Profitable Preparedness Podcast – Episode 37
Side hustles: Make Some Extra Money
Where we help hardworking people in the preparedness community to break out of corporate America to live a totally free life.
- My philosophy on side hustles
- Being prepared for job loss
- Jack Spirko Unemployment Strategy (www.survivalpodcast.com)
Profitable Preparedness Podcast Resources on Transitioning your Side Hustle to a Business
Business Opportunity Filter and Branding https://profitablepreparedness.com/episode12
Unique Selling Proposition https://profitablepreparedness.com/episode13
Building your Website: A Step by Step Guide https://profitablepreparedness.com/episode14
Digital Marketing Tips & Tricks Part 1 https://profitablepreparedness.com/episode15
Digital Marketing Tips & Tricks Part 2 https://profitablepreparedness.com/episode16
Side Hustle Ideas:
- Driving. If you’re free mornings, nights, or weekends, you can earn extra cash driving your fellow citizens around.
One cool “hack”: Both companies offer “Destination Mode”, which basically allows you to earn money on your regular morning and evening commute by telling the app which direction you’re headed and only accepting riders along your route.
- Delivery Service. With services like UberEATS and Door Dash you can earn money on your own schedule delivering take-out orders in your town … and you don’t have to worry about keeping your car super clean for passengers.
- Notary Public Service. Notary certification is granted by the state and the cost is generally less than $100.
Once you’re certified, you can charge your own fee to notarize documents, or become a loan signing agent like Brian did and make $1500-2000 a month overseeing mortgage signings in your spare time.
- Customer Interviews. Many companies use customer interviews to get feedback on new products. Respondent is a cool service that facilitates those interviews that take place both in-person and online. (You can totally do this from home; just look for the ones that say “remote”.)
The best part? The average compensation is $140 an hour!
- Affiliate Marketing. Refer website visitors to buy products online and earn a small commission on each sale. This is actually how I’ve made the bulk of my living over the last 10 years, so it definitely works!
Note: Please do me a favor and don’t buy into anyone’s sleazy affiliate marketing “program” or “system.” There are unfortunately a lot of slimy salespeople out there making their living taking advantage of newbies.
If you want to learn more about affiliate marketing, check out my chat with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, who consistently earns over $50k a month as an affiliate — all while traveling full-time.
- Earning Money with Credit Card Rewards
Take advantage of the various sign-up bonuses and cash back offers doled out by banks. You’ve got to promise to do this responsibly, but it’s actually earned my wife and I thousands of dollars in free money and travel over the last few years.
- Online Surveys. These won’t make you rich, but can be an easy way to supplement your income and you can do them in your downtime (waiting in line, watching TV, etc.).
If you love this stuff, check out:
- Swagbucks (free $5 bonus; earn up to $35 a survey)
- Ipsos i-Say – The survey arm of one of the nation’s largest research firms
- Prize Rebel – Earn $10-12 an hour doing surveys or completing other tasks. Just avoid the low-paying ones.
- Springboard America – Higher payouts than many other survey sites, but requires a $50 minimum to cash out.
- Survey Junkie – Popular online survey site with more than 3 million members.
- InboxDollars (free $5 bonus)
- Opinion Outpost – Cash out at just $5 via PayPal or Amazon gift cards. Each survey enters you into a $10,000 quarterly drawing.
- CashCrate – Get a $1 bonus just for signing up!
- Renting Out Your Car. In select markets, you can rent out your car on a daily or hourly basis to earn extra cash through companies like Turo and Getaround.
According to Turo, the average car sits idle 22 hours a day, so their service is a unique opportunity to capitalize on those idle hours. The companies handle all the insurance.
A couple friends used the Turo platform to essentially get a free Tesla!
- Blogging. Blogging is difficult to monetize but can be a fun outlet to practice your writing or build an audience around a particular idea.
Want to start a blog of your own? Check out my free 6-part video course on how to start your own site.
- Airbnb. If you have extra room in your house, you can earn money renting it out to visitors on Airbnb.com. It’s a pretty cool way to make money and meet interesting people from around the world at the same time.
With a little bit of traction, you could even cover your entire rent or mortgage by hosting guests on Airbnb. Have you tried it?
My friend Jasper travels the world while renting out his Amsterdam apartment.
The next step: In addition to a small portfolio of her own short-term rental properties, Zeona McIntyre has built a side business in “co-hosting” other Airbnbs. She essentially acts as the property manager, coordinating guest check-ins, maintenance, and cleaning, in exchange for 20% of the rent — with none of the risk.
- Selling on eBay. eBay can be a tough, low-margin, competitive environment, but that’s not to say there aren’t any opportunities left to earn extra cash on the world’s largest marketplace.
- Selling on Amazon. One of the most popular side hustles lately has been Amazon’s FBA program, in which you find bargain deals locally, and ship them off to sell on Amazon.
- Private Labeling. In this side hustle, you identify hot-selling products and bring your own to market to compete with them. There’s an art and science to this, including negotiating with suppliers (often overseas), but Andy breaks it all down for us in this crash course on how to get started with private labeling.
Later, I sat down with Greg Mercer to chat his Amazon FBA product sourcing guidelines and tips.
- Virtual Assistant Service. Virtual assistants provide administrative support to clients from their home office. If that sounds like a fun side hustle you can set up shop on your own or jump on board with an established VA company like BELAY or Fancy Hands.
To learn more about starting your own virtual assistant company, check out the free video training from my friend Abbey Ashley, who started her VA business on the side and shares:
- Where to find thousands of potential clients.
- How to make a full-time living working from home.
- What clients are really looking for in a VA. (hint: it’s not prior VA experience)
- Teaching Online. Udemy is an impressive online education platform where students can connect with teachers from all around the world in any subject. You can create your own course around a topic you’re an expert in and set your own tuition rate.
To learn more about this cool new side hustle, check out my interview with top-performing Udemy instructor, Scott Britton. He shares how he created a passive income stream on a topic he wasn’t an expert in, in just 18 hours!
If you have an existing subscriber base to sell to, you might be able to sell the course directly and not have to worry about losing margin to Udemy. One resource with some great information on creating your own online course for “passive” income is my podcast with Ankur Nagpal.
- Baking. Do people love your desserts? Maybe you could provide cake, cookies, or cupcakes to some corporate event in town.
Kathryn, my public coaching volunteer, was hustling hard to start a gluten-free bakery in Portland.
- “Alternative” Investments. For me, alternative investments are vehicles like peer-to-peer lending, real estate crowdfunding, business lending, and even cryptocurrency.
This is one of my favorite side hustles because it’s automated and passive. Check out options like Rich Uncles, which allows you to invest in revenue-generating commercial properties for as little as $500.
- Lose Weight. Yes, with sites like HealthyWage you can actually get paid ($500 or more!) to lose weight. It works like a bet, where you put the money upfront and get paid out your prize when your hit your goal. Check out their calculator to see how much your prize could be. Here’s more on how HealthyWage it works.
- Becoming an Adjunct Professor. You may need a graduate degree for this one, but it can be a fun way to share your knowledge with the next generation of students and earn some good money on the side — especially if you can teach online or with pre-recorded lectures.
- Teaching English. Earn up to $20 per hour teaching English to young students in China via video chat with VIPKid. If you’re eligible to work in the US or Canada, a bachelor’s degree and a year of educational experience are the only prerequisites.
Note: Because of the time zones, this is probably better the closer to the East coast you are.
Remember to immediately schedule your video interview after completing your application. This is the single most important component of the application process. You will be asked to confirm a time for a live video interview with a VIPKID teaching team member. Live interviews must be scheduled and typically will happen within a couple days (sometimes up to a week) from the time a candidate applied.
- Being a TaskRabbit. Task Rabbit is an on-demand errand-running service that enlists regular people to help out. You can earn money in your spare time completing real-world tasks on their unique platform.
One user in Atlanta makes a full-time living assembling IKEA furniture!
The platform also allows for virtual work like online research and other tasks that can be done remotely.
- Proofreading. Do you like to read? If you have an eye for detail you can set up shop on Upwork as a proofreader and bid on jobs large and small. I actually offered this service on Fiverr for a while and made some decent money.
- E-commerce. Sell products online through your own store or through Amazon or eBay. In this episode, Will Mitchell walked me through how to find a profitable import product.
Next Step: Set up your shop with a 14-day free trial of Shopify, the leading shopping cart provider.
- Raw Land Flipping. This sounds a little crazy, but my guest Mark calls his raw land investing business the best passive income model because he doesn’t have to deal with “problem tenants, rodents, or repairs.”
- Tutoring. Put that education to use by helping students learn in a comfortable one-on-one setting. WyzAnt is one of the largest operators in the online tutoring world.
In this post, Matt Fuentes shares how he built his tutoring business up to $1000 a week.
If you already have experience teaching or tutoring, you might consider VIPKid, where you can teach English online to students in China.
- Picking up Trash. Brian Winch has been doing this over 30 years and calls it “America’s simplest business.” He says you can earn $50,000-$100,000 a year for basically walking local parking lots and cleaning up the garbage.
Check out the interview I did with Brian to learn more.
- Focus-Grouping. I made $100 an hour at an in-person focus group. Here are some companies that facilitate them near you and online.
- Kindle Publishing. Selling ebooks on Amazon is one of the income streams I’m cultivating. I love the idea of having my work for sale on the world’s largest store!
From my very first author royalty check in 2012, I keep learning more about self-publishing and am hopefully getting better every time I put pen to paper … or fingers to keyboard.
I generated 20,000 downloads with my first “serious” book launch in 2014, and my latest title earned nearly $18,000 in its first year.
- Sperm Donor. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a business, but it’s probably more fun than donating blood.
- Selling on Etsy. Etsy is the world’s largest marketplace for unique hand-crafted goods. What can you make?
My friend Kara started selling wine-themed wedding decor on Etsy as a side hustle and since turned it into a full-time business.
- Selling on Fiverr. Fiverr is one of the greatest sites in the world. The basic premise is “what would you do for $5?” You’ll find everything from hilariously weird and useless gags to legitimate and genuinely helpful micro-business tasks.
Check out these fine Side Hustle Nation posts for more on how to make Fiverr work for you both as a buyer and a seller:
- How to Build a 6-Figure Side Hustle on Fiverr
- 19 Fiverr Gigs to Help Start Your Side Hustle
- How One Fiverr Seller Earned Enough Cash to Buy a House [Podcast]
- $10 from a Single Sale … on Fiverr [Podcast]
I’ve used Fiverr for graphic design, book covers, website optimization, article writing, and even the intro voiceover for The Side Hustle Show. I’ve experimented as a seller on Fiverr, starting with selling non-fiction ebooks.
Getting a little more adventurous with my gigs, I got featured on the homepage and was flooded with orders, ultimately earning $920 in 10 days. Later, I broke down my first year on Fiverr, where I earned an average of $500 a month.
- Selling on Teespring. Teespring is a print-on-demand t-shirt platform, where you can custom-design your own shirts and sell them through the site.
I created an “Every Day I’m Hustling” shirt and sold enough for the campaign to ship, but didn’t earn much on the experiment because of some not-very-effective Facebook advertising. Still, some opportunity here and a friend of mine is doing REALLY well with this. If you can create awesome designs and reach the right people with good Facebook targeting, Teespring can be very profitable.
On the podcast, my friend Benny shared how he built a 6-figure business on Teespring in under a year — even after a pretty discouraging start!
- T-Shirt Printing Service. Create silk-screened t-shirts for events and organizations. Bonus points for creating the designs yourself.
My wife and I have gotten into this ourselves lately, but we’ve been letting Amazon do the printing through their Merch by Amazon program. It’s awesome!
- Sports Coaching. School teams are sometimes in need of coaching help and this can be a fun and active side hustle.
- Podcasting. With a unique angle to your podcast, you can attract a large following, which can translate into serious sponsorship dollars. It costs less than you think to start and has honestly been a life-changing project for me.
- Rental Properties. Real estate investing is one of the oldest and most popular side hustles in the books. New platforms like Roofstock make it easy to shop for and buy income-generating properties with tenants and property management already in place.
- Pool Cleaning Service. If you live in a warm climate with a lot of pools, this could be a fun and interesting side hustle to enjoy the summer outdoors.
- Rent Out Your Truck. It takes about 10 minutes to list your truck or van on Fluid Market, and you can earn up to $2000 a month letting others use it when you’re not.
- Swagbucks / InboxDollars. Also not really a business, but you can earn gift cards, cash, and other rewards by answering surveys, watching videos, playing games, and shopping online with both Swagbucks and InboxDollars.
(While rare, you can occasionally earn up to $35 a survey.)
At press time, both companies are offering a $5 bonus just for signing up!
- Alterations. Handy with a sewing machine? I believe the market for clothing alteration is ripe for disruption because of a lack of transparency in pricing. I’ve had some suits altered from a couple different places with dramatically different rates.
Free marketing tip: Post flyers at the gym or other places where people may have lost a lot of weight and need their clothes altered.
- Book Flipping. Use the free Bookscouter app to scan barcodes and see what old books are worth. You can do this both for the ones collecting dust on your shelf and for the ones at garage sales or the library book store.
- Child Care. Is it just me, or does “babysitting” sound amateur compared to “child care”? Register on sites like SitterCity to begin building a client base.
- Caregiving. This business continues to grow as the population ages, and popular sites like Care.com can help match you with customers.
- Bookkeeping / Accounting / Tax Preparation Service. Help other businesses with their accounting and finances. This can be a great option for people with an accounting background from school or from their day job.
- Brand Ambassadorship. Big brands are always looking for assistance with their on-the-ground marketing efforts, and pay pretty well for the help.
Kenny Azama explained it’s a relatively easy (and fun) way to earn $1000 a month part-time, and could even turn into a full-time gig. When we spoke, he was earning $2k a week on a cross-country RV road-trip as a brand ambassador!
- Building an Authority Website. While niche sites (see below) get a lot of attention, an authority site has a better chance of withstanding the changes in Google’s algorithm and turning into a long-term asset.
You may not even need to be an authority when starting out. My friend Perrin got a new puppy and was disappointed with the information he found online, so he got to work and 20 months later HerePup.com was valued at $200,000.
- Building Niche Websites. Building niche sites is a popular side hustle because after some initial research and time investment they can be a relatively hands-off income source. These types of sites generally cover a very specific topic and earn money through advertising, affiliate relationships, or digital products.
This tutorial lays out the process step-by-step for creating a simple niche affiliate site.
Want more? Here’s a step-by-step guide on the fastest cheapest way to build a website.
- Car Flipping. If you’re a savvy negotiator and know your way around cars, you can buy low and sell high and turn a profit quickly with this side hustle.
- Car Wash and Detailing. A mobile detailing service would be a super-low cost startup and you could get clients in bunches at office parks, shopping malls, schools, sporting events, and other places where cars like to gather.
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