5 Things I’ve Learned from Side Hustling

What you’ll find in this post:

  • There’s no such thing as getting rich quick.
  • Don’t have too many baskets.
  • If something isn’t working, scrap it.
  • If something isn’t bringing you joy, scrap it.
  • Put yourself out there.

As the latter part of April is upon us, I can’t help but wonder where the time has gone. I guess it’s true what they say: the older you get, the faster time goes by. Can someone please slow down the clock a little?

My granddaughter will be a month old on Friday, which means it’s over a month since we got back from Mexico. Wait! What? It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in 30+ degree weather, wanting to come home, but at the same time not wanting to.

Disclaimer: Links within this post are either to my own products, or products I endorse. I may receive a small commission should you make a purchase through an affiliate link, at no extra cost to you. My blog is supported through commissions and sales of my products. Plus, if you like what you read you can show your support by pinning this post, sharing on social media, or buy me a coffee.  Thank you for your continued support.

And a lot has happened in that month as well. We have to move forward, no matter what life throws at us. All I’ll say at the moment in that regard is change is coming: good change for me. But without further ado, onward to the real reason for this post.

Side hustling has been my thing for literally decades, and I have come to a few conclusions over the years. Well, to be truthful, conclusions I’ve come to since I stopped trying to do everything that came along.

  1. There’s NO such thing as getting rich quick. I can recall one of my very first so called “money makers”. I was looking through the newspaper’s classified ads section (yes, a real newspaper – pre-internet time) and saw an ad for stuffing envelopes. Well, that didn’t seem so difficult, so I ordered the package. What I got was a stack of address labels and letters to mail out (at my expense of course). The only person getting rich was the one preying on naive people like myself.
  2. Don’t have too many baskets. The saying goes “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, but having too many baskets at any one time isn’t good either. You start a side hustle to free up some time, then you start another. Before you know it, your side hustles and job are taking up every waking moment. It’s easy to overextend yourself without realizing it, so be wary. If you have a full time job and more than two side hustles going (especially those that require you to be present), then you’re defeating the purpose of having one in the first place.
  3. If something isn’t working, scrap it. Maybe you’ve had a side hustle or three in the past, or maybe you’re about to embark on your very first one. Whatever the case, it has to produce results in a reasonable amount of time. If you’ve been consistent with your efforts and the monetary return isn’t there, move on. You didn’t start a side hustle to waste time and energy; you started it to improve your financial wellbeing.
  4. If it’s not bringing you joy, scrap it. When you start a side hustle it has to be enjoyable. If it isn’t, then it just becomes another job. For example: you love to write so you start selling your services on Fiverr. After awhile you find yourself praying no one will order your gig, because you’re no longer enjoying it. It’s time to either revamp your gig, or take it down. (Fun fact: I’m both a buyer and seller on Fiverr, and have earned over $1700 on the platform. I have spent about $300, so I’m still ahead of the game.)
  5. Put yourself out there. “If you build it, they will come.” only works in the movies. (Kevin Costner had more impact on me with that movie than I care to admit.) Just because you’ve created a wonderful blog about your hobby, or started an Etsy shop, it doesn’t mean people are going to flock to it as soon as you hit the “publish” button. YOU have to let them know it’s there, whether through paid ads, Pinterest, Facebook, word of mouth, or a combination of them all. (It’s like getting a new phone number and then wondering why no one is calling you. You have to tell the people in your life you changed it.)

Now that you’ve had an “aha” moment or two, or perhaps an “oh shit” moment, it’s time to share my upcoming change.

For those of you who have been reading my blog regularly, you know what life dealt me almost two years ago. After some careful consideration, tears, sleepless nights, and talking it over with my kids, I made the decision to move. I’m selling my place and am buying an acreage a little closer to a neighbouring town.

This is a screenshot from the Realtor listing.

It has everything I want in a home. Big windows on all four sides (all with a wonderful view); an attached double car garage (plus a detached in the back); 4-piece ensuite with a jacuzzi; game room complete with pool table, shuffleboard and wet bar; central vac; central air; fireplace; office; big kitchen; covered deck; big master bedroom; large spare bedroom; 4 (yes, no typos here) bathrooms including the ensuite; skylights; and a landscaped yard complete with trees, perennials, and what appear to be some of my favourite shrubs. The best part of it all…no stairs for these old knees.

I know the move will be bittersweet, because this was our home. The one we were supposed to grow old in together. There’ll be tears as I purge, tears as I pack, and tears as I lock the door for the last time. The land and house are staying in Ross’s family, as his brother will be the new owner. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

For me it’s a step forward. I used to think I would live here forever, but as I said in my last post, it’s just easier to be gone sometimes. No matter what life brings his memory will be with me always, and that’s what I cherish the most. And when my time comes (hopefully I’m around to see my grandbaby have her own baby), I’ll be laid to rest beside him.

If you’ve made it this far, I thank you. I know my posts can get a bit rambly at times, but the main reason I started this blog was to share the ups and downs of being over 50. In all honesty, I do like the format of this post, and I may continue on with it. Side hustle information first, then my ramblings at the end. That way you get what you came for as a side hustler, and I get to share the other aspects of life’s trials and trbulations.

Your Best Posts…All in One Place

Do you find yourself clicking on my posts from weeks ago just to find some side hustle information?

After some searching through a few posts to find out what I have already talked about, I decided there had to be a better way. That’s when it hit me…compile an ebook to make it easier for everyone.

I did just that, which took me the better part of two days. As the content was already written, all I had to do was copy and paste from my post editor. Add in the copyright, disclaimer, table of contents, and some back matter…and done! Each post is in its own chapter, and linked from the TOC. That in itself makes navigation so much easier.

The end result: Side Hustles Anyone Can Do

This is a prime example of how your content can be repurposed. It would have taken me days to write all of that content from scratch. In fact, over the course of when it was written, each post had several hours put into it as is.

If you write articles on your own site pick a dozen or so of the best/most related ones, and compile them into an ebook. By doing so, you’re giving your readers all of your knowledge from those articles in one place. If you have a lot of posts under your belt, consider doing a set of ebooks: Volume 1, volume 2, etc.

Set up a landing page for your new book, and include a payment method. I use PayPal for mine, and use the advanced features so the customer is taken to the download page after purchase. If they choose not to purchase, they are taken to my Tools & Resources page.

My landing page and download page were both done within WordPress. It took some trial and error to get it right, and if I didn’t I do hope someone tells me. (I can’t go through the entire process on my own because my emails are linked to PayPal and it won’t allow me to buy from myself. I can completely understand the logic there.)

Don’t forget to include an About the Author page in the back of your book. This is the perfect place to showcase yourself as a person and writer, plus link to your website and mailing list signup. If your readers like what you write, give them a freebie in exchange for their email address.

You can either sell your new ebook on your site, or publish to online retailers. Be sure to indicate it is previous work republished, as some retailers will not accept content that has been made freely available online.

I have chosen to publish my book only on my site for the time being just to see where it takes me. I’m testing some marketing efforts, and publishing exclusively on my site will give me more accurate data.

Have you considered compiling posts or articles into an ebook? If you’ve done it already, what type of results did you have in terms of sales? Let me know in the comments below.


Want more side hustle content delivered to your inbox once a month?


12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle [EP 11]

Introduction

Welcome to Episode 11: 12 Services You Can Provide as a Side Hustle

When we think of side hustles, we often think about creating products, both physical and digital.

If you’re subsidizing a pension or other income, you may want to have daily interaction with others. If that’s the case, providing a service may be more suitable for you.

Not all services require you to be out and about, however. Some allow for face-to-face interaction with others, while some can be done remotely. You choose whatever you’re most comfortable with.

Now, before I get into the main part of this episode, I do want to let you, my listeners, know I will be scaling my podcast back to one episode per month until November. My blog posts will still be weekly, and will contain more side hustle information. It is a little change as I am working on creating a course, which I’ll get into more in an upcoming blog post. Plus, I’m taking a week’s vacation next month which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be nice to have some reprieve from the cold and snow.

Services

As mentioned, not all services have to be done in person. The following list contains some that involve little interaction with clients, while others are more face-to-face.

  1. We’ll start with bookkeeping, which I have done in the past. One of my clients dropped off an envelope full of receipts and papers each month, and I entered everything into an accounting program. She was then able to hand the USB in to her accountant at year-end. One of my other clients preferred me to work in his office, which I did a couple days a week. In his case it made more sense as he had a lot more paperwork for me to go through.
  1. Another service you can provide, and make a decent amount of money at, is cleaning people’s houses. Now this only works if you like to clean. An aunt of mine used to clean for others on a weekly basis. She would clean their houses during the day while they were at work, which made it easier for both parties. When I worked for Family and Community Support Services, my clients were at home when I cleaned. There are pros and cons to the latter, however. One pro is the client is happy to have the company. A con is it took more time because they wanted to visit. Keep in mind the latter was also cleaning for senior citizens, so my being there made it possible for them to stay in their own homes for longer.
  1. Lawn and Garden Maintenance is another service you can provide if you enjoy working outside. Some people either don’t have the time or their own equipment to do their own. And let’s face it, some people would just rather pay someone else to cut their grass, trim the hedges, and even pull the weeds. I don’t mind mowing and trimming, but pulling weeds is not my favourite. My experience in yard care has been mostly my own, plus for elderly family members from about the time I was around 14.
  1. Snow removal can be done during the winter for the same clients, so you have the opportunity to earn income year-round. Businesses also need snow removal done, so that could be another option if you prefer.
  1. If you love animals, pet-sitting and dog-walking are two services you can provide. When people go away they aren’t always able to take their pets, and many would prefer to leave them in a familiar environment. By providing a pet-sitting service your clients will be more relaxed while they’re away.  Plus, you can enjoy the experience of taking care of turtles, snakes, birds, and other not-so-common pets as well as cats and dogs. Dog-walking is nice because it gives the dog exercise and breaks up their day, which results in less destructive behaviour than one left to their own devices day after day. A bored dog is often a destructive dog. Not only will you be providing the dog exercise, you’ll be saving your clients’ furniture.
  1. A grocery delivery service is another option, especially in a small community. Smaller grocery stores may not have the extra staff to deliver groceries during business hours, and are generally more than happy to pay someone per delivery. It’s an added-value service they can provide to their customers, which in turn encourages local shopping.
  1. Providing healthy home-cooked meals for seniors in your area is an option if you love to cook. Just think of the meals-on-wheels larger communities provide. In my experience it’s a service that used to be provided by the local hospital, but with cutbacks in services, it may not be available in a small community. My great-uncle used to deliver meals to the seniors in his community a number of years ago, which gave him some extra income plus provided healthy meals for them. 
  1. You could play an integral part in someone else landing their dream job by providing a resume writing service. Presentation and simplicity are key components of a resume. Prospective employers will often not look at a resume that isn’t broken up by white space. As with most things today you want to make it skimmable, yet highlight your client’s attributes so they have an increased chance at being hired.
  1. Copywriting is another service you can provide to businesses near and far. Once you know how to convey a sales message, the rest is easy. There are courses available to teach you how, and I have taken a couple; but the best book I have come across is called The Copywriter’s Handbook – 4th Edition by Robert W. Bly. And copywriting isn’t necessarily about being salesy. All you essentially need to do is address a pain point and how your client’s product or service will fix it. The bonus is you can work for more than one client at a time, and you don’t have to be tied to your home office to do it. Have laptop…will travel.
  1. If you love a variety of music, then offering a DJ Service could be right up your alley. With the world opening up again to gatherings, people are anxious to be able to celebrate life events together. You can decide if you want to book one event a weekend, or one event a month. And if you don’t mind travelling, you could book events further away. The nice thing about the digital age is there’s no longer a need to pack hundreds of CDs, but you can if you like.
  1. Party Planning is another option if you have a flair for themed events. Whether it be weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelor parties, birthday parties, or whatever else people celebrate; it’s sometimes nice to have the stress of the planning taken care of. If you’ve enjoyed planning your own parties over the years, perhaps it’s time to do it for others for a little extra income. And just like a DJ Service, you decide how many events you want to plan in a month. Keep in mind not all events are limited to weekends, so you could easily do a retirement party during the week and perhaps a birthday or engagement party on the weekend.
  1. Clutter control is something we all struggle with at some point or another, and the older we get the more of it we seem to have. Home organization is so popular nowadays there are entire TV Shows about it. If you have found a way to combat the clutter and let go of material things, there is someone out there who could benefit from your expertise. It’s not so much that you’ll be physically helping them throw things out (although you can if you wish), but rather help them differentiate between keeping things for emotional reasons or practical reasons.

Conclusion

As I went through my list, I thought of at least another dozen services any side hustler can provide, from small engine repair to handyman services. It really doesn’t matter what service you can provide, because chances are there’s a need for it in your community. And because it’s your side hustle, you determine to what extent you do it. As with anything else be sure it’s something you enjoy doing, otherwise it just becomes another job.

Now, as mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I’ll be scaling my podcasts back to once per month until November. I’m excited to be working on something that will help fellow side-hustlers, so please stay tuned. And as I said, the blog posts will still be weekly so don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed.


Want more side hustle content delivered to your inbox once a month?


%d bloggers like this: