Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Second Source of Income

Lots of pilots have second jobs. Some even have third jobs. I know a few pilots who wait tables and tend bar on off/reserve days. I fly with more than a few Captains that have another business totally unrelated to aviation. Having another source of income not only helps the pocket book...but is also a safety net.

Prior to flying I was all about computers, technology and networking. I lived and breathed computers. When my wife first met me I had at least 15 computers, all networked together (cables!) in a 520 square foot apartment. Yeah....I had "issues".

Nowadays I am much to broke to keep building the latest and greatest computers. I haven't truly built a computer since January 2007. My computer count has gone from 15 to "just" 5. Kinda sad.

One thing that hasn't gone down is my troubleshooting skills. A  few times a month someone ask for help. So far they have all been Windows based computer questions. This is a good thing as I am still learning my way around a Mac. Several times a month I am asked for a business card so they can spread the word. Trouble is, I don't have one.

This week a pilot friend of mine had computer issues. I helped him out and he is back up and running. He let me know Best Buy and the "Geek Squad" wanted $150 minimum to just look at his computer. Ouch! I had him pointed in the right direction in under 20 minutes in the crew room at the airport. He called me later that night and I spent another 15 minutes on the phone. A bit later he was back up and running.

Then I got to thinking. Why not start my own side business? Nothing huge, just a basic website (I know a thing or hundred about designing and running websites), business cards and the rest to just have something. So I did it. I spent the morning doing research on what I need. Total cost out of pocket will be about $200. This includes filing fees for the DBA, new phone line (going to use Skype and route the calls to a prepaid cell phone), business cards, letter head, forms, and domain name. I think I will have it up and running within a week.

I will post a few business cards in the crew room, place ads in the free newspapers, craigslist and such. I'm not looking to get rich. Even a modest $200 a month would be nice.

If it takes off that would be great. At worst....well at least I have a business card to hand out.

Ah I had a question posted via my comments button. The question and my answer were too specific. I tried emailing back to the email...but it was rejected. Shoot me an email at my contact email geek AT Thanks.


  1. I have had a second gig all of my adult life. As a young firefighter just starting out, I needed the bucks. When the kids came along, my wife was either a stay home mom or she was under-employed at the kid's school so she could be off when they were.

    Now that the kids are big and she is back to working full time, the bucks aren't the issue as much, I just don't know any different.

    I just hope it doesn't interfere with your blog.

    Good luck

  2. G,
    (can I call you that, heh)

    I like the computer troubleshooting business as a second job. It is the kind of thing that should work well with your flexible schedule, and you obviously have a good basis for finding work, among your colleagues. If I know anyone in the area of your base who needs computer help, I'll send 'em your way. :-)


  3. Dear G (loving that!)
    I will be sure to advertise your business to those I know who may need assistance. :o)
    Before you wrote about doing this I had been wondering if you'd be interested in the thing that I do in addition to my "9-5'er"; you'd be great at it I think.

    Either way, I will most likely keep thinking of you first when one of my computers explodes or I need advice in that realm.

    Be One With The GeekForce,

  4. Need any help with anyhting


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