Advice on How to Get Started

Whirlwind is the first word that comes to mind when I think about the past few months.  Let me lay a few things out before you and you can let me know if you agree.  Pandemic, murder hornets, literal riots in the street.  Things are incredibly crazy right now.

Well, to add on to all of that, as you may have noticed on some of my previous posts (which, unfortunately, have been very scant until recently), I lost my job as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic back in March.  Fortunately, I have recently started another job, however it’s in a different field so I feel like I’m kind of starting from scratch with things.

Because of this pandemic, I’ve spent the past 3 months essentially at home with no job.  The stimulus check was nice, for sure, but long term income is always better.  And this unfortunately started at a time when I had just jumped in head first into investing, digital marketing, and other realms that need some time, focus, and, often times, money.  I consider myself fortunate to have gotten through it all, but there is more to it.  Have you ever heard the phrase “fortune favors the bold?”  Or maybe your more familiar with Billy Zane on the Titanic saying “Real men make their own luck?” (or like me, you’re most familiar with Dwight Schrute quoting Billy Zane on The Office).  What I feel most fortunate for is that I was already started.

Extra Work Means Extra Money

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A while back (roughly a year ago), I started doing freelance writing.  Not mainly on my own blog, but as a contributor to other blogs that would pay me directly for my services.  This was a great way to earn extra income at my own pace.  I was able to start working part time and making money to help pay down additional bills and build up savings.

That’s all I needed at the time.  It was a great blessing to have then, but I had no idea how beneficial it would be in the future.  Fast forward to March of 2020.

When Side Hustle Becomes Sole Income

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Because I had been working for a while in the freelance writing world, I had built up some contacts, some portfolio pieces, and some knowledge.  That was very fortunate because when I lost my job to Covid without much severance, I was able to jump right in full time.

I emailed my current contacts and asked if they had more work for me, and then I began sending out more applications to get as many different options as possible.  Suddenly, my side hustle had become my primary source of incoming.

It wasn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, it was pretty difficult to maintain consistency and make sure everyone was paying me on time.  But it was something.  It paid my bills and helped us keep our insurance coverage while I waited for jobs to come along.  Beyond that, I had even been able to build up a bit of an emergency fund that I could draw from during this emergency.

The Benefits

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This side hustle gave me freedom and security in a very frightening time.  Most importantly, it kept us afloat.  I was able to make enough money to keep my family going without a true stable job.  And, even better, because I was able to keep making money, I took the opportunity to begin investing in the sunken stock market.  Because of that, I’ve already made a 17% return in the past 3 months.

Having a side hustle is not just about earning extra money to pad your savings.  It can be life saving.  The world is changing, look around you.  You know what you should take away from Coronavirus and rioting and everything going on now?  You need to learn that you should always have a contingency plan, particularly financially.  The side hustle economy is ramping up, and it’s becoming bigger and bigger, meaning you can jump in and start taking advantage of the security of extra income.

Most people don’t preach side hustles as a security blanket, and I think that’s something that turns people off.  People speak about side hustles as a way to work harder and start building an empire.  It’s a risk, it’s hard work, but you can make big money, all of that.  You may not need that.  What if you just need $1000 a month to help get out of debt and build a secure cash flow beyond your 9-5 job?  A side hustle is exactly that – and most of them are zero risk.  You can start writing or designing websites or digital pieces to sell with absolutely no financial investment.  The side hustle economy is true security, because you can trust yourself to take care of your own needs and those of your family, much more than you can rely on unstable companies.

So What Do I Do?

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When is the best time to plant an oak tree?  Forty years ago.  When is the second best time to plant an oak tree?  Today.  If you’re on the fence about doing a side hustle, get off of it, right now.  If I had to guess, you have at least an hour a day that you just sit around doing nothing or watching Netflix.  Use a little bit of that time to set up something to earn you money.

There are many roadblocks that prevent you from getting started.  If you don’t know what kind of gig to start with, take a look at Five Side Hustles to Start TodayThe 10 Best Ways to Start Making Money as a Beginning Writer, or How to Make Money? Do What You Do Excellently.  These will take you through some great options for getting started with a side hustle.

If you’re too anxious to get started or you feel like you don’t have enough time, there are still options for you.  You can find side hustles transcribing audio or filling out data forms for people that are incredible low stress.  Or you can find some that can be done quickly, in just a couple hours a week.

Start hustling ASAP.  It will make your life better, and in times of crisis, you’ll be ready to keep moving forward.

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