There are two general ways to make a living.
First, there is the application of effort to transform low-value materials into high-value materials. For example, by cultivating and building soil, planting and harvesting produce, we take low-value materials (compacted dirt and seeds) and turn them into food. By saving a few seeds and repeating the process each season, the value-addition become value-multiplication!
The alternative way to make a living is to wait for someone else to add value, commandeer that value, and consume it yourself – that is, to be a parasite.
I perceive no redeeming value in pirates, central bankers, politicians, bureaucrats, lobbyists, usurers, tax collectors, money-changers, or any other form of social parasite. That is why I want to consume and trade my own added value rather than living off value stolen or extorted from others. If you too fail to appreciate the Existential Joys of Being a Parasite, here is a partial list of general value-adding activities that you might pursue as you contemplate a foray into cottage industrialism. Each of these general categories is good for value-addition and encompasses a wide range of particular possibilities. Get back to your roots! Sink your teeth into one or more of these and pursue it. Sell or trade the value you’ve added on eBay, Craig’s List, or – best of all – around your home town.
Retailing (retailing – if done honorably – is not parasitic)
Transportation (of materials/goods/people)