There is a lot of chatter out there about “The Side Hustle.” But not all hustles are created the same. Depending on your season in life and goals, there are 3 kinds to consider. The Quick Cash, Profitable MultiTasking or Professional Growth. If you know the difference between the 3, you can find the right hustle to get you where you want to go.
One isn’t necessarily better than the other. Each meets a different goal. The trick is finding your desired outcome so you can find the hustle that best suites your needs.
This works best for people in low earning jobs, or jobs where you can’t trade more hours for more money. Of course they would let you work more, but they won’t pay you any more for your time. It can help meet a few goals.
- Pay down your debt faster
- Help max out your IRA
- Build up your emergency fund
These are the kinds of jobs you aren’t interested in doing forever, but they can bring in some quick cash to help you hit your goals faster. You don’t want to transition them into a career or hobby so it’s important that the pay per hour is lucrative for you.
- House cleaning
- Seasonal work
- Odd jobs
- Trade work in the evenings like hanging drywall. Ugh drywall. I hate you drywall.
- Delivering food
Profitable Multi Tasking
These are the jobs that you are either 1. Already doing. Or 2. Don’t take much more effort to adjust to be profitable.
This is a way to take tasks that are already part of your life and tweak them a little bit to bring in some extra cash. It might not be as profitable as the Quick Cash option, but it takes very little additional effort and puts some cash in your pocket. The Financial Panther outlines how he alters his life slightly to add impressive extra income every month. Here are some examples of how this works:
- You make jewelry as a hobby, but you start putting in on Esty to bring in cash to cover supplies plus a little. You don’t want to do this as a living, but you love it as a hobby.
- Dog sitting when you already take care of your own dog. Or adding one or two dogs to your daily walk with your dog and charging a small fee.
- Picking up groceries for an elderly lady when you are doing your shopping. You can charge a small delivery fee.
- Beings you are going to be home on a Friday night with your kids, you watch a few other kids so their parents can have a date night.
- You love shopping yard sales in the summer, and you pick up a few amazing deals you can turn for a profit on Ebay.
There are so many apps and companies to help take tasks you are already doing and make them profitable. In a few weeks, I will be highlighting a brand new app geared towards more rural areas!
Maybe you are considering a career transition. Maybe you have interest in turning a hobby into a steady stream of income. Perhaps you want to build a platform that you could leverage into other opportunities. Or you want to build your skills in one area so that in a few years you could make an income from it.
This kind of side hustle is the least profitable at first. Often your day job will pay better per hour, but you are more concerned about building something for the future than earning $20 today.
This is the kind of hustle that can eat up hundreds of hours without giving you a $1 in return. So if you are looking to quickly pay off your car loan, the other 2 options are a much better fit.
Some examples of this:
1. Building an app, software, business model or product (digital or physical.) It can takes weeks or months to create these. You earn $0 dollars during this time, but then have the chance to launch what you created. Set up an online store to build a platform.
2. Taking small side jobs (maybe free jobs) in a field you find interesting. Organic farming, graphic art, designing logos, editing, baking, public speaking, writing, coaching, home building with Habitat for Humanity, photography. You build your skills and knowledge of that industry paid for with just your time.
3. Building a platform that you can leverage into other opportunities. Your platform could be in any field that interests you. Bookkeeping to beekeeping. Herb gardening or music. As you grow that platform and connect with that audience, you will learn what they want. This will provide the inspiration for a product or service later. If you build a platform around herb gardening, you might learn how to grow and ship small herb gardens as gifts. Or create an herb garden consulting business. Don’t laugh. Landscape design is a real thing! You could be the one to show folks how to landscape with herbs. Books, coaching, classes, physical product, whatever your platform tells you it needs. You might not ever sell to people on platform you build. After months or years of writing about herb gardening on a blog or newsletter, you might start local consulting. Or use that platform as social proof to get hired by a landscape designer. What better way to land your dream job as an herb gardener to the millionaires? Are you laughing again? Ok, dead serious. I am friends with a guy who funded his kids entire college degree by being the indigenous plant expert for a high end subdivision looking for those plants. He was the expert and the only one selling them. Huge money.
4. Volunteering in an organization that builds your skills, contacts or knowledge. For example: Volunteer to do grant writing for animal shelters. After a few years you might find yourself with requests from other animal shelters with paying jobs. You might write an ebook for animal shelter grant writers. You might create a course to help animal shelters train volunteer grant writers. Um, how much would an animal shelter pay for a course that trains volunteers to write the grants bringing in $10-$50k every year? Sounds like a heck of a deal for a $300 online course. That idea is free chicken dinner to whoever wants to run with it. 😉
This kind of side hustle builds your skills, tests your interest, and builds a base that you can leverage in the future.
Knowing what you want from your side hustle will help you find the perfect option.
There are no wrong answers, just a wrong fit.
- Have you ever tried a side hustle?
- Have you ever started one then realized you picked the wrong one for your goals?
- Which kind would best meet your goals in your current season of life?