How Can I Make Some Money Legally?


“I don’t know how I can be so ambitious and so lazy at the same time.” -Ned Vizzini

Despite the rage I exhibit 90-95% of the time, and despite the text message I sent several weeks ago that said something like “I’m going to fuck you up,” violence makes me very uncomfortable. A lot of people smirk when I say this, especially the people who happened to be in a certain Boston hotel bar in May 2011, and also my husband, who I woke up later that evening to tell him about the misunderstanding that has since been labeled an “altercation.” Look, I’m only going to say this one more time: When it comes to justice, being outnumbered four to one does not discourage me, and no, I do not know why several security guards and the bar manager found it necessary to intervene.

Since Cal will be graduating high school in three years, I’m trying to forgo violence and live within the confines of the law. Teens are especially impressionable at this age. I want to instill valuable life lessons like “Being feminine doesn’t equal being weak. You can be a delicate flower AND a badass motherfucker at the same time.” It’s difficult to teach these finely nuanced concepts during a short prison visit.

I also want to show her that working hard and having marketable skills is important. Knowing how to hustle means that she doesn’t need to depend on anyone else or feel trapped in a toxic situation because she lacks options.

Making money has always been an elusive endeavor for me. It’s not that I don’t have the marketable skills to obtain a job that pays solid wages, which is true and probably the most important point, but it’s more that I find it difficult to work consistently or for long periods of time. I call that being a freedom liker. Other people call that being a lazy motherfucker.

For a person with limited marketable skills, a penchant for laying in bed, and a lack of discipline, what’s a good way to make money legally while maintaining my high standards? Most of my standards can change on a whim except for a few I stick to 100% of the time. My side hustle can not result in: death, a criminal record, or a uniform that involves a cap. Some health benefits would be nice. It doesn’t have to be insurance per se, but if the job came with a bottle of sunscreen as a perk, I would consider that a health benefit.

NOT OKAY SIDE HUSTLES: drug lord, smuggler, robber, counterfeiter, mushroom or marijuana grower, prostitute, hacker, ponzi schemer, embezzler, contract killer, poacher, underground gambler, Hot Dog on a Stick worker (very ugly cap)

BEST SIDE HUSTLE: If you were to distill money-making into one simple idea, it is this: You make money by providing goods or services. Your role needs to be useful in some way. To other people. Not just to you. This job may seem undesirable at first, but just walk with me.

Fruit kingpin: Selling fruit is the best job in the world. For the seller, it’s a source of income, and for the buyer, it’s a source of nutrition and deliciousness.

I went to Whole Foods yesterday because I felt like spending a lot of money and getting very little in return. It’s hard to avoid WF in this neighborhood because there are five within a 6-mile radius from my home. The first item to greet me was a display of cherries and the sign below said “$9.99.” I really like cherries and I really like my family, but I don’t like either enough to spend $10, so I just kept walking. Less than 5 steps away, I saw another display of cherries for only $6.99. I didn’t read the sign carefully, but I was pretty sure that the price difference was because these were laced with pesticides. If I can save $3, I will risk early death. You just have to ask yourself what’s most important to you, and for me, it’s saving money. Health is nice, but that’s not something you can pass down to your kids, so I just stick with money.

I put the bag of chemical-laden cherries into my cart and felt good about myself. Since I saved $3, I decided to buy $11 ice cream. Well, it used to be $13, but it was on sale. By my calculations, I had just made $5.

When I got home, I glanced at the receipt and realized that the cherries were $6.99/lb. I tried to get some sympathy from Cal, but she told me that I was too old not to know that stores usually write the slash and the “lb” in smaller letters. “You need to pay attention next time, mommy, or you might buy $19 cherries again.” So coldhearted.

This experience gave me the idea to start selling fruit. I can set my own hours. I wouldn’t have to relocate to a new city. I would be my own boss. And after careful consideration, I would most likely price my cherries at $7.99/lb. More expensive than Whole Foods, but my customers would get the satisfaction of supporting a small business. That kind of smugness for only $1/lb is a good price.

Since selling fruit is a seasonal grind, I am currently considering backup career options. Club promoter is the top contender. Hm. Maybe I could sell cherries at the club.



For the past 20 months, I’ve been taking a picture of the same tree almost every day. I’ve posted some of my favorite pictures on the Flourish in Progress Instagram, but I wanted a way to keep track of my tree collection separately because they are so special to me. Two weeks ago, I posted the first tree picture on an Instagram I already had on lockdown, @HoodPlusGood (locked that bitch down after I spent a grip of bills trademarking the phrase). The picture looked kinda lonely by itself, so I added rap lyrics. It seemed like the perfect fit: rap lyrics + nature = hood + good.


P.S. Kick it with me on the Flourish in Progress Facebook page. You will not be sorry. Probably.

top image via Neuarmy


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  • Stylish Housewife

    Ha! I just saw the same thing happen on IG not too long ago to some poor young girl who also made the mistake of buying $$$$$ cherries. They are my hubby’s fave but I walk right past them every time I go to the store now. Now if they were MY fave, you know those cherries would be in my cart.

    P.S. If you ever need an assistant mgr for your new cherry/club promoting business, call me.

    XOXO, Jenn
    The Stylish Housewife

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      You would provide the style and sass and smarts and I would provide the….um…something. Something totally useful. Probably.

  • Stacy Curran

    I would love this blog every bit as much if you monetized it!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      That’s a dope idea. I think I need to look into it. I know so little.

      • Stacy Curran

        I’m happy to help if you want advice…email me at my firstlastname at gmail dot com or there is an email me buttion at my blog :)

  • Misty

    I would buy $7.99/lb cherries from you to support your local business. However, I would only buy like 2 or 3 cherries, because what, do I look like I’m made of money or something? Good luck with your future endeavors!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Well, your hair and your clothes look like you are made of money, so you better buy at least four or five cherries. xoxo

  • Sarah Stars

    I love that you are always looking out for others, whether you are doing it earnestly with lots of love, or digging for a reason to make it like you’re doing the biggest favor out of a little vindictiveness – brilliant! And I think you are onto something with your pricing theories; mind if I borrow them if I decide to do some side-hustling?

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Please do! Let me know how it works out. I’m not a very good businesswoman so I know your side hustle will be waaaay more successful than mine and then I can live vicariously through you.

  • Cassandra

    Freedom-Lover. I have to remember that one. Nice.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      I think it has a nice ring to it. Much better than anything that includes the word “lazy.”

  • lisadanielle

    oh shit. i hope it’s o.k. that i totally just used your line… “I went to Whole Foods yesterday because I felt like spending a lot of money and getting very little in return.” on my FB page… but, i ABSO-FUCKIN’-LUTELY gave you credit. (tagged and linked!)

    that made me laugh out loud- it’s so, so, so true! goddamn whole foods. another examples: these cupcakes came from WF? oh, they must be “good for me.” WRONG!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Not at all! Totally honored that you thought it was worth sharing!

      Also, what do you mean cupcakes from WF aren’t good for me. That can’t be true. I eat one a day instead of a multivitamin.

      • lisadanielle

        multivitamin? no thank you. i’ll take pizza goldfish. do they sell those at whole foods? :)

  • miss_britt

    I, too, am a freedom liker.

    But I have to confess the first time I read that I saw “freedom licker”, and I was ESPECIALLY excited about that.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      That IS much more exciting. I’m rethinking things.

  • Mel

    There’s a van that sells produce and chips (what a contradiction) on the street next to mine. You can set up shop there, displace him, and we can chat every morning when I walk my dog!

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Chips are potatoes. That’s a health food in my book.

      Seems very gangster to take over someone’s territory like that. Obviously, it’s just my style.

  • Veronica Douglas

    Most importantly in order to succeed in the cherry business is to not use the damnable .99 cents. Please just round to the nearest dollar. No one is falling for that BS anymore. “Oh I can’t pay $20 but $19.99? Totally doable.”

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      Lolol. Damn girl I love the way you keep it real.

  • Lorraine Lori Ling

    stupid Disqus deleted my well thought /written comment after it forced me to log in.

    so uh I love the IG tree series. both the plain and superimposed text posts.

    • Elizabeth-FlourishinProgress

      That has happened to me on occasion and it always makes me want to hit my computer. Which I have only done twice. I consider that an achievement.

      I’m happy to get a thumbs up for the tree project. Makes me feel less ridiculous.