Crush Your Money Goals founder on how to start a side hustle: Work 'smart, not hard'

"A lot of people who are trying to find side hustles ... are not utilizing the skills they have."


If you want to make a little extra money, starting a side hustle could be a good idea. However, there are ways to make the process easier for you.

Bernadette Joy, founder of Crush Your Money Goals, says that instead of learning a new skill for her side hustle, she capitalized on one she already had: resume writing. "I didn't really think people had a hard time writing resumes," she says. "Now I've been able to build courses and services around that."

Joy has sold her resume writing services for six years. She started out charging people $39, but has since "built up more clients and expertise," and now she charges $400 per session. While she didn't track her earnings initially, this year she has earned $3,000 "from just a few clients."

'I take the approach of hustling smart, not hard'

One of the biggest mistakes she sees her clients making when they want to start their own side hustle is that they don't think about what they can already do. Learning a new skill can often cost money, if they are paying for classes to master it, and it can eat up more time.

"A lot of people who are trying to find side hustles are learning more skills when they are not utilizing the skills they have," she says. "A lot of my clients who found money-making opportunities look at the stuff they are already good at."

"I take the approach of hustling smart, not hard," Joy says.

Think about the skills you already possess and how you can monetize them. If you enjoy organizing your pantry, someone might pay you to organize theirs. If you love dog-sitting but don't have a pup of your own, ask around. People who are traveling over the holidays will likely need pet-sitters.

You could also pick up a side hustle that doesn't require additional skills, such as product testing, selling goods on eBay, or renting out specialty equipment you have, like a lawn mower.

'This has felt more like fun than work'

Cecilia Meis, a digital nomad, took the same approach as Joy. She earns $600 a month from a passive income side hustle, selling templates that can help other digital nomads track their budget, travel, freelance projects, and other goals. She makes the templates using Google Sheets and Trello.

"I'm fairly active on various online writer, editor, and digital nomad groups," she told Grow. "What began as a very human conversation about organizing, budgeting, and optimizing turned into a little venture."

A lot of my clients who found money-making opportunities look at the stuff they are already good at.
Bernadette Joy
Founder of Crush Your Money Goals

Initially, she says she was putting in about 10 hours per week to create all the templates and make the tweaks she needed based on her own preferences. Now, she says, the only time she spends on it is entering user-suggested edits or helping her customers implement the templates in their own lives.

"The organization system is geared toward digital nomads, and it seems there was a need I hadn't seen before," she says. "I'm a big fan of spreadsheets and tracking, so this has felt more like fun than work."

Selling an online course, for example, is a good way to earn passive income as you don't have to do anything after you create the course. And by marketing a skill you already have, you can make extra money without a whole lot of effort.

More from Grow: