I recently spent three and a half months on short-term disability for stress-related heart issues. I learned one thing while I was home, there is another way to live life. You do not need to deal with the corporate garbage you deal with. You do not need to sit in traffic every day. You do not need to worry about what your boss thinks of you. You can become your own boss and do it with very little risk.

When most people think of being self-employed they think they need to own a pizza place, used car lot, or any other small-sized business. This may have been the case twenty years ago, but it is no longer the case. The internet has opened up so many opportunities for people to become financially independent. Most of them are very little risk and require no money on your part whatsoever. Some opportunities do require a small investment if you are interested. By a small investment, I mean less than $100. Then there is the business I would put into the no-brainer category and that is being an affiliate.

If you do not know what an affiliate is, it is someone that promotes products of companies and receives a commission based on any sales they generate. In order to become an affiliate, you typically need a website of your own, and you simply sign up with the companies matching the theme of your site. You can build a site of your own for very little money. My site costs me $250 a year to run. There are dozens of programs out there that manage affiliate programs for companies:

There are many more than these, they are just the most popular and manage the most well-known companies. As you can see, from the companies they manage, being an affiliate has tremendous potential for making money. It costs nothing to join any of these sites or to join any particular merchant. In fact, from all the research I did before I entered into this endeavor if you come across a company asking for money to join their affiliate program it is probably something you should avoid.

It does take some time to get your site up and running, it is not going to be instant cash flow into your mailbox. I read that it will take up to 6-9 months for a steady and consistent stream of money to come in the door. When you compare it to a regular business like a pizza place, for example, you are actually better off. Most people say they lose money in the first year. Because you are investing so little into this business, any money you bring in will basically be profit.

You can realize some profits much sooner by investing more money into SEO programs (explained more in the other articles) and advertising. I chose not to do that because I wanted to keep my expenses down. The best part of the whole thing is, you are the boss now, you can decide if you want to spend the money or wait a couple more months for results and not spend the money.

Regardless of what avenue you decide to pursue you can see that there are numerous low-risk opportunities available to you. You can either continue to go to work, hate it, complain about it, and do nothing about it, or you can make the leap into the happy lifestyle you are craving. Which choice are you going to make?

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