More Weird Ways to Make Money
By Steve Gillman - March, 2013
Here is a quick look at some more of the odd ways people make
money, including painting eyeballs, making taffy, and writing
fortune cookies. There might be full-page coverage of some of
these on this website in the future.
Okay, actually, the correct title is ocularist. If you have
this job you specialize in making and fitting false eyes for
people who have lost their natural eyes, whether from an accident
or disease. Of course, part of the job is painting or otherwise
coloring the fake eyeballs. Interestingly, although there is
an industry organization, the American Society of Ocularists,
there are no schools for learning the trade. You have to find
someone working in the field and become an assistant to get started.
We all have seen many interesting neon signs. In fact, many
are unique, being the only one of their kind. These are fashioned
by those who specialize in bending the glass tubing used for
these lights. It is another of those jobs (or businesses) that
you normally learn by first working with someone else who is
already an expert.
Fortune Cookie Writer
This one will be researched in the future for the website.
It isn't clear that these jobs actually exist or if the same
little sayings have just been recycled for generations. Perhaps
a new kind of fortune cookie, with some other kind of predictions
or wise or smartass quips would make for a great business.
There might not be a commonly accepted name for this job,
but it exists. Someone has to fill the cracks that develop on
large monuments. Even Mount Rushmore has cracks that need to
be filled with a silicone sealant in order to prevent water from
freezing inside them and destroying the facade.
You must normally work with those who are already in the field
to learn how to become a dolphin trainer. Many trainers do have
degrees in biology and related areas, but that education will
perhaps do little to prepare you for the actual work involved.
Some people have started by volunteering at research centers
or facilities that care for sick and injured marine animals.
Reality TV Star
This is a job where it helps to be outrageous, and to know
the right people. Although reality television shows are filmed
all over the country, larger cities are where you are most likely
to be discovered. Get to know those who are already on such a
show and you might just become part of it.
Adult Store Cashier
This is not a job to make the parents proud. You will be selling
pornography and interesting devices, as well as collecting for
peep shows and such. There might even be some cleaning tasks
that you will not enjoy. But hey, someone has to do it. Or maybe
Portable Toilet Servicer
This is another nasty job, but this one really does have to
be done by someone. Construction sites and special events require
portable toilet facilities, and they need to be emptied and cleaned
regularly. The job might not be a great long-term career choice,
but on the other hand, it is a way to learn about the business,
which can be very lucrative. I wrote about tis in my book 101
Weird Ways to Make Money. Naturally, as the owner of the
business you are free to hire others to do the cleaning once
you have enough revenue.
While most taffy is made by machine now, there are still some
places that hand-pull it. It is a job that will keep your arms
in shape as you spend hours pulling and folding and pulling the
ever-stiffer mix. You might get some of the candy to take home
with you as a bonus, but other than that there is not much to
recommend this job (in my opinion).
Other Weird Ways to Make Money
Watch for future pages on weed farmers, potato chip inspectors,
parking lot cleaners, lawn painters, and stunt producers. We
might even look at how to collect returnable cans for income
and where to get jobs posing "sin ropas" for art classes.