22 Side Hustle Ideas that can Make You Rich

Spoiler Alert: A side hustle is a broken promise — If you do EVEN MORE, you’ll finally get what you’re after.

Kristi writes for Juggling Normal, Medium, and at her site, KristiAndrus.com. This post was first published here, and is reproduced in full with permission.

I know you’ve seen the guarantees, headlines, and the promises: Most Lucrative Side Hustles for MillenialsMost Profitable Side Hustles for Moms50 Ways to Make $2k This Month15 Surprising Ways to Make $10k Every Month.

The idea of making more money, while doing something that comes so naturally, on your own time, is seductive. Dipping your toes in the water, monetizing your passion while maintaining the security of your full-time job seems like the best of both worlds — nothing at risk, everything to gain.

But no one wants to add another thing to their list. Whether it’s a full-time job or full-time responsibility, there is already too much on our plates. It’s like cheating on your spouse. Who has time for that?

Moral issues aside, what, I’m going to add another relationship to the equation? It’s not enough that I’m worried about my marriage, children, boss, clients, and myself; now I’m going to add another person’s satisfaction to the mix? No, thank you. I can’t even invest in a favorite TV show right now.

Pompeii by Kirsten Velghe on Unsplash

I Want Depth, Not Breadth

I want to go deeper into the things I love. I don’t need more things to sample (think of a side hustle as a sample). I’ve already tried it, and I know I like it. I don’t need to practice living as my future self; I want my best life now. Let’s do this.

But the experts say, dabble over here with a side hustle while you have the security of a paycheck. But what if dabbling is the very thing holding me back from breaking through? What if not committing is sending up a big red flag that I’m not fully invested? How can the Universe have my back if I’m wishy-washy?

Quitting Your Job IS a Nightmare

Make no mistake, leaving what you know is a wrecking ball. Getting fired, quitting, or being downsized messes with your head. Your confidence takes a hit. You lose your footing.

The world that once seemed so predictable suddenly feels off-kilter, and you wonder who you are and what will happen to your family. A cloud of uncertainty blocks the sun.

And after soul-searching and a new plan, if you are one of the lucky ones, you return to yourself. You start making aligned choices that fit with what you want, what feels good, and how you want to experience life.

You begin to see opportunities, options, people, and resources that you simply didn’t know existed before. Then you do even more things that bring you closer to home and everything starts to fall into place.

But if you aren’t one of the lucky ones, you get sucked back in. The guarantees of security and the comfort of doing what everyone else is doing are tides too formidable to resist.

In case you missed it, check out Kristi’s post about the Art of Reinventing Yourself!

You Were On a Journey to Win an Olympic Gold

Your whole life was prescribed: Put in this many hours in the gym, on the court, or in the pool. Build momentum towards this fate that was decided long ago, and you’ll be virtually unstoppable. Commute here, sit at that desk, go to these meetings. But what if you’ve changed? Is unstoppable the ultimate goal?

Maybe you were on a mission, focused on doing whatever it takes, and you never even asked yourself why. Do you love it? Does it matter to you? Do you want it anymore? Is there another way?

Covid has given us the gift of breathing room, of emotional distance; it’s been disruptive in an unexpected way. Outside of the office, we don’t feel so under the influence of the inevitable tidal wave that will dictate our next moves.

When you unplug, you can see that what you were doing wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t meaningful or leading to where you thought it was. And it wasn’t even fun anymore.

Maybe what started as a choice became an obligation and then quicksand. You were in over your head, suffocating in debt or responsibilities or implications of decisions that, given the chance, you would no longer make. Given the chance — what’s that even mean? Are we ever given a chance?

Twelve Years Ago, My husband and I Met a Couple at Pompeii

They were sitting on a bench under an olive tree with Mount Vesuvius in the distance. They wanted to explore the excavations and ruins but were having trouble navigating the steps and uneven terrain.

It was scorching, and they were breathless, and we were at opposite ends of the spectrum. We were on our honeymoon; they were celebrating their retirement.

“We waited so long to see this….” They weren’t bitter, just introspective, humbled. “Good for you for doing it now. Your generation is smart. You won’t wait for what you want.”

But every generation defers their happiness. We all believe the lie that if we hang in or do the right things, if we go to the right school or get the right job, or marry the right person and check all the boxes, there will be a payoff. Someday.

Sure, some break the mold, some break free. Some defy convention and find their path, but most of us get on a treadmill we can’t get off.

Need some motivation to break free? Check out Kristi’s post, Three Myths that (Still) Hold Women Back!

It’s Easy to Justify the Side Hustle, Because What Else is There?

It’s not all awful; there are enough happy moments to go around. The kids, the victories, the joyful flashes here and there make all the difference — glimmers of hope that build the resilience to carry on.

Like a golfer who has decided to give up the game, but then chips one in from 112 yards out or makes an impossible putt, and it’s enough to bring her back for more. She can’t let go because there is some good to be found if she just keeps playing. Her time will come, won’t it?

So she gives up the idea of how or when or if something better is out there and instead surrenders to what is. She focuses on what she has, on making the best of it. Is that sacrifice? Acceptance? Selling out? Or is it simply living? Doing the best we can? All that there is?

I guess this wasn’t about a side hustle after all, but that’s the point. It never is; it never was. You’re looking for so much more.

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