Absolutely nothing in life is guaranteed!
Sure, we can argue about whether or not that’s the best way to start off a blog post, but it doesn’t make the statement any less true.
Consider your career. You may be amazing at your job, but what’s stopping your boss from walking up to your desk, telling you that your services are no longer needed, handing you a box and giving you an hour to vacate the premises?
From experience, I can tell you that the answer is: NOTHING.
But let’s play devil’s advocate here and say you’re the boss’s niece or nephew so your job is 99.999% safe. In that case, maybe you’re not at risk of losing your job, but what if the pay isn’t enough or you’re just not happy?
When it’s put that way, your financial stability isn’t guaranteed and frankly, neither is your happiness.
This among many other reasons (that I’ll get into later) are why I recommend starting a side hustle.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the idea of having a side hustle, but on the off-chance this is you,
here’s a quick rundown on what a side hustle is.
By definition, a side hustle is any type of employment in addition to one’s full-time job. For most people, that means extra income earned by pursuing an interest or just something you’re good at in the spare hours outside of work and sleep.
That said, a side hustle is NOT the same as a part-time job.
Generally, a part-time job means that someone (other than yourself) calls the shots — i.e., when you work, how much you get paid, etc. On the other hand, a side hustle gives you the freedom to determine when and how much you want to work (and earn) without sacrificing a steady paycheck of a day job.
Some of the more common examples of side hustles include things like:
- Making and selling crafts on websites like Etsy
- Selling unwanted items online
- Freelance writing
- Teaching or tutoring
- Putting together furniture
- Dog walking or pet sitting
- and more recently delivery services or transportation services like Uber, GrubHub, etc.
With financial security a major problem for most people (especially those of us with student loans), side hustles are a viable option for those working to get out of debt or anyone looking to test the entrepreneurial waters.
Heck, I’m even mulling over the idea of starting a side hustle.
As it stands, I’m running a small business and between that and picking up my daughters from school and daycare every afternoon, I’m not exactly working with a lot of free time.
So, I realize that adding more to an already jam-packed schedule doesn’t make a lot of sense.
But I’m genuinely intrigued by the gig/sharing economy.
On top of that, I think it would be a great case study for people like me who would rather aggressively pay down debt than spend the rest of their life owing other people.
Here are a few of the companies I’m considering (maybe you should too!), and why:
When most people thinking of side hustling, one of the first companies that come to mind is Uber — and for good reason. The ridesharing service has forever changed the transportation industry (and potentially made taxis obsolete) and become a household name in the process.
One of the main things I like about Uber is the low barrier to entry.
If you’re over 21, have a relatively new car, smartphone and a clean driving record, you can enjoy a flexible schedule that allows you to earn money driving any time of day, any time of the year.
While the amount you make can vary, Uber’s recent rash of bad publicity has encouraged the company to offer incentives to keep their drivers happy and earning more money.
The other benefit (at least for me) to driving for Uber is I would get to talk to people.
I spend most of my day in an office at the front of my house — by myself.
For most introverts, this would be a dream come true but I consider myself more of an extroverted-introvert (yes, it’s a thing), so I actually miss interacting with people (sometimes).
Driving for Uber would solve that problem and if I needed quiet time to recharge (like most introverts do), I could decide not to drive for a while.
*Learn how you can get started driving for Uber
Full disclosure: I don’t really like shopping, in general.
This is mainly because when I do shop, I go on the weekends when everyone and their cousin is there. It’s packed, hot, and a miserable experience for me (and anyone within an earshot of my complaining).
Instacart is an online grocery service that works with local stores and independent drivers to deliver groceries to your door.
I stumbled upon the site from Google one Saturday afternoon when I was hungry but didn’t feel like eating out or going to the store to buy food.
I went to the site ordered about ten things and within an hour the groceries were delivered to my door.
So I tried it again, this time in the middle of the day during the week.
This time around I asked the delivery driver about their experience working with Instacart. He was honest and said that it’s a lot of wear and tear on his car and sometimes you deal with angry customers if certain items are out of stock, but overall his experience was positive and he averages about $25 per hour on most days.
Even though I don’t love shopping, there can’t be that many people at the store in the middle of the day. On top of that, earning an extra few hundred per week couldn’t hurt.
Going to the grocery store is something you’re probably used to doing. Why not get paid for doing it for other people? Through Instacart, you can earn more money by doing just that. You can sign up to become a driver + shopper and get assigned gigs through their app.
From what I can tell, getting started is fairly easy. There is a verification process where you answer a few questions and provide your driver’s license. Once approved, you sign-up for a time frame to work in a certain area and Instacart will send you a notification about which grocery store to go to and which items to pick up.
They also give you an Instacart credit card, to make the purchases so you’re not spending your own money and waiting to get reimbursed.
*Learn how to get started with Instacart
This last company on the list is another that I found out about when I was hungry and didn’t feel like leaving home.
DoorDash is a food delivery app that allows anyone with a vehicle and smartphone to become an on-demand delivery driver. Customers order food from local restaurants through the DoorDash app, and nearby DoorDash drivers pick up and deliver the food.
Sounds pretty simple.
I like DoorDash because it’s fairly easy to get hired, the pay is around $18 per hour, and like the previous options, you can set your own hours.
*Sign up for DoorDash
So, what happens from here?
First, I’m going to take a few days to think it over and see if adding more to my plate really makes sense. If I go through with it, I’m thinking of documenting my experience over a series of blog posts to detail what it’s really like to work for one of these companies — so stay tuned!
In the meantime, if any of you have side hustled with any of the companies above (or others) jump in the comments and let me know about your experience — good, bad, or ugly.