You’ve probably thought about setting up a side hustle before. Who would say no to an extra income stream, especially a passive one that requires very little maintenance? But what prevents many of us from moving forward with our side gig dreams is the challenge of choosing a project that fits our lifestyle and resources. With literally thousands of side income options to choose from, it’s easy to understand why the process can feel daunting.
Here’s a quick shortcut to help you get started: you can narrow down your side project options by taking a look at what monetizable assets you have to invest. The three most valuable assets to have while setting up a passive income stream are:
- Money: You’ve heard the saying, “It takes money to make money,” right? That’s not exactly true (you can make money without having it), but if you have the means to make a large financial investment, that’s one of the easiest ways to set up a steady stream of earned interest.
- Time: If you don’t have cash to burn, fear not: you can also turn a nice profit by selling your time. There are lots of side gig projects you can do with a minimum of a few hours a week and without any special certifications.
- Special skills: Finally, if you have a relatively uncommon skill, chances are there’s a market for your knowledge or your craft. More than just performing your skill for a price, you can also leverage your knowledge to set up a long-term passive income flow.
The first step to figuring out what side hustle (or hustles — the sky’s the limit!) are right for you is evaluating exactly how much money, time, and skill you have and are willing to give to your project. Some questions to help your assessment:
- Do you have available non-emergency savings? (Note that you should never use emergency savings to fund a side project!)
- Where is your money currently kept, and how much is it earning in interest?
- How much time per week are you willing to spend on your side project?
- Are you looking for a sustained time commitment (a certain number of hours per week, continuously) or would you prefer to make an upfront time investment to set up an income stream that requires little time or maintenance going forward?
- What monetizable tools do you have at your disposal? (e.g. computer, car, truck, hardware tools, large equipment, etc.)
- Do you have a specialised skill? (e.g. coding, graphic design, musical skill, graduate-level knowledge, additional languages spoken, etc.)
When it comes to evaluating your skills, keep in mind that there may be a market for knowledge or abilities that you wouldn’t normally think of as “uncommon”. For example, French fluency is in high demand — in fact, it’s the second-most commonly requested language for translation services.
Once you’ve made a comprehensive list of the monetizable resources you have to invest, this flowchart will help you match them to the side project that best fits you. Even those with very little cash, time, or talent will find that there are profitable side projects out there waiting for them, so don’t hesitate — start making money!
How did you choose a side income? Let us know in the comments below.