Shaking the nickel bush is the act of making money with your own ingenuity, skills, and luck. The phrase comes from Ralph Moody’s excellent book of the same name. Here’s how we’ve shaken the nickel bush.
I worked at a lumberyard during college that was right next to a convenience store. Contractors would walk over for snacks to load their guts after loading up their trucks, and I realized I could cut out the middleman by slinging chocolaty goodness right there in the lumberyard.
The local discount grocery store, affectionately known as Groce Out, was only a few blocks away, so I cruised down there and bought a bunch of full-size, 25-cent, name-brand candy bars (heck of a deal). I filled a shoe box up with those Snickers, Almond Joys, Crunch bars and whatnot, put a plastic cup for money collection in there, taped a sign that read “50 cents” to it, and set that bad boy right next to the cash register.
Those first couple of days, I turned my initial $5 into $10. From there on out, whenever I wanted to a little extra cash, I’d buy another batch of bars and flip them.
It was pretty sweet.