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Has There Ever Been An Easier Time To Start A Side Hustle?

We live in the golden age of side hustling.  If you’re looking to make some extra money in order to pay off debt, save more, or even to buy that shiny new toy, there’s really no excuse for why you can’t do it.

Compare the nature of a part time gig today, as compared to just a few years ago.  There wasn’t a sharing economy or on-demand economy.  Things like Uber and Airbnb didn’t exist.  When I was in college, making extra money meant either finding a part time job or figuring out a way to make your own job.

Finding a part time job meant working when your boss told you to work.  That’s a problem for people who want flexibility.  And creating your own job meant figuring out a skill you had and finding customers, not to mention you probably needed to spend some money in order to get your hustle started.

You don't need to work at the Kwik E Mart if you want to make extra money.
These days, you don’t need to work at the Kwik-E-Mart if you want to make extra money.

In contrast, look at the wealth of options available today.  There are entire marketplaces on the internet where you can sell goods and services without needing to make the jump into starting a full fledged business.  And on-demand platforms, like Uber or Postmates, make it incredibly easy to earn money, anytime you want, for as long as you feel like doing it.

If you want to make some extra money on the side, then you are living in the right time in history.

You Have Flexibility To Side Hustle Whenever You Want

The ability to work whenever you want has to be the biggest reason that we’re living in the golden age of side hustling.  Has there ever been a time where you could choose to work at any moment of the day, whenever you felt like it?  Or where you could earn money basically doing things you’re already doing and using stuff you already have?

Just think about how you can side hustle today using the technology that’s out there.  There’s no need to pick up a second job or work any set schedules.  You don’t need to work full days.  Heck, you don’t even need to work full hours at a time!

If you’re an Uber driver, for example, all you have to do is turn on your app and drive someone around for as long as you want.  If I’m feeling bored or want a bit of exercise, I can turn on Postmates and make a quick delivery on my bike. I can literally work and make money whenever I feel like it!

Not only can I call up an Uber anytime, I can also become an Uber anytime.
Not only can you call up an Uber anytime you want, you can also become an Uber anytime you want.  Goes both ways.

The great thing about side hustling today is that it doesn’t require you to stick it out for the long haul.  You can start most side hustles without spending any money at all.  If you find out that a particular side hustle isn’t for you, all you have to do is quit doing it.  At most, you lose a little bit of your time.

There Are Very Few Barriers To Entry

Technology has also greatly decreased barriers of entry to the point where there are almost none if you’re looking to start up a side hustle.

Take your typical on-demand economy gig like an Uber or Postmates.  It’s not the same as a job, so you don’t have to interview for it. Just sign up, go through some background checks, and get started.  Or take a platform site like Airbnb.  All you have to do is take some time to set up a spare room, take some photos, read some blog posts, and set up your listing.  You can have a fully fledged money making opportunity in just a few hours.

Ms. FP’s foray into the bike messenger delivery world is a great example of how easy it is to get started hustling.  A few weeks ago, Postmates was offering up a referral bonus for referring new Postmates couriers (this will be the subject of a future post). Because I’m always looking for ways to make some extra money, I begged Ms. FP to sign up.

The sign up process couldn’t have been simpler.  All she had to do was fill out a form, watch a few online videos, and take a multiple choice quiz to show that she had watched the video.  She didn’t even take the quiz.  We just left the videos running in the background and then I answered the questions for her in about 5 seconds.  We didn’t even have to get off the couch in order to sign up.  She was up and running a few days later.

Given how easy it is to get started side hustling, what excuse do you have not to try a side hustle?

You Can Get More From Side Hustling Than Just Money

Side hustling today allows you to work whenever you want, in a manner that has never been possible.  Few barriers to entry means that it’s easy to get started making money right away.

But one of the biggest benefits of side hustling today isn’t just the ability to make more money.  It’s the ability to make money doing things that benefit you beyond just making money.

For example, we already know that we should all get out and exercise more.  Most of us spend our days sitting in front of a computer.  By signing up to make bike deliveries on Postmates, I’m able to exercise, keep myself active, and make a little money to boot – all on my own time.

You could be biking and making some money too.
You could be biking and making some money too.

You can also get a benefit beyond just making money by starting up an online business or using a platform website like Airbnb or eBay.  Why not try setting up a small business and using it as a test run in entrepreneurship.  It’s a cheap, low risk way to get some first hand experience in this area.

Finally, another great benefit about side hustling – you’ll learn how to handle your taxes.  When you’re side hustling in today’s economy, you’re likely going to be an independent contractor and sole proprietor.  You won’t have the luxury of an employer taking the taxes out for you.  It’s always pretty surprising to me how little people understand their taxes. When you’re side hustling, by necessity, you’ll have to learn.

The Only Thing Holding You Back Is Not Getting Started

Side hustling doesn’t have to become a full fledged business.  Honestly, not all of us are trying to become full time entrepreneurs.  Some of us are just happy to keep our steady paycheck.

But I do think there is room for everyone to become a micro-entrepreneur.  With how technology works today, you can start side hustling almost immediately.

Bringing in a little bit of extra money might not seem like all that much.  You probably won’t think it’s a life changing amount. But add it up over time, and you’ll find it’s worth a lot more than you think.  There really hasn’t ever been a better time in history to be a side hustler.

All you have to do is just get started.

What do you think?  Am I right?  Has there ever been an easier time to start a side hustle?

21 Comments

  1. After reading this article I really have no excuse not to start a side hustle. There are plenty of options, even though in NL we might have slightly less opportunity than you guys. A little extra income every month can really start a snowball effect.

    • Admittedly, I don’t know the side hustle world over in the Netherlands, but I imagine there must be opportunities over there as well. You are right. Even just a little bit means a little more you can save, and you don’t even have to use up a lot of your time to do it.

  2. I would agree. Due to the internet nowadays there is an infinite number of business models one can apply to earn money and have access to marketplaces all over the world. However, this requires some flexibility and an entrepreneurial thinking. It’s to some extent different from the concept of a “traditional job”.
    Good read and interesting points.
    Cheers

    • Thanks Financial Shaper! Definitely true. Having the internet and smart phones just really opens up a lot of opportunities. I know for myself I don’t want a second job. I want a side hustle, which to me means something I can do on my own time, whenever I want.

  3. I think it is so exciting! There are so many options out there. I actually have a post for next wednesday about finding the kind of side hustle that meets your long term goals. This week I took on my very first freelance writing client writing the website core content for their side hustle app! It’s something I am super passionate about, so it is awesome to get to work with a brand new app to explain this stuff to the world. The barriers have really never been lower!

    • That’s awesome that you got your first freelance client! I’ll have to check it out if you can share it!

      • I am so excited. It’s the first time in my life I have been PAID to write. What? I’m saving the check. =) But it is 2x as cool because I am creating the content marketing strategy, which I love. I am throwing a link into my side hustle post, but I will write a full post about it because it is such a good business model for rural areas (which many options are not.)

  4. You are absolutely correct when you say side hustles are easier than ever. I mean between Youtube stars, blogging, the Amazon MTurk and Uber, if you want to earn money there are more ways than ever if you want to earn income.

    • It’s crazy how many ways there are to make money out there. Everything you do doesn’t have to become a full fledged business either. For many people, just bringing in a little bit extra can make a big difference!

  5. You’re side hustle posts are really inspiring. It’s amazing how technology has made it so easy to earn extra money on the side. Where was this when I was a broke college student with an irregular schedule?

    • I know! I really wish we had all these on-demand stuff back when I was in college. These gigs are really perfect for college kids for sure.

  6. I totally agree. The barriers to entry thing I believe is the key. Traditionally even to get folks to know your business existed either required preexisting contacts or expensive advertising. These days web hosting is cheap, sites that mention you business like the sharing sites for over only take a cut of earnings. So it’s really that initial find the customer stage that’s changed for the better. But that of course is more then half the battle. Great post.

    • Exactly. You really didn’t have a lot of flexibility either. If you were going to start something, you sort of had to do it. Now though, you don’t even have to. You can just start something out and see if it’s for you. And if it’s not, all you’ve lost is some time.

  7. Jay Jay

    I totally agree with your perspective on side hustles here. And I think you’ve done a great job being a living example of it (especially with the way you’ve integrated it into your life with dog sitting and bike deliveries). It’s never been easier to get up and running to make a little bit of extra cash!

    • Exactly! It’s pretty shocking how easy it is to make a solid amount of side money without doing much additional work. Picking things that have a lot of flexibility and that incorporate things you’re already doing is a great way to get some additional income. There’s really no other time in history where this type of side hustling was possible!

  8. Very inspiring post, FP! Being on the verge of a number of new side hustles myself, it’s a great read, and encouraging. So true that we live in a world where there are so many possibilities!

    • Thanks Mystery Money Man! Keep hustling! There’s so many options out there. I spent a lot of this past weekend biking around making deliveries. Legs are sore now from all that exercise, but made a few bucks as well!

  9. You are absolutely right that there has never been an easier time to start a side hustle. Everyone has the opportunity to be their own media channel with social media like snapchat, instagram, Twitter, and so on. Great read!

    • Thanks Graham! It’s crazy how many opportunities have opened up with the way technology works now. There are ways to work now that just weren’t possible even 5 years ago. If you had brought up Uber or Airbnb back in 2005, it would’ve seemed crazy. Now, it’s so common place that we don’t even think twice about it. You can literally just make money whenever you feel like it, which wasn’t really possible before.

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