Suzanne lives in Texas and has been a full-time freelance writer for 20 years. She’s written for numerous business and financial publications, both online and in traditional print media. She also owns her own small business and has a passion to help others achieve their dreams of financial independence. Her goal is to eventually work from a remote island that is equipped with Wi-Fi.
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?
Once your following becomes large enough you can begin implementing any of the other strategies in this article. You can drop in links to affiliate products, you can market a course, a podcast or even sell a product. The poster child for this model right now is The Hustle – a newsletter geared towards millennials that focuses on the tech space. Sam Parr, its founder, was able to drive 100,000 subscriptions in 5 months and leveraged that audience to create HustleCon, a startup conference for non-techies. During his first year of the conference, he sold 400 tickets and made $50,000.
If editing and advising college students on how to write compelling 500 word essays on topics such as "You were just invited to speak at the White House. Write your speech," seems like a compelling business idea to allocate your free time towards, trust me—tons of parents will pay you to edit admissions essays and offer constructive feedback for their children. Be careful not to blur the ethical line of actually writing their essays, but serving as an editor to help them convey their message can become a great side business idea that has the potential to spread by word-of-mouth referral in your community.
An eBay entrepreneur is free to specialize in the kinds of products that they love in order to establish themselves as part of a niche market. It is attractive because the job involves very little start-up costs or ongoing costs and the minimal training required for this job is provided directly by eBay. It is also possible to begin such a job in one’s spare time and then transition to full-time entrepreneur if the part-time gig is successful.
Health insurance for the self-employed is not cheap. This is especially true for the would-be entrepreneur who has a family to consider. Many people who can’t afford the high cost of insuring themselves keep their day job solely for this purpose. Then, once their business becomes profitable enough to afford insurance, they leave their job and become a full-time business owner.
Your side hustle can help you make some extra money each month. But it can also help you develop new skills, build your personal brand or portfolio and help you achieve more freedom. So, have fun with it! Take a risk by starting a business or pursue a new hobby you’ve always been curious about. A side hustle is your best opportunity to live life on your own terms. And with some more money in your pocket, there’s nothing stopping you from making your dreams come true.
Remember my earlier post about breakfast burritos? Making meals in advance is a great way to save money for yourself – but you can often prepare these for others as well and sell them for a markup. Prepare eight casseroles, for example, then sell six of them to cover your costs, and you’ve got two free dinners for your family (and maybe a bit more). You can grow this by taking orders from others and finding out what they like.
So you love to cook? You could start a restaurant that will take a full-time commitment and a lot of money – or you could start a weekend catering business or a mobile food truck. A business where you provide small services on your own schedule can grow as much or as little as your time allows. Look for those opportunities while you're starting out.
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.

There are two basic ways how to find the best affiliate partners. You can make a list of products or services that add value to your content and check the company websites to see if they have an affiliate or referral program, or you can join an affiliate network to browse offers from hundreds of advertisers and find the right match there. For example, you can become an “Amazon associate=” and promote any of their products on your site to earn up to 10% in advertising fees or join Hostinger’s Affiliate program to earn cash and special rewards.
Your customers will need a reason to buy your tea, and not your competition’s. You will need an inviting storefront to catch their eye and make them stop and check out what you have to offer. Selz can help you create a unique store design that will stand out from the crowd. Consider offering packages of similar teas, or seasonal options- i.e. the best teas for a cold winter.
If you want to find a profitable online course idea in the next 3 days, join my free online course Find a Profitable Business Idea today. It'll walk you step-by-step through the process I've used to generate more than $15,000 in online course sales in a single week. Then once you're ready to start teaching your own online course, I recommend using Teachable, the easiest and most affordable platform to use for creating, hosting and selling your online courses. They also have a ton of free educational resources about how to get started with creating an online course (yes, even as a side business idea) when you sign up right here.

Drop shipping is an eCommerce model where you buy products from a supplier who then ships the items directly to your customer. This is ideal because it mitigates the age old problem of sinking $5,000 in your first batch of inventory that may end up collecting dust in your garage (while you eat the cost). Instead, you list your supplier’s inventory on your site and when an order rolls in they handle all of the shipping and logistics while you collect the profits.
A side hustle is more than just another stream of income, it’s also the new job security. When you receive paychecks from different sources, it allows you to take more chances in your “regular” career. More income means more options. More options equals freedom. You don’t need entrepreneurial experience to launch a profitable side hustle. You don’t have to have an MBA, or know how to code, or be an expert marketer. You don’t need employees or investors. With Chris as a guide, anyone can make more money, pursue a passion, and enjoy greater security – without quitting their day job.
There is a subscription box for just about anything you can imagine these days. As an entrepreneur getting started, this means you will have some stiff competition. Think about a unique niche that consumers want and need in their lives, and consider ways to make your product stand out from the competition. Are your prices lower? Is your shipping quicker? Do you include goodies and bonuses that other businesses don’t?
Obviously, this business is good for those who are great at taking tests and have already taken many standardized tests. It is a great business for a current or former educator, as this helps you in teaching fundamentals of test-taking to customers. Above all, it is great for those who want to improve their local community by helping people get into the universities and programs of their dreams and better themselves.
If you know a thing or two about paid internet marketing and are comfortable with Google, a great way to make some extra income as a side business idea is to sign a freelance contract to manage a company’s Google Ad Campaigns, and gradually start bringing on more clients as your consulting business grows. Just be sure to brush up on all the right business slang and industry jargon that's pervasive in the online marketing world before you launch unprepared into this side business idea.
But before you can graduate from side business idea and start earning a full-time living as a graphic designer, you'll need to build your skills—I recommend starting with reading the foundational book Graphic Design School and Steal Like an Artist, the incredible book by Austin Kleon about how to become more creative. To accelerate your education in becoming a graphic designer even quicker, check out the online courses Graphic Design Fundamentals and The Graphic Design Bootcamp. Then once you're an expert at your craft, you can further your education and move up to offering  more hands-on experiences like design sprints for higher-value clients around the world.
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.
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.
Martial Arts, huh? I teach too, and have found that when I want to offer a new class I give a free workshop. If you went around to the non-profits, churches and other type of groups and offer a free 1 hour talk on self defense with a question and answer period you’d get your name out there as the go to person to learn self defense. Set up a page on facebook, instagram on tips for self defense and invite people to follow you. 80% good info and 20% Hey hire me to train you. Bet you’d get a large following within 6 months. Let us know how it goes. Good luck
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