I have been addicted to Chris Guillebeau‘s Side Hustle School podcast. Every day for 2017, he releases a podcast featuring a busy person with a full-time gig who has also launched an income-generating side hustle. The irresistible allure of the side hustle is manifold: as a vehicle for creative expression, entrepreneurial spirit, and of course, greater financial freedom. Whether to make a big change or as a back-up plan, Chris argues that a side hustle is necessary.
It’s also attainable. Specifically not for people who are ready to quit their day job and, as Chris says, “jump off a cliff”. It’s for those of us who, for reasons of security or satisfaction, either can’t or don’t want to quit our day jobs, but still have a hankering for something more.
The podcasts are short, usually under 10 minutes, because they’re “designed for the busy and impatient”. They explain how the featured hustle works, what platforms it uses, stumbling blocks encountered, how much money is made, and future outlooks. The far-flung possibilities including breeding show rabbits (started in high school), creating customized candy hearts (which became a 6-figure seasonal side hustle), reselling scarves from Nepal, and becoming a Craigslist wedding photographer. That’s four of what will be 300+ episodes, so I’ll leave you to imagine the possibilities.
Or don’t, and just tune in to the podcasts, which are totally invigorating – side hustlers are ingenious! Or meet him in person – Chris is also in the midst of a massive book tour (100 cities) to promote his latest book, predictably called Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days – for this he’ll be in Toronto on October 19. (I’m going! Want to come?)
As I listen to the podcasts, I can’t help but see side hustles everywhere. We’re so pleased to feature three local side hustlers today – these are the busy people that we turn to to get things done, and who are doing even more than that on the side.
1. Human Resources Director Combines Sustainable Shirts, Love Messages, and Charitable Giving: Mo Green Clothing Co.
Jacqueline Misshula works full-time as Director of HR at lululemon, but was inspired by the adventures of her tiny human Moses to create Mo Green Clothing Co. Locally curated, designed, and printed in Canada, this small family-run side hustle makes organic, sustainable and unisex shirts. These comfortable, stylish shirts deliver a positive message, and each is made with love.
Although Jacqueline enjoys her work at lululemon, Mo Green Clothing Co. lights her up in a unique way. Seeing how the loving messages of their shirts resonate with others is one huge source of pleasure from this side hustle; another is their goal of supporting some amazing charities by giving back $100,000 by 2021. And on a personal, practical note, it’s a fun entrepreneurial project Jacqueline pursues with her husband (so evenings bring less Netflix, and more talk about their next product line). What’s not to love with this side hustle?
2. Financial Advisor Creates Passive Income Online: Money Smarts Blog
Like Jacqueline, Mike Holman started his side hustle while working a demanding day job and being a new parent. In other words, he was busy! But something pushed him to work on the side on Money Smarts, a personal finance blog for Canadians. He wrote useful, timely content and, with a growing following, soon discovered that the blog made him a tidy sum through ads.
As often happens with an initial idea, Money Smarts grew tendrils that served his customer base and grew the hustle’s income stream. Thus Mike wrote The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans for Canadians, made it available in both paperback and Kindle, and excerpted part of this book into a smaller e-book called How to Withdraw Money from Your RESP Account Whether Your Child Goes to School or Not. While Mike doesn’t write as frequently on his blog anymore, it still generates passive income every month, and it’s the rare person who wouldn’t benefit from this diversification in income streams.
3. Crafty Mom Sells Her Weaving and Macrame, and Teaches Others How to Make Their Own : Indie Boho Studio
Lidija Jerant has always had an eye for beautiful things, some of which she sells on local Facebook groups. Along with that, she also creates woven wall hangings and macrame pieces. Sometimes these pieces showed up in the background of photos featuring her sale items on Facebook. To Lidija’s surprise, people started to ask about the weavings and macrame instead of what she intended to sell. Thus was born Indie Boho Studio. Lidija created an Etsy shop to sell her own creations, and also takes on custom projects.
This side hustle expanded when Lidija randomly received three inquiries into whether she could teach weaving and macrame in three days. She knew she was onto something, and has since created workshops for learning to weave and make various macrame projects (bartering a fantastic workspace in exchange for free attendance at her workshops) and offers private teaching sessions as well. The hardest part was creating detailed workshop materials to accompany her classes and ensure her students were equipped to continue without her. Now that that initial investment of time is done, Lidija gets to focus on the classes themselves. She loves the teaching, enough so that she isn’t nervous doing it, not even for a 40 person workshop she has been invited to host at the Aga Khan Museum. This side hustle seems to grow naturally, and has become a creative and fulfilling outlet for this busy mom of two.