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Friday, 25 January 2019

Skip boring side hustles and monetise your hobbies

Side Hustles have become all the rage in the last few years. Whether it's caused by stagnating wages, lack of attachment to our careers, a desire to earn more, or dipping the toe into self-employment, the rates of side hustles are rising. To go with it are rising stress levels are we find ourselves working eight hours a day at our regular job, and another 2-3 hours on our side hustles.

For many people side hustles equal burnout. It means less time on our hobbies, less time with our friends and family, and less time recharging doing nothing.

Still keen to side hustle? The trick is in your choices.

Everyday I'm hustlin'

I have a crazy idea. I think that every single person reading this is already doing something they can make money from. That something might not be the next Google (heck, it probably isn't) but it is worth $20 a month, you just need to slap a price tag on it and do some quick advertising. 

If you want it to be the next Google, then you're going to have to put in some serious effort and thinking about what your market niche is, how to price it, and how to advertise it. 

However, if you want to start today, all you need is a lick of courage and a dash of inspiration.

Okay, sales pitch aside - I'm not going to sell you anything - here's a list of ways that I could be making money from things I already do. 

Hustle life

The Great Outdoors

Do you like hiking? Do you like dogs? I love both of these things. There are people out there who have built businesses out of taking peoples dogs on hikes! This isn't your regular boring 20 minute jaunt around the neighbourhood. We're talking adventure!

You can make a few dollars walking dogs around your neighbourhood if that's your jam, but you can do even better with adventures. Tom and his dog Captain do adventures for $29 an hour per dog, and take up to six dogs on each adventure. That's $174 per trip! In his case, the dogs are collected in the van, then taken walking (off-lead!) through national parks, playing in fields, and jumping in lakes.

You could get started with minimal outlay, get some seat covers for the car, a bag full of treats, some collapsible water bowls and you're set. The dog owner can supply leashes, and any walking harness their dog might use.

Maybe you aren't comfortable taking that risk with other peoples dogs - you could be a tour guide instead! Finding dog friendly spaces can be difficult, so people will be willing to pay for you to lead a hike through dog friendly places, especially if you can show them your favourite watering holes.

Don't like dogs? Do it without them. National Parks run their own hiking tours, but there is nothing stopping you advertising yourself as a guide and making some new friends along the way - just make sure you aren't misleading people about your qualifications.

Of course, not everyone likes other people. If exploring the great outdoors is your alone time, and you don't want to interrupt that, maybe you could capture it instead. Videography and Photography aren't easy, and they definitely won't give you the same cash-in-hand experience, but it's an avenue you can explore.

Create It, Sell It

If you're already creating things, odds are you could sell those things. I don't just mean bead bracelets on etsy (although that can be lucrative if that's your jam). There are many many forms of creating, and many different ways of doing it.

If you like drawing, you don't need to draw photo-realistic art on commission to make money from it. Perhaps you like doing goofy, snarky cartoons? You could list those on RedBubble, offer it up as a sticker, on a mug, or a t-shirt.

If you love photography, it's not all wedding photography and maternity shoots. You can list your snaps on Shutterstock, Alamy or iStock. While you'll get paid more to go to an event, or do a specific shoot, you can generate passive income through sales - just list it and wait for the royalties to roll in.

I won't pretend selling art is easy, but if you already create these things just for fun, there are ways you can sell them. 

Growing a money tree

The obvious one here is to grow and sell fruits and vegetables. However since that's obvious, let's skip to some other ideas.

If you have half a green thumb, you can propagate plants and sell the sprouts. Let me open by saying I am terrible at gardening. I cannot grow anything from seed, ever. My chickens are better at growing seeds than I am (in fact, half my plants come from the seeds they didn't eat that have sprouted).

However, even I and my lack of seed raising skill can propagate plants. If you have a tomato plant, you can cut off all the sucker shoots when their 10-15cm, stick them in a pot of dirt and have another plant in a couple of weeks. The same trick works for most perennials herbs, raspberries and other vine plants. If you're growing strawberries you can split out the runners. 

Anything that you can propagate, you can sell and since it didn't cost you anything, it's all profit.

Of course, if you're terrible at plants you can still turn a profit from and empty patch of dirt. Chickens are wonderfully easy to raise and lay an egg a day. You can cut down the feed costs by collecting kitchen scraps, or even collecting scraps from your local cafe. At the moment four chickens cost me less than $15 a month to feed, and lay over 80 eggs a month. If I sold all the eggs I could turn a $20 profit each month, but I like eggs and I tend to eat them myself.

If you're really truly terrible in the garden and don't want to raise animals, you could still make money from compost. Simply mound up your kitchen scraps and throw your shredded newspapers and bills on top. Flip it over once a month, and when it's nice and crumbly throw it in a bag.

Okay, admittedly that last one won't make you much money. But this isn't a list of the Most Profitable Side Hustles. This is a list of all the ways you could make a bit of money from things you're already doing. If you're already gardening, there are ways you could be making some money from that. If you hate gardening... don't pick this.

Video Games

Lastly, just to prove there is potential money in everything, you could be making money from playing video games! With either YouTube or Twitch you can stream yourself playing video games for the whole world to see, and to pay you for! In terms or start up costs, all you need is a microphone and (optionally) a webcam. As an easier option, you can just buy a gaming headset, or use one you already have. All the software you need is available free online to set up, stream and edit videos.

While you're starting out you won't see much success, but even small youtube channels can make $5-$10 for a 20 minute video with minimal editing. You can have a look at the (estimated) numbers here: https://influencermarketinghub.com/youtube-money-calculator/

Hustlin' smarter, not harder

Maybe some of these things resonate with you, maybe they don't. The point is that to launch a side hustle you don't need to fire up Google and search for a listicle of the 'highest paying side hustles', or '20 coolest side hustles'. Your time is valuable, and rather than trading time for money, I encourage you to find a way to make money with the things you're doing for free.

Admittedly you can make more money with a dedicated side hustle. But you could also fail and flop terribly at a side hustle that cost you money to set up and you didn't enjoy.

Worst case? You don't make any money. When you were already knitting, playing video games, hiking, drawing, snapping photos... what have you lost?


4 comments:

  1. Some great ideas for side hustles here, thanks for sharing! I'm definitely working on some side hustles to increase my income potential replace my salary with help from passive income. Do you do any of the side hustles listed here? How do you find balancing side hustles (even if they are hobbies) with work and other life commitments?
    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. I follow some of these ideas a very little bit :p I definitely sell eggs from my chickens, and I have a very unsuccessful youtube channel where I put up games that I play. But I also have a post about the Value of Doing Nothing - because sure making money from your hobbies is great. But sometimes even the extra effort of narrating the games I play is too much, and I just want to zone out and mindlessly kill Heartless in Kingdom Hearts :)

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    2. Yeah definitely I agree sometimes it is better to be fully immersed in the hobby instead of trying to make money from it.

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  2. Great Ideas! Love the idea of growing a money tree and gardening. I have spent very little on my balcony garden (I live in a sydney high rise apartment complex) and it provides me with about a third of my diet! I love it, and never have to buy greens again

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