I've always been the side hustling type. I started reselling my clothes and shoes at the age of 17 and never stopped. I've done many different side hustles over the years, including flipping electronics, testing websites, filling out surveys, tutoring, babysitting, and starting a blog.
Some things I liked, some things I didn't. But the money from side hustles allowed me to pay my college tuition on my own, finance studying abroad, and graduate with less debt. Last year, the money I'd saved from my side hustles even helped me cover a four month trip to Central America.
At the moment, my main three side hustles are the blog, flipping electronics (mostly iPhones), and testing websites. I'm currently bringing in $1,000 a month from Radical FIRE, in addition to an average of $75 per month on my electronics side hustle, and $50 per month for the website side hustle.
When I started this, I would never have dreamed to be on track to make over $5,000 from the blog this year. Here is my best side hustle advice.
After graduating from university and finding my first job in 2018, I was struggling with my money. I was not used to having money in my bank account at all and I found it hard to manage. The first couple of months, I went out to eat all the time and spent most of what I was earning in a given month.
When I saw how much money I had spent, I realized that I wasn't getting ahead with these money habits. I want to live my dream life and financial freedom would help me get there. Right now my financial freedom goal is hitting a net worth of $300,000 and traveling around the world.
If I wanted to reach that milestone, I realized the way I handled my finances had to change. I decided to read everything there was about personal finance. I read blogs, magazines, and books about money and personal finance. To keep myself accountable on my journey to financial freedom, I started a blog, Radical FIRE.
Since I started the blog in early 2019, I have posted a monthly report of my expenses from that month, my passive income, and the income from my side hustles. I want to show people what I'm doing to reach my financial goals and motivate them to go after their own financial dreams.
When you start a side hustle, first think about what you like doing. You don't want to spend your time doing something you don't enjoy. If it's hard to come up with something, think about the topics your friends and family usually ask for your advice on.
The thing I like most about side hustles is that you can start them on a low budget. When I started my website, I paid $60 a year for hosting plus the domain. That was all I needed to get it off the ground.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
When I started writing, I didn't know anything about how to tell a story or how to write informative articles. I didn't know anything about graphic design, coding, or website design, either. Luckily, there are so many free tools and resources out there. You just need to let your curiosity drive you.
Personally, I use Buffer for social media scheduling, IFTTT for automatic posting of new posts on social media, and Canva to create visuals. YouTube tutorials help me fill in the blanks. If you're looking for a more structured course on a given subject and you're working on a budget, teaching platforms like Udemy have free trials you can take advantage of to figure out if it's worth it to you to make a purchase.
It takes time to grow most side hustles, so you need patience. At the beginning of 2020, I was making around $100 a month from the blog. I'm currently making over $1,000 per month from the blog. The big difference is that over time I started investing a percentage of the profits back into my platform. When I freed up cash for growing the side hustle, the growth increased exponentially.
When you're starting a side hustle, be aware of the fact that it's a long-term game. There's no need to rush and burn yourself out. Especially if you're juggling a side hustle alongside your other responsibilities, my best advice is to take things one step at a time. I find that when I do too many things at the same time and fail to prioritize, I feel rushed and my energy depletes.
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
Allocate time where you can, and find a pace that fits your current schedule.
The best tools to invest in are the tools that save you time. Time is your most valuable resource if you're spending 40 hours a week at a day job while working on on your side hustle. I personally invest in platforms like Tailwind to schedule my Pinterest posts. I also invest in Zapier to automate manual tasks between platforms that I use, like registering someone who bought a product automatically on my email list.
Every morning, I wake up and write from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. before I start my work day as a financial controller. On the weekends, I allocate four hours per day to my side hustles. When I did this for an extended period, it built up the habit and it became second nature.
Find out where you can free up an hour every day to your goal and see the difference it will make.
I've also turned to several books to help me stay motivated on my journey. I've enjoyed "You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero, which explores how to develop a mindset that helps you go after your goals and to create a life you love. In "Crushing It," Gary Vaynerchuk talks about how you have to become obsessed with the process of pursuing a goal, rather than the end result.
Some of my other favorites include "Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport, where he provides tips about how to create distraction-free concentration time to produce your best work.
And Susie Moore's "What If It Does Work Out?" has shown me how to not only be OK with failure, but to embrace it.
Use the resources that are available online to make your side hustle work and chase your dreams. You don't have to invest hundreds of dollars. Simply start and figure it out as you go. I'm not a millionaire and I am still learning, but I am creating a little more financial freedom every single day. If it's possible for me, it's also possible for you.
Marjolein, who prefers to go only by her first name, is the founder of Radical FIRE, a personal finance platform that is all about financial independence. She writes about saving money, making more money, and investing to optimize your way to freedom. She wants you to reach your financial goals and have fun while doing it.
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