I have always had a side hustle. When I was 8 years-old, I sold McDonald’s toys and baseball cards at summer camp. I knew nothing about baseball cards, but I understood supply and demand, and I jacked up the prices on the cards that had the most demand. When I turned 9, I developed my own product and sold customized string bracelets. In middle school, I started selling CDs and in high school, I sold pizza after school. Bottom line, I was born a side hustler.
At a young age, I recognized that one stream of income was just too risky. I simply could not count on the inconsistency of the allowance from my parents. I had to diversify my income. That lesson still holds true. Putting all of your eggs in one basket makes you too dependent on that source of income to live. So if you hate your job, but you don’t have money coming in from any other source, you may quickly feel stuck. More importantly, it just isn’t smart. If you lose your job but have no other sources of income, you’ve set yourself up for failure.
I truly believe that you can’t be free if you are working for someone else. (And you all know how important freedom is to me.) As I have gotten older, my side hustles have helped me have more freedom with my finances, time, and travel. Here are some of my favorite side hustles:
AirBNB. AirBnB is an online platform that allows you to rent your home out to travelers. After getting over the initial weirdness of having strangers in my house, it has been wonderful. I rent out my house anytime I am out of town. The income I make from renting my house is usually enough to cover the cost of my plane ticket for the trip. Basically, I get to travel for free. Here are a few quick tips if you are thinking about becoming an AirBNB host: take down all of your personal photos, purchase sets of white sheets and white towels just for your guests to use, get mattress and pillow covers, purchase a Keurig for coffee/tea, lock all of your valuables in one of your closets, and request to have a professional photographer come and take pictures of your house (AirBNB offers this service for free, and it makes a world of a difference in getting bookings).
Adjunct Faculty. If you have a Master’s degree, you can usually secure an adjunct faculty position at a college or university fairly easy. They are always hiring. If you like teaching and are passionate about a subject, it is a no-brainier. I started adjunct teaching (Side Hustle), and now I’ve been promoted to full-time Assistant Professor. See the power of a good solid side hustle?
Blogging. Now, my blogging doesn’t bring me any money. At least not directly. But, it’s still a side hustle. It is helping me to create a platform that promotes living happy, healthy, and free lives, which is my ultimate long-term goal. So although it isn’t raking in the dough, it is just as important—if not more important than—my more lucrative hustles. It is easy to get side tracked by chasing the dollars. But side hustling isn’t just about making extra money. It’s also about helping you craft your ideal life. Working without pay in a position that gives you great exposure and experience and helps you make great connections is the ultimate side hustle.
IG Strategist. A good side hustler has to be responsive. When I figured out what my ultimate dream was, one of the first things I realized, is that I would have to get on social media. As someone who only had 216 followers less than a year ago, I had a lot to learn about Instagram. I became a student of IG, and figured out how to grow my IG quickly. I went from having barely any followers to over 10k in less than 6 months. People started to notice my quick growth, so I started getting questions all the time about how I grew my IG so quickly. Eureka! Side hustle. I created a website, and as people reached out to me, I told them about my new found IG business. Although it isn’t a large company, it’s a small side hustle that adds value to my customers and brings in some revenue for me. If you have been looking to grow your IG, check out my website www.IGStrategist.com.
If you call yourself a respectable millennial, I expect you to have a side hustle. If you like dogs, check out Rover. If you like to drive, try Uber or Lyft. Good with grammar? Be an editor. Can you build websites? Are you a photographer? Can you cook? Whatever it is, you should have some hustle. Most people make excuses not to pursue a side hustle. The biggest one? That there isn’t enough time in the day. Well,there are 24 hours in a day, and most jobs only require you to work 8 hours. So what are you doing with the other 16? I hope not just sleeping and watching TV. Where there is a will, there is a way. Stop making excuses and get your hustle on.