Inside: You already have a lot on your plate as a busy mom – does adding in a side hustle business make sense? Maybe! Do you fall into any of these categories?
As an entrepreneur, mom, and career coach, I’m a huge fan of the side hustle. In fact, I’m a little bit obsessed with the idea of side hustling as a means to take your career in a new direction, or make money, or start your entrepreneurial journey.
Here’s the kicker though – you don’t have to want to be an entrepreneur for a side hustle business to make sense. The entrepreneurial life may not be your jam, jelly, or peanut butter but a side hustle could still be the perfect fit.
To see if a side hustle business is right for you check if you fall into any of these categories. If yes, this list of 55 side hustle ideas will be the next step to set you on your way in 2021.
A Side Hustle Business Might Be For You If…
Let’s kick things off with the entrepreneurial vibe, but like I promised, that’s not the be-all and end-all!
1. You want to test the waters
If you do have an entrepreneurial itch and you have a good idea for a business, starting it out as a side hustle is the perfect way to 1) see if the entrepreneurial life could be for you and 2) test your idea.
You may find that you don’t actually like being in charge of your own business, which is 110% fine. It’s not for everyone, but testing it out can help you decide.
In regard to your idea, a side hustle helps you see if there is a market for your product or service. You can talk about your great idea all day long, but if you don’t put it out there, you won’t actually know if it will sell.
2. You’re not a big fan of Risky Business
Liking the movie and being comfortable with risk in your own life are VERY different things.
In a lot of my career coaching conversations with prospective entrepreneurs, we talk about risk tolerance. For those folks who are all about risk, going full force into a new business can be exhilarating. But for those who are a bit more helicopter parent-ish over their careers and lives, entrepreneurial life can feel super scary.
Dipping your toe into starting a new business by doing it on the side can be a happy medium. That way you have a safety net with a stable income while you’re still giving your idea a go.
3. You need seed money
Let’s say you are fully planning on going for it as a full-time business owner someday, but in order to get your business off the ground you need money. Maybe that money is going towards starting your website, investing in materials, or hiring a team.
A full-time job is helpful for that as you save, but a side hustle business can work double duty. While your 9-5 pays your regular bills, your side hustle can help you build up an additional source of income that can get your business where you want it to be.
For example, when my blog was a side hustle, I invested the profits back into education (like this killer SEO course) and more advanced tools that helped me take my multi-part business full-time.
Changing gears a bit, let’s focus in on reasons why a side hustle could be right for you even if entrepreneurship is not the ultimate goal.
4. You need a new job
A lot of folks are out of work right now so if you’ve been laid off, furloughed, or had your hours cut in 2020, you are not alone. In fact, you’re in very good company with a ton of smart talented people, which makes the situation both less lonely and more competitive.
To stand out in the crowd during your job search, adding in a side hustle business helps to fill a gap on your resume and showcases to employers that you are dedicated to your field. For example, if you have expertise in teaching and you’ve been laid off this year, you could think about private tutoring as a side hustle so that you stay engaged in the work you love and can talk about this role during interviews.
Side hustle can also bring in money when you need money. It would be lovely to talk about career development and focus just on your passions and work-life fulfillment, but you also need money to pay the bills. Side hustles help you do that!
5. You want to change careers
You may have been moving and grooving along in your career but you’ve reached a point where you are a) bored b) restless or c) burned out. I could probably list out d through z on this too because there are tons of reasons why you might be looking for a change.
Now you could up and quit your job before finding something new, but that’s a little risky. Or you could start firing off applications to change careers into a new industry, but if you don’t have experience in that role or in that sector, you may hear a lot of radio silence.
A side hustle business can help you build the experience you need to get into that new full-time job though! Just because a big company won’t hire you to manage their social media, doesn’t mean a small business won’t take a chance on hiring you as a freelance Virtual Assistant. Or you could start a podcast on a topic of interest, take on bookkeeping clients, or create logos. Then take all that experience to sell yourself for your next job!
6. You’re Re-entering the Workforce
Are you a stay at home parent and you’re looking to make a return to the workforce outside of the home? A side hustle could be the perfect re-entry point.
Use the skills you have built both before having children and after to create a flexible business that starts bringing in some income and helps you build your skills and network. Then you have some additional recent work to add onto your resume and you’re meeting people who can help you make those moves in your career.
For example, you could get your real estate license and work part-time as an agent. You could create an organizing business to help folks clear out their homes. You could sign on for short term consulting projects. There are tons of options – some that require additional training or education and some that are perfectly suited for your existing experience.
7. You need some spice in your life
Did you start singing the Spice Girls song when you read that header? If so, after you’re doing with the side hustle topic go read this post about the Spice Girls song Wannabe and thank me later.
But in all seriousness, if you like variety in your work then having multiple jobs could feel exciting to you and not stressful. When I first started side hustling as a freelance writer and blogger while I was working full-time, it wasn’t for money – it was for variety! I had been doing my job for several years and needed to shake things up and introduce more creativity into my work.
When I continued side hustling and took on private career coaching clients in addition to my work at Harvard, it was because I loved coaching AND writing and wanted to do both.
If you love multiple things, your career doesn’t have to be one thing. It can be multiple things and end up being more profitable and make you happier.
8. You want more flexibility in your career and life
If you are seeking flexible options for employment beyond the traditional 9-5, a side hustle business could be exactly what you’re looking for. While it may start out as a role you take on on the side in addition to your 9-5 job, your side hustle (or side hustles) could transition into your full-time gig, just not in the traditional full-time hours.
Right now, I work full-time hours but I don’t work between the hours of 2:30 and 8. Instead, with the multiple clients and types of work within my business, I can work at 5:30 am before the kids get up, and then I can work from 9-2:30 while they are at school, and from 8-9 pm when they go to bed.
Or 10 sometimes, but it’s cool because I genuinely love this work.
I also love being available for my family and adjusting my hours to a schedule that works. That’s a huge benefit of living the side hustle life!
Ready to Start Your Side Hustle Business?
If after reading this you’re finding yourself saying yup, yup, YUP that’s me, then let’s talk about where to go from here.
I would suggest one of three paths forward.
- If you know what side hustle business you want to start then there’s no time like the present to get moving! Think about your business plan, your goals, and your strategy. Part of that strategy will be setting up a website to get customers and I highly recommend using SiteGround to get started. Both of my websites are set up with SiteGround and anytime I’ve had an issue (of my own doing) the customer service has been fantastic. More of my favorite online business resources here.
- If you have a few ideas for a side hustle business but need to talk this out some more, sign up for a free coaching consultation session. 25-30% of my coaching clients are entrepreneurs and I love working through this with clients.
- If you don’t know what business you want to start, check out this list of 55 Side Hustle Ideas to get your wheels turning.
Happy side hustling!