Seeking financial independence, we gathered insights from entrepreneurs and small business owners on their side hustles and how these ventures have shaped their financial journeys.
From joining affiliate programs for extra income to diversifying income with e-books, discover the diverse strategies these twelve professionals have employed to bolster their family’s finances.
- Join Affiliate Programs for Extra Income
- Balance Side Gigs with Full-Time Work
- Invest in Real Estate for Early Retirement
- Create Digital Financial Courses
- Focus on One Project at a Time
- Turn Your Passion into a Full-Time Job
- Develop Skills Through Polling Side Hustle
- Boost Income with Short-Term Rentals
- Leverage Social Media, Newsletters, and Podcasts
- Supplement Income with Title Searches
- Diversify Income with E-Books
Join Affiliate Programs for Extra Income
I was enrolled in an affiliate marketing program for an AI-based question-generation platform, PrepAI. Since I blog about tools for educating children, I found their product resonated with my goals. I chose to apply for their program and earned some handsome payouts. I tracked my commissions through their dashboard and was confident about it.
These commissions were my savior; they funded the course I was taking and helped save some bucks for my family. If financial independence is what you are craving, join an affiliate program like I did and help your family. –– Tejeswini N, Digital Marketing Intern, DataToBiz
Balance Side Gigs with Full-Time Work
When I first graduated, I struggled to find a full-time job. With a BA in visual arts, my options seemed limited to being a struggling artist, working as regular staff at local art galleries, or trying to get into art auctions, which didn’t align with my passion. Fortunately, I had been dancing since the end of high school, and I had developed my skills enough to pick up side gigs, including teaching dance, choreographing, and working as a professional backup dancer for different shows.
By applying for any dance-related opportunities that came my way, I started earning around HKD 30,000 per month, which was triple what I would have earned as a regular office worker. During this time, my father was bedridden, and without this side hustle, I wouldn’t have been able to support myself or later save up enough money to also take care of my widowed mother.
However, relying solely on side hustles wouldn’t have helped me achieve financial stability. I found a balance by having a mixture of both a full-time job that paid less but offered a better future career path, and investing in side gigs that provided extra income and served as backup plans if I ever found myself without a 9-to-5 job.
This approach did take a toll on my work-life balance, but after seven years, my full-time job paved the way for me to gain enough experience and secure a much better salary. With that, I had the option to let go of my side gigs and eventually leverage my diverse experiences to start my own business, where I now work for myself. — Joyce Tsang, Content Marketer and Founder, Joyce Tsang Content Marketing
Invest in Real Estate for Early Retirement
I’m a pharmacist by profession, but I started investing in real estate as a side hustle in 2016. Specifically, I invest in student housing, which means I buy properties in college towns and convert as many rooms as possible into bedrooms to maximize my income.
Using this strategy, I’ve been reinvesting my returns and buying an additional rental property every year. And now, I’ve been able to retire in my early thirties thanks to real estate. It’s given me complete financial independence, and that’s why I started a real estate coaching business to help others do the same. — Ryan Chaw, Founder and Real Estate Investor, Newbie Real Estate Investing
Create Digital Financial Courses
I delved into creating digital financial courses, leveraging my expertise. This side gig significantly bolstered our family’s income, accelerating our path to financial freedom. Crafting courses allowed for flexible hours and reached a broad audience, bringing in a steady stream of passive income.
This venture not only diversified our earnings but also empowered others to enhance their financial literacy. The impact was profound, creating both financial stability and a sense of fulfillment in aiding others on their financial journeys. — Danielle Roberts, Co Founder, Boomer Benefits
Focus on One Project at a Time
Over the past couple of years, I have tried over 10 different side hustles and online business models. The biggest takeaway? Avoid that shiny-object syndrome and don’t spread yourself too thin. I was juggling so much that I hardly had any time left for my family or a social life. It felt like I was constantly running on a treadmill—always working, but not really getting anywhere.
The real kicker was, despite all the hustle, I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. It was a fast track to burnout, and at the end of the day, I didn’t have much to show for it. At some point, I had to put a stop to it and put most of my side projects on hold to stay sane.
Now, I focus on one thing at a time. And let me tell you, it’s amazing how much you can achieve when you pour 100% of your attention and energy into a single project. In the last several months, this approach has made more difference in my family’s financial success than everything I did in the previous three years. —Juliet Dreamhunter, Founder, Juliety.
Turn your Passion into a Full-Time Job
After graduating from college, I started working as a fitness writer and made people aware of yoga through my writing. Blogging was something that I really loved from the beginning, and it turned into my side hustle.
As for my journey, Yogi Times is proof of how my interest turned into a full-time job and made me an entrepreneur. If it weren’t for that blogging, I wouldn’t have realized how much this field makes me happy. Through Yogi Times, I get to teach others about yoga, publish my own work, and create a positive community for fitness enthusiasts. No matter what age they are, this community is for everyone. — Jean Christophe Gabler, Founder, Yogi Times
Develop Skills through Polling Side Hustle
My first steps toward financial independence began with a career as a pollster, conducting online, telephone, and in-person surveys. Besides financial support, this side hustle has been instrumental in developing my professional path, which has oscillated around HR, public relations, communication, and content creation.
The insights gained from interacting with diverse individuals honed my communication skills and deepened my understanding of human behavior and preferences. Additionally, crafting survey questions required a keen awareness of language and context, skills that seamlessly translated into content creation. The ability to communicate effectively and shape narratives gleaned from survey findings became a transferable skill set, enhancing my capacity to navigate the intricacies of human relations.
However, this work, above all, allowed me to build my confidence and break down barriers when interacting with people. I stopped being afraid to initiate conversations with strangers, eliminating the discomfort that accompanies new relationships. — Nina Paczka, Community Manager, Resume Now
Boost Income with Short-Term Rentals
Yes, I pursued a side hustle to work towards financial independence for my family: I bought an apartment and converted it into a short-term rental. This decision significantly impacted our journey towards financial independence.
While we haven’t reached FI yet, this strategy has increased our household income by 50% while taking relatively little of our time. It’s been a valuable addition to our income streams, so much so that we are considering getting a second one. — Domenico Trimboli, Small Business Owner, Domenicotrimboli.com
Freelance Work shapes Career Path
Being in the marketing field, I did social media marketing as a freelancer during my college days, which helped me earn a decent income. I just started doing it because of my interest in and knowledge of marketing, and to support my dreams.
Doing a few projects helped me realize how it brings me happiness, and I am able to use my creative side in the field of marketing. It didn’t feel like a job, but something that came to me naturally.
Now, working as a full-time marketer, I can say it impacted my journey positively, as I came to know what I wanted to pursue. And in the early days, I started working on my skills, which showed results over time. — Maxine Fraivillig, Operations and Marketing Manager, Malta Sotheby’s International Realty
Leverage Social Media, Newsletters, and Podcasts
I have a daily TikTok, weekly newsletter, and daily podcast where I share the growth hacks and software that move the needle most for me and my companies. Occasionally, the pieces of software I use and share will have affiliate programs.
The time cost of signing up for these affiliate programs is often unnoticeable. It can be as easy as providing a PayPal email. So, I use the affiliate programs when I can.
I have a large audience, so the affiliate commissions and MRR I’ve received from sharing these tools have become non-negligible. It’s to the point where it’s a worthwhile additional income stream for me and my family.
I did not expect this at all when I started sharing my growth hacks and favorite marketing software. This has been a nice and exciting bonus in my journey of growing my personal brand. My loved ones around me appreciate this extra income stream as well. — Edward Sturm, Fractional CMO, Edwardsturm.com
Supplement Income with Title Searches
Since moving from Massachusetts to South Carolina to be near my brother and his family, I’ve pursued an additional income stream by doing title searches for my sister-in-law, who is a closing coordinator for my niece’s real estate company.
Since the business is doing so well, I pitch in whenever they anticipate a backlog. Although this side hustle is sporadic, it has greatly contributed to my goal of paying down my credit cards and reducing my reliance on them.
Coupled with learning how to save several hundred dollars a year on car and home insurance thanks to my full-time job with a digital media company in the insurance industry, I have used that savings and my side hustle to pay off three credit cards and pay down another two.
This has also allowed me to get in the habit of paying for leisure pursuits with either cash or via my debit card instead of adding to my credit card burden. — Michelle Robbins, Licensed Insurance Agent, Clearsurance.com
Diversify Income with E-Books
Embarking on the path to financial independence often involves exploring diverse income streams and side hustles. Despite not having familial financial responsibilities, I’ve engaged in various ventures to supplement my income.
One successful side hustle included crafting e-books on niche subjects, which I then marketed and sold online. This venture allowed me to capitalize on my knowledge and creativity, transforming expertise into a profitable endeavor. Another avenue I ventured into was affiliate marketing, wherein strategic promotional efforts and cultivating a robust online presence translated into commissions from product sales.
These side hustles significantly contributed to my progress toward financial independence, not only diversifying my income but also honing valuable skills. It’s essential to acknowledge that the outcomes of such pursuits may vary, emphasizing the need for thorough research to ensure the viability and legality of any chosen side hustle. — Adrian Pereira, Co-Founder, Eco Pea Co.
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