Unless you’re doing the actual hustle, of course. Then hustle away, my friends.
Have you seen those articles that show up on your Facebook or Pinterest feeds with headlines saying, “27 Ways to Make an Extra $500 this month!” or “Best Side Hustles for Millennials?” Side hustles have been everywhere over social media the last year, at least from my observations. If you’re not familiar with it, a side hustle is simply any way you make extra cash. If you google the term “side hustle,” you get over 6 million results. At first glance, that sounds great! Everyone needs to make some extra money. There are student loans to pay off, credit card debt (but you’re too smart to do that, right?), medical bills, vacations, kid expenses, a social life, and so on. There’s always a way we can use extra money.
Even though we all could use it, I find the side hustle frenzy annoying. Why? Well, have you ever read those articles? One article I looked at said side hustles were great because they give you a chance to pursue your passions, but the majority of “hustle ideas” articles are anything but passionate.
- Sorry, not excited to donate my eggs or my husband’s sperm.
- And no, I do not want to lose my friends by harassing them to buy LulaRoe, YouNique, ItWorks, Usborne Books, BeachBody, Isagenix, or any other multilevel marketing scam products.
- Answering surveys for hours to make an extra 20 bucks sounds miserable.
- Most of us don’t have the money to flip houses or cars.
- Selling my hair online feels a little too serial killeresque for my liking.
- Being a paid cuddler. Seriously. That’s a thing. As well as being a paid date. Pretty sure this is the point you’d look back on as the day you met your pimp.
I’m sure there are plenty of things on those ideas lists that people could be passionate about and have skills for. I have a friend who is a very successful fashion blogger and Instagram pro. A couple of my old coworkers created an online course for how to choose the life you want. I have friends who are artists, seamstresses, musicians, photographers, writers, and salsa-makers. If you were to look at my arms, you’d see scars from where I donated plasma twice a week for 18 months in college to help pay rent. So believe me when I say that I absolutely believe there are ways you can make some money.
I am not a pro side money-maker, but I do have some common sense in my noggin. There are two things I’ve observed about success in making extra money.
The people I mentioned above who are successful found success through skills they already had. My fashion blogger friend studied business and was working full-time for a big social media company. Her business knowledge helped her start her blog as a business from the start. My old coworkers had years of experience in coaching and leadership. My musician friends didn’t learn how to play the piano so they could teach lessons, they already knew how. The salsa makers are just good cooks. You don’t need to have a degree in the skill to make money, but I think your likelihood of success if greater if you know what you’re doing or selling.
Others are successful because they found a need and met it. Hence the reason for dog walkers, pet babysitters, dog poop cleanup, human billboard/sign spinners, painting street numbers on the curb, plasma donation, and a whole bunch of other random odd jobs. This is where you don’t need passion and that’s totally fine. You don’t have to be passionate about every aspect of your work. I am super not passionate about answering my voicemail. People will pay to have needs met that they don’t have time to take care of themselves. That’s why my graduate assistants check my voicemail.
In my mind, the problems come when people think of side hustles as ways to get rich quick and go from scheme to scheme to scheme. For example, those friends who are involved in EVERY multilevel marketing product. Can you imagine how much money they have spent buying in to each of those? Building a stockpile, paying dues, minimum purchases, etc. It’s sad to me when people who really need money get scammed out of the little they do have because of the promise of easy, flexible work. Or someone who is constantly investing in supplies they need for their next money-maker?
My point in this is to be smart. There are lots of ways to make some money. There are lots of us who need that money. And there are lots of ways to lose your money and waste your time. Pretty sure the Bible said “Man cannot live on Swagbucks alone” or something like that. By all means, go make some extra money when you can. Don’t get caught up in getting rich quick. Don’t convince yourself that having 40 side jobs and running around like a chicken with your head cut off is smarter than investing in yourself with an education because it may take longer than you want.