Overcome Depression: 9 Warning Signals You Should Not Ignore

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Highlights

It is not uncommon for people, especially in India, to shy away from a conversation relating to mental health. Anxiety means “to worry about things is a good thing, you’ll get over it”, to be depressed is to be “stubborn”, to be happy is “in your control” and to have mental breakdowns (even if they’re almost every day) is “to suffer from a serious lack of confidence”.This article largely aims to talk about one of the most common disorders faced by people across the globe. The WHO estimates that one in every four people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives and most will invariably be linked to depression.

 

People so often speak of health as the most important aspect of living a wholesome life. But while parents are so willing to expend a great deal at a dentist’s office to fix their child’s crooked teeth to have them perfectly aligned, they are not as unyielding to heed their child’s mental health all the same to have their thoughts perfectly aligned. 

Let me lay down some stats for you. A report by WHO suggested that 7.5% of the Indian population suffers from some form of a mental disorder. If this isn’t enough to get you in a tizzy, here’s another one: Mental illnesses constitute one-sixth of all health-related disorders in the world and India contributes to a shocking 15% of the global mental, neurological and substance abuse disorder burden. There’s more. A treatment gap exists when there are a certain number of patients suffering from a disorder and only a proportion of those people actually get treated. This gap is over 70 percent! 

It is after a great deal of awareness by celebrities, social media and mental health campaigns that mental health issues have finally found a voice today. Not one that specifically says “It's completely okay to speak of depression as a rife topic”, but we’re getting there. 

What is Mental Health and Why is it Important? 

Mental health includes our cognitive, emotional and social well-being. So naturally, it has a direct impact on how we think, how we feel and how we behave. Positive mental health not only allows one to realise their full potential and work productively but also helps them deal with stress and emotions in a healthy manner and entitles one to have a proactive approach to life. A lack thereof, would hence adversely affect your work, relationships, disrupt a routine and meddle with interpersonal connections. Do you see the severity of the problem? 

Studies suggest that to maintain positive mental health throughout one’s life, the following play a crucial role: 

  1. Seeking professional help when you need it or think you need it
  2. Staying connected with other people - homo sapiens are social beings and human connection is an integral part of who we are
  3. Attempting to stay positive using affirmations 
  4. Staying physically active (Health experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week)
  5. Offering help in situations where we can significantly contribute
  6. Getting adequate sleep - A good night’s sleep is not only key to a well-rested body but a well-rested mind too. It is because of this that you would notice people on their worst moods when they haven’t gotten enough sleep

The Stigma Surrounding Mental Health

It is not uncommon for people, especially in India, to shy away from a conversation relating to mental health. Anxiety means “to worry about things is a good thing, you’ll get over it”, to be depressed is to be “stubborn”, to be happy is “in your control” and to have mental breakdowns (even if they’re almost every day) is “to suffer from a serious lack of confidence”. 

The problem with our society’s take on mental health issues is that they’re so committed to being in denial of such a concept, they could succeed in convincing an entire generation of the same. This is precisely why people grow up with a whole bunch of messed up psychological problems, not being aware that they had a problem, to begin with - let alone getting around to fixing it. It’s why you’d mostly find people over the age of 40 at a therapist’s office because his/her younger self was strictly advised against believing in what Indian parents so fondly call and I quote “ a myth”. 

A stigma is essentially viewing someone in a different light, a negative light. The stigma around mental health is not uncommon. More often than not, the stigma leads to discrimination that could worsen someone’s condition with an existing mental health issue. Even when the discrimination is not direct or blunt like making a shrewd comment or calling people names because of their illness, it is almost as bad to avoid someone because this might lose them a great deal of self-confidence. 

Harmful effects of stigmatising someone with a mental health condition: 

  • It might make them reluctant to seek professional help
  • Influence other people’s behaviour towards them and eventually normalise the discrimination
  • Lack of acceptance at school or jobs
  • Bullying, harassment 
  • Health insurance that doesn’t fully cover one’s mental illness treatment (because it doesn’t see a mental health disorder as a “real” disorder
  • Triggers one to believe they can never be an equal as the rest of the people in the society 

While it would take me more than just a blog article to cover an exhaustive list of mental health problems prevalent among people in the world, the most common mental disorders are as follows: 

  • Anxiety 
  • Bipolar Disorders 
  • Depression 
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Eating Disorders
  • Personality Disorder
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 
  • Psychosis
  • Schizoaffective disorder
  • Schizophrenia

This article largely aims to talk about one of the most common disorders faced by people across the globe. The WHO estimates that one in every four people in the world will be affected by a mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives and most will invariably be linked to depression. 

Depression Does Not Equal Sadness

Depression or clinical depression is a mental health disorder associated with persistently low, depressed moods and a complete lack of interest in daily activities that could cause significant impairment to one’s life. There are various causes of why this could occur - some of the most common include heredity and social distress. 

While feeling low from time to time might be a part and parcel of life, perpetual feelings of hopelessness and sorrow may be a sign of something more serious. You can identify the difference between sadness and depression by questioning the nature of your struggle. If a setback or incident has caused you to feel short periods of sadness, it might not be a cause for worry. But if you notice changes in how you feel, think and respond to normal day-to-day activities and social encounters, interference in your sleep and appetite and a lack of general appreciation for life - this may signal towards a case of clinical depression.

What is important to know is that no matter how hopeless or helpless you feel, there is always a scope of getting better. With an understanding of the causes, symptoms and potential treatment options for depression, you’re already at step 1 of attempting to make things better. 

Signs that you could possibly be suffering from Depression

  1. Feeling Sad or empty on most days and being unable to explain why 

Persistent feeling of emptiness is one of the main symptoms of depression. When you lack the motivation to do something as normal as cooking breakfast or driving to work, feel bogged down for no specific reason, it might indicate that you suffer from clinical depression. 

  1. Losing feelings of pleasure, especially in activities that you once seemed to enjoy

The inability to enjoy things you usually love doing is yet another sign. Depression can take out the fun or pleasure from all that you once looked forward to - your hobbies, social interactions and even sex. Studies show that a low sex drive, a lack of interest towards sexual activity or even impotence can be possible signals of depression. 

  1. Irregular Sleep patterns - Sleeping for too long or too little a time period

Part of the reason that you stop to enjoy the things you normally do is that depression makes you feel tired all the time. While an overwhelming feeling of fatigue and low energy levels can lead to excessive sleeping, depression has also seen to cause insomnia in some people. The lack of restful sleep can even lead to anxiety or worsen other symptoms of depression.

  1. A change in appetite - eating too much and too frequently or complete loss of appetite 

A sudden change on the weighing scale (without intent to have made this change) is a common symptom. Different people experience depression differently. While some people notice a surge in their appetite and gain a lot of weight, some might experience loss of appetite and lose weight. If this fluctuation takes place with no dietary or lifestyle change, it might be caused by depression. 

  1. Feeling Anxious

Although depression might not necessarily cause anxiety, the two often tend to occur together. Symptoms of anxiety include feelings of dread, danger and panic, palpitations, rapid breathing, restlessness, muscle twitching, increased heart rate and heavy sweating. 

  1. Feeling unworthy/self-loathing

Depression causes you to have a hopeless outlook on life. It tends to give you a rather negative perspective on life, completely changing how you think or feel about things. This feeling is often complemented with feelings of self-doubt, worthlessness and guilt. 

  1. Irritability 

A common symptom of depression in men, irritability can often be a lot more dangerous than it sounds. Irritability in depression results from escapism, substance abuse and being in denial - all of which happen to be the leading cause of death (by suicide) in men.  

  1. Uncontrollable Moods

If you find yourself with unexplainable mood swings - one minute you’re angry, the next you’re crying uncontrollably and your emotions seem to be all over the place -  this is a signal that you might have depression. 

  1. Thoughts about death and suicide 

There are 135,000 deaths (on an average) by suicide in India every year. The global average is 800,000. In 2016, suicide was the leading cause of death in India within the age group of 15-39 with the number as high as 230,314! 

Now there’s no saying what the causes of these suicides are but studies suggest that a lot of times, suicide is connected with depression. And people who die by suicide will generally show symptoms of this thought first. It is up to the people around, to be aware in case a known individual suggests an inclination to end their lives. 

All other symptoms such as hopelessness, lack of self-worth and a lack of motivation work in tandem to make one feel like suicide is the only way to escape. So recognising these signs plays a crucial role in avoiding things to escalate.

Warning signs that someone you know might be suicidal: 

  • If they speak about killing or harming themselves
  • Expressing feelings of perpetual hopelessness 
  • An unusual obsession with topics related to death/dying
  • Irrational behaviour depicting a lack of value for life- like speeding up aimlessly while driving through red lights
  • Leaving goodbye notes or calling to say goodbye for no specific reason 
  • Getting all of their affairs in order such as tying up loose ends
  • Hinting a lack of belongingness by saying things like “I wish I didn't exist” or “no one would notice if I was gone” 
  • Suddenly going extremely anxious and depressed to acting happy and calm

If you’re the slight bit suspicious that a friend/family member is suicidal, express this concern immediately, let them talk to you openly, and try to talk them (without any coercion) into seeking professional help. Sometimes all it takes is a carefully acknowledged, no-judgement conversation to save a life. 

Types of Depression 

Depression is a complex disorder, as are most illnesses that involve the mind. There are various causes of depression. Understanding the types of depression could potentially hint towards its underlying cause.

There are 7 common types of depression:

  1. MDD (Major Depressive Disorder)

MDD is what people generally refer to as clinical depression. It is a mood disorder characterized by several factors including a lack of interest in generally enjoyed activities, changes in sleep patterns and weight, tiredness, lack of concentration and thoughts of death and suicide. If these symptoms last for longer than a couple of weeks, it is best to seek professional help rather than try to deal with it on your own. 

  1. Dysthymia

Also known as PDD (Persistent depressive disorder, dysthymia is a type of chronic depressive disorder that lasts for brief periods throughout a person’s life, if not treated. Although it might not be as critical as MDD, PDD is still a cause for concern as it disrupts one’s ability to enjoy life. Some common symptoms of dysthymia include feelings of anger and sadness, irritability, loss of pleasure, fatigues, low self-esteem, insomnia as well as changes in appetite. 

  1. Bipolar Disorder 

A type of mood disorder that’s resulting in periods of abnormally extreme or elevated moods known as mania, bipolar disorder is an illness that increases a person’s risk of suicide by 15%. Elevated moods can be mild or extreme - in which case, a person loses his sense of reality and has to be hospitalized. Symptoms of bipolar disorder include indecisiveness, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, lethargy and unexplained physical pains/aches. 

  1. PPD (Postpartum Depression)

Pregnancy can bring about some major hormonal shifts in a woman’s body that can often adversely affect her moods. Depression can have an onset either during pregnancy or after the birth of the child. 

Postpartum depression is more than just “baby blues” and its symptoms include feelings of sadness and worthlessness, anxiety, trouble bonding with your baby, social awkwardness, panic attacks, thoughts of harming yourself of the baby and appetite changes that last more than a couple of weeks. 

  1. PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder)

While symptoms of PMS include food cravings, increased appetite, anxiety, irritability, aches and bloating, PMDD is more complex than that. All the symptoms related to mood are extreme and more prominent such as binge eating, inability to focus, feeling hopeless and having severe crying spells. 

  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) 

Similar to MDD, but only experienced in certain seasons (like winter) is probably the simplest way to describe Seasonal Affective Disorder. How does this make sense? SAD is said to occur as a result of the disturbance caused in the normal rhythm of one’s body. Light entering your body can influence this rhythm and a seasonal variation can cause a disruption that could lead to depression. SAD can often be treated with what is known as light therapy. 

  1. Atypical Depression 

As the name suggests, the symptoms of this disorder are not like ones of “typical” depression. If you experience some symptoms of depression such as extreme sensitivity, oversleeping or binge-eating but still seem to enjoy the occasional meet and greet, you might have Atypical depression. Common symptoms include weight gain due to excessive eating, oversleeping, sensitivity to rejection, weakness and fatigue. 

Causes of Depression

There are a number of factors that contribute to increased chances of depression, but the most common ones are: 

Past abuse: A history of past sexual, emotional or physical abuse can increase the vulnerability of a person to suffer from clinical depression later in life.

Medications: Certain drugs, such as isotretinoin (used to treat acne), the antiviral drug interferon-alpha, and corticosteroids, could increase your risk of depression.

Conflict: Depression could also result from personal conflicts or disputes with friends and family members in the case of someone who already has the biological vulnerability to be depressed. 

Death or a loss: Sadness/grief from the death or loss of a loved one, though natural, may increase the risk of depression.

Genetics: One of the most common causes of depression is genetics. If your family has a history of depression, this may increase the risk of you suffering from the illness as well. It's assumed that depression is a complex trait, meaning that there are different genes that each exert small effects, rather than a single gene that contributes to the disease. The genetics of depression, unlike most psychiatric disorders, are not as straightforward as the ones in purely genetic diseases like Huntington's chorea or cystic fibrosis.

Major Events in One’s life: Sometimes even the good events in one’s life such as being accepted into a chosen university or getting married can lead to depression. So can stressful events like losing a lot of money or a job, getting divorced or moving to another country. However, clinical depression doesn’t allow you to  "normally" respond to such stressful life events.

Interpersonal Problems: Social isolation due to other mental illnesses or being cast out of one’s family or social groups can majorly contribute to the risk of developing clinical depression.

Medical illnesses: Sometimes depression co-exists or could even be triggered by an existing illness or medical condition. 

Substance abuse: Over 30% of people with substance abuse problems also tend to have major or clinical depression. Drugs and alcohol might temporarily make you feel better, but they ultimately aggravate symptoms of depression.

Treatment for Depression 

Although there isn’t a single treatment for depression that guarantees a full recovery and to add to this there’s the fact that not all people respond well to the same treatment methods, there are still a range of effective medications and professionals who can assist you on your path to recovery. 

Treatment for depression

Broadly speaking, there are 2 widely-used methods of treating clinical depression:

  1. Psychological Treatment 

Psychological treatments (also known as therapy) could help you change your thinking patterns and improve your coping skills so you're better equipped to deal with the stresses and conflicts of life. Along with supporting recovery, psychological therapies can also help you identify and change unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. 

There are several types of effective psychological treatments for depression, as well as different options for delivery. Some people prefer to work one on one with a therapist/professional, while others feel like they get more out of group therapy. There’s also a rise in online programs or e-therapies,  available to assist with one with depression today. 

Types of Psychological Treatments: 

  1. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) 
  2. Interpersonal Therapy
  3. Behaviour Therapy 
  4. Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT)

Medical Treatment 

The main medical treatment for depression is antidepressant medication. There's a lot of misinformation about antidepressant medication and while there is no simple explanation as to how it works, it can be very useful in the treatment of moderate to severe depression and some anxiety disorders.

If you're experiencing moderate to severe depression, your doctor may prescribe antidepressant medication, along with psychological treatments. Antidepressants are sometimes prescribed when other treatments have not been successful or when psychological treatments aren't possible due to the severity of the condition or a lack of access to the treatment.

People with more severe forms of depression (bipolar disorder and psychosis) generally need to be treated with medication. This may include one or a combination of mood stabilisers, antipsychotic drugs and antidepressants.

Apart from receiving professional treatment, these are some effective natural remedies to treat depression (advised by doctors)

In depression, the smallest things have proven to make huge differences (sometimes even more than medical treatments) Some things to assist a speedy recovery: 

Essential Oils:

People have used essential oils for various treatments in the past. However, it is important to note that these oils aren’t necessarily a cure, they only help in relieving certain symptoms and help manage your condition better. 

Some essential oils that are known to relieve symptoms of depression: 

  1. Lavender Oil - relieves anxiety, reduces stress and uplifts mood. 
  2. Wild Ginger Oil - activates the serotonergic system and helps reduce stress
  3. Bergamot oil - Possesses uplifting and calming properties
  4. Rose Oil - Decreases blood pressure, heart rate and helps with symptoms of anxiety 
  5. Chamomile Oil - Calming properties, relieves anxiety 

Books To Read: 

  1. The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
  2. First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson
  3. Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David Burns
  4. The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living by Russ Harris 
  5. Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself by Kristin Neff

A list of feel-good movies that have proven to assist those with depression: 

  1. “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”
  2. Frozen
  3. Silver Linings Playbook
  4. Perks of Being a Wallflower
  5. 10 things I hate about you
  6. Goodwill hunting

A List of Movies made on Depression that couldn't be more candid: 

  1. World’s greatest dad 
  2. Anomalisa
  3. Cake
  4. Sylvia
  5. The Skeleton Twins
  6. Garden State
  7. Little Miss Sunshine
  8. Helen
  9. Prozac Nation 
  10. Melancholia

I hope this helps. :)



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Anika Manocha- Changing perspectives, changing lives

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Managing Stress during the Pandemic Webinar

 

 

We can all agree on this, staying away from negative news is impossible nowadays. Be it social media or your google news feed it’s a reality, that we all are dealing with a lot of stress and uncertainty.

We have anxiety and fear due to a lot of issues such as apprehensions regarding contracting the Coronavirus, the health risk of family members, keeping kids occupied while being indoors all-day, managing to get work done from home or simply coming to terms with the separation anxiety. As the days go by, the stress can eventually build up -affecting us both physically and mentally.

Hence Glo-Community has collaborated with Anika Manocha to help you manage stress during the Pandemic.

Ms.Anika Manocha is a Master's in Psychology from KUK, Haryana, a counseling psychologist and a Certified CBT trainer.

Anika has been actively involved in Uplifting children who are victims of Child Labour and is also a Marriage & Family Counsellor and has been successful in bringing about an improvement in many relationships. She is a Visiting Counselor in schools and takes online Counselling to help people understand their problems and find a better solution in their day to day life.

Register for the Webinar on "Managing Stress during the Pandemic" On 7th August - 

Time - 1 PM - 2 PM

 Key Takeaways:

  1. Recognizing the difference between pressure and stress
  2. Understanding the symptoms and causes of stress
  3. Consequences of not managing stress
  4. Circle of influence and control – how to take positive action
  5. Adopting the right mindset to handle stress effectively
  6. Practical tips for managing stress

 

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Online Businesses You Can Start Quickly And Earn Well!

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Online Business you can start quickly and earn well

Highlights

The article guides you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home.

Staying at home has caused many of us to explore the inner Creative Gurus in ourselves.  Personally, I find myself doing things I otherwise couldn’t imagine indulging such as baking a cake, trying out a FAD diet just for the fun of it, counting my steps (Not to brag, but I’m way past the 10K a day mark, *cue applause*), taking new courses on recycling, brush lettering and novel writing and my favourite: trying a new steak sauce recipe. Can you imagine the kind of proactiveness it takes to want to try out a new steak sauce recipe? (For the record, balsamic barbeque For. The. Win.) 

It’s not uncommon to look at your social media feed and feel discouraged about not doing enough. Change can be mighty frightening for some people and takes them a whole lot of courage to ride the wave of change. You might look at monetizing some of your various talents but shy away because “a million people already seem to be doing the same”. Layoffs and paycheck cuts can increase this pressure of wanting or worse: needing to make some quick money to make ends meet. 

Take a deep breath in before you read this article and remind yourself that you’re not alone in this.

While it may first seem overwhelming to start an online business out of the blue, especially when your career so far has been more non-virtual and hands-on and you seem to have very little knowledge on the subject, it’s important to note that rapidity is what sets these businesses apart. Most online businesses are almost worth the risk, simply because the investment that goes into building one is almost nothing as opposed to the massive amount of learning that comes with it. (even without a clear success at first attempt). Glo has taken this subject as one that’s close to our heart, and more so now, to guide you through some online businesses you can start TODAY from the comfort of your home and the mini-steps you can take for each of them that will lead you to success: gradually, but surely. 

11 Online Businesses you can start quickly and earn well:  

  1. Practice Affiliate Marketing

You’ve probably already heard of the term affiliate marketing before and associate it with a complex growth marketing tactic. But it’s a rather simple concept to grasp if you learn about it. Affiliate marketing is essentially the process of earning a commission by means of promoting someone else’s (or another company’s) product. For instance, if you own a website of your own, and promote products of another brand by providing links to their catalogue, and a sale is made through this link, then you’re entitled to earn a commission for the same. 

But how do you get started with affiliate marketing? 

  1. Amazon: If you’re new to the world of affiliate marketing, you can be lost. A lot of affiliate marketers find success with amazon. Not only are there a million products to choose from, but amazon also kind of makes it simpler for a beginner with its Amazon Associates Program.
  2. Informative Products: Promoting video series, ebooks, membership sites, new releases, etc can earn you over 50% or more in commission and even has lesser barriers to entry. These products are also easy to find and promote if you know where to find them. 

In fact, a lot of great marketers, including Neil Patel, have spoken of how to find a niche for affiliate marketing and earn profits quickly - so learning how to get started should be the least of your worries. Although, in addition to affiliate marketing, it might also be really helpful to know (at least the basics) of SEO and copywriting. Some great books on the subject are SEO for beginners 2020 and The art of SEO: Mastering Search Engine optimization.

You’re wondering if the last bit was affiliate marketing, aren’t you? 

  1. Set Up An eCommerce Site

Before you start scrolling down assuming that “building a site” is only for the techies - hear me out. If you have an idea and possess basic knowledge of how an online store works, there aren’t a lot of barriers to overcome before setting up your very own e-commerce store. Sustainable products, local products, handcrafted goods, sanitization products - these are some markets that people are currently exploring vastly - and if you have the means to bring these products online, then the technology of it shouldn’t stop you from doing so. In fact, there are several websites ( such as Airtable and Bubble ) you can use today with possessing no knowledge of coding whatsoever. Shopify is built for e-commerce and you can use it to build your very own virtual shop with low investment, no coding skills and a free 30-day trial to experiment with too!

Things to remember before setting up an E-commerce site: 

  • Study about the internet market experience. What are customers drawn to, what is it that they seem to interact well with, resonate with 
  • Find a market that’s profitable. Do some keyword research and try and find an untargeted niche. There might be a hundred online stores selling furniture, but you could pick dressers (for example) as your niche and ace that space. 
  • Do a profit analysis. If you're selling a product whose manufacturing & distribution costs are almost as much as your selling price, there’s no point dealing with such minimal margins and putting in all that effort for nothing.
  • Assess if the product you aim to sell is part of a growing market. Something that's already reached its peak in the market is not very easy to scale and sustain (like VCRs for example). You need a product with solid growth potential. 
  1. Start That Blog You’ve Always Wanted To! - And Monetize It

Starting a blog is not just a fantastic way to voice out your thoughts and opinions on different subjects, it can also earn you quite a bit of money if you’re consistent and adept with all the available tools you can utilize to grow your audience. It’s easier than ever to start a blog in 2020 and make it a potential source of income. But you’ve to be willing, patient and consistent to reap profits from your writing. You also need to generate valuable content that is engaging and educating to capture the interest of your audience. 

Eventually, you can aim at monetizing your blog by selling relevant digital products or ads, sponsored posts, ebooks, etc once you have a good number of readers who come on to your page. 

  1. Become a Facebook Ad Expert 

Many companies struggle with running successful ad campaigns. Read that again. Facebook and Instagram give you a seamless journey as a user who’s trying to display ads for their brands - it almost feels like following these steps are enough. But there are few businesses who run successful ads and this is only after some serious studying of the Facebook ad metrics. If it were so easy to run ads that worked, do you think people would be selling their “How to create successful ads” courses for thousands of rupees? The answer is, of course, no. 

A lot of companies are in need of Facebook advertising experts and if this interests you, you can take the time to learn the ins and outs of Facebook, how to get the most return on an ad investment and reach out to businesses to assist them with your expertise on the subject. 

  1. Become a Skype (or Zoom) Coach

If you truly consider yourself to be an expert on a subject matter - be it yoga, knitting, nutrition, meditation, business & strategy consultation - or anything else that people might be interested to learn too - you can start by building a client base and coaching these clients online either daily, weekly or monthly. 

There are coaches available for everything today - dating, health, life and even things like palmistry, astrology and tarot card reading. These are areas people seem to be getting interested in of late and could use some guidance from an expert. 

Furthermore, you can always aim to increase your client base by appearing credible - enlist yourself on curated websites, set up your own website and but up blog articles to educate people and market yourself well, get certified if you must - all this makes people feel like you know your stuff and sign-ups become a cakewalk once you appear credible. 

  1. Dropshipping

Dropshipping essentially means creating an online store but to sell other people’s products. One of the main reasons people opt for dropshipping is because they don’t have to do any of the manufacturing or shipping and still get a commission on every sale made. The main benefit is that you’re not at risk of stocking up on a product and losing money if it doesn’t sell. The barrier to entry is low and so is the investment. It is, of course, easier for an already established e-commerce brand such as amazon (who also sells their own products) to practice dropshipping, and the competition is massive - but the key is to figure out a product niche that has an audience but not many competitors selling within this niche.  

There are apps like Shopify and Oberlo that also help connect you with suppliers to import products to your store.

Ways to make dropshipping a successful business: 

  • Gather the same products from different suppliers, to create a store that serves variety within a specific niche.
  • Offer a superior value proposition through quality content and top-notch customer service that creates value way beyond selling products
  • Target an untapped region on the world map (but be sure to pay attention to shipping costs).
  • Target different set of audiences with the same product (for example, target music festival stalls with led gear) 

The Truth About Dropshipping: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

  1. Technical Writing

While Creative writing may require a whole other process and headspace, there’s something about technical writing that people seem to have a grasp on even without any prior experience. Do you see the instruction manuals on a new remote control car? Or safety compliances of the various products displayed online? - That's essentially the job of a technical writer. 

How to Become a Technical Writer: A Beginner’s Guide

Even writing resumes, cover letters and press releases are options you could explore, besides technical writing. People are always on the lookout for jobs - and they’re always looking to prettify their resumes and cover letters. If you think you could be good at this stuff - you can always give it a shot and find interesting work online. (Freelancer and Upwork are popular sites) 

  1. Start a Print-on-Demand Service 

If you’re good at designing, or even have a fairly good hand with design software - this is something you can explore. Again, you would have to cater to a specific niche - like doctors or gamers or cat lovers, for example, and create customized digitals to get them printed on various merchandise including mugs, t-shirts, posters and stickers. A lot of people are making tangible products out of their beautiful yet quirky designs today and in the process - turning their Instagram accounts into virtual gift shops! 

What's more, is that if you have a printer at home, all you need to do is buy heat transfer sheets and you can start printing at home using just an iron box!  

  1. Convert Your Service Into a Product

One of the obvious downsides to running a service-based business is that you only get paid strictly for your time and skills. It’s not flexible. If you “Productize” your service i.e, you create a physical/digital product that sells your expertise as a package, you can add additional revenue streams to your business as well. 

Examples of “productising” a service include: 

  • Courses
  • Downloadable reports
  • Digital templates
  • Merchandise
  • eBooks

Most of these ideas involve digital media that has been packaged as a product, which means there’s no inventory to keep around. If you’re running your home business on Shopify, you can also sell digital products effortlessly using the Digital Downloads or SendOwl app.

  1. SEO and PPC Consulting 

If building your website from scratch isn’t for you - you can always guide others’ websites to rank high on google search results. When a website ranks higher, it gets more and more relevant traffic and in turn, naturally makes more revenue.

This is a highly valued skill in the world of internet marketing - but not an easy one since google is always changing algorithms. You have to be committed to being on the leading edge, learning as well as testing new strategies. If you manage to master SEO, companies tend to pay quite a lot for it. 

Similar to SEO (but not quite), Pay per click advertising helps rank your ad at the top of google search as “sponsored”. It’s a type of internet marketing where advertisers pay a fee every time their ad gets clicked. Unlike SEO, PPC is buying visits to your site (which is a short-cut, but equally effective nonetheless) 

If you master these basic digital marketing techniques, you’d be of high value for any business trying to scale online. 

  1. Start Your Own Clothing Line

Have you ever thought of owning your own clothing line but were not quite sure about how to take off with just designs on your hand? We’ve got good news. Oberlo, Printify, Printful, or similar product sourcing apps automatically link your Shopify store to apparel printers and manufacturers. They also take care of the retail fulfilment process giving a whole lot of freedom to design and ship a range of clothing pieces. 

So all you really need to kickstart your very own clothing line is the skill to design creative/trendy clothing and a Shopify store to sell the same. Amazing, isn’t it? 

It is indeed a satisfying process to create products that people will use every day. Plus, as soon as your Shopify store is built, you’ll be able to start selling your clothes almost instantly. Besides, the feeling of seeing one’s own designs come to life by transforming all the creativity into something real and profitable is truly unmatched.













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