Practicing Patience in a Life Full of Side Hustling


side hustle ideas

My love of side hustle was born while I was still a wee lad, as the Englishmen like to say. To be more precise, the situation took a turn for the better when I was still in the sixth grade. The bank of mum and dad stop giving me the allowances I thought I deserved, which meant that I had to look for my luck elsewhere.

With that in mind, I turned to the only solution that seemed decent at the time, I started getting involved with retail. And no, that did not include selling my old clothes. Instead, I did what any kid my age would do. I went up and bought a handful of candy. The only difference being that I did not eat all of it on my way home.

Patience was the name of the game back then. I knew that I had to wait just enough so that my classmates would get the munchies. That’s when I used to swoop in, offering sweets at a “special price” which was always a tad bit more expensive compared to the supermarkets. However, when candy is right there for the taking, what difference does a few bucks make?

It wasn’t easy, as I had to drag one additional backpack full of sweets with me all the time, but the profit I was making made it more than bearable. As it usually happens, all good things must come to an end, which in my case came as soon as the school year has ended. However, this entire experience has shown me that hustling can actually pay off, you just have to obtain a product people actually want to buy. It was the best lesson that a kid on a come up could ever learn.

Attending College and Selling DVD’s on eBay

Selling DVDAs I got up there in age and started attending college, my main focus became getting a degree. Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean I abandoned the idea of side hustling. On the contrary, I was constantly pushing the boundaries in that area, eager to see what’s possible.

I’m not trying to claim that I was a visionary or anything, but while my friends were working to make a little money on the side by waitering, I had other things in mind. First of all, I knew that I always had access to a high-speed internet connection, due to living in a dorm. Nowadays, everyone can download huge files in a matter of minutes, but back then, the situation was a little different.

You see, the DVDs were still going strong, so I saw my chance there. Selling bootleg DVDs is not my proudest achievement, but if I’m being honest, the money I made from it was a necessity at the time. Even better, I did not only sell them to my friends either. Instead, eBay was my go-to destination, so I even ended up shipping the DVDs all across the globe.

Right now, I would probably end up behind bars in no time, but back then, the laws were a little looser, especially when it comes to internet piracy. Well, at least that was true for about six months while I was doing it. Once I began receiving warning letters, I knew that this side hustle idea had to go.

College Days Were Crowned by Organizing the Biggest Party in the City

As I mentioned, living in a dorm came with its own set of perks. Fast internet connection was one of them, but the number of friends I was able to meet proved to be a lot more valuable than that. I’m not strictly speaking about the fun times either, these connections came in handy a bunch of times for business-related tasks as well.

Still, let’s get back to the story. With the New Year’s Eve quickly approaching, a bunch of my friends and I came to a sudden realization that we had no place we can go to. The solution? Why wouldn’t we simply make a party for us and our closest friends? When we put it all on paper, we realized that we would be able to turn in some profit from the tickets, so it was pretty much a perfect storm.

By nothing more than sheer luck, we got offered to host our party at one of the biggest venues in the entire city, to which we said yes, of course. Besides the time limitations, we had troubles with getting so many people to come, so we searched for outside help, reached out to as many old acquaintances as we could remember and shared some free tickets along the way.

Ultimately, just a couple of days ahead of the New Year’s Eve, we were sold out! It was a very hectic time of my life, but luckily, we all had the youthful energy to keep us going when all seemed like too much of a task to handle.

When it came to the financial side, it’s safe to say that we were shocked! We couldn’t stop counting all the money we were able to get, and the sum was fairly large, especially for a bunch of modest college kids. Naturally, most of the crew ended up wasting their shares on stupid purchases, but my father persuaded me to invest mine in buying a piece of land. One of the best choices I could ever make!

Shaking Things Up by Opening a Bar

After finishing college, one thing led to another. I got a steady job, got married, had a couple of children, and things seemed to be heading down the right path. That’s exactly why I figured out it was just the right time to shake things up a bit. My idea? I will open up a bar, and not just any old pub, it will be the best bar in the neighborhood. My train of thought was if you get to do things, at least do them the right way.

I was well aware that most bars get closed in a manner of months and that it takes a lot of luck for things to pick up right from the start, but I guess I had what it took at the time. Seriously, from day one, the place proved to be well-liked by everyone who step foot in it.

In the beginning, I thought that my friends and family members will be the backbone of my business, at least in the early going. However, so many people wanted to check out this new bar in town that I had a lot of trouble juggling between new customers and my loyal group of friends.

After some time, this got so stressful that I had just about enough of it. Initially, the amount of money I was making was helping me push through another day, but after a while, even that failed to provide sufficient motivation to continue.

The decision to sell the bar came easy, at least for me. Some of my friends took it a lot harder, but that’s a story for another day. I simply figured out that it was time to move on with my life.

Cracking the Amazon Algorithm

AmazonBased on my previous experiences with eBay, I knew that virtual marketplaces offer a lot of opportunities, the important part is knowing how to use them. While eBay was great, I took multiple things into account and decided that Amazon would be the perfect place for me.

By mastering the algorithm and figuring out which products have the best chance to succeed, I ended up becoming one of the leading experts in this niche. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to brag or anything, but my efforts were recognized by major networks and colleagues around the world, which gave me a lot of validation.

Not only that, but plenty of great collaborations were made based on my previous success with Amazon. In the meanwhile, I learned a lot of things, which I later applied in other areas of my life. It’s safe to say that besides organizing that New Year’s Eve that I previously mentioned, I think that Amazon had the biggest influence on my career.

My success on Fiverr came because of my experience with Amazon.

You thought that I was lying when I said that people wanted to find out how I was able to achieve my previous success? Here’s a story which demonstrates my point perfectly. Just recently, I went to Fiverr, casually browsing away at the existing gigs, wondering what was the thing I can offer, which would separate me from the rest of the pack.

Naturally, it came down to my work with Amazon and the authority I was able to establish in that community. So, I did what any honest man would do. I simply introduced myself in detail, shared some of my previous success stories and offered my services. If people wanted to find out which item had the potential to sell, I was willing to share that information, for a fee of $50. Actually, it was $70, in the case of quick delivery.

Sure thing, 3 users quickly took upon my offer, thus leaving me with $200 of easy money. I know, it’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

Selling Rights to Funny Personal Videos

Funny Personal Video Some of the easiest cash I ever made was from funny personal videos. You might be asking yourself, who in the world would like to watch your cat and dog play around in the yard? As it turns out, plenty of people would be more than willing to do such a thing.

You see, viral content doesn’t just appear out of thin air. Behind each and every video, there is a person just like you and me, providing it for the masses. However, how does that ever reach the worldwide audiences? You might’ve thought that it’s nothing besides pure luck in it, but you were wrong.

There are a couple of platforms intended just for these purposes, where people post their content, in hopes that popular networks would check it out and purchase the rights to it. Once this happens, the money automatically comes flying into your wallet. It only takes a couple of minutes to upload the videos, and well, that’s job done, as far as you’re concerned. My videos were chosen multiple times already, so it’s not like picking needles in a haystack. Test it for yourself if you don’t believe me.

On the Other Side of the Spectrum, There was YouTube

YoutubeThe most popular video-sharing platform in the world simply proved to be too much work. The worst thing about it is that even after you invest a whole bunch of time into advertising, you might end up burned out and with no decent result to show for your efforts.

To put it simply, the competition is just far too great in my mind, so that kinda defeats the whole point of having a side hustle. If you invest time, money and effort, the end goal should always be to get paid. Ultimately, I did not spend a ton of time developing my YouTube channel, so I cannot say I was surprised that I didn’t make it big. At least it wasn’t a total bust, I still get $20 from it here and there.

However, if you’re just now thinking about investing your time in this platform, I’d say that there are smarter ways in which you can spend your time.

Loansharking Was a Dumb Idea Worth Trying

side hustle LoansharkingBecause Reddit is one of my favorite websites in the world, I sometimes end up spending hours on it during one single session. It’s not shocking that during that time, I can sometimes get carried away into some weird subreddits by accident.

One day, the road led me to Loansharking. In case you’ve never heard of it before, it’s a subreddit forum where users lend money to each other, for a small fee at the end of it. It’s not illegal, in case you were wondering, but it’s not exactly the cleanest job in the world either.

The profits also leave a lot to be desired on the table, so it’s another side hustle idea that didn’t exactly pan out. Still, it wasn’t all bad, at least I didn’t end up with a hole in my pocket, but I had pretty much broken even.

Running a Blog Occupies Most of My Time These Days

Blogging as a side hustle If you told a 14-year-old version of myself that I’ll own a blog when I grow up, chances are that I wouldn’t believe you. Truth be told, blogs weren’t even a thing back in the day, but that’s beside the point. However, as it turned out, one thing leads to another, so I ended up contributing to the community through my pride and joy, otherwise known as DollarSanity.

I like to claim that my blog is the best destination for people of all ages who are looking to save some money and invest smartly in their future. From the side hustle ideas to tips for young people trying to make it big in this internet jungle, I like to mix it all up as much as I can.

Of course, making money is still the name of the game, so I also offer advice to my readers when it comes to monetization, based on my previous trials and errors. I don’t know how much longer will I stick with blogging, nor where the next side hustle venture might take me to, but I’ll always keep an eye out for big opportunities, I can tell you that much.

Peter is an engineer, serial entrepreneur and father of two. He co-founded DollarSanity to help people achieve financial independence by starting their own business.

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