-to-five job. Who wants to be part of that rat race? You’d rather chart your own course. Be the master of your destiny, as some might say. But, even if you choose not to live to earn, you must earn to live.
Starting a business seems like a good idea. Until you broach the subject with people you trust, and they laugh in your face. How did that make you feel? Were you disappointed? Did you abandon the thought of owning a business someday? Turns out the joke’s on them. Doesn’t matter if you’re fresh out of college or have worked a regular job for years to make ends meet. If the constraints of a conventional job cramp your lifestyle and you want to be your own boss, you’ve come to the right place.
Is Laziness good for Business?
Ask anyone what business ideas are good for a lazy person. “None” is likely to be the first answer. The reason: laziness and entrepreneurship don’t go hand in hand. Can’t blame them. Society conditions us to believe that hard work is the key to success. How many times have you heard people say: “Work hard, and nothing will stand in your way.”?
Laziness is associated with incompetence and unrealized potential. And so, the myth perpetuates. Why is this a myth? Because laziness is a big contributor to great business ideas.
In the words of Allen Dale, “If necessity is the mother of the invention, then laziness is the father”. Think of the remote control or virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa. Where would innovation be without laziness? The most successful people aren’t those who dedicate their lives to the rigors of a regular job. It is the dreamers with a desire to make life more comfortable (read lazy). And who’s better than you for the job?
What works for a Lazy Entrepreneur?
This may be hard to believe, but contrary to popular perception, not everyone can be lazy. You could almost call it a special talent. What makes it especially suited for entrepreneurship? Here are some qualities of the lazy that are synonymous with successful entrepreneurs.
A lifetime of laziness equates to simple and innovative solutions for complex problems. Lazy individuals are exceptional at strategic thinking and problem-solving. Bill Gates once said, “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” If this endorsement isn’t good enough, we don’t know what is.
The lazy swear by one principle: work smart, not hard i.e. get maximum results with minimum effort. Implementing the 80/20 rule comes naturally to them. The result? Streamlined processes, more automation, and less duplication. All of these work wonders for any budding business.
Based on a 2015 study, people with lower levels of physical activity (aka the lazy) have higher levels of mental activity. Need we say more?
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who work and those who get work done. The lazy fall into the second category. Because they are always looking to reduce their workload, they are master delegators. They have an innate ability to identify the right person for the job and trust them to do it well.
Lazy people do not intend to work forever. They are, thus, more likely to groom others for the job, allowing them to pursue activities of their choice.
Thirteen Business Ideas for the Lazy Entrepreneur
So what kind of business can a lazy entrepreneur do? The short answer is: “anything they want”. Contrary to popular perception, lazy people are not dead. Instead, their activities are driven by pursuits they consider enjoyable and/or “worth their while”. Unfortunately, these things don’t always match conventional opinion. Doesn’t mean you can’t make a business out of it. If you have an idea that you’re passionate about, go for it. There’s no better time than now. If not, here are some small business ideas to get you started. For those of you who consider the number thirteen to be unlucky, the good news is you need to pick just one.
1. Rental Service
The opportunities for rental services are endless, and there is always a need to be met. Lease out a room, a house, a car, or even equipment based on what you can spare and what you can afford. The service could cater to tourists (if you live in a popular destination), or members of the local community. Airbnb is a good platform for listing vacation rentals while Craigslist works for the rest. Social media is a great medium to advertise these services.
Blogging is an excellent way to earn if you have a talent for writing and a passion for anything under the sun. Traveling, shopping, movies, gadgets, books, food and business are some options. All that is needed is a computer and an internet connection, and you’re good to go. Hosting a website for the blog won’t burn a hole in your pocket. Bluehost, Hostinger, GoDaddy, and others offer plans to cater to every need.
If you’ve amassed years of experience in a particular field, you could offer to share your expertise. For a fee, of course. Kind of like how Booming Businesses help other people grow their business. It’s a great industry to get into because not everyone is an expert at everything. You’re likely not going to find a plumber that knows how to do SEO, build a website, create a social media following, do their own accounting etc. So if you know you can help someone, they’re going to be willing to pay you for it! Create a professional profile on LinkedIn or update your existing one. Reach out to people in your professional network to let them know of your services and ask them to spread the word.
4. Freelance Writing
Have a flair for the written word? A career in freelance writing might be the one for you. There are plenty of clients who need content for their websites and publications. Be it copywriting, blog posts, article writing, or social media content creation, there is no lack of opportunities for talented writers to wet their beak, so to speak. Like blogging, the only requirements are a computer and an internet connection. Register on freelancing websites and create a profile to showcase your abilities to prospective clients. Browse through relevant job postings and apply with samples of your work. Upwork and Freelancer are good places to start for the lazy entrepreneur who just wants a simple gig to get stared.
5. Social Media Influencing
Have a considerable social media presence with a sizable following? Leverage it to promote products in your niche and help brands expand their audience. Update your bio to highlight your status and show openness for collaborations, in true lazy entrepreneur style, you can let your clients come to you. Or, you can reach out to potential clients directly by messaging them or via influencer platforms. Tagging brands in relevant posts is another way to look for associations.
Can’t wait to get your hands on the latest gadget? Bitten by the travel bug? Love to bake but too lazy to write? Then vlogging is a great option. You can create a vlog on just about anything. And guess what? Most people are too lazy to read and find the visual medium more appealing. It costs nothing to create a YouTube channel, but you might need to make a onetime investment for the right equipment. All that’s left is to create great videos and upload them to your channel. You’ll be surprised at how many people rely on product reviews before making a major purchase. If the vlog takes off, you could be in an enviable position of manufacturers giving you the first look at their products or hospitality brands offering to sponsor your travel and stay. Now, that’s called having your cake and eating it too.
If you pride yourself on your language skills and go around correcting other peoples’ grammar only to have them roll their eyes at you, this option should be right up your alley. Getting paid for it is just icing on the cake. Freelancing websites like Upwork, Freelancer and Fiverr will give you an insight into the demand for proofreading and editing blog posts, website content, user guides, books, the list goes on.
8. Graphic Design
Creativity, an eye for detail and a strong aesthetic sense make for skilled graphic designers. If you’ve worked as one, the sheer number of businesses that attempt to set themselves apart through branding won’t be a surprise. This includes logos, posters, packaging and marketing materials. If you haven’t, look around you. Book covers, T-shirt artwork, album covers and comic books all use graphic design. The good news is, if you have talent, you can learn how to become a graphic designer by taking a course online. Social media and freelancing sites are good ways to earn a gig. This isn’t the most lazy entrepreneur option you can find, you definitely need some impressive skill. But if you’ve already got it, why waste your time working hard for someone else?
9. Web Design
Web Design combines the elements of graphic design and user experience with a bit of coding. A lot of new and traditional companies recognize the power of the internet and are taking their business online. Tap into this growing sector by offering skills and services to help them establish an online presence and reach a wider audience. Prior design experience helps. But there are several online resources to help develop the requisite skills. And if you’re already good at it, contact us at Booming Businesses to see if we have a position available for you!
Not everyone has an eye for photography. But, for many, the need to immortalize those special moments is second to none. That is where you come in. You don’t need a studio space. The first step is getting the equipment you need. If you’ve already invested in a good camera, that’s half the battle won. You can post your creations on social media and offer services to the local community for special requests and occasions. If your clients like what they see, word of mouth will ensure demand for your work in no time. Selling photographs online as stock images on third-party sites like Shutterstock, Dreamstime and iStockPhoto creates an additional revenue stream.
If you’ve been a teacher or enjoyed tutoring your fellow students in school, this one is a no-brainer. The internet has changed the world of tutoring as we know it and is a great way to connect with prospective clients. You can create courses in your area of expertise and sell them online on tutoring platforms like SkillShare, Udemy, Udacity, etc. For those who prefer a more hands-on approach, TutorRoom, Tutorpace and myTutoring offer virtual classrooms for live tutorials. This way you can be a lazy entrepreneur from the comfort of your home, or relaxing on some exotic beack somewhere.
12. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a great way to add to your income. If you have a product-centric blog or vlog, add affiliate links of products mentioned or reviewed, and earn money when people use the links to buy them. If you have a baking or cooking blog, you could add links to ingredients you swear by and use in your recipes. Having an email list is even better. If people have signed up for updates or subscribed to your channel, you have a ready list to send emails to with recommended product links. Be honest and don’t overdo it by spamming subscribers with hundreds of product emails. This is a great way to make residual income when people start purchasing and getting you kickbacks, with a finger you already lifted long ago. The smart lazy entrepreneur can do something once that will make them money long into the future.
For those who have a knack for languages, freelancing as a translator may not be a bad idea. Multinational organizations need translation services to cater to customers all over the world. Getting yourself certified by associations like the ATA (in the US) can boost your credentials and make it easy to find work. Specializing in a niche such as legal, medical, technical or financial translation will make you a coveted asset.
Starting a new business doesn’t have to be tedious or overwhelming. This list of small business ideas is not exhaustive by any means. Most of these businesses can operate from the comfort of your couch and need little or no investment. Use this list to get the wheels turning in your head, whilst still laying on the couch like the lazy entrepreneur you are. It’s not the end of the world if these options are not for you. Find out what you like. Transforming it into a business may be easier than you think. Your next big idea may be just around the corner. Start small and decide how you want to grow. As the wise adage goes, “Choose something you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. If you need help setting up your business and outsourcing to free up your time and make you more money, Booming Businesses is here to help.