In the last few years, I’ve created online courses, launched a self-published book (under a fake name—not proud of this one), done marketing consulting, launched an email course, Airbnb-ed my apartment, traded stocks, bought cryptocurrency (my best investment to date), bought a condo and put it on Airbnb, wrote a book (a better one), bought a business, put affiliate links on my site, given paid talks, written book summaries, and built an affiliate site for a basketball dribbling course I never took (also not proud of this one).

Remember, side hustling is also about the time/money tradeoff, so it’s up to you to decide how much time you are willing to trade today to make more money to invest in the future. But, just like saving, I viewed the time I was prioritizing for my side hustles, as an opportunity, not a sacrifice. When I was hustling super hard, I did have to turn down offers to hang out with my friends or go to certain events.
However, it is when I tried to get some hard info out of it that I ran into trouble. For example, the one website that was recommended for doing little IT jobs on the side turned out to be a depressing place where people desperately bid for jobs for extremely little money ("$12 if you configure my email software"). Also, the tax chapter didn't seem to really belong: I had to read it multiple times and still couldn't figure out whether I'd have to pay self- employment tax as a day trader or be subject to schedule C, etc...
Photography is essentially an art form which captures the moments in life we cherish. If you are thinking about sharing the beauty of your work with others while generating some cash flow, a photography business might be right for you. There’s a need for professional photographers in every market, but the majority of photographers make money either by serving individual clients or by working as a freelancer for magazines, websites, and other venues. Here is an overview of each type of photographer:

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.


That's why I'm a huge advocate of always starting a side business while working full-time, so that you can test your way into your new product or service, get feedback, validate the business idea, and start generating income before you quit your job. If you can master the art of scaling a side business idea while keeping your day job, you'll have no trouble succeeding once you're fully self-employed.

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.


Stop driving for Uber and wasting your time. I’ve talked with too many people who tell me that they want to be career Uber drivers, despite that fact that Uber is clearly trying to replace all drivers with robots. Also, I see too many people trying to side hustle on Fiverr and websites where the only way they can compete is on price – essentially offering a commodity product. It is very hard to get ahead in life if you offer a commodity product at a low price.
Like birthdays, marriages happen all the time. Which means you can treat weddings as a recurring fountain of business opportunities: wedding dresses and coats, jewelers, food caterers, venue providers, photographers and videographers, performers, flower shops, travel agencies, souvenir crafts, and a host of other ventures. Now imagine if you can form a network of these service providers so you can offer engaged couples a range of hassle-free wedding packages as a turnkey business idea. The process is certainly fun (and time-consuming), but as a side business idea, the pay can be pretty great.
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?
Are you an extrovert that loves meeting new people? Selling insurance products—particularly life insurance—may be a great way to bring in some extra cash and build residual income in your spare time. Selling life insurance on the side could quickly generate a consistent $1,000 - $2,000 per month depending on how much time you invest in this side business idea. To get started you’ll likely want to take an online course to brush up on the subject matter, and then pass a state licensing exam. The biggest challenge you'll face as a new agent is generating sales beyond just helping out friends and family. From there, it’s all about networking and lead generation to grow this one. Learn more about this side business idea with this getting started in life insurance guide from the team over at NoExam.
A while ago, I argued the best company for me isn’t necessarily the best company for you. I still stand by that statement. But many of you have been pounding at my email door and practically twisting my arm asking me for my personal favorite legitimate work at home companies. I was apprehensive about revealing this information because I really want you guys to take action on any legitimate work at home opportunities. But after giving it some thought, it made sense for me to provide you with a few of the ones I do actively work with, to get your started. But keep in mind I still believe that you should make decisions based on what's best for you. So with that said, check out my latest video on one of my favorite BBB listed work at home companies. I’ve been working with this company for years and have made some great money and also acquired a lot of free gadgets such as TVs, Ipods, and much more. (The gadget thing will become a lot clearer when you watch the video.) In either case this company has consistently made me money and has a good standing among work at home seekers that are smart enough to join the company and take advantage of all the ways to earn with them. Hopefully you’ll enjoy the video and will decide to join the company I’ve recommended.
Anyone can sell goods on Amazon, provided you have products to sell (or buy low, then resell). If you’re the type to hit all the local garage sales each weekend, there’s all sorts of valuable things that can be resold online as a side business idea. If you want to step your Amazon selling game up, check out this detailed guide to Amazon and eBay retail arbitrage on Entrepreneur featuring an interview with Julie Becker and several drop-shippers who've grown this home based business idea from side business idea into a lucrative money-maker.
I’m not saying that walking dogs for a few hundred extra bucks a month so you can invest isn’t worth doing. It definitely is and you don’t have to side hustle to scale – any additional money you make and invest will help you walk away sooner. I’m just saying that before you start side hustling or pick your next side hustle, just understand that you really can make a ton of money doing it with the right mindset and strategy.

If you've developed valuable skill sets or certifications within your industry over the years, consider putting your skills to use in your free time by offering your consulting services to local business owners as a potentially lucrative side business idea. Whether you're an expert marketer, business strategist, or manufacturing aficionado, there's likely a local business owner who's willing to pay you to help them solve an issue with their company—if you can craft an effective cold email that convinces them to hire you. Start with this 18-step checklist to becoming a local business consultant as a side business idea, from Karyn Greenstreet. When you're ready to get serious about becoming a consultant, check out all of my picks for the best online business courses to keep building your skills and learning how to land your first consulting clients. Personally, I think this is one of the best business ideas you can get started with today.


A person has a better opportunity at building a stable career off of affiliate marketing, blogging, and side hustling alone with the goal of becoming a future “side hustle millionaire.” Side hustles online are by far the best form of job security because you’re using your kinetic energy to build yourself up to ultimate wealth and not an unthankful employer.

Photography is essentially an art form which captures the moments in life we cherish. If you are thinking about sharing the beauty of your work with others while generating some cash flow, a photography business might be right for you. There’s a need for professional photographers in every market, but the majority of photographers make money either by serving individual clients or by working as a freelancer for magazines, websites, and other venues. Here is an overview of each type of photographer:
Freelance writing is one of the most flexible of the non-phone options, and it's an easy field to break into without any experience at all! This is also an industry that can pay well, especially if you forgo content sites (such as the ones below) and work on finding private clients that will agree to the rates you set. The content sites don't pay that well, but they can still help you get valuable writing experience and earn a weekly paycheck.
You can choose to do custom gift baskets, or have a few themed options for customers to pick from. Make sure your baskets are aesthetically pleasing, and build your store to include high-quality photos and clear descriptions of each product. Consider offering promotions for holidays, and giving discounts to repeat customers. Most importantly, get creative and have fun.

Similar to selling on Amazon, eBay is a place to make money selling just about anything you can think of as a side business idea, with the added excitement of using the auction selling model to sometimes get way more than you expected for that antique baseball card you picked up at a local street fair. To turn your eBay selling into a legitimate business idea, look for opportunities where you can buy in-demand products at a discount—and later sell them for a profit. Eventually, you can even take the lessons learned from your eBay store and build a full on blog or eCommerce business like what the team over at Gear Hungry has done.


The most popular side hustles for millennials are "home repair/landscaping" (12 percent), according to Bankrate. A total of 9 percent of millennial respondents make additional money babysitting and 8 percent selling or reselling goods online, including via sites like Ebay, according to the survey. Other millennial side gigs include substitute teaching or tutoring; doing hair or makeup; earning money by finishing online surveys or completing tasks for people online; or doing freelance photography and videography (4 percent each).
Starting a website can be a great way to build some side income in a fairly passive manner. Start a blog if you have interesting, unique, and informative stuff to tell your readers. You can then make money on advertising or having people pay for educational products or tools you produce. Or create a website that brings together buyers and sellers of a niche product from which you can charge a subscription or transaction fee. The key is to think outside the box and come up with an idea that can provide a unique solution for people. And even if you want to produce a website that is similar to ones already out there, do it bigger and better and find a way to differentiate yourself!
Business consultants provide a necessary service to startup businesses and entrepreneurs. They help the business get off to a good start by providing the know-how and resources necessary for success. A business consultant usually retains a book of clients and may limit his or her business to just several hundred (or fewer) businesses or entrepreneurs.
It sounds too good to be true—getting paid to represent your favorite brands at events across the nation. But, if you have a friendly and outgoing personality (a growing social media following helps too), you can forge a potentially paid relationship as a brand ambassador with companies who want to reach other people within your community with this  side business idea. As a Brand Ambassador, you do anything from demoing the latest technology, to passing out free swag at music festivals, to going on nationwide tours, to pumping people up as a mascot, and more. Depending upon the gig, you can expect to earn anywhere from $18-$100/hr. You can get started as early as this weekend by joining the Brand Ambassador Facebook group for your nearest major city (e.g. join the "Brand Ambassadors of Seattle" group if you live in/near Seattle). Once you've been approved to the group, you'll get access to daily job postings from big brands and agencies with opportunities in your area. All you need to do is submit your resume and headshot to apply. For a step-by-step guide on how to get hired for the best gigs and the highest pay rates, I recommend checking out The Brand Ambassador Blueprint.
Live in a destination where travelers frequently visit? If you love meeting new people from around the world and also love the city you live in, starting your own local tour company is arguably the best business idea that will give you both of those perks. Take a unique spin on your local tour business like Erik from Vantigo. He was starting his VW van tour business in San Francisco as just a side business idea while he was still working a full-time job, and grew it to being a sustainable source of full-time income before quitting—now he's running a multiple van tour company on the back of what originally began as a crazy side business idea.
With pet specialty stores and dog-friendly restaurants becoming the new norm, more and more families are embracing the idea of openly expressing their love for their pets. Pet photographers, whether working in teams or as individuals, are there to catch a family’s four-legged loved one in action. Whether at an adoption event, dog show, horse race, or private photo shoot, these moments are captured on film, delivering pet lovers a keepsake they’ll cherish forever.
Last year the online learning industry hit $107 billion dollars. That’s billion with a B. Tons of 9-5ers are realizing they have unique skills sets that other people want to learn. Getting started is simple too, all you need is a copy of Powerpoint, a pair of headphones with a mic and some screen recording software. Then you can either drop your course on Udemy or you can build your own site and save the royalty fees!

As traditional media declines and social media emerges, marketers are increasingly incorporating social media influencer marketing into their strategies. Ste Davies reports that this is both a smart and popular advertising strategy, with 94 percent of marketers saying it’s effective and an increasing number of companies planning on using it through 2020.


Many families with kids, including single-parents, have very limited time resources, creating a demand for part-time child care providers (and a business idea opportunity for you). If you love kids and have some spare time, you can earn plenty of side income by looking after children while their parents are away. Just be sure to identify the particular age group you're comfortable caring for and you’re all set after any necessary certifications. Establishing a home-based daycare center capable of servicing six or more kids is also a lucrative way to really expand upon this business idea if you have the right environment for it.
Stress management training can increase a business’ profitability by giving employees the tools they need to manage difficult emotions or particularly taxing situations. Hiring a counselor who can impart the wisdom employees need to keep their cool and maintain their quality can be a huge boost to their bottom line and it can even increase employee loyalty.
iSecretShop is real mystery shopping. They have a web site and app. Don’t get discouraged with the first few. It’s based on a points system. The more points you get, the better the shops. You have to take a few little ones and work your way up. Another one is Jancyn. I’ve shopped apartment communities, car dealerships, local yogurt/ice cream shops, restaurants, etc.
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