So, you’ve decided to start a side gig in order to earn a little extra money in addition to your main gig. It’s time to choose the right gig for you! Since you’ll be spending your extra time working on this gig, you’ll want to choose something that you enjoy. This could include using a professional skill to work with new clients or turning something you love into a profitable gig. Try making a list of things you’re good at and things that you enjoy, then determine if you think someone would pay for it.
Now that you’ve picked out what your side job is going to be, it’s time to set yourself up for success. Working side jobs requires an investment, and you don’t want your time or your money to go to waste because of poor planning or wrong moves. Here are 5 secrets to starting a successful side job to make sure you don’t get burned.
How To Make Money On The Side
Keep Your Main Gig
While it can be tempting to ditch your 9-5 gig the minute you start to see some success from your side jobs, this strategy can backfire. Side hustle jobs are usually just ways to make extra money to give you the financial freedom to pursue your passions or bolster your savings. While side jobs can absolutely blossom into full-time gigs, you don’t want to make the dive until you’re absolutely ready to leave the security of a steady paycheck.
Keep Upfront Costs Low
Some side hustle jobs may need an investment of either time, money, or both. While there’s nothing wrong with spending a little bit in the beginning to get you started, you don’t want to go overboard. If you’re opening an Etsy store to sell custom jewelry, hold off on buying the supplies you need in bulk until you’ve drummed up enough business to be sure you’ll be able to sell it all. Once you’re steadily making money, you can splurge for the investments that will streamline your work or help you grow. Make sure to invest only what you are able to lose if things don’t work out.
Take Advantage of What You Know
There are countless side jobs out there that run the gamut, from dog sitting to personal training. But if you’re looking for side hustle jobs that will be enjoyable, ask yourself what you love to do or what you have that no one else does. If you’ve got a passion for words, channel that skill into work as a freelance writer. If you geek out about all things fitness and nutrition, get certified as a personal trainer. If you’re educated in a certain field that could be at all useful to other people, you can create an online course and charge people for access to that knowledge. The best ways to make extra money is by doing what comes naturally to you.
Manage Your Time Wisely
The downside of side jobs is that they don’t leave you a whole lot of free time for life’s pleasures. In order to avoid burnout and effectively balance your side jobs with your main gig, you’ll need to master time management. Create a schedule for yourself blocking out set times to work on specific tasks for your side hustle jobs. Even if you’re just researching things on the computer or driving to the store to pick up supplies, this counts as time spent working. By actively monitoring and pacing the times when you work and giving yourself plenty of time to rest and relax, you can stay motivated over the long-term.
Always Have A Plan
What is your goal in having a side job? Do you want to branch into a different field so that you can leave your day job? Or are you just looking for ways to make extra money? Whatever your goal is, you need to have a plan for achieving that goal. If you’re looking for ways to make extra money, lay out how much you’re trying to earn and decide whether or not your side jobs can help you meet that goal. If you’re planning on quitting your day job, make sure you’ve got adequate savings in place to cover your living expenses before making any moves. Understanding your goals can help you stay motivated, while having a plan can give you a list of concrete actions to tie back to your motivation.
Side jobs aren’t for everyone. Not everyone has the motivation, drive, or energy to work at something that lacks the comfort and predictability of a permanent job. But by making a plan, managing your time wisely, and following these tips, your efforts may be much more likely to pay off.