How to start a side hustle

How to start a side hustle

What's a side hustle? How can you get one going? Contributor Iman Usmani shares her best ideas and her own experience with side gigs.

Above: Love working out? Teaching fitness classes could be your side hustle. Photo by Amanda Nguyen.

Scrolling around online, you have probably seen some mention of something called a “side hustle.” It’s apparently the new big thing that our generation is doing. However, if you’re anything like me,  you read the name and you don’t know much about it.

A side hustle is a job people have on the side, usually done for fun and used as an extra source of income. People are realizing that you don’t need to only have your 9-to-5 desk job. You can also be a painter or flip houses or maybe, hmm, be a writer.

The more I learned about side hustles, the more I realized that I have one already. I write for College Town, my school paper and for fun. Sure, the “for fun” part isn’t actually a hustle. But I improved my writing by doing it for fun — which helped me land gigs with College Town and my school paper.

Here are some ideas for potential side hustles, since there are only so many hours in a day.  Make your hobby your work!

The artist

If you’re artistically inclined in any way, try taking your talent and selling your work. I used to knit all the time, and I would sell my items to friends and family. It was a great job: I was going to knit anyway, since I loved doing it. The money was just an added bonus.

The entrepreneur

If you have a grand idea, run with it. Ever heard of Spanx? Creator Sara Blakely figured out a low-tech way to eliminate panty lines. Now she’s a billionaire. Try to make it into something when you’re back from your classes. Even if you don’t have any special ideas, try jumping onto “oldies but goodies” like looking into investing in the stock market or real estate. Just make sure to do your research first.

The service-focused

I saw this great ad in my apartment complex from two guys who are trying to save up to go on a mission trip to India. They were offering to help people clean and move out of their apartments. Something so simple can turn into a booming business – especially when you live around students who may need an extra hand for a low cost.

Check out Side Hustle Nation for more ideas on how to create your own hustle.

Iman Usmani
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