Side-Hustle 101

Let’s talk about side-hustles.
In my recent interview on Eric Garza’s, A Worldview Apart, I talk about how having multiple side-hustles allowed me to pay off my debt much faster. Side-hustles can be a huge boost to achieving any financial goal. If you are thinking about a side-hustle, definitely read on, as not all side-hustles are created equal. I break down the pros and cons of each.

Types of Side-Hustles:

1. The second job. 
This is the most basic of all side-hustles, just another W2 job that you fit in around your main job. This time last year I picked up a side-hustle working at a retailer during the holidays. Assuming that you already have a full-time job, the most important requirement for a second job is that you can choose your hours. By default, these jobs tend to be retail and restaurant jobs.

Pros:

  • Retail and restaurant jobs tend to be easy to get.
    • There is something to be said about a stress-free hiring process. Most restaurants and retailers are desperate for part-time help, especially during the holidays, so if you have basic social skills and smell good, most likely you will get the job.
  • An instant, consistent boost in monthly income.
    • You get past the hiring process and bam, you start getting paid. Hours may fluctuate slightly, but for the most part, you have a general idea of how much extra you will be bringing in.
  • Holiday pay.
    • If you work a retail job, you get time and a half for working on holidays!
Cons:
  • You have another boss.
    • Even though you theoretically choose your own hours, your boss is still your boss. They may schedule you to work shifts you didn’t request. They may pressure you to work more than you want to. They may guilt you into staying at the job past the holidays. That was my experience.
  • Per hour pay is low
    • Unless you are working at a 5-star restaurant, the per hour pay is going to be relatively low for a retail or restaurant job.
  • It can take over your life
    • Because I was so bad at setting boundaries at my second job, I was letting my home and social life suffer. I got addicted to the extra money and the busyness, so my life ended up getting really unmanageable.
2. Domestic Work
This can be cleaning homes, babysitting, pet-sitting, dog-walking, wood-stacking, housesitting, etc. Basically, anything that busy and/or rich people will pay you to do.

Pros:

  • Easy money.
    • Housesitting, pet-sitting, and dog-walking was the easiest money I made in my life. While housesitting, I got $30-$40/day to stay at a comfy house and eat their food (so I saved on groceries.) I got $10 per dog walk and each walk took about 10-15min. Obviously, some domestic work is labor-intensive like cleaning and wood-stacking, but many aren’t.
  • Decent money.
    • While hard work, I got paid about $25/hour to clean homes, which was more than double than what I was paid at my retail job.
  • Fast money.
    • No waiting for a paycheck here, I got paid as soon as the job was done, sometimes before!
Cons:
  • The skills are not transferable.
    • Unless you want to open a home or pet care business, the skills you are developing in these jobs (besides finding clients) aren’t helpful. They don’t add anything to your resume and aren’t helping you move towards your career goals. This is why I stopped doing these jobs when I had made enough progress on my debt; the opportunity cost was too high.
3. Freelancing/Consulting
This can be anything: tutoring, writing blogs for websites, creating business plans for startups, or even driving Uber. Basically, if you sign an independent contractor’s agreement you are a freelancer.

Pros:

  • Potential for high hourly pay.
    • I was able to command $50/hr to do marketing consulting for small businesses and nonprofits. Depending on how specialized your skills are you can command upwards of $100/hr. Do a quick google search to see what the market rates are for your skill.
  • Valuable experience.
    • You may be exposed to different types of companies and industries, which is incredibly valuable. That experience differentiates you from other candidates if you are job searching and it definitely can add to your resume. Also, clients will become a part of your professional network, which is huge.
  • Ultimate flexibility.
    • Since you are a contractor and not an employee, you have the power to set your own schedule and do things the way you want to.
Cons:
  • Work and pay are not consistent.
    • You may be excited to get a client that agrees to your rate, but find out later they only send you checks when they feel like it. One month you may be super busy and you make a ton of money, and next month you may not be able to find any clients.
  • Bookkeeping.
    • You need to send invoices in order to get paid. You need to track expenses for tax purposes.I
4. Starting a business.
Starting a business is the side-hustle most people think of. It’s important to know that if you want your business to qualify as a side hustle, it must immediately make a profit. Otherwise, its a hobby or an investment, and money spent on it should be limited until you get out of debt and save an emergency fund of three to six months of living expenses.
Pros:
  • If its growing and profitable, it could potentially replace your current job.
    • This is the American Dream.
  • The possibility of passive income.
    • Passive income streams are the most efficient way to build wealth. If you can set up your business so that you can earn money while you sleep, this frees up valuable time for you to earn money doing other things.
Cons: 
  • Upfront costs.
    • Most businesses require upfront investments. At a minimum, you may have to pay for a website and business cards.
  • Most businesses fail.
  • Legal stuff.
    • Starting a business may require legal services, which can get expensive if you have no idea what you are doing.
Alright, so there it is, a break down of all of your side-hustle options. I really hope you got something out of this. I would LOVE to hear your feedback, questions, or comments. Tell me about your side hustle plans! You can do so by emailing me at maddycashmoney@gmail.com or tweeting or IG DMing me @maddymoneycash .
Until next week,

Maddy

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