Invest in the Stock Market or Invest in Yourself  |

When the pandemic hit, millions of people lost their jobs. Households faced economic hardships like struggling to make rent, buy food, pay bills (many still are). I think it’s safe to say that we all realized how fragile our main source of income is and how we need more than one way to bring money home to sustain our lives. 

What’s a common way to make more money? Investing in the stock market. Man, if you bought Tesla stock in March when it was at $637, you’re one smart cookie. Now, it’s at $2,000. If you dropped $1,200 on it in March, you would be at $3,767 now!

chart of s&p 500

Chart of the S&P 500 from July 2019-July 2020. Chart provided by

But that was pure luck. Who would have known that Tesla would bounce back so well? Many thought investing in Netflix during the pandemic was a good idea since subscriptions surged, but it doesn’t even reach top 10 for best stocks. Investing in stocks is a gamble. You may get lucky and win big, or you may have to take your losses and go home.

Yeah, it’s nice that all you have to do is put your money in the stock market and let it do the work for you, but it’s a waiting game. You may get lucky and earn a ton of cash in a few months, or you have to wait many years to see a good profit. You have no control over the process. 

Investing in the stock market isn’t the only way to bring home more money. Another way is to start a side hustle. Since you’re here, I believe it’s safe to assume that you’re thinking about diving into screen printing. If you’re a problem solver, a go-getter, a hard worker who’s creative, motivated, and driven, then screen printing is definitely for you. 

Having a side gig has a ton of perks. First, you’re in control. No more waiting around to see more money come into your bank account. The more effort you put into your biz, the more likely you’ll see a revenue uptick. You get to create. You have the chance to bring your unique ideas to life. With a side business, you set goals and work to achieve them. Studies have shown that making progress on our goals make us feel happier and more satisfied with life and these happy feelings motivate us to keep working towards that goal, according to Psychology Today. It’s a win-win — you earn more money to support yourself while also improving your well-being. 

Starting a side business isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Entrepreneurs face challenges like financial risks, competition, establishing a reputation, and more. It’s scary to take this leap of faith. But again, you do have some control. Do research before putting down money. Find out if there’s any holes in the market for the niche of clothing brand you want to create or if your community is missing a high-quality screen printing company. Start reaching out to people within the community of the niche or the town you live in and learn if there’s a need for your service. Knowing more may help reduce any possible competition while connecting with others and building a rep for your business. 


a press, a flash dryer, and exposure unit


Alright, alright, making a screen printing side gig sounds like it could be fun. What’s the financial reality of starting up a screen printing business? Let’s take a look.

You’re going to need equipment and supplies — press, exposure unit, flash dryer, inks, squeegees, cleaning chemicals, screens, emulsions, films, etc. The Semi-Pro Kit has all that gear at about $1,500. 

Not bad for starting up a new business, but you're here to earn money, not spend it. When do you start making an income?


person printing on press


The quicker you earn money to pay off all your equipment and supplies, the sooner you start earning a profit. Let’s look at different scenarios that’ll help you achieve your ROI.

Scenario One: 20 shirts with one-color prints

Say a local church asks for 20 shirts for their next event. They ask for black plastisol ink on a white shirt. If you’re using a flash dryer to cure these shirts, you’ll be able to complete this order in less than an hour. Charge $10 dollars a shirt, and you made $200 bucks!

That’s a decent chunk change, especially since you’re on press for less than an hour. Get 7.5 more orders like that and you have your kit completely paid off in no time. 

Scenario Two: 50 shirts, two-color

A local plumbing company asks for some business shirts. They want a two-color design on a premium shirt. Premium shirts cost more, which means you can charge them more. Two colors require more ink and time, so you charge them more. With these variables, you’ll be printing about 7-15 shirts an hour, so it’ll take about three hours to print. Charge $20 dollars each shirt, and you earned $1,000. You almost paid back your kit in one print job! How neat is that?

The cool thing about screen printing is that the more people you print for, the more the word will spread around about your business, which may increase the amount of new customers you get. Depending on how quickly you get your business going and the type of orders that come in, you may have the kit paid off within a month or two. Then it’s all profit. Cha-ching! 


black shirt on a press


So, you could throw your cash into the stock market, cross your fingers that your stocks do well, and twiddle your thumbs as you wait months and months for the possibility of earning a profit. 

Or, you can invest in yourself, your dreams, your life. Dive deep into your creative passions, create something to share with the world, and make your own income quickly. 

The choice is up to you. So what’s it going to be, the stock market or yourself?

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