A couple of years ago I was really struggling financially and decided to moonlight as a cocktail waitress. At first it seemed great; I was making a ton of money and financially felt ok for the first time in a long time. I learned quickly that it was not sustainable long term, and that burning the candle at both ends was making me lose focus on my career; the one thing that could get me out of my financial prison. I didn’t tell anyone at my office about it, being in a position of some power I was embarrassed and didn’t want people to see me struggle. I was lucky enough to have a great boss who, when told about my secret gig and struggles, helped me get a substantial raise to quit my side gig and get some damn sleep.
Today, I am financially comfortable enough but would like to pay my loans down faster by making extra income. Since my cocktail waitress days I’ve learned a few things too, the most important one being that side hustles are not something to be embarrassed by but instead proud of.
Capitalize on your Strengths
I would not call myself an artist, but man do I love to paint. I’m weirdly good at fish (don’t ask me why) and a few years ago I was super into Hamsa’s and began painting those on black canvas in a henna style I thought looked cool. Turns out other people did too; I opened up an etsy shop and they now sell so quick I can’t keep my inventory up. The best part? I love doing it.
If you have a set of skills that can be used outside of your career to make money, do it! Writing, design, photography are all great examples of passions you can turn into payment.
Bring Some Structure into your Schedule
My current boss is the Director of Marketing for a startup in Boston, and on top of that she teaches 6AM spin classes at least three days a week. Does she have to? Maybe not, but when I asked her why she told me she likes the structure it brings to her life. Structure is something I struggle to bring into my life and often miss about working multiple jobs.
Side hustles can help bring structure into other parts of your life as well. I find that when I schedule myself time to work on my side hustle, it makes me think of it as an appointment I can’t miss. That feeling of accomplishment often makes me want to extend that feeling, through cleaning or going to the gym or finding other ways to be productive.
Spend Free Time Making Money Instead of Spending it
There is nothing I love more than a day off with nothing to do. I am not someone who can sit on the couch, but instead I have to feel like I accomplished something. Maybe I’ll go get my nails done, join an expensive workout class, or go shopping for something I ‘totally need’. *Cue my boyfriend’s eye-rolls*
While these things are great, I often find that my days off cost easily over $100. Knowing I do this, I instead try to schedule myself to do something productive that will make me money. Some days it’s painting or freelance writing, other days it’s working landscaping with my boyfriends stepmom. If you’re invested in making extra income look for these opportunities because they’re likely all around you.
Full disclosure, I understand that sometimes you need to use your days off to pamper yourself; it almost feels like a reset. Spend every other day off working on a side hustle and be guilt free when you spring for that massage.
What are some side hustles you work on? Share in the comments below!
Happy Hustling 😉