Building a Business

How to Make Money On The Side

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how to make money on the side

Want to earn some extra cash?  Have some credit card or student loan debt you would like to pay off? Maybe you want to finally take your dream vacation or have some extra money to crank up your investing. We’ll teach you how to make money on the side to put toward whatever your goals are.

How to Make Money With a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is a way to make some extra money that is outside of your normal day job. For many people, the hustle will be something that they’re passionate about, a hobby. The idea is to find a way to monetize that hobby.

Your hustle doesn’t have to be a hobby, nor does it have to be something done online although a lot of the information you find on the web will be about online hustles.

If you’re into real estate, then getting to rental property investments could be great side hustle and a great way to to make some passive income.

If you baby sits on the weekends, that’s a side hustle too.

Choosing A Hustle

Choose your hustle carefully. It’s ideal if can monetize something you enjoy, cooking for instance. Is your cooking good enough that other people would be willing to pay for it? Can you find enough clients to make it worth your time?

Just because you enjoy something doesn’t mean it’s something people will pay you for or that there is a big enough market for that thing.

Maybe you don’t exactly feel passionate about babysitting the way you do about cooking but you live in a neighborhood with lots of families and they would pay you to mind their children. The hustle really shouldn’t be something you hate doing though.

Great, people will pay you to mow their lawns and you found enough clients to make some good money. But if you hate mowing lawns, it’s hard to stay motivated.

Money isn’t enough motivation for everyone. Try to find that sweet spot where you’re being paid and maybe not loving what you’re doing, but not loathing it either.

Try to think of a niche within your chosen hustle. You love taking photos and who needs photos? People getting married! There are lots of wedding photographers though and many of them are full-time professionals which you are not. Not yet at least.

You know who else needs photos? Competitive Bodybuilders. And there are a lot fewer photographers specializing in this so there will be less competition for clients. I know this is a weird example but I have a friend who did this, so it’s a real-life one!

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When Do You Hustle?

Even though we all have the same 24 hours in a day, some people have more time than others. If you have a lot of responsibility, you will need to deliberately carve out time to work on your hustle.

Getting up an hour earlier than normal is a good time to work because you are less likely to have interruptions. If you don’t have a family, you might have a fair amount of free times on weekends to work.

You might also need to re-prioritize your time. If you’re spending an hour or two watching television, that is a poor use of time. Take that time and set it aside to work on your project.

Hustle never slumps.

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How To Monetize

Spread the word. Let’s go back to the babysitting example. You can always tell who has kids because people with kids never shut up about them!

And people who have kids are friends with other kid having people. It just takes one happy client to get word of mouth recommendations rolling.

Find online forums and parent meet up groups in your area. Post your services in the forums, post signs where the meetups are happening.

Attend any gatherings related to your hustle, meetups, conferences. The connections you make might not pay off immediately but the more people you meet, the more potential clients you meet.

If your hustle is online, the same rule applies, get the word out. Start a blog, even if the blog isn’t part of the hustle. Guest blogging can help too. Find other blogs relative to your business and propose content to them that will link back to your own site. Comment on other blogs within your industry too.

It seems so old school now but advertising on Craigslist is good, usually free, way to find clients or at least get your name out there.

How to Become a Freelance Writer and Quit Your Full-Time Job

How to Become a Freelance Writer and Quit Your Full-Time Job

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

Not yet at least. It’s thrilling when you start to make money and it’s tempting to think, “This is just the beginning!”

And you’re right, it is just the beginning.

Nearly all of those seemingly overnight success stories actually have years of toil behind them. Just because today is the first day you heard of something doesn’t mean that it hasn’t existed in almost total anonymity for a while.

We did an episode about setting up finances in order to give yourself the longest possible runway when leaving a regular job to work on your side hustle full time.

Money isn’t the only thing to consider either. Will your spouse be on board or freak at the idea of losing a steady paycheck? Where will your health insurance come from if it was your employer covering your family?

If this all blows up in your face, can you get back into your industry or will the time gap hurt your prospects? Even if you hated your job and everyone you worked with, don’t make a dramatic exit and burn any bridges.

The people at that job could be a source of business if your hustle is even tangentially related to your current job. They may want to hire you as a consultant, at least until the hire and train someone to replace you.

They might also be able to refer clients to you as long as your skills aren’t in direct competition with what that company does.

I’m a believer in making a leap and building your wings on the way down.

However, you have to have accumulated and organized the building materials before you jump. Especially if you have a family who depends on your income. There is nothing wrong with taking a risk as long as it’s a calculated one.

It Can Stay On The Side

Not every side hustle has to turn into a full-time career and maybe you don’t even want it to. Some people enjoy their 9-5 job and the security and benefits that it provides. But we could all use a little extra money.

Side Hustle Resources

Nick shared some of his favorite resources for learning the side hustle game, some of which we have used while building LMM, including Tropical MBA, The Go-Giver, and Smart Passive Income.

Get Hustling

Good luck out there. Almost all of us have the time, talent, and ability to make at least a few bucks. Get busy looking for a good hustle.

Show Notes

Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA:  A nice, hoppy IPA.

Side Hustle Nation:  Nick’s site that will teach you to hustle.

LMM Community: Join the money revolution!

Candice Elliott - Senior Editor
Candice Elliott is a substantial contributor to Listen Money Matters. She has been a personal finance writer since 2013 and has written extensively on student loan debt, investing, and credit. She has successfully navigated these areas in her own life and knows how to help others do the same. Candice has answered thousands of questions from the LMM community and spent countless hours doing research for hundreds of personal finance articles. She happily calls New Orleans, Louisiana home-the most fun city in the world.
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