The term side hustle can mean different things to different people, and even different things at different points in your life. So today, we are going to dig into all of those different types of earning and in what situation you might use to decide which side hustle is for you.
What is a side hustle?
In some cases it might be just anything you do that brings in extra money. In my mind, I have always thought of a side hustle as something that is more within your own control. So a business that you run or a side gig that you are in complete control of. There are different types of earning through side hustles and different situations might make you more interested in a certain type.
Types of Earning for People Who Need Money Now
You can’t wait, you’re behind on your bills, and you just need money now. A side hustle would be something along the lines of driving for Uber, delivering for Instacart, or something along those lines. You could even get a second job. You would have a second employer and you would get paid through a regular paycheck system.
- You get money pretty quickly
- It tends to be low stress (or at least lower stress than teaching)
- Some flexibility (especially with Uber or Instacart) because you are setting your own hours. Your boss will usually be pretty flexible and allow you to work around your family and primary job as well
- Very unlikely you will ever replace your teaching salary or get to your long time goals by doing one of these side hustles
- They are a bandaid, or temporary fix to an immediate problem
- They tend to have lower pay
- They are pretty unsustainable because if you are working 60 hours a week as a teacher (which is what they say the average is) and you are trying to work a second job on top of that, you will hit a wall.
This is not something I would suggest if your strategy is something long term. If you are looking to create something that will help you retire early, but it is something that is available to you if you need money now.
Types of Earning if You Don’t Need Money Right This Second
It’s a more pressing matter than a long term play. You need it pretty soon. In this case, you are looking at something like Outschool or VIPKid as really good options. They’re not instant money, you have to be approved to teach for them. You have to have classes approved for them. It is a process so it usually takes a couple months. You also have to build up a following of people who actually take your classes, which takes a little bit longer as well.
- They are very flexible
- You set your own hours
- Your earnings are dependent on you- how many classes you offer and what you charge for them
- They’re designed for teachers. If you are going to teach for Outschool, and you are already a teacher, you have a leg up on the platform. You have totally got this!
- Your earnings are capped. You can only teach so many classes. And while you do set your own rates, there is a normative center for what people charge on Outschool, and if you go much over that, people aren’t going to take your classes no matter how good you are.
- You are still trading time for money. Even though it is flexible and you have freedom, you are still at the mercy of someone else to create income for you. That’s not to say you’re not always, because you eventually have to sell something. But when it comes to these side hustles, if you are not physically present in your class, or don’t physically create the work for a flex class, then you are not going to make any money.
- It’s not really scalable. It is dependent on you being there, doing the work. You can’t pass it off to somebody else, and you can’t really scale beyond a certain point.
Types of Earning if You Have Long Term Money Goals
You want to buy a house, you want to pay for your children’s college, or perhaps an early retirement. The situation is different, because in this case you want to build a sustainable, scalable business. Something like Side Hustle Teachers, or like what you have heard some of our guests talk about, they have created a business that can grow beyond them.
- You are in complete control. It is your business and it can be whatever you want it to be. Obviously, there’s some leg work that goes into that and some research, but you can make it work any way you want to. Once you set it up, you have a long term sustainable income to rely on.
- It’s fairly simple to bring that up once you have a scalable business. If you are making $1000 a month, and it turns out your kid wants to take special dance lessons, and you need another $500 a month, you can ramp up your business pretty quickly to earn it.
- It takes time. It is not an overnight thing. It is a long term play.
- It requires self discipline. You need to be the one because you don’t have a boss telling you what to do. Setting your own hours and making yourself work even if you don’t necessarily feel like it. You’re in complete control. Your business and how you set it up, is all on you.
Here’s why I am such an advocate for option number 3 – building your own, sustainable business.
If you are an exhausted broke teacher, this is the only option that allows you to stop trading time for money. You might start out that way. If you are a life coach and you start working with people one on one, you’re still trading time for money. But eventually, you can go beyond that and create a course, or train other people to coach in the way that you do. There’s really no limit to what you can do with your own business. As opposed to when you are working for somebody else, you are limited.
It also allows you to build an income that gives you the option of teaching or not. I don’t know about you but there have been times in my teaching career when I have said, “I don’t want to do this right now, but I don’t have any other options. I’m not trained for anything else.” This was before I started side hustling and realized that I am trained for just about everything else.
Unlike the other types of earning, building a business allows you to take a step back and have the financial freedom to know that teaching is an option. It is a choice you are making and it is not something that is being forced upon you. As someone who is only teaching because of my side hustle and the personal growth and freedom that it gave me, that is a great feeling. I am teaching because I want to.
Another reason I support this is because we have enough bosses. Between our immediate superior, team leader, school level admin, district level admin, and everyone else, we have enough bosses. We don’t need to have someone else tell us what to do anymore!
Teachers already have crazy business skills. Teachers don’t know they have these skills or how they apply outside the classroom but they do in so many ways. There’s really no excuse and no reason to not build your own business. Check out my bonus episode about 10 reasons teachers make great business owners here.
Here’s the good news, you don’t have to choose. You don’t have to have only one side hustle. Would I recommend it forever? Probably not. But when you are first starting out, it is okay to do more than one. If you really plan it out, your job and business could be related. You don’t have to choose one or the other. If you need money right now, you could always go in and do one of those jobs that is going to get you money right now.
Just remember to keep an eye on the future. If your goal is long term financial stability, you’re going to need to do something that is going to set you up for the long term. And driving for Uber or delivering for Instacart are great short term ways to get cash, but they are not a long term play.
I am a huge advocate for starting your own business. I have seen the power that it has in people’s lives and the changes and differences it has made for teachers. So i strongly recommend you consider this option, but remember that you don’t have to choose.