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Upcycle Your Wage into a Sustainable Income

upcycle project

Friday night has just rolled around. All your colleagues are going out on the town for a big night.

Instead of heading to the pub with them, you head home with a six-pack or bottle of wine.

You slide into your well-worn comfy sweatpants and paint-splattered tee and prepare to lose yourself in your garage-turned-workshop until the sun rises on Monday morning.

Yep, it’s yet another upcycle project you’ve sunk your teeth into with ravenous, wanton abandon.

That’s where it usually starts.

A bit of fun on the side. A few projects for your home, next your friends all want something similar (but unique of course!), or you decide by that third glass of wine to upcycle all your christmas gifts this year.

At this stage it’s your hobby. You can let it go any time you like.

Until someone offers to pay you cold hard cash for all you efforts, and a thoughtful friends innocently points out that maybe you should, you know, sell them online, or from a stall, or something…

Next you begin finding extra dollars hanging out in your wallet, burning a hole, urging you to reinvest in “equipment” for your hobby.

What follows is the realisation that between Monday to Friday your job, of all things, is sucking up far too many hours from your day, along with your will to be stuck in an office box.

Your job is beginning to come between you and you upcycling passion.

Suddenly it becomes both fun AND lucrative to focus more on your hobby.

Where does it go from there? That’s really up to you and your business smarts.

Do you chuck you job and work full-time on your upcycling business? Do you rent space? Hire employees? Scale up and go global?

Upcycling isn’t just environmentally responsible, it can create jobs, and an awesomely sustainable income if you remember to focus on a few key points.

  • Make it innovative – stand out from the crowd. Upcycled goods are generally one-off creations (no mass producing here), so your customers get something totally personalised and unique. Don’t just copy what everybody else is doing around the web.
  • There are an almost unlimited number of projects you can make through upcycling, however while you should always perfect the art of turning shabby into chic, you also must hunt for materials (see my post here), market effectively, and be able to communicate the service you provide to customers.
  • Change is good – sure work with your strengths. Do you prefer to upcycle furniture pieces rather than jewelry? But offer your customers a good selection to choose from. This will keep them coming back time and again.
  • Service is key – it’s not just about what you upcycle. To create a sustainable income you need to stay in the mind of your customers. Stand out with exceptional service, add in the little extras that make their buying purchase an event not soon forgotten.
  • Become a fan of design, architecture, and old things.

Upcycling is about thinking outside the box, and about how to use the box. If you don’t consider yourself the upcycling type, become the person who sources upcycled products from independent upcyclers. Or gather a group of them together and take over the business side so you can help them focus on creating products and doing what they love while you get a commission for doing what a lot of people lack the interest or ability to do in business and marketing – which is build their hobby into a successful business.

Ultimately turning your wage into a sustainable income through upcycling is a win-win situation for the artisan, the consumer, the seller, and of course the planet.

Your Upcycling business can have either a physical location or, if you prefer to work from home, be web-based.

Either way, if you want to gain the best skills to market effectively online or off, and to communicate your brand click here. It’s a powerful platform, marketing toolbox, and online university that will give you the greatest chance to upcycle into a sustainable income. We use it to grow the Free Range Family and be sustainably free.

Upcycling-Plastic-Soda-Bottles-As-An-Urban-Garden-1

Be free and happy

Scott (The Free Ranger)

 

 

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Comments

  • April 8, 2015

    Wow Scott, I was right there in the garage-turned-workshop as I read!! Upsizing your upcycling is such a great idea, thank you for another awesome post 🙂

  • April 8, 2015

    marketing toolbox… is that JUST for an upcycling biz or can it be used for anything?

    • Scott Stembridge
      April 8, 2015

      Those tools can be used for any business or idea you have to share with the world. How cool is that?

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