Today, we are excited to share what our guest, Peter Koch from Dollarsanity, has specially written for you. Peter is a veteran money-maker and has vast experience in a wide range of profitable side hustles. He has been featured in Forbes, Yahoo Finance and Lifehacker, just to name a few.
In fact, there’re great opportunities to land permanent jobs during this festive season with up to 130,000 jobs available.
Ready? Over to you, Peter.
At what age is the one best suited to embark on a life full of side hustle gigs? In my mind, there is no answer to that question. Sure, as you get up there in age, you’ll become wiser and you’ll have more of a chance to earn the big bucks. However, a successful side hustle isn’t just based on the final figure you earn at the end of the month.
Much more important are the lessons you get to learn along the way. This can determine your entire outlook on business, or life in general. With that in mind, I have decided to share with you my life experience of dealing with all sorts of side hustles. Some were tremendous. Others, not so much. I divide it all into 3 categories: the good, the bad and those that meant a lot for my personal development. Check them out!
Complete and utter failures
I might be too harsh when I say this, but some side hustles had been just a waste of time. Not only that they turned out to be completely unprofitable, but they also provided no important life lessons. That’s why I put these ventures into the above-mentioned category. Here’s where I got it wrong, no sugar coating or anything.
Creating a YouTube channel
Hey, if everyone can do it, so can I, right? Wrong! God only knows just how much time I invested in this idea, and in the end, I had nothing to show for my troubles. Well, not nothing, as my YouTube channel is earning about $20 on a monthly basis, but that’s hardly a thing to be proud of. At least that’s true compared to the amount of time I had to spend on it. The competition is simply too high on this platform, which makes it pretty much unprofitable. Looking back on it now, I wish I spent that time fishing or watching basketball instead.
Loaning money to Reddit users
Why would anyone even attempt to loan money to complete strangers? I guess I just wanted to see what will happen. Or the thought of making easy money captivated me, whatever. Still, don’t think that I’ve completely lost my mind, there was a method to my madness. You see, I always use PayPal, which has a strict return policy. After one of the users failed to return my messages, and most importantly, money, on time, I simply asked for a refund and got it back. That was the day that I decided it was time to move on to greener pastures from this side hustle idea. In total, this scheme resulted in plenty of lost time with nothing to show for. Not worth it!
Lucrative business ventures
In this category, I have decided to place the side hustle gigs that turned out to be a success when it comes to profit. More or less, they very just lucrative, but provided no important life lessons, nor did they open the doors to other business collaborations. Consider them as a one-hit-wonder. As most people would agree, it sure beats a no-hit wonder. Anyway, here they are.
Selling pirated DVDs online
Right from the start, you can see why this is not a gig that played a big role in shaping my personality. However, it was rather decent when it comes to the money side of things. It began while I was still living in a dorm. Because I was a night owl by choice, I didn’t mind staying up all night, downloading the latest titles while others were asleep.
Mind you, this was in the early days of the internet, when an ultra-fast connection was a myth, so every single kB was important. After downloading the files, I burned them onto DVDs, which I, later on, sold via eBay. It didn’t last long before the admins from eBay caught my scheme, but I was able to retrieve my earning and get out of there with no questions asked. When it all came to a close, I ended up with more than a few dollars to my name.
Making homemade funny videos go viral
How do I do that? To be fair, it’s not my expertise that’s a factor here. Instead, I discovered a couple of websites that specialize in these actions, so I just let them do all the work. In total, my job is to upload a video, accept their terms and conditions, and hope for the best.
If it sounds too good to be true, try it out for yourself. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the name of the websites in question. I had some great results with Rumble and Newsflare, so you might want to start there. At the very least, you won’t waste a ton of time, and if one of your videos goes viral, you’ll basically get your hands on some free money.
Important lessons learned
While side hustling revolves around making as much profit as you can, certain gigs can teach you a lot of important lessons. These little nuggets of knowledge are everywhere for the taking, you just have to pay attention to clues you find along the way. Here are some gigs that shaped me into the man I am today.
Buying candy for my friends
Remember when I said that it is never too early to begin with side hustling? I learned that lesson when I was 12 years old. How was I able to earn cashback then? By selling candy to my classmates, of course. Not for nothing, I had a knack for it, and my friends kept coming back to me for their daily portion of sweets.
Before I even realized it, I developed a steady business model that was pretty profitable. At least for that time being. Unfortunately, it quickly collapsed as the school year came to a close. Still, it taught me that you can always rely on two things in business: 1) people are lazy, 2) If you have the right product, you just have to find a way for it to reach the customers. Marketing and availability are the things that make or break any business. Awesome life lessons for a 12-year-old, don’t you think?
Organizing a New Year’s Eve celebration
This one taught me the significance of teamwork and just how important it is to play your cards right. You see, together with a group of my friends, I came up with a plan to organize a New Year’s Eve celebration. It was supposed to be done at this small pub located just outside of our dorm. As luck would have it, we were offered the biggest venue in the entire city instead, and we said YES!
A rather stupid decision, you might think. I wouldn’t even blame you for saying so. Ultimately, how can a bunch of students find enough people to fill out this massive place? We had to beg, charm others, give out some free tickets and even ask for some professionals for guidance… At the end of the day, we were able to achieve our goals, and that’s all that counts, am I right?
We all came out of the entire ordeal a lot richer compared to when we first began, I can tell you that much. Some of my friends burned all of their money away on impulsive purchases, while I further invested it, but that’s a story for another day. This side hustle was not easy in the slightest, but it proved to be more than worth it.
The life lessons I got from selling on Amazon
Here’s a thing, Amazon was highly profitable for me, I’m not even gonna lie. However, it gave me so much insight into the way people think, and it opened so many doors, that I simply had to put it in this category.
First of all, it strengthened my point of view towards always taking the road less traveled. Just think about it for a second, if you always do whatever your competition is doing, what is the thing that makes you so special? In my experience with Amazon, that included the use of software and the creation of my own algorithms that my competition didn’t want to employ. Sure, it was a lot more time consuming, but ultimately, it paid off big time.
Second of all, no matter how much we all want to sit on the couch and watch TV all day long, it’s simply not a productive way to spend the day. Whenever I was able to come up with enough energy to pursue my goals, good things started happening. My side hustle had always been sales in Amazon, but it was always fun to explore what was possible. Ultimately, my wife played a big part here as well, allowing me to focus on my business and taking care of all the little things in life. Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Additionally, my success was quickly noticed by others as well, which gave me a second or two under the spotlight. Getting the public recognition as an authority on the topic is never easy, but once you get there, you’ll notice just how many opportunities it can lead to.
Fiverr was the quickest money ever, or was it?
It’s also never too late to learn, the fact that we all seem to forget along the way. Even now, after I graduated from college a few years ago, started a family and owned a successful pub, I still get surprised from time to time with the effectiveness of certain side hustle ideas. The latest example that demonstrates that point perfectly would be my experience with Fiverr.
It literally took 2 minutes to earn $200, but my whole life served as a preparation to this point. I simply posted a gig, filled out my bio, and claimed that I will share some secrets to reselling a product. Before I knew it, several people took upon my offer, without a second of hesitation. It turns out that having expertise in a certain area is always an advantage.
Starting a blog
Because I noticed that a lot of people are interested in what I had to say, I decided to open up my own website, DollarSanity, where I can share ideas with my trusted followers. In the beginning, I set out the goal to market it as much as possible. With that in mind, I began to promote a blog on different platforms.
Before I knew it, thousands of reads flocked to my website. With that, I practically showed to myself, and others, that you don’t need to invest years into building a blog. You can make it profitable in mere months. Even better, it helped me reach a lot of young people from across the world, and hopefully, it gave them a slight motivation to keep pushing through. That’s good enough for me.
Peter is an engineer, serial entrepreneur and father of two. He co-founded DollarSanity to help people to achieve financial independence by starting their own business.
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