Before we jump in, you need to understand how I classify a side hustle.
My definition of a “side hustle” is an activity that 1) takes up no more than 20% of your time AND 2) generates revenue.
Notice I said revenue, not PROFIT!
The reason I say revenue is because I usually start a side hustle from something I am learning or like to do for fun.
My first goal is to break even aka have my side hustle pay for itself ASAP. My next step is to start generating what I call “play money”.
Play money is money that is not required for your monthly budget aka you can afford to lose.
For some people this goes to beer. I personally like to invest this money into travel or into paid advertising for my side hustles. I am learning as I go with my side hustles so the revenue may increase or decrease depending on what I am testing at the time.
After generating enough revenue to break even, the next goal of any side hustle should be to eventually grow it into a business.
I define a business as an activity that 1) takes up MORE then 20% of your time and 2) makes a PROFIT!
A business is a side hustle that has grown past the testing phase and is generating profit regularly every month. I then include that profit in my monthly budget and plan accordingly.
However, when profit from a business is included in your budget you obviously can be less risky than before. Therefor I usually wait as long as I can before I convert my play money revenue to profit in my budget so I can continue to play around and test methods.
I religiously dedicate 20% of my time to my side hustles and the other 80% to my businesses. I will literally force myself to follow this breakdown because I believe you should always have a side hustle (or multiple) going at all times.
The reason I believe this is I am extremely impatient. I want results and I want them yesterday.
Therefore, having a small, agile money making opportunity (aka side hustle) to fall back on when I’m stuck or waiting on something to develop in my business(s) helps keep me fresh and passionate. It also helps me avoid burnout (which is a HUGE problem among entrepreneurs and never gets talked about).
To recap, I want to be clear that today I WILL NOT be teaching you how to create a business. I will only be teaching you how to create a side hustle and giving you some strategies and tactics to grow your side hustle to eventually become a business (which should always be your goal with every side hustle).
Many of you reading this I’m sure will eventually build your side hustle(s) into massive businesses which is awesome! I just want you to understand where my brain is at when I start breaking this process down below.
Also it should be noted that you can create a revenue generating side hustle out of almost ANYTHING you do.
I can’t possibly teach you exactly how to create your ideal side hustle that is a good fit for how your brain thinks and matches your personality. In fact, you will most likely need to go through a few side hustles until you find one that fulfils you and makes you jump out of bed in the morning.
Therefor, a lot of this article will be my personal ideas and concepts as well as tools and websites to help you get started in your journey. You will need to take this information and test, test, test!
With all of that out of the way, let’s jump into it!
Part 1: How to Pick a Side Hustle
Below I am going to list out ideas for side hustles.
Before I do that, I want to say that my FAVORITE side hustle is *drum roll please*…..CONSULTING!
Before I explain why, know that the term consulting is one of the most abused words in the English language right now in my opinion.
Because consulting is extremely simple and fun. Learn something, and then teach others to help them learn it faster. Seriously, that’s it!
Gary Vaynerchuk has an amazing line “document, don’t create” and I think it sums up the principle of consulting perfectly. Document what you learn and then teach it to someone faster than you learned it.
In one of my primary businesses, people hire me because I advertise myself as a “new revenue consultant” aka I promise to make them new revenue.
How do I do make them new revenue? By using tips and tricks I learned through testing, books, etc.
I didn’t go to school for marketing and advertising. I simply put in the time and learned as much as I could, then went out and taught it to others. Anyone reading this article can do what I currently do if they dedicate the time to mastering it.
My value proposition to my clients is simply that if you hire me your results will be greater then and happen faster then if you did it yourself.
That’s my entire pitch! Learn it yourself or hire me to 10X your business for you (and pay me from the profits).
When I was starting out my side hustles consisted of anything I was interested in at the time (example of one of my more hilarious titles was “Gaming PC Consultant” and yes, I did get paid to consult on builds).
In my opinion many current job titles really should have “consultant” in them.
For example, my dad loves shopping for cars and so became a car broker in his spare time. People hire him because he knows how to save them several hundred to several thousand dollars on their car purchase. They pay him a percentage of the savings. Although legally he has to call himself a car broker, he is really just a “Car Buying Consultant”.
There is pretty much a consultant title for everything. Dental Practice Consultant, Travel Consultant, Property Management Consultant, Raw Food Consultant, the list goes on and on and on.
So forget everything you know about “consulting” and realize that if you can help someone do something faster and more effectively, you can “consult” in that niche.
But enough ranting, onto my list….
I just want to get this one out of the way now because it in my opinion has the lowest barrier to entry. If you want fast revenue without a boss and have a vehicle, use it!
There are so many services that pay you for your car in various ways.
You can take this to the next level and go private by starting your own delivery service. I discovered early in my youth that large companies (primarily in the vehicle repair industry) will sometimes need to get packages to destinations in a HUGE hurry. I once was paid $1500 to drive a medium sized box from Sacramento CA to Elko NV. That’s about 400 miles and 6 hours each way. It cost me $60ish in gas and 12 hours of my life. That’s roughly $116 per hour. To get started, simply setup a website and start advertising to local companies that have high end items. Be advised, doing interstate deliveries can cause you to run into some “interesting” companies so vet carefully.
You can also make good money by working as a driver for elderly individuals. After a person gets too old to drive, they need help getting around. If you find the right ones, tips can be good and the work is fairly easy. Sadly enough, a lot of elderly people are lonely and will sometimes just pay for the company of another person to hang out with them (aka why they hire a driver). The flip side to that coin is some of them can be very bitter, so vet carefully. You can get started by dropping off flyers to rest homes and 55+ communities.
HACK ALERT: You can blow up your revenue by multitasking while driving. An Audible subscription from Amazon costs $14.99 a month and has unlimited audio content from some of the greatest entrepreneurs on the planet. If you are not listening to audio while driving, get on the phone and cold call for your side hustles.
Finally, you can rent out your car. Turo and Getaround will list your vehicle for people in your area to rent. These companies provide the liability insurance and take care of the paperwork. I know people who are buying cheap trucks off of Craigslist just to rent them out on Turo. They are making several hundred to several thousand dollars every month with no extra work on their part (except for cleaning it a few times a month).
A little known fact is that getting certified (which you do through whatever state you live in) usually costs around $100. There is ALWAYS a demand for Notaries, and if you study up on basic SEO you can easily get recurring revenue coming in from the search engines. Several hundred to several thousand dollars a month is possible for spare time work.
Become a Landlord
AirBnB is a beautiful thing. I know people making more money renting out their houses daily using AirBnB then by renting them monthly or annually. If you have a spare bedroom, sofa or even a backyard with a tent, you can make anywhere from $15 per day to up to several hundred. If you want to hack this, buy a older RV (which are extremely cheap on Craigslist) and rent that out through AirBnb.
Buy Low / Sell High
I want to include it because I have friends who are making several thousand a month in their spare time doing this.
The basic concept is to scour Yard Sales, Craigslist, eBay, Local Stores, etc for items selling for below market value, purchase said items and then relist them for higher prices.
This can be done with small items all the way up to cars and even houses.
This can also be done simply by facilitating the sale of goods or services. Find someone who needs or wants something, find someone who is selling what they need or want, connect them and take a portion of the sale. This goes more into lead generation which is technically what I do for companies around the US (such as chiropractors, dentists etc) but this same concept can be applied to for example anyone posting in the Wanted section of Craigslist.
Creating a portfolio of things to rent out is a great way to earn cash. I know a guy who makes $60k a year buying and renting out bounce houses! Another one buys old funky furniture and rents it out for weddings. Think outside the box!
Another great way to make side income while learning/practicing a skill set is to sell your time/knowledge/ability. You can write content, create graphics, or simply act as a virtual assistant for people and companies. Proofreading, Resume editing, translation, tutoring, etc. The ideas are endless.
HACK ALERT: You can also sell yourself in person. Craigslist has a “Gig” section where occasionally easy work like cleaning up yards, removing trash, etc will pop up. If you think outside the box you can quickly identify things that people need on a recurring basis and create a side hustle targeting those type of tasks. Another great site for in person work is TaskRabbit.
Since many reading this are “techy”, doing IT related work in your spare time can be easy money. Most companies are in dire need of someone to help them purchase, setup and manage basic computers. For you gamers out there, getting a monthly IT contract can easily pay for your “habit” and then some. Most of these companies will only need your help for a hour or so every month.
Another favorite of mine (because it was my first business) is pet sitting/dog walking. It’s extremely easy to get into and is infinitely scalable.
One thing that never goes out of style is trash. It’s something everyone creates but no one wants to deal with. I know multiple people who get paid good money to clear trash from properties, remove junk, and even pickup trash from parking lots/business areas! If you are willing to do what others will not you will always make good money. This concept is also extremely scalable as there is always a labor force that is available cheap.
I put this in a different category then trash for obvious reasons BUT its a similar concept. Cleaning house, cars, land, backyards (of dog poop, leaves, etc) is always good money and infinitely scalable. If something gets dirty, you can create a service around cleaning it.
Now that we covered some ideas behind creating a side hustle, lets move into how to setup your side hustle.
Part 2: How to Setup Your Side Hustle for Success
Now that you have your side hustle picked out, let’s figure out how to get it generating revenue.
The first step is you need a dedicated number, email and website for your business. All of this can be accomplished for less then $25 per month.
NOTE: as mentioned, this is a side hustle training. If you cannot afford $25 per month for your side hustle, GO GET A JOB!!! I guarantee I hate the idea of a job more than anyone reading this article but you need a base income. The old adage “you need money to make money” is true, so go get a job at McDonalds or Starbucks and come back when you have $25 extra a month to spend on your side hustle.
First you need a business only number. The easiest way to do this is using a app called Burner. I believe it costs roughly $3.50 per month for unlimited calling, texting and images per number. Download the app, buy a number and record a professional voicemail.
Next, you need to buy a domain. Anyone who does anything for money and doesn’t have a website is operating in the stone age. My favorite places to buy a domain are GoDaddy and Namecheap. It’ll cost you about $10 per year.
Next you need hosting. My favorite hosting company is A2hosting and will cost you about $13 per month for unlimited domains.
Next you need to setup email management. The king of email is Google and I highly advise using their paid service GSuite. It costs $5 per month for unlimited emails, 30gb of Google Drive Storage and many, many other cools features.
After you get all of these accounts set up, the next step is to start producing content! This is where 99% quit. If you want to succeed, this is where you need to buckle down and lock in.
You should be producing two to three blog posts per week! You do NOT need to write these yourself. The easiest way to do this is CURATE content.
You curate content by picking a topic, searching for good valuable content already written and then highlighting sections of each content in your article and providing some quick commentary. Obviously you cannot and SHOULD not copy the content verbatim. Simply grab interesting sections from 3 to 5 articles, write a quick one paragraph recap, link to all the articles accordingly and post to your blog.
Remember Gary V’s quote? Document, don’t create. That’s the key here. You need to concentrate on saving people time in learning a concept. Collect the best information out there into one place and people will love you for it.
Once you get in the habit of posting regularly, it will become much easier to create content.
Last, make sure you know your hashtags! Hashtags are how people find content and if you tag your content correctly, you will get free views. A great site for this is hashtagify.me.
The goal of blogging and social media should be to show that 1) your company is active and 2) provides valuable content to your prospective audience while also showcasing your expertise.
Keep it simple and to the point. Most importantly, provide value first and sell second. Many successfully companies post pure value to their blogs/social medias and it drives sales naturally.
Don’t use social and blogs as hype machines!
Part 3: How to Advertise Your Side Hustle
Advertising your side hustle is the easiest part of this entire process. You can 10X the process by using paid ads or get by on an extremely slim to non-existent marketing budget by hustling your ass off.
If your hustle is more localized to your area aka you need to be physically present with clients, then hit the sidewalks and phones. Both of these marketing methods terrify most people and because of that are more effective today than ever.
If you can work virtually for your hustle, I have listed out sites below you can advertise on. Most of these sites are free or only charge a percentage of your revenue (so they make money when you make money).
List of Top Side Hustle Sites:
Finally you can “steal” work from job recruiting websites. This requires a bit of spin because technically these businesses are looking for full time employees. The key is to provide your value upfront. You simply approach them and offer them your services as a contractor without the employee overhead. The smart ones will be open to testing you out. The other ones you simply thank for their time and move on.
The best sites to use are:
Finally if you want to reinvest your revenue, go for social media ads. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are great for bringing in new prospects. You can also advertise in local newspapers, drop off flyers, TV, radio etc. The sky’s the limit here.
Part 4: How to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Business
Yes, I know I already told you I wasn’t going to teach you this….and while true, I couldn’t resist giving you some quick pointers to end the article.
Tip 1) Always have “scaling” or “selling” in mind aka an exit plan.
Any successful side hustle will always eventually reach a ceiling. To break through, you will either need to scale by bringing on partners, hiring employees and/or outsourcers, or selling the leads to other similar businesses.
If it’s impossible to scale your side hustle either because of time commitments or hours in the day, the next best option is simply to sell it.
My favorite website is BizBuySell where you can literally list and sell ANY business.
When deciding on a new side hustle, before I ever “break ground” I always have a plan in place for how I’m going to scale or sell.
Tip 2) Set aside ego and emotion
Although a side hustle should be fun and interesting, NEVER let ego and emotion get in the way. A side hustle should grow your bank account, your mind and your soul. Ego and emotion can cause you to get involved in something that drains all three.
So before jumping into a side hustle, ask yourself if you are making this decision based on ego/emotion or logic?
Tip 3) Treat your side hustle like a business
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make (myself included) is pick a side hustle and then treat it like a hobby. You get back what you put out and this is true with side hustles. Yes, you are only spending 20% of your time on your side hustle but SPEND that 20% of your time like the world is about to end!
Don’t treat a side hustle like a hobby. Go 110% on your side hustle and you will be rewarded.
THE END / Recap
I hope you enjoyed this training!
I am extremely passionate about side hustles because all of my businesses (that I personally started) were once side hustles!
With that said, don’t expect perfection.
I don’t have a perfect record on side hustles and you won’t either.
The point of a side hustle is it gives you the ability to test, to experiment and most importantly, to fail.
You will learn more through failing then you ever will through success so don’t think that every side hustle has to be perfect from the start.
Pick something that interests you and can generate revenue, put together a plan and execute that plan until the curtain drops. When that happens, smile and start your next side hustle.
However, DO NOT FORGET THE LESSONS!!
My failed side hustles are 100% responsible for my successes and the individual I am today.
In fact, this website is a side hustle that went through multiple versions before becoming SUPERhuMIN.com.
So take what you have learned, go forth and change the world!
I can’t wait to see you succeed beyond your wildest dreams,