I’m taking a little time off this month to get my freelance taxes organized and regroup with my blog.
Today’s guest post is from Choncé from My Debt Epiphany. Choncé is a momma and 20-something mid-western girl, working hard to pay down about $30,000 debt and enjoy life to it’s fullest along the way.
I’ve always been a hustler; mostly by necessity and not by choice. When you really think about it, who actually wants to hustle day in and day out if they’re not working toward some big goal?
A few years ago, my ‘big goal’ was to graduate college and just get by comfortably when it came to supporting myself and my son. I took out a few student loans to help cover expenses that my part-time job and internship didn’t cover, but I still winded up with about $20,000 in student loans.
I beat myself up about it sometimes.
- I should have applied for more scholarships.
- I should have stayed home the entire time instead of getting my own apartment.
- I should have taken less classes each semester so my bills wouldn’t be so high.
The list goes on and on. Then, I realized that I should be giving myself more credit. Yes, I accumulated some debt, but four years is a long time to wait for a degree that is supposed to change your life when you are currently earning next to nothing.
I got by. I survived. My son and I didn’t starve and we didn’t feel deprived in any way. I actually had an enjoyable college experience and met some wonderful friends in the process.
The hustler in me must have attributed to my success and wellbeing at the time. I almost forgot to look back and poke fun at all the weird side hustles I’ve done to get by.
I Poured Alcohol
I worked part-time as one of those in-store food demonstrators all through college and earned about $11 per hour doing so. One year, I figured out the alcohol demonstrators made twice that, so I had to jump ship and embrace that opportunity.
I spent random weekends pouring alcohol samples in stores like Jewel, Binny’s and even some local liquor stores. Sometimes, I would make mixed drinks and other times I would simply pour spiced rum into sample cups for people to try.
I remember having to leave the homecoming game early so I could get to the liquor store and set up shop to start preparing samples. Even though the work was tolerable, it was boring at times, but it wasn’t hard labor and paid well. I was making at least $20 per hour doing this, and sometimes my booking agent even recruited me to pass out shots at the local college bar with another girl and promote various different brands. Those gigs were $25 per hour.
While that wouldn’t be my side hustle of choice, all I kept thinking about was how I could spend less time working and earn more money to meet my wants and needs and that was awesome.
I Wrote about Real Estate in Canada
This was before I knew about the wonderful world of financial freelance writing. I was searching for writing gigs on Craigslist and came across an ad to write short real estate articles. Turns out, they were for properties in Canada. I live in the Midwest so I had no idea about Canadian real estate or even American real estate for that matter since I’m a renter.
I realized it couldn’t be rocket science though, so I wrote tons of descriptive articles. I learned a lot about different Canadian providences along with the fact that property in Toronto is extremely expensive and I wondered where people worked to afford those homes; especially the condos. I earned about $10-15 per article while doing this side hustle.
Speaking of Real Estate, I Cold Called People as Well
This was another Craigslist job. Except I was working with people in the U.S. now. I worked with a lady who had me finding property owners to cold call and inquire about their listing. I was given a worksheet to fill out during the calls and apparently some of the questions were touchy because the people I called were hesitant to answer when I got to a certain question.
It was awkward and weird, mainly because I had no idea what I was doing. I was probably 18 or 19 at the time. Plus, I can’t stand sales and cold calling. I severely suck at it. I don’t even remember how much this gig paid.
I’m Still a Hustler
After looking back at all my weird side hustle experiences, I can proudly say that I’m still a hustler. I earned my degree and work in the web design industry full-time and blog and do freelance writing on the side.
While there are good days and bad days, I love my work and I’m thankful I don’t have to do dead end jobs anymore just to get by. While they make for some great stories, I’m glad I was finally able to optimize my skillset by obtaining meaningful and well-paying work and manage my money properly so I could live well between my means.
If you are doing anything unordinary or unfulfilling just to get by and get to the next level, be enduring, know that it’s only temporary, and always stay focused on your end goal.
Have you ever had any weird side hustles?