A Roadmap to Financial Freedom IV — Getting a Side Hustle
I’ve seen a lot of people complain about how the world is monetizing people’s hobbies. You don’t HAVE to earn money from a hobby, but if you enjoy doing something, why not get paid to do it? As I mentioned in my last article, according to the NY Post, half of the millennials in the US in 2018 admitted to having a side hustle. CNBC goes on to tell us that millennials that have a side hustle make as much as $US 10,972. That’s a whole extra salary in Trinidad & Tobago, being made from a part-time job!
What I Did
The Balance mentions that you could start a side hustle while keeping your day job, and that’s what I did. When I started my journey way back in 2012, the idea of earning money online had been in my mind for a while. However, I had no idea how I could make that money. I mean, no one ever considers what they’re good at and if they can make money from it. I agonized for a while over what I did well. I was a pretty decent writer, and I could break down complex ideas into simpler pieces. So, I decided I’d try my hand at writing. I signed up to a few job boards and started waiting for the money to come rolling in.
The money did not, in fact, come rolling in. Instead, I’d submit applications to three or four jobs a day, and get no response or a kind response telling me that I’m not what they were looking for. Eventually, I realized that I’d have to aim lower to develop a proper portfolio of writing work. In the first half a year of working as a freelance writer part-time, I was working for what I’ve now come to refer to as “borderline slave wages.” However, as with every profession, you have to start somewhere, and this was my starting point. I worked my way up and eventually was able to charge more, but I’m getting ahead of myself here.
What Can YOU do?
I can’t do ALL the legwork for you, so in this article, I’m going to leave you with a little bit of homework. I’m going to pitch five of the easiest side hustles to get working on. Don’t invest time into any of these yet — there’s a very crucial piece of the puzzle that I have to mention later down, and I don’t want you tying yourself to an anchor just yet. What you need to do is examine these options and see which one may suit you best based on your likes and your personality.
1) Sell Photos (No, not THAT kind of photo)
Everyone takes pictures for Instagram these days. Did you know that some of those photos might actually be worth money? Sites like Getty Images and iStock buy stock photos from users. There are great tips on how to craft the best stock photos. I even use stock photos in these articles from Unsplash.
2) Freelance Writing
Writing is the career I make my money from now. The competition here is a lot fiercer than it was when I got started, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up before trying. There are a LOT of places that you can find useful freelance writer resources like job boards and listings.
In recent years the number of Chinese goods looking for people to sell them on the open market has increased a lot. Dropshippers are the people who operate a store that ships these goods from manufacturers to buyers without having their own inventory. This hustle does require some money to get started with, however.
If you’re crafty and enjoy making stuff, then selling that stuff on Etsy is a pretty good way to make a few dollars on the side. You may have to do some research into the marketing side of the equation, but it’s relatively simple to get set up.
5) Beta Testing
If you like trying out new apps or software, you can sign up as a beta tester on several sites. Companies pay users to play around with their app, and if anything breaks, you tell them about it. If you’re a huge phone-user, this might be right up your alley.
There’s no end to the kind of things you can find yourself doing for spare cash. So, until next time, your homework will be to check out these side hustle things and figure out if any of them appeal to you. If these five aren’t anything, you’d want to do, head over to Google and use the search to your benefit. You’d be surprised what people would pay money for. In my next article, I’ll be tying all this together into something concrete that you can use. Until next time, make a shortlist of five side hustles that appeal to you and keep them handy. We’ll need them soon!
Jason K. Dookeran