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.

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.

Happy days are here again – or so you might assume from a recent wave of optimistic reports about the economic outlook and rising consumer confidence. But while unemployment is down, the latest labour market figures reveal a surge in part-time jobs as employers remain anxious about long-term recovery prospects, suggesting it may not be time to hang out the bunting just yet.

From the inside looking out, I want to see the world as clearly as possible. And so do a lot of homeowners and particularly office managers. Now that creates a demand for window cleaners to step into this business idea, especially if you can land a contract cleaning windows for an office building. If you want to try it out as a side business idea, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a window-washing business at home.
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.
I am very skeptical of most MLMs (#55) but I really like the model of Melaleuca. This is an MLM that does not require any purchasing of items to sell upfront like most MLMs. Money is earned by enrolling others in their online shopping club and receiving a monthly commission on their purchases. Plus there are plenty of monetary and product incentives for enroller and customer. The products are great, ‘green’, non toxic items that replace what you are already buying at stores (cleaners, bath and body, vitamins, shampoo, weight loss, etc.). Check it out for yourself and as your side hustle business!
College counsellors come in all shapes and sizes. Their primary duty is to help guide students through an important period in their lives. Some counselors focus on admissions, career advice, financial aid, athletics, extracurricular activities, and other concerns. There are institutions looking out for part-time college counselors, making this a fantastic side business idea, or you can even start your own practice and charge anywhere from $25-$100+ per hour for your consultative services if you're well-versed on the subject.
This job is primarily successful for those who already use eBay extensively. At the end of the day, eBay is like any other market, and success requires being competitive in a market filled with other sellers. As such, being familiar with how other sellers price and describe similar products to your own merchandise will help you hit the ground running when you begin selling. The business is also ideal for those who enjoy a flexible schedule and are motivated self-starters.
The opportunity to cash in on this adventure is still valid but only if you play smart. Buying and selling domain names is a great side business idea for entrepreneurs with strong research skills. Understanding the audience you want to sell to and being able to recognise valuable domain names are the key drivers behind the success of this business and the knowledge comes only with careful research and testing. Check out Sedo, one of the most popular domain marketplaces, to get a better insight into pricing and trends.
Just by owning a DSLR camera or having access to renting one that's affordable, you can charge friends and local professionals for new headshots, which can be a very effective side business. Many successful photographers started out by shooting on the side and building up their portfolio of work, thereby establishing a local reputation enabling a launch of their own photography business.
The easiest activities to eliminate will be the ones in which you have the least amount of involvement or responsibility. You may want to keep activities for which you have a significant amount of involvement, or which are relatively prestigious positions for you to have. For example, you might want to eliminate a community organization if you only participate sporadically, but keep the group in which you've just been elected treasurer.
If you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.
In addition to being a meticulous writer from a mechanical standpoint, you must be the kind of person who pays close attention to detail. Keep in mind, a proofreader is not the same as an editor. You’re not reviewing what your clients are trying to communicate, but rather how they write it in terms of spelling, punctuation, typographical errors, and word usage.
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It’s also important that other people are already doing it because that means there’s a market for it. Your side hustle needs to be profitable – it has to make money. There is no point in starting a business that won’t be profitable. So, make sure there is a market for it. People mistakenly think that because an area already is filled with people making money that it’s too saturated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. That just means there’s money to be made in that space.
Do you love to write? Are you an expert in a certain field? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about? People love the ability to carry knowledge around with them on their phones, tablets, laptops, and Kindles! Making eBooks is an excellent way to get your work out into the world and make a buck on the side. In fact, self-published eBooks account for 22% of all eBooks purchases in the United States (source). In time, writing eBooks could even replace your 9-5, but you’ll need to find a place to market and sell your work where it will get maximum exposure.
If you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship in the United States, you don't technically need an EIN for the business – you can file taxes for your business along with your personal taxes. However, you may want one if you want to open a bank account for your business, or if you don't want your Social Security number to appear on business documents.
Then you can move into more actionable online courses like Modern Web Design on CreativeLive and Learn Web Design and Profitable Freelancing on Udemy will teach you everything from foundational web design knowledge to earning your first freelance income as a web designer. On top of that, you can take even more immersive courses and learning experiences with access to direct instructor feedback and personal mentorship with platforms like Treehouse, LinkedIn Learning and General Assembly to get up-to-speed even quicker with this career path and listen to my podcast interview with Ian Paget about how to become a freelance designer as a side business idea.
Have you ever dreamed about writing a best selling book? Well, Amazon’s self-publication platform Kindle Direct lets you do just that. With the right market research you can write your category killing book and sell it to the masses without dealing with the cost and bureaucratic hassles of traditional publishing. The best part is, once you’ve published the book, it will continue to bring in revenue month after month with little effort on your part! People are earning anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $100,000 publishing on Amazon.
Find an audience for your passion or hobby and you’re all set to monetize something you love via a niche website as a side business idea. That of course, is easier said than done, something not intended for the faint of heart. Prepare to invest a lot of your time, but if you can hurdle the steep challenges and positively answer a few key questions on whether the website business idea you’re thinking about is profitable, then you can begin building it.
Got a thing for numbers? Plenty of companies need to hire talented contractors who are good at data analysis, making this a potentially lucrative side business idea if you have the right credentials and experience. Platforms like Upwork and Digiserved are but a two of many websites that are great for freelancers with an analytical prowess, looking for extra work as a side business idea around their full-time jobs.

Do you have good writing skills and the ability to build a reputation for yourself within a specific industry? Then launching a blog could be an ideal side business for you. Once you have a regular audience of readers, you'll have countless options about how to monetize your site with ad support, your own e-books, online courses, sponsored content, and personalized consulting services.
Gardening is a popular pastime for many people, and a growing segment of the population is working to grow fruits and vegetables of their own. If you have a green thumb, this might be the perfect side business idea for you. First, decide what kinds of gardening supplies you will be selling. Do you want to stick with seeds, plants, plant food, and fertilizer; or are you interested in selling equipment such as shovels, rakes, and hoses?
It’s one thing to make a few extra bucks on the side so you can go out to a nice dinner or buy a nice pair of shoes, but if you want to walk away as quickly as possible you’re going to need to up your side hustle game. You need to move beyond simply trading your hours for a limited amount of money, and transition to thinking about side hustling as a way to become your own boss and create financial freedom.
As a soapmaker, you'll formulate soaps and perhaps other personal cleansing and beauty products according to your own recipes. You will market your offerings along sales channels that might include ecommerce, farmers markets, arts festivals, wholesale placement in spas and boutiques, and even door-to-door sales. You'll explore a range of options to see where you can find a loyal customer base.
A life coach is there to speak with clients about any issues the clients have, help clients set motivating goals for themselves, navigate through important personal and professional decisions, and much more. Though most life coaches help coach clients in various aspects in their lives, it is possible to specialize your coaching to an area about which you are really passionate. A few examples of specialized life coaches include health coaches, special needs life coaches, relationship coaches, career coaches, and executive coaches.
This business is perfect for seasoned business owners or upper level managers who are looking for a career change. A business consulting firm must be experienced in business management, marketing, and team building and management. They must also understand how to generate revenue from a wide range of businesses and expand existing streams of income.
I also recently wrote a blog post on Free SEO Tips for Bloggers that has been viewed over 100,000 times and is bringing in an additional stream of SEO clients. If you happen to want to take your traffic to the next level, hit me up if you are are in need of SEO consulting. This is a really in demand side hustle and can be done from anywhere in the world. In total the SEO work I’ve done has resulted in hundreds of millions of additional traffic, which I’m super proud of.
I've been listening to the Side Hustle School podcast since the beginning and look forward to Chris' insight each morning. So when he announced he was publishing a book, I jumped at the chance for an advance copy so I could devour even more of his brilliant guidance. (The cover on the advance copy is different from the final version, so don't get confused by the photos.)
Being a Loan Signing Agent is a great side hustle because you can make $75 to $200 per hour-long appointment working for yourself on your own schedule. Retired people, working professionals, and students can be signing agents and earn extra cash when they want. The best part is you need nothing more than a notary commission (which can often be attained by simply filling out an application)!
If you have the gift of gab, public speaking is a worthwhile side business idea for you to pursue. Many authors, medical practitioners, scientists, artisans, politicians, and other subject matter experts earn extra income by delivering speeches, seminars, and presentations. Professional motivational speakers earn an average annual salary of around $90,000 with just that portion of their income, making this a very realistic side business idea while you continue practicing your craft.
If you start babysitting when you’re younger and gain experience, you can charge more. Parents love to be able to go out to dinner and know that they’re leaving their kids with someone trustworthy. Start small by offering to babysit your friends or neighbors’ children and then make sure you advertise your services on Facebook as well. Do a great job, and your business can grow simply by word of mouth.
I live in Phoenix where it will hover at 116°F during the summer. I also see a guy selling snow cones and water for a premium. I asked him how business was recently – he smiled and said “Business is gooooooood”. Buy a case of water at Costco for $0.12 a bottle and resell them for $2 wherever it is HOT. Who wouldn’t pay $2 for ice-cold water during the dog days of summer?
Obviously, everyone has different things going on in life, so if you’re in a season where you can’t focus on your side hustle, it may not be a good time to start one. You could wait to start one until a better time for you (although I recommend putting a date on the calendar for this if there’s ever going to be a chance you follow through). If you’re just “busy” in life but it’s a normal season, they just go for it and give yourself a set schedule of when you’ll work on it every day.
If you’d rather trade time for money you might choose to get a part-time job. Side jobs to make money include: dog walking, babysitter, restaurant server, receptionist, administrative assistant, or barista. You can also find part-time jobs within your industry. Maybe you’re a full-time marketer who takes on a part-time social media gig. The only downside to a part time job is that you need to invest your time for money. And time is your most valuable luxury. Part time jobs don’t scale as well as an online business would. Meaning, your total earnings get capped.
I also buy and sell moped – little 49 cc Italian and Austrian mopeds made in the mid 1970’s to the 1980’s. These are super cool and command premium prices in cities since they are easy to ride and get 100+ mpgs!  I have Craiglist alerts set up in Chicago for mopeds and pounce quickly on the deals. I actually have a storage facility just for my mopeds and still love buying and selling them. These two hobbies of mine are actually great side hustles that I don’t ever imagine stopping.
If you can attract a regular audience for your podcast, there’s good money to be made from sponsorships and other digital product offerings. At my own day job, we regularly pay $250 to $500 for 30-second advertisements on relevant business podcasts. Check out this episode of the Conscious Millionaire Podcast for an interview with John Lee Dumas, the host of Entrepreneur on Fire, for more tips on how to make money podcasting, including selling online courses, eBooks, and coaching sessions.
If you’re a fitness buff and have the right combination of charisma and business sense, working as a part-time personal trainer as a side business idea can be both physically and financially rewarding. Once you build up a reputation and client base for yourself, it could easily turn into a full-time endeavor for you. Check out these tips to a successful personal training business by the American Fitness Professionals and this interview with several fitness blog owners who are making a living online, from MonetizePros. Finally, I'd recommend checking out this resource if you want to take this business idea seriously and get started with a business plan for your personal fitness trainer business today.
While this is not technically “at home,” you can still earn great money without ever getting on the phone using your personal car, bike, or scooter to deliver food, give people rides, and even picking up groceries. The great thing about these companies is that it's also very flexible work. No one is telling you when to start and stop. You just do as much work as you can, when you can.
I don’t know about that working for free thingy. Even if an affiliate bought from me, I would still make them an offer on something highly discounted, such as a downloadable .pdf file, an informative YouTube video with AdSense in it included in a pdf file or ask them to share the video with everyone so clicks could be accrued, and the list goes on. Working for free online is not an option. lol
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