When I first started my business, I was still working a full-time job. Luckily for me, I had an amazing manager who let me work flexible hours, and understood my drive to do something else and build something of my own. This state of “come home from work and go to work” lasted for a soul-crushing six months, before I finally gave up. I realized I simply couldn’t keep it up if I wanted to do my best at both jobs and still stay healthy and sane (enough).

But the problem was still there: I wasn’t yet earning enough money from my business to support myself. I needed another income source, but I needed the time to work on growing my business too. A real catch-22, isn’t it?

I quickly learned that the answer lay in making a side income – preferably in ways that would cost me less time. And so, here are my 21 ideas for making a side income while you are still in the earliest stages of building your own business:


Capitalize on your knowledge

One of the best ways you can earn an extra income is by utilizing something you already have: any kind of knowledge you possess that can be useful for someone else.

You can:

  • Teach a language
  • Teach about running a business
  • Teach anything related to your line of work

There are countless platforms (more or less specialized) that you can use for the purpose. You can also set up your own platform, but that will require more of an investment and more time, so you will be better off reaching for an existing one.

If you are now thinking that you have no teachable skills, you would be wrong. The first skill you have is your knowledge of English – which can be turned into conversation classes for foreigners. You are also running a business – so you know quite a lot about something very specific. If you are good at math or history, you can also teach those subjects. A hobby (like playing the piano or building model airplanes, for example) can also be turned into a side income.


Capitalize on a talent

Speaking of hobbies – if you are good at something, you can teach others how to improve their skills as well. But you can also sell the items you make. If you draw, paint, make cookies, bake cakes, build Lego houses, anything at all – you can find a platform online (or even just use social media) and start a side hustle based around these talents you possess.

If you are a good writer, you can turn that skill into a very steady income very fast and do articles for SEO purposes, for example. If you have an eye for detail and are good with grammar, you can become a proofreader part-time. If you are good with numbers and budgets, you can help someone with their business plan. The internet has opened up all kinds of avenues for monetizing your talents and gifts, and the skills you have developed over a lifetime: all you have to do is think about yourself critically, and figure out what you can do to help others.


Start trading and investing

I’d advise looking into this one if you are good with numbers and have a very shrewd business brain. Trading in cryptocurrencies, in stocks, bonds, or even becoming an options trader are all excellent ways to earn an extra income. However, you do need to know what you are doing, accept the risk involved, and be ready to learn about the market you are willing to enter.

Investing, on the other hand, will require you to have some sort of capital ready – which may not be the case, as you are just starting to build a business. There is also risk involved, but if you are willing to wait a bit for the income to arrive, you can invest in bank savings, treasury securities, and the like.


Make someone’s life easier

The great thing about the fast pace of modern society is that people are ready to pay to get something done for them – just so that they don’t have to do it. I’m referring to things like walking the dog, going to the store, replying to emails, picking up the dry cleaning, waiting in line, and all sorts of other mundane tasks. I used to walk dogs back in college, because it gave me the chance to be outside, catch up on my coursework while the dogs ran around, and earn some extra money.

Today, you don’t even have to leave the house: you can become a virtual assistant to someone for a couple of hours a day, earning yourself some much-needed funds, while helping them out from the comfort of your own home.


Enter the service industry

If you are looking to take it truly old-school, you can pick up a couple of hours a week in the service industry: wait at tables, work in a kitchen, garden, do landscaping, and so on. This will mean you are actually employed by someone else, but as long as the hours you work are manageable, and leave you with enough time to focus on your own business, this can be an excellent way to meet valuable new contacts, and earn some extra money.

Make sure that you choose something you are good at and like doing. If you are horrible with balance, don’t wait at tables, is all I’m saying.


Make good use of the internet

The World Wide Web has also become a breeding ground for all kinds of modern jobs no one would have thought of a decade ago. For instance, you can:

  • Set up a Twitch channel and earn an income by playing video games
  • Compete in eSports or other gaming tournaments, if you are good at video games
  • Set up a YouTube channel (which can be a nice complement to your business, if you can tie the two together)
  • Run a blog
  • Vlog
  • Run an affiliate website
  • Sell stock photos

And so on.


A final word of warning

Bear in mind that some of these jobs will take up a lot of your time (especially the online-based ones). As you are looking for a side hustle that can help you get through a rough patch while you are building a business, the best choice will be something that can earn you the money you need (make sure you calculate just how much that is), while costing you the least amount of time. Consider how much time you have to devote to earning your income and how much you need for the actual business. As you start making more money there, cut down on your side hustle hours, and focus on building what will hopefully be your source of income for the rest of your life.

About Natasha Lane
Natasha is a lady of a keyboard whose fields of expertise could be summed up in digital marketing, branding, and growth-hacking related topics. She is always happy to collaborate with awesome blogs by sharing her knowledge. These days Natasha is all about helping businesses to grow smoothly and strong. To see what she is up to next, check her out on Twitter.