Secret and Profitable Businesses
This article is part of a series on unique and little-known, but PROVEN, ways people are actually making money, both locally and online, using very little start-up cash. Discover how they did it and how you can put their successful experience to work for you!
Have you ever thought of becoming a private librarian? Read on to find out, in her own words, how this recent female college graduate who had moved to New York City and found herself broke and dispirited discovered a novel way to make money and take care of all her living expenses, using skills she had picked up as a university student.
“Since it was necessary for me to live in New York City, and to earn every cent that two people would need in order to live there, I came straight from college, with no capital except enthusiasm, and with no trade or specialty. I was determined not to teach. Naturally I had my fill of job hunting, and when I finally succeeded in obtaining a position, I made a threat that If I am ever out of work again I will not look for another position. I will go into journalism.
Now the high profession of journalism must have a guardian angel who attempts at least to keep the reckless and unqualified from the spreading of news; for when I was ready to carry out my threat and had written two pieces and sent them into the local beat editor, an opportunity to make some money actually found me.
It came through the telephone from a friend who knew how I was situated.
“Will you…” Suddenly static and clicks filled the line; the connection was bad. It didn’t matter.
“Yes !” I shouted back, and started at once for her office, without the remotest idea of what I was to do.
At the publishing house where my friend worked I learned that a house decorator had called for a man to go to a house of an author, which was being newly decorated and furnished, to unpack and arrange into new bookcases 3,000 books according to catalog. I went at once to the decorator’s. He was out, but I was able to reach him by hone. I encountered a little bit of sexism.
“I am afraid you can’t do the work,” he said. “I want a man. Some of the books are very heavy.”
“I’d like to try it,” I said. “I’m pretty strong.”
“How much do you want?”
“Twenty dollars an hour.” I gulped, unsure if I had just priced myself out of an opportunity.
“When can you begin?”
“This minute!” I fairly shouted back.
After a few instructions I went to my new occupation. The library was full of packing boxes. The house was full of workmen. I got a hammer and went to work taking off the box covers. If there chanced to be a mover near he did it for me, but many a one I did myself.
I unpacked the books and worked out a subject scheme for the arrangement of them. In eleven days they were all arranged, but I had worked almost breathlessly. The work was hard, but I love books and I enjoyed it, especially as it netted me almost $1,600 for nearly two weeks of work, and, best of all, meant more work. One thing led to another.
The work varied greatly; sometimes it tested all my intellectual powers; sometimes it tested all my muscles.
For three months I earned over $3,000 per month, but it meant work from early morning until late at night.
I packed books and unpacked books, arranged and cataloged books, substituted in a library, and bought books for the owners of libraries.”
“The most interesting experience that I had was a search for a book. The owner of one of the private libraries which I arranged had read a book when he was a little boy. All he remembered about it was the names of two of its heroes. I found it for him, a second-hand copy; the book had been out of print for years!
The work opened up wonderfully. I added book finding to my list of services, as well as developing a mini-trade in hard to find out of print books (Online sites like Abe’s books, Alibris and the used section of AddAll make this a lot easier these days. You can also sell the books or even more profitable, prints from these old books on Ebay or in local flea markets.)
At college I had as a pastime looked into library methods and systems, or I could not so readily have done many things I was asked to do. However, I think any college student or graduate who takes some time to look into how library books are cataloged could make a go of this fairly simple venture. Eventually, I was offered a position which I had long been desiring, and so left my book work and went again into a regular position.
There must be a lot of similar work out there waiting for someone’s enterprising hand!”
– Elizabeth Jamison
There you have it–a simple money making idea you can pursue today. Advertise with local moving companies, ready labor services, and in the classified ads. Think of other services you could offer. What help do the recently relocated need? How can you put your skills or organizational ability to use? Now go out and make some money.
To your success!