Need cash? Got to make money to pay the bills? Lost your job and need money now? 

Recently inspired by one of my earlier blog posts, Susan from the Rebel Business School support group sent me a question that got me thinking.  She asked:

Alan Donegan holding cash £££s

How do you make money fast? Alan holding cash!

How do you make money fast with one idea to move on to the next – I do not have the timescale??

I thought that would make a great blog post.

So how do you make money fast?

The simple answer is to sell something.  Something you have got, can get access to, and sell it as quickly as possible.  Sales is the quick solution when you are in those situations.

Then there comes all sorts of questions like, “What should I sell?” and “Who should I sell it to?” and “Can you sell anything that quickly?”

What I am going to do is take you through the process I would go through if I were in this situation again.

I will work through what I would do and then under each stage I will pose some questions for you to work through to help you figure this out for yourself.

Step 1: What have I got?

The first step is to make a list of the skills, talents, experiences, things you could make, ideas and other things you have been thinking about.  Make a big list of everything you could do to make money.  

I have done this so many times in the early days trying to figure out where I could make money, where I could grow a business, and I still do it every now and again to figure out my direction going forward but now I have slightly different scales.

So if I was doing this now I would start with things like:

  • Hire an artist and produce Marvel inspired T-shirt designs and sell at movie premieres (I actually really want to do this one)
  • Public speaking – I spent years learning this skill at Toastmasters and I know I could sell it for money.  You all have skills you have built up over the years that you could sell
  • Corporate training – I spent a lot of time doing this and I could sell it again.  Think about what you have done in previous jobs and the activities you did day-to-day
  • Project management and making things happen – I have got really good at this
  • Start-Up coaching – I have been practicing this!!  I actually learned to help myself but it could be applied to anyone.  What have you been learning for yourself?
  • Website design – I am not great but I know enough; I built this website myself!  So I could sell website support and design
  • Launch a Mexican restaurant – I LOVE Mexican food
  • Launch a pizza restaurant – I LOVE pizza
  • Run training courses on how to make pizza  – I was given a course by Katie for my birthday a few years ago learning how to make Pizza dough and I know I could teach others
  • Mozzarella training – Katie gave me a cheese making course for another birthday so I could run a course alongside the pizza course teaching people how to make mozzarella!  There is even a buffalo farm near our house where I could get the buffalo milk to make authentic Italian mozzarella di buffalo!  Alright, now I am excited about this one!
  • Launch a blog – kind of like I am doing now

That is probably enough for now for you to get the idea.  I have a million ideas (I will write a post on creativity soon as well!). Up

Write out your ideas.  Here are some questions to help you get going:

  1. What could you teach other people?
  2. What do people say you are good at?
  3. What have you been paid to do by other people? Jobs?
  4. What have you got the biggest compliments for over the years?
  5. What excites you?
  6. What would you do at the weekend for fun if no one was looking?
  7. What are your hobbies?
  8. Look through some of the top businesses to start in lists online and see if there is inspiration there!

Start writing your list now!  Open a notebook, open a blank OneNote page (I will be writing an article about the AMAZING tool that is OneNote soon!) and START writing.  Get it out on paper.

Step 2: Evaluating the ideas

Now we need to work out which of these ideas we are going to focus on first and where to put our energy and effort. This is an important step, and my business partner Simon and I have found a useful way to do this.  We choose two scales to evaluate the ideas on and then plot out our ideas choosing the one that makes it to the top of the scale.

We need to choose the scales for the grid.  For the sake of this post, entitled “How to make money fast”, it is pretty clear what the scales should be!  They should be £££s Money and then speed of implementation and return.

But we don’t all need to make money fast and there are many different reasons you could have for launching a business.  You might be looking to launch it to create change in the world, help other people, or make money. Choose whatever scale you want to.  We are going to use speed and £££S Money for this example.

Below you can see my scale and where I placed the first idea from above​

The first idea from above was designing some Marvel T-shirts and then going to sell them at movie premieres.  So why did I put this where it is on the chart?  T-shirts is a business that everyone wants to do!  There are so many people doing it, so much competition that it is hard to stand out and therefore hard to make a lot of profit (not saying it can’t be done but it isn’t quick and easy to make a lot of money!)  I put it as a 4 ish on the scale of speed because I would need to get designs made up, get a website and produce some stock for it to work, and that will take time.  As for profit, I put it around 2 or 3 as I don’t believe there is a fortune to be made here fast.

What we are looking for are the ideas that fall into the upper right quadrant.  The ideas that will make us money and make it fast!

Now start to add in the other ideas.  My second one was public speaking and selling myself as a speaker.  I have done this in the past and you can make money doing it although the market in the UK is TINY in comparison to the USA.  It also took me a long time to find gigs and get going with this business in the past.  I think I would do a better job this time around but I don’t think it is an exceptionally quick win.  I felt I could make more money doing this than t-shirts but it would take me more time to get going.  I thought I could have some t-shirts knocked up in a week or so and be out on the street selling them!

You might be thinking right now that you disagree with my positioning of these items on the chart and you might well!  The positioning is based on my skill level, my beliefs and my experience, and you should be doing the same when you are plotting them on the chart!

I then continued on and placed all the other ideas onto the chart

This starts to build a picture of where I should place my energy and where I should focus.  

One thing to remember is that this is based on my opinions of what a lot of money is and how quickly I could get it done.  If you were to do the same exercise with the same ideas you would come up with a different answer!  It is all based on you!

​What I am looking for are the ideas that fall into the top right quadrant

For me, the ideas that made it towards the top were: selling websites; pizza training; and corporate training.

At this point there is no wrong or right answer, you just need to pick one and make it happen.  The question I use at this point is, “Which am I most excited about?”  I use this question because you need energy to make these things happen, and energy comes from excitement!

So the idea I would start with right now would be pizza training!  I am excited about that.  I think I could get it started quickly and I know you can make money doing it because I have bought similar services in the past!

Step 3: Who are you going to sell to?

The key to making money quickly is to “sell something to someone” immediately!   I am going to write a lot more about this coming up.  But for now we just need to identify people to sell to!

Brainstorming right now for my new pizza party business:

  • Birthday parties
  • People who want to learn how to cook
  • Pizza lovers (I could find them so easily on Twitter by searching pizza in a location)
  • Corporate organisations looking for something different to do for away days

​The key here is to have a specific idea of who to sell to so we can just launch and get the idea out in to the world and see if it works!


Now we just need to sell!  We need to test it.  We need to get it in front of our audience and SELL!

This is the scary bit because we are going to be rejected!  It is going to happen.  BRACE YOURSELF.

If you aren’t getting rejected, you aren’t trying hard enough.  Go big and get out there and sell to as many people from your target market as possible.

In my case I would make some pizza dough and mozzarella at home and take photos of me doing it. I would knock up a free website on Weebly (need to know how to do this?  Henry from PopUp Business School shows you how to build websites here) and maybe a simple email pitch, and I would start telling the world that I have launched!

I would post on Facebook to my friends and groups, I would tweet EVERYONE who mentions pizza on twitter and Instagram.  I would call companies and I would pitch and sell my new service.

The size of my action determines the size of my results

Step 5: Evaluate and re-decide

I would spend a week or so working full-time on sales.  I would sell to everyone and then I would reassess how it has gone. 

  • Have I sold anything?
  • Is anyone interested?
  • How many people visited my website?
  • How much have I made in cash?

The answers to these questions are going to tell you if it is working or not, and you are going to know very quickly if this is going to work for you or not!  

Then you have got to decide: is this working or not?  If not then go back to the chart and pick another idea to roll the dice with.

If it is working then double down, throw your energy into it and make it happen!

The key to making money fast

The key to making money fast is to pick something you can do and to sell it.  The more you sell the more money you will generate!  It is all about sales.  I am going to write more about this as we go but I wanted this to be a good starting point for the principles of making money fast and getting going quickly. 

I would LOVE to know if you have found this article useful. Please drop a comment below with your questions, ideas and comments.

I am writing this to help you get going!

Let’s make money, have fun and do some good at the same time.


Join the Donegan mailing list

Leave A Comment

Related Articles

  • earn more, start a business

    By Published On: March 29, 2020

    Announcing The Rebel Entrepreneur Podcast launching on the 4th of May in partnership with ChooseFI Radio. After months of planning and preparation we have a launch date and Season 1 outline: we are ready to go!   This is it, launch time! Alan recording an podcast and getting ready for the Rebel Entrepreneur Podcast Why [...]

  • earn more

    By Published On: February 13, 2019

    I launched my blog in November 2018, and I made my first profit!  On the 3rd of February 2019, this blog made £0.29!   Alright, it is not quite boats, champagne and endless BBQ food yet, but it is a start. The view from my laptop as I write my blogs.... This has inspired me [...]