Many moons ago, I found myself in a tight financial spot. The calendar was telling me Christmas was coming up. Fast. And the constant barrage of commercials showing off the new must-have gift for the holidays wasn’t helping. My kids aren’t any different than most: see something on TV that looks really cool and you’ve gotta have it. It doesn’t matter that Mama is trying to figure out if she needs to pay the electric bill or buy the shoes your child desperately needs. Yep, it was like that.
Not having anyone to go to to help me out of this jam, I had to put a plan in motion - quick, fast and in a hurry.
One thing I can say about myself (and this ain’t bragging): I’m a survivor.
So I sat down and figured out how I could make some quick coin using my existing gifts.
How do you figure out what your gifts are?
Ask yourself: what’s that one thing you do that if you didn’t get paid to do it, you’d do it anyway because you love it so much? Do you always get compliments from friends and family about certain things you do?
There are some things you do in life because you’ve just gotta. Or maybe there are some tasks in your job or business that have to get done. When I did virtual assistant work, I hated making phone calls. When clients would ask me to make calls, I did everything else first before I picked up that phone. And I’m pretty sure the person on the other end of the call could tell how much I hated doing it.
But if you asked me to write a blog post - man, I was on it!
The bottom line is this: you do have a gift. We’ve all been blessed with them. But when we’ve done stuff for so long that isn’t fulfilling, we begin to confuse those things as being our gifts.
I decided to use one of my gifts to get me over the financial holiday hump: baking.
I had gotten some compliments about my baking so I decided, why not whip up some holiday treats? I pulled out some of my favorite recipes: pound cake and blueberry muffins. Simple enough where I could whip them up quickly (time was of the essence here!) and I had most of the ingredients already and didn’t have to buy anything special.
I sold enough baked goodies to neighbors and friends that I was able to buy gifts, go grocery shopping and pay bills.
Maybe your situation isn’t as dire as mine was (I sure hope not!).
Maybe your main gig isn’t cuttin’ it money-wise and you need a little extra.
Maybe you’ve got some time on your hands and you want to turn boredom into moolah.
Or you’re saving a downpayment for your dream house.
I know a lot of folks who side hustle - that kinda seems to be the thing these days.
And there are soooooo many things you can do to get it done.
Here are some side hustle ideas to get the juices flowin’:
Hey, all you Uber and Lyft drivers: are you trained to tell me you love picking up people and taking them to their destinations? Because that’s what I hear time and time again. Hey, if it’s true, that’s great! I sure appreciate you. Seriously, every driver I’ve had has told me they truly enjoy being an Uber/Lyft driver. The only thing they complain about? The rowdy and drunk passengers. Can’t say I blame them. Side rant: we need to pay our teachers more. I’m seeing lots of teachers out there driving to make ends meet. I’m gonna pray about that.
2. Dog walking or pet sitting.
Now while I don’t have a pet (three boys is enough, thank you very much!), I occasionally watch my aunt’s dog. Ain’t she cute?
If you’ve got a lot of patience, love animals and want to provide a service to busy folks, this could be a lucrative side gig. You can market your services to people you already know or set up a profile on Wag or Care.com to find jobs in your area.
Got a friend going on vacation? Offer to watch their house while they’re gone. And while you’re there, maybe give it a good clean, water the plants and stock the fridge so they come home to some food. Treat your friend (aka, client) like a VIP and you’ll have referral after referral.
4. Baking goodies.
Where are all my PTA baking mamas? It’s time to turn those cookies and brownies into cash! Package those pretty eats into a goodie box, attach a card and BOOM! But make sure to check local regulations to see if you can use your kitchen or if you need a license.
5. Cleaning houses.
Can you come and clean my house? Don’t get me wrong, I can clean but sometimes I just don’t want to, ya feel me? Find enough people like me (not enough time, don’t feel like it, etc.), you’ll hit a gold mine! Overhead is pretty low to get started: cleaning supplies, vacuum cleaner, mops, buckets. And if you get enough business, bring on a helper to tackle other houses. Two hands are better than one, right? You can set up a profile on Care.com or ask around to see if anyone needs your services.
Want to work from home but don’t have a whole lot of experience? No worries! Transcription might be the ticket. You’ll need some equipment to get started but you can make extra money transcribing audio. Here’s a list of companies that hire transcriptionists. Or reach out to your favorite podcaster to see if they need help transcribing show notes (a really popular niche).
Who doesn’t want to see their kids do well in school, right? And some parents are willing and able to pay you to tutor their kids. You can either meet in their homes, at the local library or even tutor online. Lots of possibilities. Check out Shay’s post about online tutoring, that also includes some companies that hire tutors.
8. Bill paying for seniors
I pay my uncle’s bills for him (for free because I love him dearly and he does so much for me). Not because he’s an invalid or anything like that. Shoot, he walks faster and more often than I do. I pay his bills for him because he’s not a computer whiz. Actually, he’s not a computer person at all. And he’s not trying to be one. Everything is online these days, no one mails payments anymore. Maybe you can help a senior by setting up auto payment of their bills or pay their bills online? You’ll be providing a super useful service and helping at the same time. Win/win!
If grammatical errors get under your skin, have you thought about proofreading as a side hustle? Watch this video to see if you have what it takes to be a superstar proofreader and you might be on your way.
I hope this helps. If you’ve got a side gig, share it in the comments so I can check you out! Until next time!