I’ve heard this (okay, I’ve been that person) so many times. There is so much mythology and complexity around what it takes to go from idea to income. In the world of entrepreneurship, the lore has become, “you’ve gotta be all-in, all the time” if you want to succeed. Truth is, that’s a complete fiction. And, what if you don’t so much want to built the next mega-company, but instead would love to just do something you enjoy on the side that also happens to generate a nice bit of extra cash?

Taking the Internet by storm, dropshipping is an eCommerce model that allows online entrepreneurs to open online shops without any upfront investment. The basic idea behind this concept is that you find a profitable product idea, set up an online store and partner with a supplier who handles the inventory, packing, shipping, and returns for you. You don’t need to buy the products in advance – once you receive an order online, you pass the request to your supplier and take a cut on the margin. It’s a passive income technique that has a lot of potential and has already made many online entrepreneurs richer than they ever expected to be.


Hello and thank you for the great article. I have been reading where you can use side hustles to contribute to self-managed retirement plans (aka Self 401k). Many of these gigs seem cash based – anyone out there contributing to their own Self 401k/Sep/Easy accounts? If so, what documentation is required to support the connections between the side hustle and the contributions to the self managed retirement plan?

That’s where Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle steps in. The term “side hustle” has become all the rage these days, but for Guillebeau, it’s the way he’s lived his life and earned his income for more than a decade. As a friend and colleague, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s repeated the process many times, getting better and faster with each iteration (and often looked on in awe). And, I was excited to receive a copy to dive into and learn from.
A test prep business often helps prepare customers for tests such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, MCAT, and LSAT. The business may also help customers prepare for other tests. You may instruct clients by themselves or as part of a group. Your business may be located in a separate office, or you may visit clients; alternately, you may conduct lessons entirely online via services such as Skype.
As a freelance writer, you are largely in control of the amount of work you do and the time you put into writing. Whether you use an online writer platform or another system for getting clients, you have a say in the number of pieces that you do, and, as long as you meet any deadlines set for you, you can work on these pieces whenever you have time. Therefore, it is easy to successfully manage a freelance writing business on the side of whatever else you spend time doing.
It’s not on this list but Brand Ambassador/Promo work is another very flexible, fun, and lucrative side hustle! Basically you promote your favorite brands at awesome events (e.g. handing out Red Bull or demoing new products at high foot traffic areas). I created an entire resource website on how to succeed in this industry called “Brand Ambassador World”. It has everything from resume designs, to super helpful tips and tricks, to where to find promo gigs, to a comprehensive list of agencies, etc.

If you already have expertise in the technical and artistic sides of web development from your day job, then picking up extra clients on the side is a relatively easy way to start earning extra cash. Since everyone from large corporations to small-time freelancers need websites these days, web designer services are in hot demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 28,500 web developer positions will need to be filled by 2022.


Many people enjoy cooking outside on the grill, and love to have up-to-date, modern tools to use while doing it. You can be a one-stop shop for any accessory your customer might need- spatulas, knives, meat thermometers, grill brushes, tongs, etc. You can purchase these items from a wholesaler and sell them on your store. You will need to market your new business, so make sure to connect your Selz store to your social media, and anywhere else you have an online presence.
Successfully starting a blogging business requires a lot of passion for a particular subject and a desire to share that passion with others. The passion is often more important than what the subject itself is, as there are blogs on all kinds of topics -- and readers interested in all kinds of subjects. Creating content for a blogging business requires a significant amount of time, but the tasks can easily be arranged around a full-time job or other obligations.
In many states, completing a driver’s education program is a requirement for getting a new driver's license or a learner's permit. Every state has different driver’s education requirements. Instead of paying a fine for a traffic infraction, many states offer the alternative of attending traffic school and the courts may also mandate that a person must attend a driver’s education program. Moreover, attending a defensive driving program may also entitle a driver to have lower vehicle insurance premiums.
Let’s say that your friend has a product. They want to sell a million units on their website but there’s one little problem…They have ZERO idea how to market online. Being the digital marketing guru that you are, you offer to help drive traffic to your friend’s product on the condition that he pays you 2% of each sale that you influence. That is affiliate marketing.

If sales and marketing isn’t your forte you can use a platform like Upwork or Freelancer.com who have large active audiences already looking for your skills. The kicker there is that these platforms tend to take a significant cut of your fees. If you want to keep 100% of your dough you can handle the sales process yourself and start by reaching out to local businesses or focus on a specific niche.
Many small businesses in your community could use a very basic web presence to tell others about their business. Quite often, these businesses don’t have a large budget for such things. That’s where you come in – get a bunch of clients from the local community by beating the pavement, create sites for them, and maintain them for a small fee. Get enough businesses and you have a nice side business of your own that doesn’t require a ton of maintenance time.
Incidentally, helping others grow their wealth is also a good way to grow your own financial worth as a side business idea. If you have stock market and finance credentials, then you can earn freelance commissions or consulting fees, advising clients on how to get the best returns for their investments as a lucrative side business idea if you can get results for those clients—otherwise this business idea can be the fast-track to alienating friends and family, so be careful.
Once you know what you will be selling, you can start to create. Make sure to get good quality images and write detailed descriptions of your products. To add a fun visual touch to your website, consider photographing your creative process from beginning to end. This side business idea is great to promote on your social media accounts. You can also get friends, family, and followers to spread the word about your new business.

That’s where Chris Guillebeau’s Side Hustle steps in. The term “side hustle” has become all the rage these days, but for Guillebeau, it’s the way he’s lived his life and earned his income for more than a decade. As a friend and colleague, I’ve watched from the sidelines as he’s repeated the process many times, getting better and faster with each iteration (and often looked on in awe). And, I was excited to receive a copy to dive into and learn from.
Companies of all kinds are looking for mystery shoppers. Mystery shoppers buy in secret, documenting their experiences with the retailer. This can be done at a physical store or an online store. If you do a simple search on becoming a mystery shopper, you can likely locate several services that will assist you. Or, you can simply contact companies directly to pitch your mystery shopping services to them.

For many, beekeeping starts as a hobby. It doesn’t take them long, however, to realize what a fascinating and fulfilling career it can be. Beekeeping isn’t just about collecting honey; it’s about getting to know your bees, their behaviors, and their response to the natural environment around them. How rewarding would it be to parlay your passion into a career?
This job is ideal for someone who is good with both technology and people. It is necessary to be good with technology because you must know your way around the hardware and software necessary to print onto a variety of different surfaces. You must be good with people because your clientele is potentially very diverse—the professional who needs new business cards may be very different from the college student who wants to order an ironic t-shirt.
On top of just the skill and experience components to being a successful online coach, this side business idea is all about building a community around the help you're offering and fostering trust with members. Plus, your community members will learn from each other along the way. Creating the space for that community can be as simple as setting up a private Facebook group or choosing a community-building platform like Ning.com that has even more capabilities like using your own custom URL, having internal forums, customized designs, and more.
Incidentally, helping others grow their wealth is also a good way to grow your own financial worth as a side business idea. If you have stock market and finance credentials, then you can earn freelance commissions or consulting fees, advising clients on how to get the best returns for their investments as a lucrative side business idea if you can get results for those clients—otherwise this business idea can be the fast-track to alienating friends and family, so be careful.
A work from home job can be any position that does not require you to be in an office. There a wide range of work from home jobs. Some companies offer opportunities for employees in traditional roles to work remotely for all or some of their workweek. These jobs often use technology for meetings, assignments, and collaboration. This practice is called telecommuting. Other work from home opportunities may include jobs such as customer service representatives for which companies will hire remote workers, or part-time virtual assistants to manage work which does not require a physical presence in the office.
Know someone who rents out property to others? Perhaps they could use a hand managing their property. If so, you can make a decent amount of money on this side business idea with relatively little work on your part (most of the time). It'll take some hustling and the willingness to be flexible with your schedule, as you'll be responsible for collecting rent checks, managing repairs and improvements, and simply being on call for emergencies. But, a property manager is essential for most real estate investors that have a large enough portfolio, so there's definitely merit to this business idea.
I surprisingly get a lot of people asking to detail their car. I never intend to make a business of it, but I love doing it to my cars and people ask me to do it to theirs. All it takes is a cheap orbital buffer (mines a used craftsman) and a shop vac. I normally get easily $100 for a basic wash/wax/vac, or $200 to remove scratches and polish then wax the car.
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