I’m on a side hustle journey. I don’t know where it will go but I’m enjoying the ride. My first attempt was to think about starting a propane delivery service. See that experience in my blog at https://thesidehustlejourney.com/2019/02/19/the-first-attempt-propane-delivery/. After researching what it would entail to start a propane delivery service, I decided it was too much work with too little margins and I didn’t think I could do it as a side hustle while keeping my day job and my sanity.
I stepped back to regroup and realized that I had a blank slate and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I searched the internet for good side hustle resources and came across Nick Loper’s website called The Side Hustle Nation (https://www.sidehustlenation.com/). He has great information on it and tons of podcasts. What he says and his style of sharing information (both his successes and failures) as well as his podcast guests who have done successful side hustles really resonated with me. I liked his question and answer interview style approach and felt that both Nick and his guests were being real and transparent and offering a wealth of information for someone like me who was trying to figure out what my niche should be for a side hustle or three.
For my day job in educational publishing, I drive a lot to visit my Northern California customers, which are school districts. I’m in my car up to 20 hours a week and usually use that time listening to music, having phone meetings, listening to books on tape or just thinking. I decided to binge Nick’s podcasts and spent most of my driving during the summer of 2018 listening to side hustle podcasts.
By my count, I listened to 33 podcasts over the summer. I just saw a note that I had written that said at some point during August, I had listened to 12 podcasts in 17 days. Wow- I was a true side hustle podcast addict. I tried a couple of other side hustle podcasts but kept coming back to The Side Hustle Nation (www.thesidehustlenation.com) as the most informative. I listened to topics ranging from blogging, 3D printing, Merch by Amazon, renting bouncy houses, Afterschool Enrichment, to Knife Sharpening. Even if the show didn’t seem relevant at all to me (like the Knife Sharpening business), I always took at least 1 thing away from it. Even if the actual side hustle didn’t seem relevant, everyone had common themes such as building a website, acquiring customers, figure out the correct price point etc.
At that point, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as my side hustle so I was really trying to be open minded about listening to what others were doing and see what resonated with me. I was also trying to tease out what I’d be passionate about to make sure I would have fun as no one was making me do this. This was all about adding more creativity in my life and having fun. Some of the podcasts that were making folks money such as renting bouncy houses or a traveling knife sharpening business sounded downright painful to me so I knew those wouldn’t make my short list.
About this time, one of my work friends needed to relocate for family reasons and so she needed to find a new job. I told her about my side hustle journey I was on and sent her the following email with these ideas that I can come up with based on my podcast binging:
1. Selling non fiction ebooks on Amazon.
I signed up for this $10 course and it walks you through it
How to find ideas for non fiction ebooks:
- Look at resume and see what you are good at
- Write down your interests
This started my thinking with my ideas on creating The Ordinary Mom brand. The Facebook page is my first test to see if there is any “there there”.
2. Create an online store and do drop shipping.
Check out — dropshiplifestyle.com/hustle
This guy created an online store and sells bouncy houses- he nets ~$30-40k/year
Paid ads first, google searches later
Google ads and then organic searches
Check out notes with more details
3. Create a website and blog.
- Put affiliate links on your website to drive traffic there (like you are doing on the formula site)
- Amazon associates program
- Check any website (i.e. Target) and see if they have an affiliate program
4. Do podcasts (ideally do this with #3- I would love to do #1, #3 & #4 as my next phase with my The Ordinary Mom Brand)
See link below to learn how:
5. Start an after school enrichment class.
This woman, May, created a craft class (she wasn’t even crafty!) and started an afterschool enrichment class at her son’s school 1 hour a week. She has does it ~5 days a week and makes ~$200/hour per class and now has multiple class a day so she has people working for her. She then created a course of how to do it and is selling that too so I think she is making good money now.
6. Become loan signing agent (notary).
This one is a great one to do in addition to 1-2 others because it’s pretty much a guaranteed $100/hour. If I’d got laid off, I’d do this first as I was ramping up 1-2 of the others because it is quick and consistent income. You take this class: Loansigningsystem.com and it will tell you how to get your notary license and how to tap into loan signing (which is needed for anyone who is buying a house). There are now signing service businesses- like uber- where they text you if someone needs a signing agent in your area and you can accept it or not. The host says to assume it is ~2 hours for each appointment (includes drive time, set up, signing etc). If you did 5/week, that’s only ~10 hours total for $500/week (or $2,000 month). Or you could do this 1/2 time (say 10-15 signings at~20 hours/week) and make $4,000-$6,000/month–$48k-$72k a year for ~20 hours a week)
7. Be a virtual assistant (VA).
You are way too experienced for this but I heard this woman, Abbey, talk about how she started as a VA, then started her own VA company and then made training videos about being a VA. She’s now making between $200k-$300k selling her video courses. You could copy that path but you’d probably have to do a little VA work first to figure it out. It would be a longer term plan but you can pick your own hours so you could do this for ~10/week just to learn the business.
8. Teach English to kids in China via video chat.
Minimum 6 hours a week
Teach through Qkids
9. Create online videos to sell about anything you know to sell i.e. teaching, tutoring, parenting etc.
This one is wide open but would take more time and money than the others but I think it has a huge potential. You could do try to do 3 at once—1 quick money maker like #6 #7 or #8, one medium money maker like #1-#5 and then work on this as your long term money maker.
As you can see, all of my information was coming from Nick Loper’s Side Hustle Nation. I have never met Nick so I’m not promoting him for any other reason than I found his site and podcasts super informative and helpful (Thank you, Nick!). He takes the approach that he has done well with his side hustles and part of his business model is to help others find their passion and start side hustles too (of course he makes money doing it but he is helping others in the process).
At the end of the summer, I decided to narrow down what my ideas were. One of my main takeaways that almost every side hustle guest said was “just do it”. You can sit around for years trying to figure out the perfect side hustle or you can just do it and then tweak it or ditch it and try another one but time marches on and you want to use that to your advantage. Stay tuned for the next blog post where I actually narrow down my options and actually “just do it”.