Can You Make Money Doing Anything?


Is there anything in the world you can’t do to make money? Since money is simply the exchange of value do you think that people are willing to pay you for almost anything? Do people value everything? I’d argue that you can make money doing nearly anything since there’s such a vast array of personal preferences and tastes along with a huge amount of disposable income. With the creation of the internet the world has literally become the marketplace so you can become super specialized. Your imagination is the limit on how you can make money.

The Basics

For the basics… Can you get paid to eat and sleep? I don’t see why not… you can get into competitive eating. Did you ever see the skinny Japanese dude who holds the world record for 53.5 hot dogs in 12 minutes? If you don’t want to stuff your face you could become a food critic or start your own niche website about a particular type of food, kinda like this site. Or maybe you could become a food critic and even start your own online cooking show.

Sleeping may be a bit harder, but I’ve heard that researchers are willing to pay you for sleeping experiments. In fact, there are examples of it here and here of people making thousands of dollars… you guessed it… to sleep!

Why You Can Make Money Doing Anything

If you’re a modern day Tom Sawyer, instead of selling your friends to paint a fence you could tell them that a pet rock might be a cool gift idea. If someone can make money selling rocks with eyeballs glued to them, you can make money following your passion! You could talk about your hobby, you could cry about Britney Spears, or you could maybe jump out of planes for a living. The reason you can making money doing anything is because people have disposable income. Therefore people who have disposable income will spend it on anything above and beyond their basic necessities. As long as it entertains them or makes them feel good they’ll spend it on your business or you specifically.

There’s only a handful of things you probably couldn’t make money doing, however I can’t think of any. As I was thinking about things you couldn’t make money doing killing people came to mind, but oh wait… you could become a professional hit man or join the military. I’m stumped and can’t think of anything really that you couldn’t find a way to make money doing it. With enough creativity and a desire to take a chance you could be making money doing the things you enjoy as well. However, I advise against being a hit man.

Things I’d Like to Make Money Doing

There are a couple unconventional things I’d like to get paid to do which include: playing the piano, scuba diving, and talking to people about achieving their dreams… oh wait… that already happens via this site 😉 For piano I could create and sell MP3’s, I could perform on the street here in Waikiki (which I actually plan on doing within the next year for fun), or I could try to book gigs. For scuba diving I could become an instructor, create a chartering business for rich clientele, go into photography, sell scuba related products, or create websites about scuba information and sell affiliate products. One person who has my dream scuba job is the editor of Scuba Magazine. He gets paid to dive and write about diving… how sweet is that!

Degree Sold Separately

My point is… you don’t need a standard career to make money, you simply have to find something related to what you enjoy doing and find a way to provide for people who enjoy the service or product you enjoy. This is the way entrepreneurs think, and this is the way I recommend looking at the world. A degree and career is not required to make this possible. Only the choice to mix what you enjoy with a way to make money doing it.

What kind of things do you want to get paid to do?

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard someone get paid to do?

Image from AWV

Simple in France

I like the way you mention that a degree is not always necessary (or even helpful) for doing what you want.

I also like the (unspoken) way you think–while anyone can make some money doing almost anything, you, Ryan, have low living expenses–which allows you substantially more freedom to chose how you make money.

Moon Hussain

There’s a lot you can do to earn money. I don’t think having a degree is a bad thing–it teaches you a lot and helps you learn a focus.

I think to make it big, you have to think different. You’re right–you can earn money any way you want these days.
.-= Moon Hussain´s last blog ..Fun Friday Round-Up: Delish Posts to Savour =-.

Budgeting in the Fun Stuff
I would love to get paid to talk to people. I’ve made about $200 from my blog so far, so yay! I’d also love to get paid to sell things on Craigslist for people, but I gave up when the second flaky person cancelled at the last minute. So I Craigslist stuff for family and am happy to help them reclaim their garages… My husband would love to get paid to Curl (yes, the ice sport). Since we live in Houston and the closest Curling club is the one he’s joined in Friendswood an hour away, I don’t know how… Read more »

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I would love to build an income making money in untraditional ways rather than being tied to a 9-5 job. We currently telecommute but I’m ready for more freedom than even that offers. I’ve always been vocal about not needing a college degree even though I have one.
.-= LivingOurWay´s last blog ..News From the Garden =-.


You can make money doing anything. If you’re not making money, YOU are not making money. It has nothing to do with your job and everything to do with your creativity.

Money is just an idea. Shortage of money = shortage of lucrative ideas.
.-= Ryan´s last blog ..The Top 7 Cash Gifting Questions Of All Time Answered Today! =-.

LenciB: Falling Into favor

Interesting. Very timely post…especially since I’m looking for a part time job. I’d like to be doing something that I enjoy so that I don’t hate life because of it.

If you like making things – cards, photo albums, shirts – you can sell it on I like to work with kids, so I’m thinking about something part time at a day care or school. Or maybe as a tutor, which I’ve done before.
.-= LenciB: Falling Into favor´s last blog ..Stop & Listen =-.

Roshawn @ Watson Inc

I certainly get your point. I guess it is such unconventional thinking that some truly capitalize on and make big financial gains anyway, not just picking up another job. Thanks for the post.
.-= Roshawn @ Watson Inc´s last blog ..It’s Tax Time, Are You Ready? =-.


Interesting post and one that gives you many different ideas, My husband and I went back to teaching ballroom dancing just a month ago and we’re in our fifties! A lot people that we knew saw how we were still dancing the ballroom and ask if we could teach them. So now we are earning money doing something we enjoy together.

Scott Barron
I thought of a few more odd-balls. Donna Simpson, from New Jersey, weighs 273kg but told the Daily Mail newspaper she had her heart set on reaching her goal weight of 1000lb (450kg) in two years. To put on enough weight, Ms Simpson will need to eat 12,000 calories a day, which is six times the recommended daily intake for women. In order to pay for the enormous amounts of food she is eating — her weekly grocery bill is $815 — Ms Simpson makes money by running a website where men pay to watch her consume fast food. And… Read more »

Great ideas, I would love to figure out how I can make some supplemental income! I have often thought about starting a personal website and seeing what happens.

Awesome post!


i would love to make a living travelling the world and from my blog or from mountain biking or hiking. the strangest things that i have ever heard anyone been paid to do is being a hotel critic- i mean you get to stay in hotels all over the world and get paid for bashing the service there??
.-= kt´s last blog ..what is the “bull market”?? =-.


I think the only limits we impose on earning money are the limits we impose on ourselves. Esther and Jerry Hicks said in their book, Ask and it is Given, “If you have the ability to imagine it, or even think about it, this Universe has the ability and the resources to deliver it fully unto you.”

Awesome post. Great examples.


@Scott – Wow thanks for that info, you really CAN make money doing anything! That is crazy.

My husband is a performing artist and juggler professionally and makes an excellent income. ( Most people don’t believe that you can actually make a decent living throwing stuff, but it can be done!

That being said they are very good with marketing and sales. I feel like you can make money doing anything, you just need to know how to sell it! 🙂
.-= Jaime´s last blog ..What I Did With a $10,000 Refund =-.

Kevin@Invest It Wisely

Don’t forget that there are many forms of “payment” that are not in forms of cash, but still contain value. Reputation, for instance. It’s one reason why people do altruistic acts such as volunteering or helping other people with seemingly no benefit in return. Although no cash changes hand, there is still value being exchanged!

That said, a few extra bucks never hurts 🙂
.-= Kevin@Invest It Wisely´s last blog ..Fixed Rate and Variable Rate Mortgages: Which is Better? =-.


I love Basketball and I train kids as an extra source of income.

Brandon Schmid

I know how to get paid while I sleep, but not necessarily for sleeping lol.

So long as there is a market for what you do I think it is quite possible to get paid for doing anything.

Think of it. There are people out there that get paid to play video games. How cool is that?


.-= Brandon Schmid´s last blog ..Tips on Budgeting– A dollar saved is 2 dollars earned =-.

Running Bear

Hi Ryan,
Great article. Great way of looking at things. I never thought of getting paid for eating and sleeping before, but I can see that with persistence, it is certainly possible. I am still working towards my dream job, but what I currently do comes pretty close.
.-= Running Bear´s last blog ..The importance of having a success only mindset =-.


I remember back in the late 70’s or early 80’s there was a novelty toy called “The Pet Rock” Somebody went out and got a bunch of rounded stones, and packaged them as a pet along with a ‘training manual”. Put it on a hill and it will roll over… Tell it to stay and it does… So yes, I guess you can make money doing just about anything.
.-= Mike´s last blog ..1Cover =-.


I think you can make money doing anything.

I’m not sure you can make *enough* money doing anything, or even close, unless you’re very talented, lucky, or clever about your positioning.

The danger is when you make *a little* money doing something, then try for years to blow that coal into a fire. I’ve seen people waste years and years on it.
.-= Monevator´s last blog ..Weekend reading: Current asset valuations =-.

Daniel Johnston
Certainly almost anything you can be paid to do because nearly anything will be of value to someone, and people will give money in exchange for value. It is very possible to earn money doing what you love for that very reason. Entertainment is one of the most lucrative industries, because people like to be entertained more than they want services from a skill such as doctoring or lawyering, and can be done to masses instead of a small group of people or even only a single person at one time. I have been racking my brain for possibilities on… Read more »
Daniel Johnston

Obviously, earning a degree is useful if one wants to be a lawyer, doctor, or work in a corporate position. However, if one wants to be an entreprenuer and make money out here through their own business or a job that doesn’t require a degree then it may be nothing but a waste of time.

RJ Weiss


Another big fan of basketball. I got paid, although very little, to coach a high school sophomore team. The memories and relationships were amazing just from one season. I plan to do it again in the future.
.-= RJ Weiss´s last blog ..25 Ways You Can Improve Your Finances Now =-.


[…] Can You Make Money Doing Anything from @plantingdollars Money shouldn’t be your reason but this post does a great job of saying that you can follow your passion.  Whatever you might love doing there is probably a way to monetize it.  Don’t let money stop your from following your dreams either. […]

Joe Plemon

I love the way this post challenges our conventional thinking. Most people (myself included) just don’t expand our thinking to include doing “anything” to make money. The Job Monkey web site lists actual job openings that are off the radar for many of us. For example, if you like blowing things up, you can get paid for it by becoming a licensed commercial pyrotechnician.


The one reinvented the circle and sold it as a hola-hoop was a genius 🙂

Aury (Thunderdrake)

Blogging is a great example of making money for being an internet addict. *cackles.*

But between that and investing, I’m also looking to explore some other literary mediums!
.-= Aury (Thunderdrake)´s last blog ..The Hoarding Dragon – The difference between knowledge and experience =-.


i would love to get paid to be a personal assistant that didn’t really assist at anything but just hung out and went to nice lunches, hit golf balls at the range, test drove cars, went on month long yachting trips.

or it would be cool to be a hotel, car or resort critic. you would get the best service and have the opportunity to see and doing amazing things.

Personal Finance

A degree does not necessarily help you in your career except that it can get you in better than no degree. The rest is your experience in life. You can surely make money doing anything for folks. But the thing that comes back to you is how much you can be contented with. And that creates a problem as we see it everyday.
.-= Personal Finance´s last blog ..Sincere Millions Caused To Suffer Needlessly – A Naive Look =-.

Nycole Armon

For Magic: The Gathering, there are often local tournaments he can get started in. If he gets good enough he could progress to state, national, and world tournaments. Local tournaments don’t always have cash prizes, but it helps improve skill and advancements to prize tournaments. Cash prizes easily reach the $1,000s and $10,000+ for national and world tournaments.

Noah Rainey

Haha, great analogy Ryan (Tomy Sawyer). I think your right. It’s possible to make money following you passion/hobby. In fact thousands of bloggers are doing this around the web (obviously). Thanks for this inspiring post Ryan :)!
.-= Noah Rainey´s last blog ..ThemeSheep – 3 New Upcoming Themes – Sunday May 9-10, 2010 =-.