How I Got My Side Hustle
We’ve posted a few times about side hustles. In today’s world, most young professionals have at least one side hustle to help pay the bills, or maybe even get ahead of them. Personally, I have a couple of side hustles, and to be honest, although they have changed over the years, I have always had at least 2 jobs at any given time, ever since I graduated from college.
For me, the key to working a full-time job and then working additional side jobs on top of that has always been to find side jobs that I really and truly enjoy doing. Have you ever heard the saying, “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? It’s a little corny, but there is actually some truth to it. Working a full-time job can be draining, and then to come home to more work can make you feel like it never ends. So think about what you enjoy and think about how you could turn that into an income.
My most recent side hustle actually started as an experiment that wasn’t meant to be a side hustle at all. Last summer, my husband and I moved out of the city and into a house in the suburbs. Once we got settled, we decided that maybe we should adopt a dog. The only problem was that neither of us had ever had a dog, so we didn’t really know what breed we wanted, or even if a dog fit into our lifestyle. After months of hemming and hawing over this decision, a friend suggested we sign up to be pet sitters, sort of like a trial run.
So we created an account on a site that matches pet sitters with dog owners in need of pet care. We opted to do boarding, rather than daycare, so that we could really get the full experience of having a dog in our house around the clock. We got exposure to a variety of dog breeds and quickly found several dogs that we really enjoyed having stay with us.
But in addition to the test run we were looking for, we also quickly realized that the supplemental income of watching these dogs was actually a really nice benefit as well. Ultimately, we decided to hold off on getting a dog of our own for now, and instead continue to pet sit, which provides us the joy of having a dog around and also some additional cash.
Not all of my side hustles have happened so accidentally. But in looking back, most of my side hustles were things that came to me because I was open to a new opportunity. What I learned from this experience is to always have your eyes open for opportunities, and sometimes, they will find you.
What works so well for me and my family about dog sitting as a side business is that it happens in our home. I know myself, and I have a much harder time with jobs (or anything, if I’m being honest) that require me to go somewhere else in order to do it. So one thing that is important to me is finding a job I can do from my house, once I finish my regular job.
The second major factor for me is that I can make it work within my schedule, both in a global sense and day-to-day. In a global sense, meaning that if I know I’m going to be traveling, or having an extra busy week, I can block our availability and not accept requests for certain periods of time. Then, once we have a dog with us, my husband and I are able to coordinate our schedules so that one of us is always home when the dogs need us, but we never have to miss out on anything else we might like to be doing.
The last piece is that it really doesn’t feel like work to us. I often find myself remarking to my husband that “we get to have [insert dog name here] next week!”. We have really found a job that we enjoy, and that makes it so much easier to add to the never-ending list of to do’s.
Certainly, dog sitting isn’t for everyone, and it might not work for your schedule even if you want it to, but if you are looking for a side hustle, find something you enjoy, and find a way to make it work for your schedule and lifestyle.