Updated October 9/2017
Welcome to the Home of the Original Side Hustle Map!
If you’re a regular reader, you know that side hustles are close to my ❤️.
Whether the goal is to make a little extra money doing something you enjoy, or to build a new career while working away at your 9-5, the side hustle is accessible to anyone. In fact, that statement has never been more true than in the present.
Recently, I decided to create a map of my side hustles. I thought it would be a great way to visualize the various projects I’m working on (including this blog), while getting a sense of how well they align with each other. This was a great exercise, and the map has become something that I plan to review and update periodically over time. Along with the map, I’ve provided detail on each of my side hustles, including the income they are currently generating.
Most importantly, I share my key learnings, which I hope you’ll find helpful. Enjoy!
Over the past few months, I’ve done a lot of reading on entrepreneurship and side hustles. I’ve also had a chance to interact with several of my readers, and peruse the comment sections of a number of side hustle-related posts from various blogs.
Out of this, a common theme emerged. That is, the number of people who expressed how difficult it is for them to earn more income, or to find their ideal side hustle.
This certainly wasn’t a surprise, as I know first hand how tough it can be to find ways to make more money.
Many people find entrepreneurship, (which is what most side hustles are), and the path to success, to be very elusive.
SOLVING THE SIDE HUSTLE PROBLEM
From my own experience with side hustles so far, and the interactions I’ve had, I’ve decided that one of my goals with this blog in the coming year is to help people solve the ‘side hustle problem’.
More specifically, I want to help you, my readers, answer the following questions:
“What’s the right side hustle for me?”
“How do I make my side hustle dream a reality?”
This is not an easy task. For starters, most of us must overcome a number of barriers on our way to success, often before we can even begin. Whether it’s fear, gaps in our skill set, or that we have no clue how to move from our current situation, the idea of stepping out and doing something new can be overwhelming.
I’ve got good news. All of these are factors are within your ability to change.
I began my own side hustle journey a year ago, and I’ll be honest, I’m still in the early stages. In no way have I got it all figured out. I’ve made plenty of mistakes and I’m learning as I go. I’m still sorting out what fits and what doesn’t. I’m also discovering weaknesses and fears I didn’t even know I had.
MY SIDE HUSTLE MAP
I thought it would be cool to create a map of my current side hustles, and share with you my insights on each one. Without further ado, and in no particular order, here is my list of side hustles from the map I’ve created:
MYSTERY MONEY MAN (BLOG)
Launch Date: August 2016
Why I began this side hustle: To be frank, I got into blogging as a way to earn income. Fortunately, I also saw it as a creative outlet, an opportunity to write about topics I care about (consumerism, frugality, parenting, family finances), and hopefully inspiring a few people along the way.
Why I’m still still at it: A year in, I’m much less interested in any income the blog earns. That’s because as a side hustle, it serves a greater purpose. A blog is an incredible skill development tool and a powerful idea generator. Most importantly, it’s enabled me to connect with a tonne of amazing people! I would say that for these reasons, anyone interested in starting a business of any kind should have a blog.
Est. Current Annual Income: The blog itself has generated a few hundred dollars from a few affiliate links and a Google Adsense account, which is just enough to cover the website hosting costs. As is the case with most bloggers, I constantly receive requests to run sponsored posts, but I have no interest in promoting content that doesn’t align with my values, and I’ve turned down every one.
Est. Income Potential: Theoretically, unlimited.
Key Learnings: As I mentioned above, don’t start out striving to earn income directly from your blog. That may happen over time, but it’s better viewed as a platform to develop your skill sets, a way to reach an audience and generate ideas for other potential side hustles.
MUSIC PRODUCTION/ SONGWRITING
Launch Date: December 2016.
Why I started this side hustle:
To make a long story short, I have a killer recording studio in my basement. If you’re interested in the backstory, you can check it out here
. For several years, I used this space solely for recording my own material, but a few months after starting my blog (remember, incredible idea generator!), I realized that I had all the ingredients to develop a side hustle recording music for other artists.
Why I’m still still at it: It’s something I love to do. What my early experience has taught me though is to ‘niche down’ further. I took on a huge project; tracking, producing, mixing and mastering a 12 song album this year. I had a blast, but it was far too time intensive. If I decide to maintain this side hustle, I’ll focus on a specific component of recording, rather than be involved in the entire process. ie. tracking or mix engineering.
Estimated current annual income: Approx $2500. I should mention that on the recording side, I undercharged BIG TIME this year. I’m ok with that, as it was a new venture and I wanted to ensure I was adding value.
Included in the income above are my songwriting royalties This income is minimal, but it’s my favourite type because it’s purely passive. Once a song is written and published, there is zero work involved. In fact, I wrote a song in 2001 that I still receive a small cheque for in the mail every 3 months. It’ll only buy me a couple of coffees, but it’s the nicest feeling : )
Estimated Income Potential: Going forward, I could charge up to $500/song, depending on the services requested. At the moment, this is probably the side hustle I can make the most money at, but it’s also the one I’m focusing on the least as it lacks a passive income component…translation, it’s time INTENSIVE! It could be a 5 figure/year business if I wanted to invest the time, but that would mean having to drop other, more important things.
Key Learnings: You can start off being a generalist, but It’s important to find your niche. What are you uniquely qualified to do? Probably more than you realize. Also, know what you’re worth, and don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Date Launched: Early 2017
Why (we) started this side hustle:
If you’re a regular reader, you may be sick of hearing about BroGoLogo. If not, you can catch up with the story here
. BroGoLogo is a boutique logo design startup that I helped to launch in early 2017 along with a close friend of mine, named Jay. (He does have a last name, btw). BroGoLogo is really his baby, as he runs the day to day operation and is the chief designer. In short, he’s the straw that stirs the drink. I occasionally provide input on the designs, and help with promo and communication where I can.
Why I’m still still at it: Personally, I love the opportunity to collaborate, something Jay and I have done with several creative projects over the years. I also see the enormous potential to scale this business, if there comes a point where we want to do that. My involvement is mostly passive right now, but this could change in the future.
Estimated current annual income: Current revenue would be mid- 4 figures. The bulk of BrogoLogo income is earned by Jay, for logo design work. For clients that I’ve sourced, he sends me a share of revenue, which is completely unnecessary but appreciated. As I mentioned prior, I can’t complain about passive income! In it’s first 9 months of operation, this side hustle has found success by delivering a premium product with speed, not to mention a very high level of service, if you ask me.
Estimated Income Potential: With the business model we’ve put in place, and some hard work, this could easily be a 5 figure business.
Key Learnings: BroGoLogo has helped me gain a better understanding of the enormous potential of online business (aka technology is your friend!) In other words, you have access to a global market from the comfort of your home office. We have never met the majority of BrogoLogo clients (although we would love to!), nor have we done any advertising outside of social media. Another thing, any chance you have to collaborate with your side hustle, take it. Don’t be a lone ranger. As a songwriter, I’ve learned that collaboration can take your creativity to the next level, not to mention your productivity.
Also, seek out people who have different skill sets than you. They can help to compensate for your gaps, and vice versa.
WHAT DID YOU NOTICE ABOUT THESE SIDE HUSTLES?
There are 2 characteristics that each of my side hustles share. This is by design, and both are very important to me.
#1. They allow for location independence and can be run from a MacBook Pro…
…or setting aside my personal biases, any other computer. One of the requirements I have for any side hustle is that I can run it from a hotel room or in an RV. This is just my personal preference, (and potentially a hint to future plans for my wife and I. 🙂 In case you’re wondering about the music production side of things, aside from tracking certain instruments, most work can be done remotely on my laptop. Programming, editing, mixing, all I need is my Macbook, a small MIDI controller, and my mixing headphones.
#2. They are all scalable.
What this means is that with a lot of hard work, I, and in the case of BroGoLogo we, can increase the size and scale of all of these businesses. That doesn’t mean it’ll happen with each one, but the potential to scale exists.
Not everyone cares about being able to scale their side hustle, and that’s ok. Either way, it’s something you should think about. Is your side hustle dream simply to make some extra cash as a complement to your main source of income, or are you wanting to someday replace your current career altogether. If so, than you want to think scale.
You may have noticed one other side hustle on my map which I didn’t detail above! I’ll give you a hint. It’s the section that’s greyed-out due to the fact that it’s not yet active, but something I’m super excited about!
I’ve decided to launch a digital marketing side hustle in the coming months! This is the result of months of consideration, not to mention discussions with my wife and other people close to me.
The fact is, everything I’ve learned from running a blog and being involved in an online business has steered me towards digital marketing as a side hustle.
It meets my criteria of location independence. And yes, I can run it entirely on my laptop. It’s also something I can customize to my family life. My #1 priority is that of husband and dad, after all
Have I got it all figured out? Heck, no! One thing I’ve learned is that the best thing to do is take action. If your goal is to be 100% ready before trying something new, you’ll never start.
Before taking on clients, one thing I am going to do to further prepare is take a digital marketing course during the next few months. I’ll have more details on that later on!
So, please stay tuned! My side hustle map may look different in a number of months. In the meantime, I hope I’ve been able to inspire you on your side hustle journey in some small way.
PS. I’d love to hear more about your side hustles, your successes as well as the things you’ve struggled with! Please feel free to share you story in the comments below, or by sending me an email anytime. 🙂