Author Topic: Realistic side hustles?  (Read 3665 times)

Alchemisst

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Realistic side hustles?
« on: March 27, 2019, 05:01:34 AM »
Looking at side hustles and wondering if its realistic or if i'm better off spending the time doing courses etc. I've looked into side hustles in the past such as FBA on amazon, domain auctions/ sites on flippa and ends up not looking very lucrative in the end.

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2019, 05:47:49 AM »
This is such a huge question.
Asking about what side hustle you should do is no different than asking what career you should pursue.

Um...it depends a lot on you...

Yes, you will find that many obvious, low level side hustles that anyone could do and that have a framework already out there, are not likely to be very lucrative. I mean, that should be pretty obvious. If anyone can do it with little thought, risk, or effort, then why would it be lucrative???

Are you better off doing courses?
Again, I have no idea. I know A LOT of people who did MBAs or PhDs and got no real gain to their careers.

If the side hustle game was simple and obvious, everyone would do it. Personally I have multiple side hustles (or multiple part time jobs, depending on how you look at it), and each one came from identifying an underserved market, figuring out why the market was underserved, educating myself to meet that demand, and networking appropriately to generate opportunities that fit my particular skill set.

What is your skill set? What do you want to be doing?

Linea_Norway

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2019, 07:45:00 AM »
You can probably earn most from a side hustle where you can use some of your specialized skills. Walking dogs is something everyone can do.

I only do el-cheapo side hustles, for something that I enjoy doing. Or if it is something that doesn't cost you lots of extra time or effort. But driving for Uber for example, costs a lot of time and gives very little profit, if any at all.
If it is only for the money, then working paid overtime on your job is probably more profitable. Or selling yourself as a consultant in your profession.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 08:10:36 AM by Linea_Norway »

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2019, 07:56:22 AM »
^ precisely

If it's more money you want, then finding it within your profession is probably the easiest.

None of my side hustles out-perform my day job in terms of pay. I just don't *want* to do my day job more hours than I already do because it stops being fun.

ETA: also, I'm fairly certain that the best side hustles aren't "realistic", that's what makes them successful. They are creative and often outside the box.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 07:57:58 AM by Malkynn »

familyandfarming

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 06:39:06 AM »
If you have a bachelors degree and are willing to take a couple extra classes, you could be a substitute teacher. Be sure to check your state’s laws before you start. Depending on your location, you can earn $15 an hour before taxes.

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 06:59:49 AM »
If you have a bachelors degree and are willing to take a couple extra classes, you could be a substitute teacher. Be sure to check your state’s laws before you start. Depending on your location, you can earn $15 an hour before taxes.

Daaaamn...that's minimum wage here.

chasesfish

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 06:50:03 AM »
I retired last month and my overactive mind has been "exploring" side hustles.  I don't need the money, but have an overactive brain for business.

Rover, Uber, Instacart all fall into the low-skill, low pay side hustles.  We may still sign up for something like Instacart under my wife's name because she absolutely loves grocery shopping and it would be helpful to earn a little in her name for social security.   I run a blog that isn't monetized and *might* start making enough to cover expenses later this year if I enjoy the hobby of writing.

That's in stark contrast to what a side hustle in my profession is worth.  I'm writing up a case to go represent a client on a project by project basis and I'm trying to decide if its worth $25,000 or $125,000.  Fortunately we're friends and I think the first round will be open ended - "I want to try this to see if I like it and I want you to see if it adds value".   In this case I would be helping the client make/save about $1.2mil.

HipGnosis

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2019, 06:14:05 PM »
Raise and sell exotic birds
I heard (on a motorcycling forum) of a guy that does this and has more money than he can find things to buy with it.

sol

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2019, 06:18:41 PM »
Realistically, I can't be bothered to work on any side hustles at all now that I'm retired. 

If I really needed the money I would suck it up, but as it stands it turns out I am totally unable to give a shit.  I tried, I really did.  I found an easy job I could do part time from home, making a higher hourly wage than my old professional job, and I still couldn't get motivated. 

So my experience was that side hustles are only for people who are still working, not for retirees.

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 04:34:46 AM »
Realistically, I can't be bothered to work on any side hustles at all now that I'm retired. 

If I really needed the money I would suck it up, but as it stands it turns out I am totally unable to give a shit.  I tried, I really did.  I found an easy job I could do part time from home, making a higher hourly wage than my old professional job, and I still couldn't get motivated. 

So my experience was that side hustles are only for people who are still working, not for retirees.

I wouldn't make this generalization.
Maybe that's true for you, but literally almost everyone in my family has developed a major "side hustle" in their retirement just because they work on things they love.

My aunt writes children's books in collaboration with local artists from a very remote indigenous community to help represent their culture. She took a free language course at the local university because she was bored in retirement, and it snow balled into massive grants for work that she loves. She's a retired highschool teacher.

My mom left the corporate world years ago and ended up with 5 jobs because she loves projects and they naturally evolved into successful ventures.

My uncle retired from the presidency of a major company that makes high end luxury technical products. He then tinkered about in his retirement and engineered a better version of that product and now owns a boutique competitor firm that sells units for up to 400K USD. He also started dabbling in Toronto real estate and made several million. He works very part time.

My dad retired just a few years ago and has been in non stop demand to manage local political campaigns.

My grandmother and her brother both wrote multiple successful novels in their retirements. They were fiercely competitive so they drove each other's success. One of his was turned into a major film that you've very likely seen.

A second cousin started a protein supplement company after she retired that makes "superfood" from blue-algae.

Not family members, but very close family friends operate charities in India, Guatemala and Ghana. Orphanages, women's shelters, and a schools.
They're retired military, a retired dentist, retired teachers, retired engineers, etc.

Many many many people find incredible purpose in meaningful and profitable work in their retirement because they didn't have the time during their careers to stoke their fire.

So no, I would absolutely not make the generalization that "side hustles" are only meant for working years just because you didn't enjoy your brief contract.

You've talked about starting a blog. If that ends up profitable, would that not count as a side hustle???

chasesfish

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2019, 05:26:34 AM »
Realistically, I can't be bothered to work on any side hustles at all now that I'm retired. 

If I really needed the money I would suck it up, but as it stands it turns out I am totally unable to give a shit.  I tried, I really did.  I found an easy job I could do part time from home, making a higher hourly wage than my old professional job, and I still couldn't get motivated. 

So my experience was that side hustles are only for people who are still working, not for retirees.

Surprisingly I'm less than five weeks past telling my job I'm out and I feel pretty similar

HipGnosis

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2019, 06:12:03 AM »
I found an easy job I could do part time from home, making a higher hourly wage than my old professional job, and I still couldn't get motivated. 

So my experience was that side hustles are only for people who are still working, not for retirees.
So you tried A (singular) side hustle and it didn't work for you...
And your conclusion is:  all side hustles are NOT for ANY retiree.
Really?
You remind me of the grade school joke of the scientist that trained a frog to jump on command, then cut off his legs and concluded that frogs go deaf when they lose their legs.

mountain mustache

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2019, 07:03:43 AM »
I dog sit as a side hustle. I started out with Rover, like 8 years ago when you still got to keep most of your earnings, and that has never changed for my personal account. I also spread the word at the dog park, with friends, and on walks when I would meet new people. I live in a vacation destination that also is home to many retired people, so I have a lot of business. I have to say no way more often than I prefer because I can't always make it work with my regular work schedule. I make anywhere from $40-$50/night staying at people's homes and walking their dogs. I love it, and honestly will probably always do it on some level, even once I'm retired. It's not completely effortless money, but if you love dogs it doesn't feel like work and usually everything goes really smoothly...I'm also young, single, and have a lot of flexibility in my life, so spending a week at someone's house watching their pups is easy for me to do. So far this year I've made over $2k, and I'm aiming for probably $5-7k this year because summer is slower and I don't have as much spare time with my crazy work schedule.
'

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2019, 07:09:08 AM »
I dog sit as a side hustle. I started out with Rover, like 8 years ago when you still got to keep most of your earnings, and that has never changed for my personal account. I also spread the word at the dog park, with friends, and on walks when I would meet new people. I live in a vacation destination that also is home to many retired people, so I have a lot of business. I have to say no way more often than I prefer because I can't always make it work with my regular work schedule. I make anywhere from $40-$50/night staying at people's homes and walking their dogs. I love it, and honestly will probably always do it on some level, even once I'm retired. It's not completely effortless money, but if you love dogs it doesn't feel like work and usually everything goes really smoothly...I'm also young, single, and have a lot of flexibility in my life, so spending a week at someone's house watching their pups is easy for me to do. So far this year I've made over $2k, and I'm aiming for probably $5-7k this year because summer is slower and I don't have as much spare time with my crazy work schedule.
'

Ooh, yes, we plan on doing a lot of house/pet sitting in the future.

sol

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2019, 08:18:31 AM »

So you tried A (singular) side hustle and it didn't work for you...
And your conclusion is:  all side hustles are NOT for ANY retiree.
Really?
You remind me of the grade school joke of the scientist that trained a frog to jump on command, then cut off his legs and concluded that frogs go deaf when they lose their legs.

Easy there, champ.  I very clearly relayed my personal experience.  My personal experience is still valid, even if you don't like it.

You are also free to add your personal experience to this thread, instead of criticizing others.

Maybe that's true for you, but literally almost everyone in my family has developed a major "side hustle" in their retirement just because they work on things they love.

I have also developed several "side hustles" in retirement, but they are all community organization roles that make use of my management-style professional skills.  They do not generate any income at all, and I wouldn't want them to.  For me, the whole point of my retirement has been finding work that I find meaningful and rewarding on a personal level, without any concern for whether or not it makes money.  I could not raise a family doing what I do now if I had not made all of the money I will ever need doing something else.  Now I am free to make my mark on the world without worrying about dollars.

If I still had to work for money, I would be doing something else.  I would still be letting money motivate my daily routine, and I am SO past that.  I'll go back to work someday if I genuinely need the money, but I don't expect that to happen and for now I'm much happier not worrying about what's profitable.

Quote
You've talked about starting a blog. If that ends up profitable, would that not count as a side hustle???

It would, except that I have made a deliberate choice to NOT start a blog because it feels like work.  That's what I was trying to explain.  Even though it might make a little money, it would take time away from the things that I'm already doing that I find more important.  For me, it would be an obligation and I think I might resent the way it would interfere with the things I want to do instead.  And besides, I still get to write pretty much all I want to here, for free, while contributing to and supporting MMM's personal empire.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 09:01:21 AM by sol »

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2019, 09:24:25 AM »

So you tried A (singular) side hustle and it didn't work for you...
And your conclusion is:  all side hustles are NOT for ANY retiree.
Really?
You remind me of the grade school joke of the scientist that trained a frog to jump on command, then cut off his legs and concluded that frogs go deaf when they lose their legs.

Easy there, champ.  I very clearly relayed my personal experience.  My personal experience is still valid, even if you don't like it.

You are also free to add your personal experience to this thread, instead of criticizing others.

Maybe that's true for you, but literally almost everyone in my family has developed a major "side hustle" in their retirement just because they work on things they love.

I have also developed several "side hustles" in retirement, but they are all community organization roles that make use of my management-style professional skills.  They do not generate any income at all, and I wouldn't want them to.  For me, the whole point of my retirement has been finding work that I find meaningful and rewarding on a personal level, without any concern for whether or not it makes money.  I could not raise a family doing what I do now if I had not made all of the money I will ever need doing something else.  Now I am free to make my mark on the world without worrying about dollars.

If I still had to work for money, I would be doing something else.  I would still be letting money motivate my daily routine, and I am SO past that.  I'll go back to work someday if I genuinely need the money, but I don't expect that to happen and for now I'm much happier not worrying about what's profitable.

Quote
You've talked about starting a blog. If that ends up profitable, would that not count as a side hustle???

It would, except that I have made a deliberate choice to NOT start a blog because it feels like work.  That's what I was trying to explain.  Even though it might make a little money, it would take time away from the things that I'm already doing that I find more important.  For me, it would be an obligation and I think I might resent the way it would interfere with the things I want to do instead.  And besides, I still get to write pretty much all I want to here, for free, while contributing to and supporting MMM's personal empire.

None of this means that you can generalize that side hustles are "only for people who are still working"

The things you find "more important" are things that happen to be work that doesn't pay. Many people have paying work in retirement and they are equally unconcerned about earnings and don't feel that it's taking them away from anything.
It's great that you know yourself, what matters to you, what kind of work you find fulfilling, and what kind of work you don't want to do, but that doesn't make it a reasonable generalization. I love some of my work so much that I'll likely do it until I die, and continue to get paid to do it. In my industry, I would rather earn and donate than work for free. The people who pay me don't need charity.

sol

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2019, 11:08:08 AM »
I love some of my work so much that I'll likely do it until I die, and continue to get paid to do it.

What if they didn't pay you anymore?  Hypothetically speaking, what if there were some unforeseen major paradigm shift in your industry, and suddenly your job could be profitably automated or outsourced, reducing your effective paycheck to zero?  Would you still do the same work, for free, because you love it so much?  Would you still do it even if you had to pay for the privilege of doing it?

Because if you would, then that's awesome!  That's exactly where I'm at.  I love the work, and it doesn't pay, and I enthusiastically do it anyway.  I briefly tried doing work that DID pay, but that I was less in love with, and I couldn't sustain it.  The money just doesn't matter to me anymore, so I now I get to choose what work I do based solely on what I find most meaningful.  I've removed dollars from the decision matrix, and started to get surprisingly different answers than I was getting before.

I did not see this outcome ahead of time.  I liked my paying job, and thought that I would continue to stay involved in the industry after I retired because it mattered to people.  But then I started saying no to some of the more bullshitty parts of the job that I didn't want to do anymore, because I didn't need the money and didn't want to be forced to sacrifice the fun and important parts in order to do the stupid BS parts.  From that first little step it was a slippery slope all the way down to actively rejecting all paid work precisely because the money corrupts your purpose.  In tiny and invisible ways, the promise of payment influence how you do the work and keeps you subservient to some other master besides your own inner purpose.

As I stated above, this was just my personal experience.  I thought that part-time side hustles would be a regular part of my post-career retired life, and instead I have discovered that the very idea of paid work actively repulses me.  I was much happier making a little money from side projects when I was still making a regular paycheck from 9-5 five days a week, and it didn't bother me at all to seek out little inefficiencies or unmet needs where I could use my talents to reap a little profit.  Then I retired, and suddenly the entire idea of doing anything for the money turned out to be fundamentally opposed to my new lifestyle.  I still see the same little inefficiencies and unmet needs all around me, but now I get to choose which ones to fix based solely on which ones most need fixing, not which ones I can make money from. 

YMMV, of course.  Some people are genuinely fulfilled by the profit-seeking portion of their jobs, like a rewarding sort of scoring system.  That's not my jam, though.

The people who pay me don't need charity.

Maybe that's part of our different personal experiences.  The people who would most reasonably be expected to pay me DO need charity, because I have chosen to spend my retirement life helping people in need.  If I was volunteering down at the yacht club, I would probably be less motivated to give so much.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 11:14:09 AM by sol »

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2019, 01:16:48 PM »
I love some of my work so much that I'll likely do it until I die, and continue to get paid to do it.

What if they didn't pay you anymore?  Hypothetically speaking, what if there were some unforeseen major paradigm shift in your industry, and suddenly your job could be profitably automated or outsourced, reducing your effective paycheck to zero?  Would you still do the same work, for free, because you love it so much?  Would you still do it even if you had to pay for the privilege of doing it?

Because if you would, then that's awesome!  That's exactly where I'm at.  I love the work, and it doesn't pay, and I enthusiastically do it anyway.  I briefly tried doing work that DID pay, but that I was less in love with, and I couldn't sustain it.  The money just doesn't matter to me anymore, so I now I get to choose what work I do based solely on what I find most meaningful.  I've removed dollars from the decision matrix, and started to get surprisingly different answers than I was getting before.

I did not see this outcome ahead of time.  I liked my paying job, and thought that I would continue to stay involved in the industry after I retired because it mattered to people.  But then I started saying no to some of the more bullshitty parts of the job that I didn't want to do anymore, because I didn't need the money and didn't want to be forced to sacrifice the fun and important parts in order to do the stupid BS parts.  From that first little step it was a slippery slope all the way down to actively rejecting all paid work precisely because the money corrupts your purpose.  In tiny and invisible ways, the promise of payment influence how you do the work and keeps you subservient to some other master besides your own inner purpose.

As I stated above, this was just my personal experience.  I thought that part-time side hustles would be a regular part of my post-career retired life, and instead I have discovered that the very idea of paid work actively repulses me.  I was much happier making a little money from side projects when I was still making a regular paycheck from 9-5 five days a week, and it didn't bother me at all to seek out little inefficiencies or unmet needs where I could use my talents to reap a little profit.  Then I retired, and suddenly the entire idea of doing anything for the money turned out to be fundamentally opposed to my new lifestyle.  I still see the same little inefficiencies and unmet needs all around me, but now I get to choose which ones to fix based solely on which ones most need fixing, not which ones I can make money from. 

YMMV, of course.  Some people are genuinely fulfilled by the profit-seeking portion of their jobs, like a rewarding sort of scoring system.  That's not my jam, though.

The people who pay me don't need charity.

Maybe that's part of our different personal experiences.  The people who would most reasonably be expected to pay me DO need charity, because I have chosen to spend my retirement life helping people in need.  If I was volunteering down at the yacht club, I would probably be less motivated to give so much.

I've read enough of your posts to know that our careers are quite different.
They're similar in that we're both doctoral level educated professionals, who are both highly regarded and highly remunerated in our fields, but our work is fundamentally different.

I work 3 different paid part time jobs as well as 2 unpaid jobs.
My main job is in healthcare where my work significantly improves the lives of people and their children. It's pretty goddamn satisfying every single day that I do it. Some days absolutely suck, but all days are intensely challenging and rewarding. NO DAYS are boring.

My second job is in a specialized area of healthcare treating patients with severe and difficult to treat conditions, which is an area that most providers avoid because it's relatively lower paying and comes with much higher liability and much more challenging patients. This work gives me fucking LIFE. I regularly have people sob in office from finally finding some relief to their suffering. I deal with people who are seriously at risk for suicide due to their level of suffering. This shit is fucking REAL. It's hard, it's scary, it's unpredictable, it can be thankless at times, but it's what I was meant to do.

My third job, I won't get too much into, but it's intimately related to my volunteer work. Essentially, I get paid a retainer to just use my good reputation to represent a high end firm, who also donate to my non profit work. The more volunteer work I do, the more valuable I am to this firm, the more exposure they get. All high end volunteer work involves partnership with industry, it's what keeps the wheels turning. I essentially get paid to do what I was already doing, except with access to a much better network and an expense account.

My first two jobs are paid largely by insurance companies, and they definitely don't need my charity. I do plan on doing some work up in the underserved areas of the far north where they are absolutely desperate for healthcare workers, but I'll still be very well paid by the government, who also don't need my charity. This doesn't make any of this work less meaningful than your unpaid work.

Also, my main work cannot be done for free. It requires a team of highly skilled staff as well as an enormous amount of high tech supplies and equipment. I can do my part for free, and I sometimes do, but it's not a sustainable model. There are plenty of trips I could go on where healthcare professionals are recruited to do a few weeks of free work here and there, which is popular, but because it's popular, I feel no obligation to do it. Plenty of others will. I'll stick to the work that no one wants to do for my version of giving back.

My third job DEFINITELY does not need my charity, but my work with them facilitates my non profit work tremendously, so no point in giving it up. Besides, it's a great company that I deeply respect and am proud to represent. Also, I can generate a solid amount of value with my own work, but the wealth that I can mobilize through my network makes my personal professional value look like peanuts. 80% of the numbers on my phone are people that give me thousands on a regular basis. I have a lunch on Friday to start strategizing finding 10M for a medical technology for a colleague.
In terms of the impact that I can have in my volunteer work, I'm 100-1000X more useful if I stay employed than if I just provide my direct skills for free.

Overall, all of my work is deeply and profoundly satisfying and not only would I do it for free if that made any fiscal sense, but if you offered me millions to retire today and never do my work again, I would turn you down.

I get that that experience with your recent contract has really illuminated something in you and helped you learn A LOT about yourself, your wants, needs, and plans in life. However, I maintain that you cannot generalize it to everyone. That is your particular experience with your particular career.

You simply cannot generalize that just because work is paid that is somehow has less value and that the reason that those of us love our paid jobs is solely because of the remuneration. It's not a matter of a scoring system, and it's not a matter of frivolous volunteering at yacht clubs either. It's a simple matter that some paid work is damn amazing and really really worth doing.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 01:21:01 PM by Malkynn »

sol

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2019, 02:01:33 PM »
However, I maintain that you cannot generalize it to everyone. That is your particular experience with your particular career.

I did not mean to suggest that everyone's experiences with side gigs in retirement would be the same as mine, just as I'm sure that you did not mean to suggest that everyone's experience with side gigs while working would be the same as yours.  I offered my experience with side hustles in retirement, and that's valid.  You have offered your experience with side hustles while working, which is also valid.

I should highlight that, like you, I found tremendous value in these sorts of things while I was still working. I have had your experience, in a very analogous way, where leveraging my professional reputation and access to resources was a big part of what made the job worthwhile.  I am less certain that you have had my experience, of giving all of that up and finding new purpose in retirement.  Not from your professional successes, but successes for you as an individual and not for your employer or your clients or your cause, but for you.  It's gratifying in a way that is hard to describe.  It's the purest form of self-actualization.

What I finally figured out was that in the paid professional world, there will always be someone else to step up.  Other people will be motivated by a paycheck to do whatever job I was doing, and all parties will profit from that productive exchange.  The things that I do now, in retirement, are things that no one was doing before because it doesn't pay, and most people can't be bothered to devote so much time and attention to something that detracts from their primary breadwinning activities.  I can fill a niche in retirement that I couldn't fill while working.

I think it's great that you love your work, and I would never try to take that away from you.  The world needs people who will go the extra mile within the constraints of the system, who cheerfully draw a salary and stay in their lane, who drive our economy forward and promote the general welfare in ways that align with a social plan.  I wish more people were like that.  I used to be like that, but FI has changed all of that for me.  And just maybe, you might be just as surprised by retirement as I was. 

This is one of those "Go ahead and try it, you might like it!" kind of moments where I slyly suggest that early retirement is something you don't fully understand until you live it for yourself.  It is not at all what I was expecting.  It's better. 

After years of reading about it from people like MMM, I still didn't understand how great it can be.  I recognize that little old me saying so doesn't help you or anyone else make the leap, especially if they are still digging their career for whatever reason.  But careers are necessarily transient things, and with any luck we will all live long and fulfilling lives long after our careers have wound down.  You are not your job.  You are now and always will be so much more than that.  It's just hard to see, when the job takes up so much of your mental counterspace.

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2019, 03:31:13 PM »
However, I maintain that you cannot generalize it to everyone. That is your particular experience with your particular career.

I did not mean to suggest that everyone's experiences with side gigs in retirement would be the same as mine, just as I'm sure that you did not mean to suggest that everyone's experience with side gigs while working would be the same as yours.  I offered my experience with side hustles in retirement, and that's valid.  You have offered your experience with side hustles while working, which is also valid.

I should highlight that, like you, I found tremendous value in these sorts of things while I was still working. I have had your experience, in a very analogous way, where leveraging my professional reputation and access to resources was a big part of what made the job worthwhile.  I am less certain that you have had my experience, of giving all of that up and finding new purpose in retirement.  Not from your professional successes, but successes for you as an individual and not for your employer or your clients or your cause, but for you.  It's gratifying in a way that is hard to describe.  It's the purest form of self-actualization.

What I finally figured out was that in the paid professional world, there will always be someone else to step up.  Other people will be motivated by a paycheck to do whatever job I was doing, and all parties will profit from that productive exchange.  The things that I do now, in retirement, are things that no one was doing before because it doesn't pay, and most people can't be bothered to devote so much time and attention to something that detracts from their primary breadwinning activities.  I can fill a niche in retirement that I couldn't fill while working.

I think it's great that you love your work, and I would never try to take that away from you.  The world needs people who will go the extra mile within the constraints of the system, who cheerfully draw a salary and stay in their lane, who drive our economy forward and promote the general welfare in ways that align with a social plan.  I wish more people were like that.  I used to be like that, but FI has changed all of that for me.  And just maybe, you might be just as surprised by retirement as I was. 

This is one of those "Go ahead and try it, you might like it!" kind of moments where I slyly suggest that early retirement is something you don't fully understand until you live it for yourself.  It is not at all what I was expecting.  It's better. 

After years of reading about it from people like MMM, I still didn't understand how great it can be.  I recognize that little old me saying so doesn't help you or anyone else make the leap, especially if they are still digging their career for whatever reason.  But careers are necessarily transient things, and with any luck we will all live long and fulfilling lives long after our careers have wound down.  You are not your job.  You are now and always will be so much more than that.  It's just hard to see, when the job takes up so much of your mental counterspace.

I seriously doubt that FI will have much impact on my priorities, plus DH and I already don't really need my income as it is, which is great since I've spent my entire life with health issues not knowing when I might end up significantly disabled. DH knew this when he married me, so we've designed our life and finances so that I wouldn't need to work, and there's a reason our new condo is wheelchair friendly.

My latest adventure has been 7 straight weeks of severe, unremitting horrifying pain (the very kind I try to treat). Work is keeping me sane and focused.

So I live a pretty YOLO life as it is and could absolutely stop working tomorrow if I wanted to. I just don't want to.

Our lives are very different and we are different people. Your experience is valid, my experience is valid, as are the multiple experiences of my retired family and friends that I mentioned previously who have done amazing paid work in retirement despite not needing any income.

My only argument was that you can't generalize, which I think is reasonable.

sol

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2019, 03:44:47 PM »
My only argument was that you can't generalize, which I think is reasonable.

I absolutely agree with that.  You can't generalize, and everyone's FIRE experience is going to play out a little differently.  It sounds like yours has a different set of challenges than mine, which is not unexpected.

But it cuts both ways.  Because you can't generalize, I also don't think it's fair to say that everyone needs a side hustle in retirement to find meaning, or drive, or to keep them "sane and focused".  We all need something to do.  It most definitely doesn't need to generate any income.  I have found that financial freedom has given me the chance to bestow kindness on my neighbors and my community, in ways that cost me money, and I am thankful every day for that opportunity.

Malkynn

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2019, 03:52:22 PM »
My only argument was that you can't generalize, which I think is reasonable.

I absolutely agree with that.  You can't generalize, and everyone's FIRE experience is going to play out a little differently.  It sounds like yours has a different set of challenges than mine, which is not unexpected.

But it cuts both ways.  Because you can't generalize, I also don't think it's fair to say that everyone needs a side hustle in retirement to find meaning, or drive, or to keep them "sane and focused".  We all need something to do.  It most definitely doesn't need to generate any income.  I have found that financial freedom has given me the chance to bestow kindness on my neighbors and my community, in ways that cost me money, and I am thankful every day for that opportunity.

You're right, it's not fair, but I also never said anything of the sort. *My* work is keeping *me* sane during a major health crisis. Many of my patients are better served by taking time off. We're all different

I would never generalize and have never said anything to generalize that everyone should continue paid work. I gave examples of individuals to counter what I interpreted as a generalization against paid work in retirement.

Never have I said or implied anything along the lines that choosing not to work in retirement is somehow bad, that would be insane. 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2019, 04:45:12 AM »
I've restarted an Amazon FBA side hustle. I had tried retail and online arbitrage but over a few months ended up with about $1,000 in profit for quite a few hours. Now I'm looking at wholesale opportunities where my time is minimal. I've found a couple of local suppliers where I can start to develop something.

Now I can make $40/hour working overtime and there is realistically enough work that my boss would approve almost any request. However, I already spend 8-9 hours at work and part of the appeal of this side hustle is that it scratches an entrepreneurial itch I've always had. I even majored in entrepreneurship.

There is also the possibility of growing this into something full-time. My job is interesting and challenging and reasonably well compensated. But I'm working for the federal government and don't think I want to stay for more than 5 years or so.

TheGadfly

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2019, 12:48:40 PM »
As others have said, having a "good" side hustle really depends on your interests, skills, and time. It's very particular to your situation. I've actually tried a bunch of side hustles with varying levels of success:

  • I worked for a company called Valet Living, which had a contract with the apartment building I lived in. My job was to carry trash from people's doorsteps to the dumpster outside. it's considered a luxury amenity and it helps the apartment complex avoid rodent infestations. Apartment dwellers tend to take the trash out of their homes only after the smell becomes intolerable. I've since moved away but thought about setting up an identical business and trying to get my current building to become a client. It's a fairly simple business with very high margins. There's just a lot of employee turnover because the job literally stinks.
  • Sold my feces to a biomedical company that makes suppository treatments for patients with c. diff. (look it up, it's a thing). I earned $40 per "sample". Very worthwhile side hustle if you can get through the extensive testing and evaluation process. Also, they only accept samples that are, like a quarter pound. If you can produce a daily sample like that, your waste is as good as gold.
  • Had a small stint as an urban farmer selling produce grown in my neighbors' yards at a local outdoor market. It was a TON of work and involved a small investment in materials. At the end of the day, I probably made -$5 per hour. If you have the space, time and know-how, I recommend growing microgreens indoors. It can be a very profitable business as long as you can find a regular (wholesale) customer. Direct marketing to consumers is really tough
  • I got really good at earning credit card points to redeem for free flights and stays at fancy resorts. This isn't really a side hustle as much as a hobby. Since I started doing it four years ago, I've probably saved $30k on travel
  • I currently do business consulting online. Started on UpWork.com as a freelancer willing to take on any client that would hire me. I leveraged my professional skills as a project/proposal manager and gained a few regular clients who now pay me directly. The money is decent ($500-1000 per month) but it's also quite a bit of work. I end up sitting in front of my computer 40 hours a week for my regular job and an additional 8 for my side hustle.

TheGadfly

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2019, 12:50:44 PM »
Also, if you're thinking about collecting and redeeming recyclables as a side hustle, don't: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/for-anyone-considering-can-bottle-redemption-as-a-side-gig/msg1676486/#msg1676486

Junco

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2019, 07:31:45 AM »
Before starting a new side hustle and therefore adding working hours to your week, have you maximized your income at your day job by accepting a better offer from another employer or negotiating with your current one? That may be time better spent if it means earning significantly more money in the same 40 hour work week.

I'm in that boat now where I'm interested in starting a side hustle but I could probably make $10-20k more in my 40 hour week if I found a new job.

Missy B

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2019, 09:55:01 PM »

[/quote]

My second job is in a specialized area of healthcare treating patients with severe and difficult to treat conditions, which is an area that most providers avoid because it's relatively lower paying and comes with much higher liability and much more challenging patients. This work gives me fucking LIFE. I regularly have people sob in office from finally finding some relief to their suffering. I deal with people who are seriously at risk for suicide due to their level of suffering. This shit is fucking REAL. It's hard, it's scary, it's unpredictable, it can be thankless at times, but it's what I was meant to do.

[/quote]

Speaking as another healthcare professional, THANK YOU. The system can be inhumane for people with chronic pain and hard-to-treat conditions... and practitioners like you who are willing to do the hard work and take the risks seem to be so often taken for granted by others who could also have done the work but choose not to.
Rock on.

Missy B

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2019, 09:58:56 PM »
As others have said, having a "good" side hustle really depends on your interests, skills, and time. It's very particular to your situation. I've actually tried a bunch of side hustles with varying levels of success:

  • I worked for a company called Valet Living, which had a contract with the apartment building I lived in. My job was to carry trash from people's doorsteps to the dumpster outside. it's considered a luxury amenity and it helps the apartment complex avoid rodent infestations. Apartment dwellers tend to take the trash out of their homes only after the smell becomes intolerable. I've since moved away but thought about setting up an identical business and trying to get my current building to become a client. It's a fairly simple business with very high margins. There's just a lot of employee turnover because the job literally stinks.
  • Sold my feces to a biomedical company that makes suppository treatments for patients with c. diff. (look it up, it's a thing). I earned $40 per "sample". Very worthwhile side hustle if you can get through the extensive testing and evaluation process. Also, they only accept samples that are, like a quarter pound. If you can produce a daily sample like that, your waste is as good as gold.
  • Had a small stint as an urban farmer selling produce grown in my neighbors' yards at a local outdoor market. It was a TON of work and involved a small investment in materials. At the end of the day, I probably made -$5 per hour. If you have the space, time and know-how, I recommend growing microgreens indoors. It can be a very profitable business as long as you can find a regular (wholesale) customer. Direct marketing to consumers is really tough
  • I got really good at earning credit card points to redeem for free flights and stays at fancy resorts. This isn't really a side hustle as much as a hobby. Since I started doing it four years ago, I've probably saved $30k on travel
  • I currently do business consulting online. Started on UpWork.com as a freelancer willing to take on any client that would hire me. I leveraged my professional skills as a project/proposal manager and gained a few regular clients who now pay me directly. The money is decent ($500-1000 per month) but it's also quite a bit of work. I end up sitting in front of my computer 40 hours a week for my regular job and an additional 8 for my side hustle.

So you got paid $160 a pound for shit. That there`s some bragging rights.

robartsd

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2019, 04:03:27 PM »
  • Had a small stint as an urban farmer selling produce grown in my neighbors' yards at a local outdoor market. It was a TON of work and involved a small investment in materials. At the end of the day, I probably made -$5 per hour. If you have the space, time and know-how, I recommend growing microgreens indoors. It can be a very profitable business as long as you can find a regular (wholesale) customer. Direct marketing to consumers is really tough
Are you saying you actually lost money in your urban farmer gig? I certainly expect urban farming to be too much work for little money, but I thought you could probably make it a profitable hobby.

TheGadfly

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #29 on: June 18, 2019, 06:29:51 AM »
  • Had a small stint as an urban farmer selling produce grown in my neighbors' yards at a local outdoor market. It was a TON of work and involved a small investment in materials. At the end of the day, I probably made -$5 per hour. If you have the space, time and know-how, I recommend growing microgreens indoors. It can be a very profitable business as long as you can find a regular (wholesale) customer. Direct marketing to consumers is really tough
Are you saying you actually lost money in your urban farmer gig? I certainly expect urban farming to be too much work for little money, but I thought you could probably make it a profitable hobby.

I'm joking, of course. I probably walked away with a little profit (if you don't count the labor I put into it). I was trying to re-create the business models of Curtis Stone and Jean-Martin Fortier. They have really great ideas on how to do super efficient small-scale farming. The big sticking point for any new farmer/business owner, however, is finding a market for your goods and differentiating your produce from the rest. Unfortunately as someone who was growing vegetables and herbs in barren backyards and dirty urban spaces, I had a hard time competing with farmers who were offering beautiful veggies from the rich, fertile countryside. Not only were their products superior to mine, their origin sounded better and, thus, were much easier to market to city folk.

No regrets, though. I was a fun experience.

robartsd

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2019, 11:43:42 AM »
I was trying to re-create the business models of Curtis Stone and Jean-Martin Fortier. They have really great ideas on how to do super efficient small-scale farming. The big sticking point for any new farmer/business owner, however, is finding a market for your goods and differentiating your produce from the rest. Unfortunately as someone who was growing vegetables and herbs in barren backyards and dirty urban spaces, I had a hard time competing with farmers who were offering beautiful veggies from the rich, fertile countryside. Not only were their products superior to mine, their origin sounded better and, thus, were much easier to market to city folk.

No regrets, though. I was a fun experience.
I've thought about the possibility of hobby farming and and transporting to a local farmer's market by bicycle (probably with an electric assist). I'd offer the only "Carbon Free Carrots" and "Zero Emission Zucchini" at the market for a slight premium over what the other vendors charge (perhaps discounting to competitor prices for people who biked to the market). While I wouldn't be certified "Organic" (costly), I would promote that my veggies are grown with no pesticides and only compost for fertilizer.

Missy B

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2019, 09:42:20 PM »
According to my GoogleFu, only about 30% of California's electricity supply is renewable. Co-generation stations burn gas or coal to produce electricity. So if you're using an electric assist, it isn't really carbon-free.

robartsd

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Re: Realistic side hustles?
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2019, 08:59:41 AM »
According to my GoogleFu, only about 30% of California's electricity supply is renewable. Co-generation stations burn gas or coal to produce electricity. So if you're using an electric assist, it isn't really carbon-free.
My electric utility provides the option to pay extra to buy only renewable energy. I know one person's choice to enroll doesn't change the overall mix, but as more people enroll, the utility develops more renewable sources with the funds.