Hey everyone! I’ve decided to do a video reveal of all my 8 current sources of income as a Malaysian blogger, and additional income ideas I might consider to do in the future. Combined, I’m not rolling in cash or whatever, but enough la to get by. Most importantly I’m enjoying the process.
How many sources of incomes do you have? Are you planning to explore additional sources of incomes? If yes, which ones? Tell me in the comments section!
When I typed in ‘make money in Malaysia’, Google presented me with 570 million results.
570 million! In contrast, ‘invest money in Malaysia’ showed ‘only’ 37 million results!
So it’s obvious that many of you are interested in this topic. Many articles will give you good suggestions on how to make money – some gave part-time ideas, some gave side income ideas (what you can try), some gave ways to make money online, etcetera.
But none of them tells you what one person has tried in their personal capacity.
Here’s my attempt to do just that. Here’s everything I’ve ever done to make money in Malaysia (and beyond), from my childhood to now adulthood.
In January 2017, I posted My Total Income and Expenses in 2016 article and was blown away by supportive comments – you guys actually liked reading an analysis of my personal income and expenses for the whole year.
So here’s how 2017 turned out for me, based on my financial data. Incomes are recorded via a Google spreadsheet while expenses are recorded via my expense-tracking app Money Lover.
1.5 years ago, I switched from paid employment to self-employment. It’s been great. I have earned up to 4.8x my previous monthly salary.
My exercise journey also started more or less the same time. From the peak of my weight, I’ve lost about 28kg so far. I know BMI (Body Mass Index) isn’t the best indicator, but I’m finally in the ‘healthy’ range. As someone who has always been ‘the fat one’ since primary school, this is a pretty big achievement. I’m crazy proud of myself.
It can’t be a coincidence. I think exercising and healthier living choices did impact my career and income, for the better. This post is a jumble of self-reflection on this correlation.
I truly believe that personal finance is beyond just simple, boring money. They show insight of who you are, as a person. They show what you decided were important enough to spend money on, and serves almost like a diary.
Well, this is my 2016 diary. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to show them, so be nice ya 🙂
I get it. The economy sucks, ringgit price sucks, yada yada.
There’s nothing you can do about the sucky bits, so why complain? Complaining is boring. In the spirit of self-determination, in the spirit of ‘you are the master of your own destiny’, I want to invite you to the beautiful world of supply and demand. If done right, this can make you a lot of money.
How does it work? How will it make you money? It’s exactly four steps.
Identify an area where there is a lot of demand
Make sure there are no/very few competitors
Sell the product/service
Profit $$$ like this dude
Example of a business based on supply and demand
When I was in Standard 2, I sold mini chewing gums to my classmates. The demand was novelty sweets. The supply was foreign sweets I received as presents from someone, and not available in Malaysia.
With a little marketing and ‘free samples’, you bet I filled up my baju kurung pocket with coins real fast. I sold out in one day. My pocket money at the time was 50 cent per day, and I made around RM5 – a lot of money at that time/age!
This is an innocent example, but the principle applies. Many people who want to earn side income in Malaysia would first decide on a product/service to offer, then join an over-saturated, competitive marketplace. How to price your product/services higher if like that?
In this article, I’ve brainstormed and compiled some business ideas that *I think* might do well in Malaysia. To my knowledge, these businesses are not competitive yet, so if you have the skillsets for it, go ahead and do it. I really hope it can generate you good income.
What’s my share? Drop me a little prayer, regardless of your religion – mom’s a teacher, and she said that knowledge passed on is good for the afterlife. I need me some pahala points haha.
Side Income Ideas to Try Out in Malaysia
P/s – I call them side income here, but they can also be part-time jobs or full business ideas.
AirBnB property managers. A lot of Malaysians rent out their properties on AirBnB. Why not start a business to offer services to them? You can offer an all-in-one package for a fee: manage bookings, welcome guests, help out guests if there are problems, clean the property for the next guests, etc.
Internet tutor for adults. Help adults (and by adults here I really mean technologically-challenged people) make email accounts, create social media accounts, open blogs/Tumblr/websites, suggest best websites to visit, etc. I think many elderly people would really enjoy getting this lesson from patient youngsters.
Copywriting for Instagram shops. There is a LOT of Instagram shops (just check the #sayajual hashtag). I bet someone can make a living from offering copywriting services to these shops, so they can improve their business.
Collect and sell recyclables. This might work well for apartments/flats/condominiums because you can get a lot in one shot. Get permission to install recycling bins, then promote recycling via flyers etc. Collect and sell them. Aside from the usual recyclables, you can also collect other ‘junk’ – IT junk, home knick-knacks – and recycle/sell those online.
Be agent/reseller for products/services that can save money. A lot of people are buying smarter in 2017, so the demand for these products/services should be higher. One great example – we need more (good quality) menstrual cup sellers in Malaysia!
Malay translators/proofreaders. Please someone contact the movie industry and offer this service because our Malay subtitles for foreign movies suck.
Spas/massages specifically for Grab drivers. Many people drive Grab for the extra income. Give ’em some love – design spa/massage packages to soothe tired shoulders and over-strained eyes.
Earn commission from helping people sell their shit. Help people to sell their stuff on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Offer pickups, photography, copywriting, listing, answer inquiries, arranging with buyers, and send deliveries. Heck, I want this service.
Be a mover. Best results for those of you with trucks. Contact individual furniture sellers on Mudah, Lelong, Carousell and other selling platforms. Many of them, especially those selling bulky furniture will say ‘self-collect only’, which will usually reduce their buyer pool and takes time to sell. If they put ‘delivery can be arranged for a fee’ or ‘inclusive of delivery’, they can charge higher for the item and/or sell them faster. That’s where you come in.
A website that people can put baju kurung/baju melayu measurements and you sew and deliver to them. They can send the fabric, or you can have some pre-selected fabric options. Related: offer on-demand alteration services at home/office. Related: Service that can create the exact same copy of a well-loved but old piece of clothing.
HALAL CHINESE FOOD. Do you have any IDEA how big the demand for halal Chinese food is in Malaysia??
Chef/Baker specialising in Pinterest/Buzzfeed/YouTube recipes. Send them the link, ask them to make it. I mean, I’ve scrolled my Facebook a few times and saw the recipes and went, ‘yum’ but have no interest in making them myself. Related: Sell frozen cookie dough that people can buy so they can make freshly baked cookies in their homes.
[Your kampung/suburb].com. Put in articles like ‘best place to eat in SS18’, ‘Plumbers in Sentul’, etc. Sell advertisement space on the website to the shops, offer coupons, upload local activities.
Offer tours in your neighbourhood. Food tours. Graffiti tours. Temple tours. Local tourism is booming and it’s fun to explore Malaysian neighbourhoods! If we have more of these, even malls would be boring 🙂
Offer KonMari services. Help people to declutter their shit. Great for natural organisers among you (you know who you are!). Even better if you can take and sell their decluttered stuff!
Bonus: Sell Money Stories book series with no upfront capital. More info here
While I had fun brainstorming, I have to admit that these ideas are mostly in my line of work (writing) and my personal interests (e-commerce, personal finance, organisation porn).
Therefore, the 15 ideas above are mere teasers, just to give you an idea of things that *may* have demand for them. I might be wrong, so take the ideas with a pinch of salt, or test them first. Also, self-employment is no picnic – here’s what I learned about self-employment, after doing it for about a year.
If you are not afraid of analysis paralysis, here are 1000 random business ideas to choose from. Don’t take too long to decide, though, because inaction won’t earn you anything. Most importantly, inaction also won’t make you learn anything.
To check some other side income ideas by Malaysians, check my RTs on Twitter (@surayaror). Do you have any other ideas for businesses, part-time jobs or side income ideas that have high demand nowadays? Please share in the comment section 🙂
Passive income in Malaysia comes in many shapes and forms. This guide will help you to navigate most, if not all available options and help you decide which one to go with. I’ll also share the passive incomes that I personally have.