What’s a Side Hustle? How do you make extra cash on the side?

The term ‘side hustle’ is thrown around a lot these days…and no, it’s not a dance move or from Zumba class. It’s a legitimate way to make extra money on the side of your current job. I guess it used to be called Moonlighting, which had a some what negative, secret undertone to it back in the 80’s along with a pretty corny TV show starring Bruce Willis. But, it’s been around since the beginning of time, and if you don’t have a side hustle currently, you’re probably missing out on some opportunities…and extra cash.

Examples of people I know with side hustles:

  • My friend who works downtown in a boring office does DJ work on the weekends.
  • An amazing girl who work for a pharmacy during the week, decorates cakes in her spare time.
  • One of my best friends sells corporate uniforms by day and essential oils by night
  • A smart fellow who runs a local school facility jumps in his car on the weekends and drives for Uber.
  • My cousin who is a stay at home mom (full time job) creates hand painted invitations and sells on Etsy.
  • A good friend works with trucks during the day but uses his hands for sports injury massage in the evenings.
  • One of my school mom friends chooses to work with children at her church, and uses her MBA to help a few clients on the side with strategy and bookkeeping.
  • And…MY business coach who is a big-whig at Amazon coaches entrepreneurs early mornings before work, because he loves helping people, and the extra money!

Here are some tips and tricks about side hustles that can get you started…today:


Side Hustle is simple, but not always easy.

Just like most things in life, right? Things that are simple, are not often easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it. What is important to understand about a side hustle is that it doesn’t always fit conveniently into your current lifestyle. The word hustle itself should give you a clue that you’re going to have to do more than you currently are, which means getting up earlier, staying up later, skipping the 2 hours of TV at night and definitely rethinking your weekends. If you’re going to continue to work in your current job, and start a side hustle, consider it like taking a second job. So, if you currently work 40 hours a week and you add another part time job at 20 hours…you can see how the hours add up quickly. Good thing we have nights and weekends. (And the fact that most of us really don’t work 40 hours straight in our jobs)

Start with what you know.

Do something you enjoy and you’re good at. If you hate driving, don’t consider Uber. If you don’t like kids, don’t offer to babysit on the weekends. Now, if the opposite is true, then by all means, jump in your car and start driving for cash. If you like baking, painting, DJ’ing, taking photos…these are all things you can turn into a side hustle. Maybe you’re not creative or the entrepreneur type, but you’re great at spelling and grammar, did you know people are willing to pay you to edit their written work?? Paid to point out people’s mistakes! And, the best part, usually you can do this from home, any time of day, night or weekend.

One of my first side hustles was working from home after I had my second child. I’d put the kids to bed at 7pm, pour a glass of wine, grab some chocolate, turn on my favorite music and start my side hustle…doing web research for a real estate agent. I got paid to work in the evenings, in my pjs. You can too.

This is a legit business.

From day one, you’ll need to remember this is a legitimate business, so you need to keep a W9 on hand, be prepared to create and send an invoice, and have a bank account set up to receive all that money. People really don’t do business in cash anymore, so stop day dreaming of stuffing hundred dollar bills in your mattress for a rainy day. You’ll need to keep track of income and at the end of the year, depending on how much you earn, you may even have to pay taxes. Isn’t that a good problem to have?? Save some of your money for taxes…trust me, the IRS will come looking for you (that’s for another blog post).


Freelance websites.

Where do you find work? There are a few great places to get started looking for work. I use Upwork, which is a freelance website and matches small businesses with freelancers who have a huge variety of skills. I started as a virtual assistant, and moved my way up to content writing, blogs etc and now I work full time as a Branding and Business Coach…all from Upwork. I turned my side hustle into my full time job, and I’m making 3 x the amount of money I did working full time in an office.

Marketing yourself.

Do you need a logo, business card and website to get started. Probably not. Don’t get hung up with the marketing side of starting a business…you’ll be stuck there for 3 months and put out money before you even start earning. Now, for some people a simple landing page and some social media would be helpful, and possibly a business card…but the key is to start simple and small, and then scale fast. Once your side hustle money is coming in the door, don’t go out and spend it all in one place, invest it back into the business for the first 3–6 months.

Here’s the thing, as humans and especially as Westerners, our spending is determined by our earning. The more we earn, the more we spend. The trick to a successful side hustle and building your own business is to continue to live on your current job income and use the extra money to invest and build your business so that one day, you can do wha you really want to do full time and not just on the side.

Want to know more?

Wondering if this is something you can do yourself? Here’s my suggestion, talk with people you know are working on the side, ask them about their experiences, good and bad. Ask them how they got started and if they could point you in the right direction. If you’re serious about this and ready to invest a little to get started, I can help. I help people start side hustles, transition to freelance work or simply build their personal brand online.

I can help you clarify your vision, start finding work and even build you a simple website with killer messaging. Check out the 3 step plan on my website or contact me at lisacumes@gmail.com and we can take the conversation to the next level.

Copywriter and Certified StoryBrand Guide. I coach freelancers and entrepreneurs how to create a thriving full-time business. — Los Angeles www.lisacumes.com