The term “side hustle” has been getting very popular lately.  But there are a lot of people who haven’t heard of it or know what it’s all about.

So what is a side hustle and can anyone start one?  I’ll show you everything you need to know and how easy it can be to earn money with a side hustle of your own.

Let’s check it out and see if it can help you reach your financial goals!

Definition Of A Side Hustle

There are many definitions of a side hustle, but here’s how I define it:

“Something you do to make extra money on the side that is independent of your regular job and dependent upon how much you hustle.”

Working extra hours at work or getting a part-time job somewhere is not a side hustle based upon how we see it here at Build Your Early Retirement.

HustleSide hustles are opportunities created by you that you have control over as far as when and how you work them.  The amount of money that you make depends upon how much time and effort you put into it.

Here’s an example of the difference:

Say that you love to write and love reading books. So to earn some extra cash, you get a part-time job at a book store.

This is not a side hustle because the book store is in charge of almost every aspect of how you make money:

  • How many hours you work
  • When you have to be there
  • How much money you make
  • How you handle the tasks you need to do
  • Whether or not your employment continues

This is a job, not a side hustle.  No matter how much effort you are willing to put into it, you are limited to whatever opportunity that the book store is willing to give you!

But suppose you take your love of books and writing and do something different.  You start creating a series of eBooks and sell them online.

You are in control of:

  • How many eBooks you write
  • What platform you sell them on
  • What topics you write about
  • The price you sell them for
  • How they are designed
  • How much time you spend on your eBooks

Since you are in control of all aspects of your money-making business, this is a true side hustle.  No one else is telling you how to manage and execute your business of selling eBooks.

In other words, how much you hustle is the determining factor in whether or not you make money and how much!

==>==>  See my favorite side hustle I used to retire early!  <==<==

Benefits Of A Side Hustle vs A Part Time Job

Now you might be thinking, “But with a part-time job, you will be getting paid regularly and know how much you’re going to make, so isn’t that better?”

If that income and security is something you need now, then yes, getting a part-time job may be the best choice for you.  Side hustles typically can take awhile to start earning consistent money.

So if you need the security of a paycheck, I recommend getting a job that works for you and start your side hustle as time allows.

But there are benefits to a side hustle that you should consider if you are looking for more than just immediate income:

~   You can work as little or as much as you want to, which makes fitting it into a schedule with your regular job much easier. I worked as a rural postal carrier sub when I started my online business as a side hustle.

The job only guaranteed me 1 day a week and I was on call 5 other days. It worked well with my family obligations, but was almost impossible trying to find a part-time job that could arrange my hours around this type of schedule.

So to make more income, I worked my side hustle, an online business, whenever I wasn’t being called in to the post office.  As a result, I have 6 websites in my online business now!




~   Your income is only limited to the time and effort you are willing to put in. In my example of selling eBooks, you control everything about the process, so what you put into it will determine your results.

The more books you write, the quality of them, and the more experienced youWorks with a family schedule get at selling them are all ways you control how much money you can make.

~   You can fit your side hustle into your family schedule much easier than with getting a part-time job. Don’t want to miss any soccer games, need to schedule appointments, or want to drive to the beach for the day with the kids?

It’s all doable because you control your schedule.  Instead of trying to fit all of your family activities around a part-time job, many side hustles can be worked around your family life!

~   You can choose to do something that you are passionate about. Most of the time, you have to settle for whatever part time job fits your schedule and pays the best–no matter how much you do or don’t like the work.  They don’t revolve around things you are passionate about or enjoy.

But you can choose a side hustle that fits with what you really enjoy doing and create opportunities in areas you are passionate about!

~   Typically, a side hustle doesn’t have a lot of upfront costs to start. You can start small and build up from there.  Many of them are services that you can perform, which can require very little capital most times.

Side hustles also have some cons to go along with the pros, so here are a few that you’ll want to think about:

Quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson~   Some side hustles take a little while to get going before making any substantial amount of money.  Here’s a great example of someone who started a side hustle and built it into a lucrative full-time career:

A friend of mine worked part-time when her children were young, but she wanted to make more money. She had some bookkeeping experience, but would’ve had to pay expensive daycare costs if she got a regular bookkeeping job.

So she started finding opportunities to do bookkeeping from home for some small businesses in her area. She started with one company, and it took her about 2 years before building her business up enough to bring in substantial income.

However, once it took off, she quit her part-time job and was making a full time income from home working about 20 hours per week–so her patience and hard work paid off!

~   You’ll need to sacrifice some, if not a lot, of your free time. Starting a side hustle will take time and commitment, sometimes more than what you thought.  But the reward of financial stability and independence is well worth it when you achieve success!



The Easiest Side Hustle To Start!

Person working on laptop on picnic tableSo the easiest side hustle you can start is also one of the most profitable–Affiliate Marketing!  If you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can create your own website in minutes and start an online business to work from home.

Don’t know how to create a website or become an affiliate marketer?  That’s OK!

My #1 rated program has everything you need to make long-term, consistent, substantial profits.  It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s a legitimate platform that specializes in up-to-date affiliate market training.

The program is Wealthy Affiliate, and it’s the awesome system that taught me everything I know about earning money online!

One of the very best features is access to an active community forum where you can get help, support, and mentoring from experienced marketers around the world.  It’s an amazing spam-free environment where newbies can learn and get answers to their questions!

Think it’s expensive?  Affiliate marketing is one of the most low cost ways to start a side hustle there is.  Wealthy Affiliate has a starter program where you can create 2 websites and get training for free–they don’t even require a credit card!

==>==>  Check out the FREE starter program now!  <==<==

If, like me, you see that this is the right side hustle for you, the entire Wealthy Affiliate platform is available to you for just $49 a month.  It’s an incredible value, and you can build up to 50 websites!

Affiliate marketing is a business where you build a foundation that will pay you profits down the road.  While it’s one of the most lucrative–you can make $100,000 a year, even part time–it can take months before you start making any money and longer before making consistent income.

So you want to be sure that you’re going into it with the right mindset for success.  A good general guideline can be found at How Long Does It Take To Start Making Money With Affiliate Marketing?

==>==>  See how I started my side hustle and make money online  <==<==

More Side Hustle Opportunities!

So where do you find ideas and opportunities to start a side hustle? First you want to turn to the things you love to do or are passionate about.

For example, do you love to find hidden treasures at flea markets and garage sales? You could clean them up or re-purpose them and sell them on EBay!

Do you have a love for dogs?  Maybe you could take care of dogs for owners while they’re at work or out of town.

For more great ideas, there’s a couple of my posts that might be helpful:

20 Money Making Crafts You Can Do!

19 Ideas For A Home Based Business

How about you? Are you thinking of starting a side hustle? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

I'm Janelle, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother of 5 angels (most of the time)! I started BuildYourEarlyRetirement.com as a way to show how anyone can become financially independent and retire early. As I build out this site, I hope you'll comment and share your experiences as well. Good luck in all your endeavors, and may your success start now!