As some of you saw on my Twitter feed this past month, I finally bought a new iMac. My old computer was a 2008 with one of those big ol’ heavy towers, that when I started up in the morning, sounded like a 747 was flying through my living room, and it took FOREVER to boot up. I could literally take a two-week vacation before all my programs were up and running.
Suffice it to say, doing any kind of side hustle, aka, video editing, was sloooow, and with the lack of time I have to actually do any side hustling, aka, the weekends, it made the process undesirable.
With my new super fast computer up and running, I’m open for business.
It’s funny that when I look back over my life, I’ve aways been a side hustler.
A Trip Down Side Hustling Lane
My first side hustle was when I was working at Ford Motor Company in Michigan. I was a permalancer making around $9/hour. Don’t feel too sorry for me. This was Michigan in 1992, so the COL was pretty cheap.
Because I didn’t get benefits, when Ford gave their full-time employees time off for the holidays, I needed to find a way to make some income. Since I was really into music at the time, I thought I’d apply for seasonal work at the now defunct music store Harmony House.
It was retail, which I was not a huge fan of, but at least I could listen to music at work. But, that was a bad move considering it was the holidays and it was Christmas music 24/7/. Shoot me. Shoot me now.
I did get a bit of smug satisfaction once, being the bratty 22-ish-year-old that I was, when an older lady asked me where she could find some good Christian music for her kids, and I pointed her to the band Ministry. If you know who that is, you might be giggling right now.
Seattle Sonics Team Store
Another side hustle was when I was working as an accounting assistant at a high-tech recruiting agency in Seattle. I was not making much there, so I got hired to work at the Seattle Supersonics (also now defunct) team store during the short (the NBA was on strike that year) 98-99 season.
The one cool perk of that job was seeing a lot of local celebrities, for instance members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden, during the game. The low for me came one night when I was working one of the stands in the hallway of the stadium, and because we handled cash that we kept on our person, somehow during the course of the night I lost over $100. Many of my fellow co-workers speculated that one of the girls on the floor with me swiped it from my money pouch. I’ll never know.
I had one of my oddest side hustles during the time I worked at Vivendi Games (now defunct-lol) in Seattle around 2001.
A friend of mine hooked me up with being a pretend victim for firefighters and EMT employees who were doing continuing education training.
So, for example, I would be in a room and my job was to be a car accident victim with a broken back, and all of these (mostly) men would be hovering above me putting me on a stretcher. Not a bad day’s work. hee hee. I think I got paid $150 (under the table) for a 6ish hour day.
I’ve also done a slew of other side hustles while I was a freelancer, to make up for my lousy earnings. Everything from coaching beach volleyball, to cleaning my friend’s toilet, to event help. One year I even made more than $13,000 side hustling! See the video!
Side hustling is not without its challenges, especially if you are a W-2 employee. Between full-time work, exercising, running errands, kids (I can’t even imagine where you fit the time in), there isn’t a TON of time left.
I am NOT a big believer in giving up certain things like sleep, relaxing, reading, etc., to side hustle unless there is a very, very strong need to do so, such as trying to get out from a big pile of debt, or perhaps saving up enough to get out of a toxic situation (like a bad relationship or job), etc.
For me, side hustling has to at least check off 2 of these three boxes:
- Pay Well
Good Reasons to Side Hustle
If your gig meets the above criteria, congratulations, you’re ready to begin! Because there are many positives to side hustling:
- You build new skills.
- A side hustle keeps you occupied so you don’t go shopping (or watch another episode of The Bachelor).
- You increase your savings rate.
- You’re building a Plan B.
- You’re networking.
- Sometimes you get free items (for instance if you’re a brand ambassador) or lunches/dinners might be provided if you help with an event.
This year I decided to up my side hustling a bit. I’m mostly concentrating on video editing and even podcast editing! My main goal for doing so is to increase my savings rate.
What is your favorite side hustle? Are you planning on doing more/less/the same amount of hustling this year?