It’s not an uncommon dream to quit your day job and work for yourself. Those who work part-time to make extra money have an advantage: They are already on the path to independence and can turn a simple “make money” side hustle into a small business.
The easiest way to work for yourself is to freelance. Taking skills you have and offering them to companies as an independent contractor means you can set your price, work the hours you want, and work as often or as little as you’d like. Freelancers are especially in demand in tech, website building, graphic design, social media management, editing, resume building, proofreading, and writing, be it a blogger or a freelance writing gig. Platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork make it easier for you to find clients, bid on jobs, manage invoices, and build your freelance business. The earning potential can climb into six figures if you take on more freelance work and go from a side gig to a full-time job.
Become an Etsy Seller
When your hobbies go from making things for your home and family to gifts, it may be time to offer them to willing buyers who appreciate your handiwork. Etsy is a platform that acts as your website, promoting what you make, taking orders, processing payments, and staying organized. Some Etsy sellers make six figures after turning it into their main gig.
Or Sell on eBay
Similarly, eBay has grown from a “garage sale” site selling used goods to competing with the likes of Amazon. eBay sellers don’t need a store and instead can sell their wares using eBay as an affiliate marketing partner and becoming a full e-commerce business. You don’t have to work with manufacturers for goods; some sellers invest their money or take out small business loans and shop clearance sales held at local businesses with name brands or thrift stores and then, when the goods are sold out, sell them on eBay to those eager to find items they missed or those hoping for a deal. These new items with tags are in high demand, and if you have the space and time, this can grow from something you do in your spare time to full-time income.
Become a Ride Share or Delivery Driver
Driving for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare company is quickly becoming a side hustle to bring extra income into the hands of people across the country. But driving full time, be it passengers or deliveries, can also lead to six-figure revenues, especially for those who live in cities and near airports. The platforms make it easy to enroll; as long as you own your vehicle, it is in good shape, and you have rideshare coverage on your auto insurance.
Dog and House Sit
What may begin as walking a few dogs or caring for pets while friends are away on vacation can also become a lucrative business. The demand is so high for someone to pet sit, especially new pets being housebroken while owners are at work, that you can find daily work a dog walking and be in high demand. Platforms like Rover and Care.com help connect would-be dog and house sitters with those who need them and can also manage billing and taxes for you.
Become a Virtual Assistant
As more companies turn to work from home and manage virtually, the need for assistants who can help keep leaders organized and handle the nitty-gritty is also going virtual. You could book travel arrangements, order supplies, make appointments, handle bookkeeping, and more, all from the comfort of your home. Platforms like TaskRabbit offer short-term gigs, but once you get your resume built, you can find ways to make this long-term.
Rent Your Home
If you have an extra room, a vacation home, or live in an area that attracts lots of visitors, consider renting out the space. Airbnb helps newcomers in the home-sharing field best promote their properties and manage bookings and payments. Some take this extra cash and find ways to grow passive income by investing in real estate they can offer entirely on Airbnb and other sites like VRBO. As an investment, the purchase of real estate may be something to investigate, especially if your credit and finances can handle taking on a new mortgage.
There is also demand for teachers, especially during a pandemic. From teaching English to sharing how-to’s on something you are passionate about can be another great side hustle. You could work through a platform that needs teachers, such as VIPKid where you can teach English, or develop your own online course that you can promote on YouTube and other social media platforms.
While these are some of the easiest and most popular ways to turn your side hustle into full-time work, there are many ways to make money online. Successful business owners use their skillsets to turn side hustle ideas into part-time jobs that grow into startups. And the great thing about moving from a side job to a career is you can start slowly and earn income and health insurance through your full-time employment while you get your feet wet and grow. You’ll know when you are ready to take the full-time leap, and then you’ll have that coveted independence that is the American dream.
Lissa Poirot is a freelance writer with JoyWallet.com.