How To: Earn Side Hustle Income (Hundreds or Thousands per month) |

When I was 15 years old I used to go from apartment complex to complex, putting little flyers I made underneath windshield wipers.  Wash and wax for $10, along with my phone number.  I’d travel with a bucket of car wash supplies and an orbital buffer detailing cars, that in addition to working at McDonald’s, Radio Shack, Popeye’s Chicken…while also attempting to sell Kirby vacuum cleaners.  I have and always will be a hustler, during my career many side hustles emerged and a few took off making me really good income.  Others fell flat on their face, a seemingly amazing idea withering away into nothing despite my best efforts.  In the world of preparedness we rely on intuition, hustle, initiative and community to get things done…working within your community in order to earn some side hustle cash is no different.  What follows is the high level plan / motivation for getting your own income stream started.  I can tell you that in my last effort this spring I helped my girlfriend stand up a service industry related business, in March it did $2000 in revenue, by June it was doing considerably more.  It is possible and here are some tips for you to follow.

What is the IDEA?

What if I told you that I wanted to start a coffee business?  You’d say there is no way to be successful in that space because the market is saturated but, have you ever heard of Black Rifle Coffee?  Those guys are absolutely killing it, coffee bags with AR15’s and other cool stuff on it flying off the shelves.  This in a world where Folgers and Starbucks and more seem to dominate the space.   Just because there are others in the space does not mean you are prohibited entry.  Remember just about everything has been done before but that does not mean you can’t do it more efficiently or provide an improved product or service.

When considering your idea you must also consider how well it will be received / needed and your ability to deliver.  Let’s set aside the complexities of codes and licensing for and say that you want to sell your famous cookies out of a plain white van (down by the river?) for a moment.  Or maybe you want to deliver a service: car detailing, house cleaning, handyman work, or yard landscaping.  The crucial question you have to ask yourself is: how will this make money?  In order to understand that you need to analyze if the market you live in will receive this service well (snow plowing in Florida, maybe not) and your ability to deliver (do you know how to bake cookies, can you polish a car without stripping the paint?).  If you think you’ve got that nailed down and there is a need for something you can provide then it’s off to the races.


For the right amount of money, people will do just about anything: FALSE.  Well let me qualify that statement, it’s true but only for a short period of time.  I’ve had two roles in my lifetime where the money was incredible and both times I ended up leaving, it just was not worth it.  I had zero passion, zero desire and even dollar signs hitting my account every two weeks was not enough to keep me there.  This was working for various organizations so imagine starting your own business and hating what you do, talk about a recipe for disaster (and not cookies made in a van, down by the river).

Whether it’s a product or a service you must be passionate about it, otherwise how are you going to sell that idea or product to someone else?  That is why I encourage pursing paths that you have interest in, paths that once scaled and the work becomes harder / hours become longer it won’t be an annoyance but rather a labor of love with the benefit of extra income.

Consider this: you are going to buy a gun for self defense and know nothing.  You go into a gun store and ask the guy behind the counter in the Grunt Style T shirt and 5.11 pants: “is this a good gun?”  If he is engaging, positive, informative and goes through all the features while listening to your preferences you are probably sold on the product.  If he is distant, texting, clearly hating this job and responds with “it’s ok” you are probably going to leave to find another gun shop.  In business you are literally asking people to give you money for something you can provide, you need to be passionate about that something.

Think LOCAL over Global

Personally I’ve made money both locally and globally, but globally usually involves the internet and monetizing that medium.  If you are looking for an extra $500 or $1000 a month I suggest working the local angle because you know and can see / interact with your customers.  While it is possible to make money on  Amazon or Youtube (et al), it is infinitely easier to start from scratch and post advertisements on Craigslist, local bulletin boards and network with your community.

WHY are you better?

This is what matters,  your ability to excel in a space with a product or service when it is occupied by the competition.  Let’s say Joe handyman is really good at fixing things but so are you, but Joe doesn’t advertise and only gets his business word of mouth.  Joe gets business because he has been around forever and if he does answer his phone, will quote someone a “maybe” price which could change.  Maybe Joe shoes up when he says he will, maybe he doesn’t.

In contrast what if you set up a professional Facebook page, a nice Website, offer free consults and send out professional quotes.  What if you answered your phone and email promptly and engaged your customers?  What if you showed up when you said you would (because the google calendar invite was sent out). I’m willing to bet that there is enough business for everyone and you’d stand out immediately and maybe Joe would start to lose some clients.

You get OUT what you put IN

There is no such thing as working 2 hours a week and bringing in $50,000 a month.  Well maybe there is in the land of high stakes poker or similar pursuits but those guys have literally put in years and years of time playing hundreds of thousands of hands.  The athlete that signs that multi million dollar deal has trained 60 hours a week for years, and on and on it goes.  If you think you are going to come up with a product or a scheme that can deliver thousands by working a couple hours a week, please email me because I’d like to get in on that as well.

In my experience much of the work is always on the front end.  All of the business planning, research and development, licenses and just pure grinding.  Once that settles out then a basic battle rhythm can be adjusted to but it’s never as easy as the infomercials make it out to be.  Speaking of which, if you ordered that get rich quick real estate flip program on late night TV, I’d probably return it.

Permits and Stuff

There are other aspects to working a side hustle especially if you want to turn it into a business.  Should it be an LLC?  What about an Operating Agreement, should you get an account and why does the bank need a Federal EIN to set up a business account?  Selling food: health department regs and the old Wash / Rinse / Sanitize sink combo apply here.  I’m not going to get into details on this but I will tell you that in every instance I did all of this without paying the likes of Legal Z–m or similar.  Do the research, all of the information is usually readily available and free on your state’s website.

The Bottom Line

So often folks wait for that 2% annual raise from their employer to make some extra cash.  I’m here to tell you that with the right drive, intuition and resilience you can make as much as you want whether it’s an extra $500 or maybe even $5000 a month.  Understand that in this world there will be failures but you always learn from them and become better for it.   Whether it’s a product or service you can exist in a space and be successful and provide extra income for your family.  All the best and good luck and as a final piece of advice if you scale successfully: get an accountant.  Uncle Sam wants his cut.

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