I’m in the camp that thinks that while there are thousands of ways to cut costs, you can only cut costs to a certain point and then if you really want to get ahead, you have to start earning more.
A buddy of mine tweeted just this week, “Anyone else just starting their second job? #SideHustle” to which I replied, “second job? It’s been a long time since I had just two.” This reminded me of the importance of side hustling.
A side hustle is anything you do on the side of your day job to earn a little more. The only limit to the amount of income you can made side hustling is you, your time and the amount of effort you put into things. So let me run down the different hats I wear…
My day job is fairly ordinary. I am a systems administrator for a company that sells agricultural products and services (concrete and asphalt mainly). I’ve worked here for three years now and support 2,000+ users with a small team of me+one and my two bosses.
My main side hustle is working for Money Crashers. I started working for them as a freelance writer back in 2010 and have since taken on the role of Community Manager. I handle their Twitter and Facebook profiles, coordinate Online events and essentially play the face man for the company. If you’ve interacted with Money Crashers publicly in the past 6 months, chances are you were talking to me.
These guys are excellent to work with and have pretty much let me grow at my own pace, encouraging and supporting me any chance they get. I still write regularly for Money Crashers and look forward to growing this into much more.
Personal Finance Firewall
You are here 🙂 I’ve been writing this site since Feb 2009 and haven’t looked back. It’s been a great asset to have and has opened door after door. It’s also opened my mind to the vastness of the Internet. There is so much that can be done out here, and even getting a tiny chunk of that can create huge benefits for you.
I’ve been writing for Lending Tree on a semi-regular basis for the past six months. They have a completely different audience than anyone else I’ve written for so writing for them has really helped me stretch and grow in different directions.
While lately my semi-passive side hustle as a landlord has been a bit rocky, when things are smooth my rental property brings in just over $100 a month.
Freelance computer work
Having computer skills under my belt has been a big plus to finding side hustles. Everyone needs computer work and just mentioning what I do sometimes develops into a short term, or even long term computer services gig. I support a few local companies where I live with their computer needs.
I love web design. It’s one of those things that if I was to do it all over again, I’d focus on developing this into a full time career. I do web design at least once a month, mostly for my other side hustles but a few times a year for paying clients. These are a couple sites I designed: FairfieldDentalLayton.com, RPTUT.com, Brokeasaspoke.com
This is where things really get interesting. Side hustling does not mean you have to do something that others have done or that even has a name. I’ve found that there are opportunities right in front of all of us, and we just have to reach out and take them. These are some of those opportunities:
I bought AdRavage.com about a month ago. I’ll detail all that in a later post but I have really big plans for this service company. Currently, the service provides a way for you to set up an automated Craigslist Search. You set the search terms and categories, then AdRavage.com searches Craigslist for you and when a result comes up, you get an email with some details about the classified listing and a link. I’m currently working on implementing the next stage of AdRavage which is going to be huge but you’ll just have to sign up and see what rolls out in the coming months 🙂
AdRavage.com growing at a steady pace (I’d love for you to sign up!) but I have yet to implement the new revenue model so the income is just a steady drip right now.
I started this company back in January. I design android apps for bloggers looking to increase their visibility into an untapped market; the android market. I’ve designed just under 40 apps for bloggers. Eventually I’d like to expand the service to custom app design as well as branch out to the other mobile development languages, but those plans are taking a back seat to AdRavage.
For those of you not familiar, a blog carnival is a regular roundup posted on different blogs. To be part of a carnival, you just have to fill out a submission form provided by the blog carnival host. This process takes some time and a few bloggers I know wanted to get away from having to do this, but didn’t want to miss out on the potential rewards and exposure a blog carnival provides. So now they pay me to submit their blog posts to carnivals for them.
Other things I’ve done
Some things aren’t as regular as these I’ve mentioned above and they provide a quick and sometimes large payout but don’t last very long. Here are some of my latest temporary side hustles.
I got set up with a wholesaler, bought items at wholesale prices and sold them on eBay. This provided a trickle of income for about a year. It wasn’t much, but didn’t take much to get it. I still sell things on eBay and classified sites whenever I feel like it.
I did some consulting, managed a PR campaign and helped launch a product near the end of 2010 for an Internet start-up company. This was really fun and a new experience that I wouldn’t mind expanding on later in life.
This is just what I can think of off the top of my head, and just a tiny taste of whats out there. There are so many untapped opportunities that you can be a part of and if you really want to get ahead and start changing your life, a side hustle is the way to do it. Who knows, a single side hustle may open the doors for a while new career path bigger and brighter than anything you ever dreamed of.
What’s your side hustle? Let me know in the comments!
Image by vtveen br>