If you look online, I’m sure you’ll come across articles listing of “101 amazing side hustles”.

These lists are nice in theory, but they aren’t helpful because they don’t tell you anything about how to actually do them.

Or how to be successful.

And with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start.

In psychology, this is the paradox of choice. Too many options can cause anxiety and decision paralysis.

Then, we don’t know what to choose because there are too many options. And once we choose, we regret our choice because we know there are other options out there.

This decision paralysis is especially detrimental when it comes to picking a side-hustle because the most important part is actually starting.

Action → Inspiration → Motivation


"The conclusion is that if you lack the motivation to make an important change in your life, then do something, anything really, and then harness the reaction to that action as a way to begin motivating yourself."

Mark Manson

Author - Mark Manson

To help, I have simplified things. I narrowed down those lists of hundreds of side-hustles to just five.

Five of the most profitable side-hustles you can do while working a full-time job.

I picked these five jobs because they are highly actionable. You can start today and have money in your pocket by the end of next week.

These jobs are also reliable. Too often, people say side-hustles that aren’t profitable for months or even years.

This is great if you have the money to sustain you for that long. But sometimes you need money right now.

So without further ado, here are the 5 most profitable side-hustles you can do while working full-time.

Become an Air BnB Host

If you haven’t heard of Airbnb, you can climb back underneath that rock you’re living under.

Airbnb has evolved into the biggest hospitality company in the world. In fact, it is larger than the next five largest hotel chains, combined.

If you have a spare bedroom, listing it on Airbnb is one of the easiest ways you can start making money right now.

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Airbnb Checklist

If you want to have a successful Airbnb there are a few basics you need to cover:

  • check
    Make sure the room or apartment is clean. Really clean.
  • check
    List every amenity on the listing (this will attract more people searching for certain things).
  • Use high-quality photos. When you are starting out, you can do this yourself.
  • Use photos of yourself. Have a personalized profile goes a long way to building trust with your customers, especially if it is a shared space.

If you don’t have a spare bedroom, consider purchasing or renting an apartment for the sole purchase of renting it out on Airbnb.

This obviously takes some money to get started.

But if you have the money (and the apartment is in a valuable area), you can have tenants paying your rent or mortgage and still make a huge profit.

Become an Uber and Lyft Driver

If you have a car and you want to side hustle, there is no reason you should not start driving for Uber and Lyft today.

edit

Notice how I say Uber and Lyft. 

I recommend driving for both services because if you want to make the most money in the shortest amount of time, you need to drive for both services.

The first reason is to take advantage of sign-on bonuses.

Both services offer huge sign-up bonuses (sometimes over $1000) for signing up and completing a certain number of rides.

Take advantage of these bonuses for both companies.

If you do it right, you could easily have a few thousand dollars by the end of the month.

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Remember: Bonuses for you

Here is a link to a current Uber sign-up bonus and Lyft sign-up bonus.
Trust me, it’s worth it.

The second reason to drive for both Uber and Lyft is that it is one of the best ways to maximize your earnings as a rideshare driver.

The idea is simple: run both apps at the same time and take advantage of the closest and highest paying fares. But even though the idea is simple, it can get a little complicated.

But once you have secured your two sign-up bonuses above, this is the next step towards greater profits.

Flip Products Online

If you are internet savvy, you can make a ton of money by “flipping” products online. This is a great side-hustle because all it takes is an internet connection and a little bit of know-how.

The idea is as old as economics: buy low, sell high.

To be successful in this market, you will need to learn:

  1. Where to find low priced products online
  2. What trending products can be sold at a significant markup
  3. What online marketplaces you can use to sell those products

Those are the very basic steps. You will also want to work on your copywriting and marketing skills.

If you are interested in pursuing this side-hustle, there are a ton of really great and thorough articles online to get you started.

Here are some basics that I would suggest:

There are more “boots on the ground” approaches to retail flipping if you are willing to get your hands dirty: thrifting.

There are entrepreneurs who have built business empires based on thrifting. The concept is the exact same as outlined above, except that instead of finding products overseas to sell online, you find products at secondhand stores or thrift stores.

If you want to get started with thrifting, the first thing you will need to know is what to look for: 

Look on places like eBay and Etsy to see what kind of clothing or secondhand goods are selling for a premium online.

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Checklist

Here's a list of 4 things that typically sell well if you're willing to go out and look for them: 

  • check
    Clothes (especially children’s clothes)
  • check
    Power Tools (saws, drills, sanders)
  • Sporting Equipment (golf clubs, workout equip.)
  • Bicycles (especially ones ready to ride)

Brand name goods (especially “retro” and trendy brands like Tommy Hilfiger or Guess Jeans) can be sold for a ton of money online. If you spot something with a “Supreme” label, don’t hesitate to pull the trigger and buy it. People will pay insane amounts of these brands online.

Oftentimes your local Goodwill will have no idea how much these items are actually worth. There are plenty of marketplaces online to help you sell what you find. 

Other good items to look for in thrift stores are college textbooks and rare sneakers. You would be shocked to see how much money people are willing to pay for these things online.

Get Paid to Write: Become a Copywriter

If you are good with words, there are tons of people online looking to hire skilled copywriters. A copywriter is basically a person who writes the text for advertisements.

But in this day and age, a copywriter can write for just about anything.

One of the biggest markets for online copywriters is for writing landing page copy. The landing page is essentially a destination page on a website that marketers try to get potential customers to “land” on.

Copywriters are important for landing pages because the best copywriters are able to convert readers. This means they are able to convince a visitor to take a potential action, like sign up for a newsletter.

There are some super cheap online copywriting courses online. And there are many resources for absolutely free. Before starting this side-hustle,  do as much research and learning as possible.

Once you have done your research and maybe even taken a couple of classes, put together a portfolio. These don’t even have to be real portfolio items, you can make up products or landing pages. The important part is that they showcase your skills.

Once you’ve built your portfolio, it’s time to start securing clients. I would suggest looking online at sites like UpWork. The competition can be tough, but the jobs are nearly endless.

Sean Meyer is a self-taught copywriter who frequently writes about his success on Medium. Check out his story on how to land your first client.

Become a Caretaker or House-sitter

It might not sound glamorous to be a babysitter or a housesitter, but this is one of my favorite side hustles.

Why?

Because you can often combine multiple side hustles while you’re doing it.

When you are housesitter, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be working on your online store, fine-tuning your Airbnb listing, or taking on copywriting work. You can also do this as a caretaker, but to a lesser extent (since there is more actual work to do).

It’s like killing two birds with one stone, and the payoff is glorious.

Being a housesitter is very much a “who you know” type of side hustle.

But once you get one great client, they often refer you to their wealthy friends.

These types of people love to go on long vacations, so once you build your network you could be living in a different awesome house every week.

You can try to find house sitting gigs online, but I’ve seen and heard of the most success through actually networking.

If you can rub shoulders with the right clientele, mention that you are a copywriter who takes on house sitting jobs on the side.

This might provide you with the “in” that you need to get started.

Why Should You Start a Side Hustle?

Now that you’ve read my advice on five profitable side hustles you can start today, it’s time for a little extra motivation.

Even if you don’t have dreams of being a full-time Uber driver, side hustles can jumpstart your entrepreneurial journey.

Working a full-time job while running a side hustle is a lot of work. But the extra income will go a long way towards helping you reach financial independence and freedom.

Big Idea

If you have goals of starting your own business, use the extra money earned from your side-hustle to invest in yourself.

Investing in your own dreams is the best investment you can make. And if you’re smart about it. You’ll see higher returns than any low-cost index fund could ever bring you.

Like I said at the beginning of this article. Your actions can lead to motivation.

So get out there and do it.

Comment below and tell us what side hustle you're thinking of starting!

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Author

Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the head of Ridester - a site that provides in-depth articles on the gig economy, with a particular focus on the rideshare industry. Outside of work, Brett enjoys spending time in his home city of Omaha.

  • A says:

    Thank you for sharing a master piece blog for reader

  • Hi Brett,
    I really like you straight forward and quite easy strategy to build a side hustle. One has to say that these strategies probably won’t make you totally independent from a job in the longterm.

    Therefore I’d say one could even go further and start a proper business as a side hustle. Done the right way it can be quite magic and fulfilling!

    But only if you follow the well-researched process of customer development. If you do this right, you can find your best target customers and truly understand them. And all this even before you have to build anything! Thereby you won’t risk building something big that nobody wants.

    So if you have an idea for a business, I recommend you to proceed with the following process:
    1. Formulate a Customer and Problemhypothesis
    2. Do problem-interviews with people who fit to this hypotheses and try to falsify the problem hypothesis.
    3. Iterate step 1. and 2. until you can predict the next ones answers
    4. Then go ahead and present this target group a solution in a solution-interview.
    5. Iterate until you are certain that this solution solves their problem.
    6. And then you can build your first MVP.

    I know there are many challenges along the way, hidden in the details. What helped me most was talking to other founders who had done it before. They have learnt the ropes of customer development to truly find problem/solution fit. I actually interviewed many of the founders I talked to and shared it with your on our podcast called Nerd Entrepreneurs. Check it out and get inspired by their tactics and tools around the very beginning of any new company.

    If you need further assistance, feel free to reach out to me:
    [email protected]