Someone once said it takes money to make money. They lied.

By the time I was 12 I’d mastered the art of making money appear from thin air.

I started by selling my lunch. Item by item. The sandwich my mum made me, a pack of crisps, and a bottle of juice. Everything I had.

I discovered I’d be less hungry if I kept my body moving at lunchtime, so I played football.

I used the money I made to buy sweets. I sold those too. Now I could eat, and still make money.

I had no other resources, but in school, they give you a pen and paper.

That’s all I needed.

I’d write rap lyrics on pages torn from my school books, and sell them to aspiring rappers in my neighbourhood. A ‘bar’ is 4 lines - that’d cost 50p. A ‘sweet 16’ would set you back £2.

Then I learned to draw. At the back of the class, I’d draw funny caricatures and cartoons of teachers and students.

If you liked my drawing of you, you could buy it from me.

If you hated it, you could pay me to make sure no one ever saw it again.

I’d take bets on whether I could pull off crazy stunts, like running across the school rooftops while others raced me on the ground.

All that cost me was detention.

The truth is you can make money anywhere.

You don’t need to do parkour on rooftops or sell loose slices of bread. You just need to build a habit of oblique thinking and identify itches you can scratch.

Find problems you’re well placed to solve. The more painful the better.

If you can identify something that causes someone pain, frustration or boredom, they’ll pay you to alleviate it.

Share this post