How to Start a Side Hustle and Earn Extra Money

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Do you have a burning desire to learn how to start a side hustle? If you do, you are about to become one of the approximately 70 million people who have side hustles to earn money outside of their regular job. If this is something that interests you, the next thing that you are probably going to ask is what to do next. There are many ways to answer that question, but first, let’s find something that might interest you.

Table of Contents

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is work that you do outside of your main job to supplement your income. It can be an online business that you use to earn money or provide passive income. You might consider starting an online business as a side gig so that you can work from home or arrange your own schedule. Maybe you want to build an online business so that you can build financial freedom and generational wealth.

People have many reasons for wanting to start a side hustle. For instance, many teachers take side gigs to make extra money. One in 10 teachers rent their homes on Airbnb to supplement their teaching salaries. Many of them also teach online courses, drive for Uber, and work as baristas.

A side hustle can amount to quite a bit of extra money. You can find stories of people who made an additional $14,000 a year on the side through mystery shopping. If your side hustle brings in an extra $500 per month, that is an extra $6,000 added to your day job salary. If it brings in an extra $5000 a month, you might be able to consider quitting your day job, if that is your goal.

Regardless of your reasons for considering starting a side hustle, there are a few things that you need to consider first. You need to have a clear reason for wanting to start a side hustle. You need to have a clear “why” to keep you motivated. Maybe you want to save for your kids’ college, plan a vacation, or build retirement savings. Before you jump into the many opportunities that exist, you need to get clear on a few things.

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O.P.E.N. Method for Starting a Side Hustle

Whether you want your business for passive income, as a part-time, or full-time endeavor, you need to develop the right mindset. In my book O.P.E.N. Routine: Four Components to Personal Branding Excellence, I explore using the O.P.E.N. principle for building your personal brand for success, but these same principles can also be applied when you are just starting to think about what you want to do. Once you know how to apply them to choosing a side hustle and getting started, then you can use the principles in the book and apply them to building your brand. This is an overview of how these principles can be applied to the early decision process, but I go into them in more detail in the book, so let’s get started.

Step 1: Take Advantage of Opportunities to Start a Side Hustle

Side hustles work better for people who actively seek opportunities to use their knowledge, talents, and gifts to serve others in an entrepreneurial way. Keep your head on a swivel because opportunities are all around if you actively look for them. The 70 million people with an additional job besides their day job are doing anything from delivering groceries and fast food to offering their services as a virtual assistant. They are doing anything from selling their crafts on Etsy to selling their talent and services on sites like Upwork and Guru.

If your idea of starting a side hustle is more on the line of becoming an entrepreneur, you might be wondering how to start a side hustle with no money. After all, starting a business requires capital, a place to run the business, employees, insurance, and many other things that you might not have access to at present. Staying open is the answer to this, too. There are opportunities for micro-loans, and some people will take a side hustle to build the capital that they need to start their enterprise in the future.

Opportunities and ideas are out there, but you also have to be willing to take the opportunity and take advantage of it. They say that 90% of success is getting started, so when something comes along, you need to be ready to act and take that first step. If your regular job is similar to your side hustle, you must make sure that you are not violating any portion of your contracts with your employer or creating a conflict of interest. It is bad form to try to take clients from your employer, too.

Step 2: Follow Your Passion

What do you love to do? What would you do for free? What are your God-given talents and gifts? These are the first questions that you ask yourself at the beginning of your side hustle journey. After all, learning how to start a side hustle is all about having the motivation to make it happen.

Some people say to skip following your passion and tell you how to start a side hustle by considering profit first, but this can be a mistake. Many people want to build a side business because they do not like their job. Starting a side hustle in a business that you have no passion for will not only likely lead to failure. It means that you are working long hours doing another job that you do not enjoy.

That is why the journey of how to choose a side hustle must begin with asking yourself what you want to do or are called to do, first. You will be spending a lot of extra hours on your side hustle, and if you work a regular job, have a family, and other obligations, there will be times when you do not want to do what you need to do. It is during these times when passion comes into play. It’s easier to remain motivated when you’re doing work that you enjoy.

Everyone has things that they are drawn to and innate talents. Pursuing a side hustle is a chance for you to follow your dreams, but without sacrificing your security. Many people have pursued their passion and then transformed it into their full-time job over time. How far you want to take it is up to you.

Step 3: Learn New Skills and Refine Old Skills

Always keep learning. Even if you have been in your chosen profession for decades, there is always something new to learn. It is never too late to invest in the education that you need to improve your life. If you want to be successful in business, you have to have something to bring to the table for your clients, and this means adopting an attitude of continual learning and continual self-improvement.

One of the key habits of some of the most successful CEOs in the world is that they make reading and learning a part of their daily routine, and you should, too. In his early career, Warren Buffet read 600-1,000 pages a day, and he did not stop reading, even after he achieved success. Successful people like Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey all credit their success to reading and an attitude of continual learning. Reading allows you to learn the lessons of others and leverage them for your own success.

But it’s not enough to learn new things. You must apply what you learn for the benefit of your business and your clients/customers. You need to find a way to take all of this new knowledge and put it to work in your business systems and routines. The knowledge that you learn must be transformed into action to get results, and this requires developing a system to do so.

Step 4: Network and Build Relationships

People do business with those whom they know, like, and trust. Good relationships are the power behind a successful business, and it cannot grow without them. Learning how to network with people is a skill that can be learned. Acquiring these skills ties into step 3, education.

Some people seem to have a natural ability to form connections and relationships in their business and personal life. It used to be thought that this was an innate talent, but now, we know that it is a skill that anyone can learn when given the right resources and knowledge. Learning to build relationships and networks usually begins with self-examination to determine your strengths and weaknesses in this area. You can then work on building on your strengths and overcoming your weaknesses.

You can learn the basics of skills for building relationships by reading books, listening to podcasts, and reading online, but you also have to get out and practice. Networking is a skill that is developed over time through practice, just like any other skill. Once you have the knowledge that you need, the next step is to get out there and start practicing. You might feel awkward at first, but it will become easier with practice. You never know. The next stranger that you meet could be your next client or customer.

Avoid Burnout

There’s only so much time. You have your regular job, maybe a family, and other obligations. You must avoid burning out by being realistic with your schedule and remembering to invest in your close relationships. Finding the right work-life balance is the key to longevity in your endeavors. You need to meet your obligations, but you also need to take time out for your needs, too.

The adage about not being able to pour from an empty cup holds true when you are starting a side hustle. The ability to balance family and work might mean taking a hard look at your commitments and cutting down or streamlining them. Small actions taken every day add up over time. This is a better approach than going “all-in” in the beginning, burning out, and giving up.

There is plenty of time management and organizational software out there. Look around and find something that works for you. Also, as you grow, don’t be afraid to hire some help to take over routine tasks. You do not have to do it all on your own, and as they say, it is better to work smarter than harder.

Another important factor in your success and avoiding burnout is to take care of you. The money aspects of a side hustle might make it seem tempting to cut back on your sleep to get more hours in the day, but don’t do this. You must keep your energy up to remain motivated, be successful, and avoid risking your most important relationships in your life. This means placing a priority on getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, and scheduling some family and downtime.

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Ready to Have Fun with a Side Hustle?

A side hustle can be fun and fulfilling, aside from the extra money that you make. You can use your side hustle to supplement your job, or you can work towards eventually replacing your job altogether in the future. Now that you know how to start a side hustle, remember to go through these four steps:

  1. Get going if you have a window of opportunity to start a side hustle.
  2. Consider turning a passion or deep interest into your side hustle.
  3. Keep learning to improve your skills. Education and application everything.
  4. Network and build relationships with people before and after starting your side hustle.

Now that you know how to start a side hustle, it is time to start exploring some of the opportunities that are out there. Regardless of your personality, you can probably find something that is a good match. You can even find a few ideas for side hustles for introverts who prefer to not work around other people. The point is that in today’s world, we have a wealth of opportunity if we are willing to look for opportunities and be willing to take the first step when we find it. 

About Chris Craft

Hi! I'm Chris(topher) Craft. I'm a believer, husband of an amazing woman (Wanda), and father of three talented kids (Naomi, Maria, and Elijah). I love writing, making music, learning about God's Hand in History, entrepreneurship, and basketball. Thank you for reading my stuff! ❤️ Connect with me on Twitter @CraftWrites.