Money Mondays is a new series focused on the intersection of finances and well-being. We believe money is one of the last taboos in the wellness world: Why is it that we can talk about our sex lives and not our salaries? With an underlying drive to empower, we’re aiming to address all your burning questions about making money (and making more), saving it, spending it, but most of all, how to use it to power the life of your dreams.
Almost three years ago, I was working as a sales director for a Fortune 500 company, making great money ($500,000 in my final year), but in my heart I knew that what I was doing every day was not my "life’s work."
I’d read hundreds—probably upward of 500—personal development books and was a natural adviser to the people in my life, which led me to pursue life coaching. And so I did. I took classes at a local university. I became certified. In a few months I was averaging $4,000 extra income per month working around 15 hours a week. Before I transitioned to being the full-time coach I am today, it was a side hustle. I've seen many people start off their dream jobs (and dream lives!) this way.
I always recommend starting a side hustle you are passionate about. In your perfect world, what would you actually pay someone to do? Do more of that. Here are some ideas to help you follow your passion, create your dream career, and earn money on the side:
1. Create beautiful things.
Do you know how to make jewelry, take great photos, sew a pillow, or embroider a hat? You can create and start selling on Etsy or other local shops that support the community. Etsy is basically the eBay of handmade goods. It provides an online marketplace for artists, crafters, and collectors to sell unique works of art in the form of paintings, accessories, and even vintage finds. Many full-time boutiques got their start on Etsy.
2. Help others get organized.
The rise of solopreneurs has created solid demand for personal assistants to help small-business owners get organized. You can sign up to be an assistant on various online portals and even just email your network to let them know you’re open for business and want to support them on any tasks from planning a trip to creating spreadsheets to online research. You can also do it from your couch or anywhere in the world.
3. Plan events.
Party planning comes so easily to some people. My friend Lauren, who started as a side hustler (and is now full-time event planner), calls herself an experience architect. Experiences are what make life worthwhile. If you love to plan, I can assure you that there are lots of parties waiting to be planned by you!
It's a fancy way of saying that you get paid to help people and give advice. Someone once joked to me that being a coach is super savvy as people will always have problems. It’s true! As a health coach you help people with their bodies. As a relationship coach, with their love life. As a career coach you can use your career experience to help the careers of others, and you will be adored for it. Where can you best help serve? An outside opinion is always valued by someone at a crossroads.
Our population is aging. By 2050, it’s estimated that the United States will have more than 88 million seniors, many of whom will require hands-on care and assistance. If you love to caregive and nurture people, you can start something as simple as specializing in transportation and home visits. Our aging population needs a loving touch. The growth (and satisfaction) potential is enormous.
6. Use your style.
Design can take many forms—interior design, fashion, web design. If you have web skills—can you create logos and websites for others? There's a huge demand for web and logo design. Know how to pull together a stylish look? Become a personal stylist. Love to decorate? You can get hired to help furnish homes wherever you live—people are always on the move.
Having a 9-to-5 job is no reason to not have a small business on the side. With so much flux between jobs and within jobs, it’s smart to hedge your income with multiple revenue streams.
However you begin, if you’re consistent with your side gig, the sky’s the limit. I love what Derek Sivers says: "What’s obvious to you is amazing to others." Don’t sell yourself short or overlook your skills. There are a million ways to make a living, and the results are likely to surprise you.
Summer is a wonderful time to get started, too. As the old saying goes, a year from now you’ll wish you'd started today.
If you're starting a side hustle to free yourself from debt, consider adopting some of these 12 habits of debt-free people. Plus, here's exactly how much to save for a creative sabbatical from the daily grind.