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Owning a “real” business means you need to think about bank loans or financing, leases, maintaining inventory, business insurance, finding staff, training staff, etc. You then need to factor in finding a prime location for your business. If you don't have enough footfall then you can expect to be shutting up shop in as little as a few months. In fact, 50% of small brick-and-mortar businesses fail within their first 3 years.
If you're running on fumes, financially speaking, but you have some money coming your way soon, consider pawning something of value to borrow fast cash. Of course, to get those items back you'll need to pay back the loan with interest. If you don't pay it back in time, that you'll lose the item. If it's really something that has a lot of intrinsic value to you, don't do it. But if it's something that doesn't, you can certainly consider it depending on your situation.
If you’ve received gifts you really don’t want – and they’re still in the packages – try returning them. Some retailers will take them back up to a year later. If you are not sure where the item was purchased, try going online and searching. If a retailer like Walmart or Target pops up then you can return it there without a receipt and get a gift card.
Once you have one or two samples to show prospective clients, it's then time to find some. Sites like Freelancer and Upwork are good places to start out. But you don't need to stick to the same path taken by every other freelance writer. Use some lateral thinking to find clients. Join relevant groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. Have a look for forums dedicated to web development, digital marketing or SEO – there's almost always a “writers for hire” sectio” you can use to find new clients.
I also recommend FlexJobs for finding more home data entry jobs. With that site, you can regularly search legitimate work at home jobs for data entry and other industries. Every job lead is guaranteed scam-free, and it's the only membership-based jobs site I currently use and trust. Their listings are updated 5-6 times per week, and they are plentiful. You can currently get 30% off a subscription using promo code AFFILPROMO.