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Michael Williams is here today with his post on how to make extra money on the side. We’ve talked previously about why you need to start a side hustle, and Michael is here to add context to that argument, as well as give you some great options on how to get started.
Take it away, Michael:
Ideas For How to Make Extra Money on the Side
The term ‘Side Hustle’ is used a lot now, gaining popularity over the past few years. Surprisingly, it isn’t a new term, being used by American newspapers as far back as the 1950s where it described the work undertaken by people outside of their main jobs.
It’s clear that making a bit of extra cash on the side has been a part of life for a long time, but in tandem with the term ‘Side Hustle’, it’s been brought mainstream, growing in popularity. In some parts of society, it’s now seen as cool or admirable, something that may not have been the case in decades gone by.
Why Do I Need a Side Hustle?
There are many reasons for doing a bit of business on the side: perhaps your main job doesn’t pay well, perhaps you’re saving to buy a house, or perhaps you’re looking to pay down some debt.
Even if things are going great at work, a side hustle can be just as much a fun hobby as a great source of income, and even gives a little comfort if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances of losing your job. What is clear is that everyone needs a side hustle.
In his book The Four Hour Work Week, author Tim Ferriss discusses a type of business that almost runs itself, which, after a bit of hustling to get set up, can be left on relative autopilot to just bring in extra cash.
Not all of his principles will work for everyone and for every business, but it’s certainly a good frame of mind to get into.
“How can I make as much money from as little effort as possible?”
Ferriss’ ultimate aim is to build a side hustle (or several) into a big enough business that will allow you to quit your day job and (if you wish) spend your life traveling. This is the aim for many side hustlers, taking the side hustle and making it the main hustle.
However, this isn’t always the case. Rich Dad Poor Dad is another great book that discusses this topic, as well as good financial practice in general. In the book, author Robert Kiyosaki describes a philosophy of working to invest, where you use your main job to help finance your side hustles. These side hustles can be fully fledged businesses, or investments in assets like stocks, shares, or property.
Hitting the Big Time
Whilst books like Rich Dad Poor Dad say that you can keep your day job if you wish, side hustles don’t always have to remain on the side.
For many, a side hustle eventually becomes a full-time job. There are many examples of this, such as countless YouTubers like SerpentZA, who started making videos about China as a hobby but turned it into a full-time business now known as ADV Media.
Similarly, Chris Moneymaker started playing poker online while working as an accountant, before winning a World Series of Poker main event tournament, kicking off his professional career.
Another example is Martin Lewis, who founded the Money Saving Expert website back in 2003 for the cost of just £100. This website became one of the biggest financial websites in the UK and Martin later sold it to MoneySuperMarket.com for around £87 million.
How to Start a Side Hustle
So you’ve decided you want a side hustle, but how do you get going? First, you will need an idea, then you need to make a plan and put it into action. If you have never set up your own business before, or you’ve never done any freelance work this initial stage can be very daunting.
Fortunately, a simple, step by step approach can help.
Rather than looking at it as one mammoth task, breaking it down into little chunks makes it much easier to tackle. For example, if you want to get into freelance graphic design, using a freelance website such as Upwork or Freelancer.com will be a good place to start.
You won’t need to go out and find new clients yourself, you will just have to apply for work a bit like you would apply for any regular job. Picking up a few small jobs, to begin with, will help you get a feel for this different type of working and help you learn what clients want.
You can then continue that while you begin looking for your own clients. From here, the sky’s the limit!
Coming Up With an Idea
For some people, they’ll have endless ideas popping into their heads faster than they can do anything with them. For others, coming up with just one good idea will be a struggle.
Neither way is wrong, the idea is less important, how you execute it is key. Nonetheless, you still need an idea, so if you’re struggling here are some examples to give you some inspiration:
Start a Fashion Brand
Fashion is always evolving, so there’s always room for someone with the latest trends. With the growth of social media, promoting lifestyle brands like clothing businesses has become easier than ever.
There are many examples of side hustle clothing lines that have become huge businesses, with brands like Hype and the Misha Collection some of the most successful examples of recent years.
Getting started in the fashion industry is relatively easy, and there are many guides on how to start a fashion brand that will help you.
Become a YouTube Star
If you regularly watch videos on YouTube you’re probably familiar with this narrative:
- Person starts making videos as a hobby;
- They get a few thousand subscribers and start to put more time into it;
- They develop their skills and produce more professional looking content;
- They start making money from YouTube ads, and other sources like Patreon;
- A couple of years down the line they make a video where they announce they’ve quit their job to do YouTube full time.
This is very common, with many people starting their channels having been inspired by someone else they’ve seen do it already.
One YouTuber who is very open and honest about how he has done this is BeatTheBush, who produces videos on financial independence.
If you have some original content to offer, starting a YouTube channel could be a viable option for a money making side hustle.
Start Buying and Selling
The internet is filled with opportunities to buy and sell almost anything you can imagine.
There are people who have started very successful businesses by buying up products from retail stores like Walmart and then selling them for more online.
There are countless more who have made sizeable side incomes by doing it on a smaller scale; using charity shops, thrift stores, and garage sales to buy goods at a discount to later sell for a profit.
It is even possible to sell items you might otherwise throw away, such as toilet roll tubes, empty glass jars and other similar items that can be used in arts and craft projects.
If you have the talent, another option is to do the arts and crafts yourself and sell your handmade products on websites such as Etsy.
This is a marketplace filled with sellers providing everything from engraved spoons to personalized license plates, and from candles to clocks made from old vinyl records. If you’re good at making things, Etsy could be a great way to build your side hustle.
Some people might not see this as a side hustle, but it’s a way to make additional income outside of your main employment, so it meets the definition.
However, investing is something everyone should be doing, whether they have a side hustle or not. Investing in assets is an important part of wealth creation, and it doesn’t require huge amounts of knowledge of stock markets to be able to do it.
Following the advice of Warren Buffett and making small, regular investments in funds that track major indices like the FTSE 100 or the S&P 500 is a great way to grow the value of your money over time.
Other ways of investing could include buying shares in individual businesses, buying property or other assets like bonds, precious metals or cryptocurrencies. Just be sure you do your research before you part with your hard earned cash.
Side hustles are for everyone, whether you want to use it to quit your job, or just keep it as a hobby that also pays, it doesn’t matter. There are endless opportunities when it comes to ideas for a side hustle, and with the right plan and enough effort, it is certainly possible for your side hustle to become a multi-million dollar business.
Whether you use one of these ideas or one of your own, a side hustle can be interesting, fun and a great way to learn new skills.
What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below!