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By Rufus Carter

Addiction is a dark, destructive force. It can seem impossible to escape, and it often ends in tragedy. If you’ve decided to give up the substance or behavior that has been controlling your life, you’ve taken the first and most important step to recovering. Not only that, but you’ve displayed some of the telltale signs that you have what it takes to run a business — adaptability, problem-solving, tenacity, and drive. Now, it’s time to put the pieces of your life back together, and one major component of doing that is forging a career path. But in order to do that, you’ll need to find ways of making money to support yourself during the process. Here are some tips to get you started.

Become a pet sitter

If you love animals, pet sitting may be for you. You can spend time taking care of people’s pets and get paid for doing it. Such a part-time deal will also allow you plenty of time to build your career. Pet sitting requires patience, and you can expect it to take time for your bond to form with each pet. It also requires you to show up and do your job well. Owners are crazy about their pets, and they must know they can rely on you to take good care of them.

Sell on Etsy

Another thing you could do is set up an Etsy shop to sell products. Just like with other marketplaces, you can either lose money or make it, depending on your approach. First of all, you want to make sure you have an idea that you care about, whether it’s a handmade good, vintage item, or craft supply. Then, make sure it can bring you a profit. Figure out the cost of making each item (i.e. materials, labor, etc.) and observe the selling prices of similar items on Etsy and other places like Amazon and local boutiques. Factor in taxes, Etsy’s fees, and shipping/packaging costs to calculate how much you can make and how to price your items.

Once you’ve got a game plan for creating and selling your items, you’ll need to set up your actual shop. Etsy makes this really easy. When starting out, you’ll probably want to create a Facebook and/or Instagram account, through which you’ll need to post and interact with followers regularly to build your business. Also, consider starting a blog that’s relevant to your product.

Teach music lessons

If you’re a musician, teaching musical instrument lessons may be the perfect gig for you. Not only is it satisfying, but you can have a flexible schedule and set your own hourly rate. Possibly the best part is that you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. Start by talking to other music instructors who either have too much business or don’t offer online lessons, and ask them for referrals of customers on their waiting lists. Also, get the word out by creating a strong online presence and posting bulletins at local business establishments.

Maintain your sobriety

More important than any other step of building your career is making sure you stay sober. Find a healthy daily regimen that works for you and stick to it. A big part of recovery is putting yourself in a position to succeed. Make sure you’re getting the nutrition, exercise, and sleep you need to be physically and mentally healthy. Make sure you surround yourself with support and make any necessary changes to your environment so that it fosters sobriety and personal growth.

You’ve taken the most critical step in recovery by choosing to get better, but your journey is just beginning. Fortunately, there are many ways to make a living as you build your career. Pet sitting, selling on Etsy, and teaching music lessons are just a few of them. The most important thing to remember is that you will need to maintain your sobriety throughout the process if you really want to achieve your goals.