How to Start a Side Hustle and Make Some Extra Money

Black woman on computer starting a side hustle

If you’re looking to supplement your regular income, starting a side hustle could be a great idea! Perhaps you’re getting sick of the daily grind, working for someone else, or living paycheck to paycheck. Maybe you just retired and you want to earn some extra money for travel or hobbies. Or maybe you just want to bulk up your savings and plan for the future. Whatever your motivation, keep reading to learn how to develop a lucrative side hustle that you can get excited about!

Learn to Balance Work and Life

Your side hustle will take away a lot of your free time, so make sure you’re ready for this! Juggling your work and personal life is about to get a lot more difficult. CNBC Make It recommends carving out specific hours to work on your side gig so you can stick to a regular, consistent schedule. It will be too easy to procrastinate otherwise. You will also need to get comfortable with saying “no” to people. Finding the time to work on your own projects may mean turning down extra tasks at work or declining personal invitations.

Enjoying success as a freelancer is all about keeping your clients happy without sacrificing your own well-being. You have to be able to market yourself, manage your time, collaborate with others, and communicate effectively with your clients. But you also need to know how to take breaks and cope with stress. Self-care should be a top priority!

Know Your Strengths

To ensure success with your side hustle, try to base your work around your existing experience or skills. For example, if you work in the tech industry, you may be able to create a profitable freelance gig as a mobile app builder or IT consultant. If you enjoy working with people and love numbers, a career in tax preparation might be your best bet. Think about what marketable skills you have and how you can put there to good use. Remember, you will also need to possess some general soft skills, including negotiation skills, time management skills, and basic business management skills. If you feel like you’re missing some key freelancer traits, work to improve your soft skills through courses, books, or mentorships.

Find Your First Customer

Landing your first client is the hardest part of freelancing. Once you have your first client, you can build from there. Happy clients are also likely to recommend your services to others! But how do you get your first customer without references or a portfolio? Jessie Lewis recommends getting started on a freelancing platform like Fiverr or Upwork as you build up your portfolio. You can also tap into your personal and professional networks to dig up opportunities and ask for referrals!

Don’t Neglect Your Day Job

While your ultimate goal may be to quit your regular job and work full-time on your side hustle, try not to get ahead of yourself. You will still need to rely on your day job for income while you get things off the ground. Don’t compromise your quality of work to focus on your new venture—this will hurt your reputation and may even cost you your stable position. You never know when you may need to call on a professional connection in the future! Also, as you work away at your side gig, be careful to comply with all of the terms in your employment contract.

Freelance Side Hustle Ideas

Ready to jump-start your side hustle but unsure of what to do? As the number one provider of tax education, we encourage you to explore a side hustle preparing taxes. Learn at your own pace and work at your own pace. Tax preparation is a lucrative side hustle that could turn into a career or even a full fledged business! Learn more about becoming a tax preparer with The Income Tax School.

Other popular side hustles include:

  • Software Developer
  • Excel Developer
  • E-commerce Web Developer
  • Technical Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Video Editor
  • Database Manager
  • Freelance Writer

Finding a way to make money on your own can be incredibly liberating. Even if it takes years to earn enough from your side hustle to quit your day job, the work you put in will be entirely worth it. Stick with it and stay focused, and you’ll only regret that you didn’t start sooner!

This blog post was written by Jim McKinley, a retired banker with almost 30 years of experience. He created Money with Jim to share his advice and other resources on a variety of financial topics. In his spare time, he spends time with his family and his dogs.