There's a misconception that keeps those with dreams of owning their own business from following their dreams. It's a misconception that's not only false but dangerous to the small business community. It's not true that every entrepreneur sits in a rundown apartment somewhere in Silicon Valley, eats boxes of cheap mac-and-cheese and stays up all night building the next big startup. Most entrepreneurs aren't living in poverty hoping to someday sign the papers for millions of dollars in funding only to see their dreams become the next worldwide craze.
Did it work for me? Yep. I'm already earning some extra money on the side. As soon as I got the book I grabbed a blank notebook and carried it with me wherever the Side Hustle book went so I could craft my own side hustle plan (I even took it to the beach a couple times for some educational reading). I've written pages and pages of notes and generated lots of ideas for future projects. Since starting the 27-day plan (it's taken me more than 27 days because... life) I've started earning affiliate income from my existing personal blog that never used to earn anything. Now that the low hanging fruit is started, it's time to grow it and see where it takes me next.

Choosing the path of entrepreneurship, and working on your side business idea, is without a doubt riskier than being content with holding a 9-5 job. It requires way more sacrifice. However, once you’re reaping the lifestyle benefits of being your own boss and hustling your way into making significantly more money with your business idea than you ever could at your day job, the hard work will have all been worth it. So, let’s talk business ideas.


A photo booth business gives passersby the ability to take photos during gatherings and local events. Typically, photo booths are situated at parties, weddings, movie theaters and similar locations. Modern photo booth businesses give customers a variety of photo-taking options. While some photo booths have background props, others have digital amenities and social media sharing options. Generally, the photos are digital. They can also be printed once they’ve been taken. Photo booths are normally situated outside large event spaces. They’re used at concerts, movie theaters, at parties, during weddings, on the beach and in a variety of other places.

One thing I tell people about the online side hustle is that it’s going to take a good while until they start seeing good money by working from home or anywhere on their laptop with their side hustle business. This is why a bridge job is good for some people to have while they’re working on side hustle entrepreneurship. I’m so happy to hear that some side hustlers that started out with next to nothing online with very little to their life savings ended up becoming Internet millionaires. Some Internet millionaires world on food stamps, unemployment, living at home with their parents, unemployable, and the list goes on.
It’s very important to set boundaries with your clients in order to maintain your schedule. For instance, if you only want to work one day a weekend so that you can spend the other with your family, be prepared to lose some business when you don’t cater to the more demanding clients. With a set goal in mind, it will be easier to stick to your guns and not compromise your other priorities. Remember, if you know where you’re going before you start, you’ll have a much easier time getting there.

There you go! These are the first five things you need to do to get started. And notice not one of them was “go buy a bunch of equipment and materials” or “pay $10,000 for a professional website.” Those things aren’t a bad investment later down the line when your business revenues justify it. But when you’re starting out, the problem isn’t the design of your website; it’s your fear, doubt, and hesitation.


Now that you’ve thought through the myriad of reasons to start a business on the side, the next step is to know what to expect. Some people think a side business will be easy and won’t take much effort. After all, it’s a side business right? Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case. A side business has many of the same challenges and issues a full-time business has. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind.
Now for the completely strange and unexpected: Jon Colgan, founder and CEO of fintech startup CellBreaker, used his background in sustainability to help finance his business. “I also studied sustainability in school and became enamored of using worms to compost. As a third revenue source, I sell worms,” he says. “I discovered that happy worm populations double every 90 days. My worms are always happy. So, I started selling worms and vermicompost on Craigslist and by word-of-mouth.”
Companies these days are expanding their office boundaries to incorporate the idea of working from home. These companies offer employees flexible working hours, better pay and freedom from office walls. Even though the internet is flooded with many online jobs, there are some that offer better pay. Here is a list of companies that pay $16 per hour or more to work from home.
As long as there is still the written word, there will always be editors. Freelance editing and proofreading not only pays a decent hourly wage, it also gives you the chance to read about potentially interesting topics too. What's more, pursuing freelance writing & editing as a business idea can afford you a lifestyle that lets you travel the world as a digital nomad. You can find lots of job postings from companies and individuals in need of writing, proofreading, and editing services on Upwork, which makes this a high-demand side business idea.

If you've got the attitude (and look), there should be a product or service out there on the hunt for the right model to promote their brand as a side business idea. You can sign up with a large agency, find a freelance agent, or look for your own modeling gigs as an independent talent. Since modeling is a complex field, get all the advice you need before jumping right in and find a mentor who can guide you through some of the early challenges it'll take to establish your brand. Depending on your preference, you can specialize in a single media format such as video or still images, to build a compelling portfolio and grow this into a business idea that has the potential to scale.


Network marketing (sometimes referred to as multi-level-marketing) can sometimes have a bad connotation if you have ever been scammed in the past. However, there are very reputable companies out there that you can start working for today with very little buy-in or overhead. A member of our family started off her network marketing business as a side hustle and has turned it into a part-time gig with full-time income. Warning: if you are told it doesn’t require any actual work – run away!
Side hustles are my jam. Seriously, I wouldn’t be a millennial millionaire and have achieved financial independence at the age of 30 without side hustling. I’ve always been hustling. It’s in my blood. I can’t help it. Everything I look at in life I see a business opportunity. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a…. well I guess it’s always a blessing. #gratitude

To found their floral startup BloomNation, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar, and Gregg Weisstein used a rather unorthodox funding source—the poker business. The three pooled their money to enter David, a former World Series of Poker champion, into a local poker tournament. He won, ultimately raising $30,000, which the trio used to help start BloomNation.


To found their floral startup BloomNation, co-founders Farbod Shoraka, David Daneshgar, and Gregg Weisstein used a rather unorthodox funding source—the poker business. The three pooled their money to enter David, a former World Series of Poker champion, into a local poker tournament. He won, ultimately raising $30,000, which the trio used to help start BloomNation.
My husband and I tutored as side hustles while we were dating and still in college. We both used to help kids with math on the weekends and evenings. Sometimes, we’d get paid as much as $40 per hour especially if we traveled to another town to help kids. This was a nice amount of income for college students, and it allowed us money to go on dates and even save up for a few trips. If you like teaching and helping others, this is a great, low-cost business to start.
You will want to research your shopper and go in with a very clear sense of your target audience. Are you looking at hip, young parents; or excited grandparents? Will your products be cute, funny, or simply stylish? Narrow down exactly what you want to sell, then market your online store hard. Getting shares and testimonials from happy customers will be huge.
Affiliate Marketing Tip: Ask the affiliate program or content creator for assets you can use to help you market their product. For example, there may be a lead magnet or free tool you can use to incentivize people to purchase the product. Often times, a piece of content can help ease a potential customer from a cold lead into a warm one. Thus, giving you a better chance of succeeding with this side hustle.
I am a somewhat longtime reader and subscriber, but you can say that I am one of the biggest failures here. I need money, I am unemployable, and I have no (ABSOLUTELY NO) marketable ideas. Any idea I might have falls in one of three categories: 1.) Too specialized in too esoteric a field, 2.) Workable if I could just get other people’s interest, which I can never do–I have tried, several times, and 3.) Stuck in a chicken and egg dilemma–I have no idea where to start. So, to restate, either the work would be useless, nobody wants it, or I have no clue what the work is. How can I even manage? Is it too late? Am I truly worthless? I hope not, because I can never get up the nerve necessary to end it all.
Business owners’ calendars need to be able to accommodate meetings with clients, but these meetings can be scheduled during business hours, evenings or weekends. Many life coaches have started their businesses by working as a coach part-time during non-business hours while remaining employed part- or full-time, and then transitioned to coaching more as their business grew.
As a freelance illustrator, you can take your skills in a number of directions. You might work for advertising agencies, stock image houses, magazine or book publishers, record labels, greeting card companies, digital properties, merchandisers, or other businesses. Some illustrators serve such narrow specialty niches as courtroom sketch artists, or niches in fashion, medicine, or technology. Or you might primarily work in fine art to be sold to customers directly or through galleries or agents.
Briefly, successful niche websites rely on tapping into underserved topics and niches and using various monetization techniques, such as display advertising, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling digital products or even plugging in eCommerce elements to lay a foundation for a passive income strategy. For some inspiration, read the FoodTruckr story (a website for buying and selling food trucks) and how it found its success online purely by chance.
There’s a huge online demand for English teachers who have the patience and willingness to regularly coach people over Skype. What’s more, is that you can easily make upwards of $25 an hour from people in places like Hong Kong or the United Arab Emirates, and it can even open doors to travel the world. While full ESL (English as a Second Language) accreditation is recommended, you can qualify as long as you’re a native speaker. Sites like Indeed, Learn4Good and Remote.co often post remote English teaching jobs, but stay abreast of the latest postings because available opportunities and fees vary.
Selz includes the option to link your online store to your blog and social media accounts. By connecting all of these sites, you can drive traffic to your store and sell more workout plans. Selz also allows you to upload videos along with your photos, which can be be a great way to feature short, visual samples of your workouts plans and the different exercises you recommend. Customers want to see what you do, and this is the perfect way to show them.
Of all the suggestions on our list, driving for Uber has unique perks: no time spent on your feet, and not all that intellectually challenging. There is a lot to be said for a side business that still enables you to focus your mental and physical energy into your dream startup, so if you are concerned that a side business like freelancing may stretch you to capacity, driving for Uber might be a good fit.
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.
There’s a reason plenty of entrepreneurs don’t quit their day jobs—innumerable startups have come into existence as a result of the daily nine to five grind. Joseph Howard maintains his full time job, in addition to freelance work and channeling his energy into his two startup ventures. The combination of freelance work and his full time employment gives Joseph the financial freedom to work on multiple projects at once.
This business is great for veterans of yard sales and thrift shops—basically, anyone with a good eye for finding surprising items at low prices. It's also good for those with an eye for style and design, so you are able to see not just what the worn down furniture is but what it could be after some modifications. Finally, it's good for those with sales experience, as the job may involve a lot of individual interaction with a variety of customers.
Sometimes it seems like there’s an app for everything. Yet somehow, new ones keep popping up and selling for lots of money, all the time. If you spot a niche that hasn’t been filled to its potential just yet, and you can learn the coding skills (or know someone who already has them), you could be on to something with this side business idea. Today, it's even possible to build an app without any coding skills whatsoever. Just make sure you validate your app idea before jumping too far in. Even if your app business idea doesn't pan out to be a best-seller, you'll still pick up valuable skills.
Growing up most people dream of being famous. But truth is, not everyone can sing or act. Fortunately, you can still build a personal brand around yourself based on what you can do. Maybe you have a really cool fashion sense or can bake an awesome cake. On Instagram, anyone can start a side hustle by becoming an influencer. If you don’t like the spotlight, that’s cool. You can build an Instagram following around your dog or your photography. You can monetize your Instagram account in a couple ways: sponsored posts, Instagram takeovers or selling a product on your website.

A resume writing service will assist job seekers by creating a resume that clearly communicates a candidate’s skills. Those who perform this service will have to interview candidates, and construct resumes that positively catch the attention of those reviewing the candidate’s resume. This service can include cover letters or thank-you letters to potential employers.


Nothing beats teaching more novice learners about your passion, hobby, or craft as a business idea (that's a common theme here). Explore dozens of DIY portals (such as DIY.org, DIY Network, Instructables and Mahalo) to get business ideas on how to earn a healthy side income just by showing others how to do the things you love. You can also sift through the countless ad-supported YouTube channels that teach just about anything from guitar strumming to 3D printing.
Work at home transferring data from one source to another. Most of these companies do not require past experience, although with few exceptions the pay may not be enough to consider it a stable income. Before you begin applying to any of the companies below (many of which sadly are almost never hiring), you might want to read the post I wrote about data entry jobs from home. It explains what your expectations should be prior to pursuing a career in this industry.
Live streaming business owners make money by broadcasting live video gaming footage on popular platforms while making use of ad revenue. Popular websites like Twitch.TV and Smashcast (formerly Azubu) create great platforms for gamers to share their content. By acquiring a large following, (500+ average for Twitch.TV) the player becomes qualified to become a partner for the live streaming site. The streaming site will pay based on the internet traffic for the individual’s channel. Live streaming channels also solicit donations from their fans.

Companies have different rules about employees working other jobs. Study your employer’s rules regarding what they expect from you if you open a side business. If you intend to offer a competing product or service, you may risk losing your job, particularly if you signed a non-compete clause when you first started. You could even be subject to a lawsuit if you market a product or idea you came up with while working your full-time job.
I live in an apartment complex, and there is a husband and wife team who do valet trash pickup outside everyone’s door 3 nights a week. We have to take our trash to the compactor ourselves on the other days of the week, but on those 3 nights it’s very nice to just put it outside our door! They just have a pickup truck & when it’s full they drive to the complex compactor to unload all of it then head back to the next building. It takes them 2-3 hours. The cost is figured into our rent so they are paid by the apartment complex. Smelly but nice side gig!!
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