It’s now been over 4 years since the recession hit, and you’ve probably felt some effect of it by now.

You might be in a job just because you need something to pay the bills.  Or maybe you enjoy the job you’re doing, but you’re working at a pay rate that doesn’t meet all your needs.

You’d like to make more money but that means either moving to another job (good luck) or getting a second one.

And jumping into a side hustle isn’t as easy as it sounds.  You have to take the time to look.  And you struggle inside with whether taking on more work will burn you out.

But bills have to be paid, and insanity is just doing the same thing over and over again.

The good thing is, there’s a way to do a side hustle without the drawbacks of burning yourself out or taking all of your free time.  And I’m here to show you how…guaranteed (see end).

How College Taught Me to Side Hustle

College was a great atmosphere for learning how to side hustle.  Every semester was a mystery as to what my schedule would look like, so finding a flexible job was CRUCIAL.

One semester I might have classes in the morning M/W/F then the next semester I was spread all over T/Th.

So instead of trying to find a new job every semester that fit my schedule best, I looked for several side hustle jobs.

And I found this kind of work in spades.  I worked in promotion for Dell, Microsoft, and Livescribe.  I played with the survey sites.  I freelanced articles for EHow.  I did consulting, training, and even demoed a machine that made “icecream” from bananas.

The point is I’ve been there, done that, and still do some from time to time.

Let’s get started.

The First Step: What’s Your Motivation?

Not all side hustles are built the same.  Your motivations may be completely different from my motivations.

So some side hustles may work better for you than they might for me.

For example, maybe you just need a little bit of extra work to pay off an unexpected car repair.  Getting another part time job only to quit after a few months isn’t the best idea.

Or maybe you want to develop a skill so you can eventually move to a different job or career.  Delivering pizzas on the weekend probably won’t help you much there either.

Starting to see why understanding your motivation is key.

Step Two: Find the Type of Side Hustle You Want

There are three types of side hustles I typically see in the job market.

1. Weekend/PT Job

2. Freelancing

3. A Side Business Online

Depending on your motivation you might focus on a different type of side hustle.

For example, if you are really looking for something long term that allows you to pursue your passion, an online side business makes a lot of sense.  It will take more time to build and start making money, but in the long run will make you happy.

If you need some money right away to help pay for your family’s Christmas gifts, then you might look elsewhere.

Step Three:  Where to Look For the Side Hustle That Fits YOU

So you have an idea of what you are looking for in a side hustle, now you just need help finding it.

Here are a few popular choices based on the three types I listed above.


Side Hustles For the Weekend Part Time Warrior

 1. Promotion Agencies

This is probably one of my favorites in the bunch, and an area most people don’t know about.  Promotion agencies are great because they will tend to pay fairly well, upwards of $20 or more an hour, for jobs that have you working 4-5 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.

It’s a great win/win for the employee and the agency.  The promotion agencies want their staff in the stores when they are busiest, which typically are the weekends.  The employee only has to give up a few hours of their weekend and comes home with a couple $100 each month in return.

Also these tend to be project based so you get to work on a variety of products and can space out how often you want to take on additional projects.  If you just want to work leading up to the holidays you can.  If you want to work a few weekends every month, you can do that too.

Promotion Agencies You Can Check Out:

Mosaic – Experiential Marketing, Sales, Merchandising

Marketstar – Experiential Marketing, Sales, Events

Integer – Retail Branding, Promotion

The Marketing Arm – Promotion Agency

2.  Pizza Delivery

I have known several people who have picked up some extra “dough” delivering pizzas.

Many pizza places are always looking for weekend drivers to fill in for their busy times.  And tips on the weekends are usually better as well.

Do some research and see which pizza shops pay best, how they compensate for gas and wear on your vehicle, and what your hours might be.

If driving soothes your soul, than this might be a good choice.

3.  Mystery Shopping

Who wouldn’t want to get paid to shop?  Not only that, you often get to keep merchandise from the stores you visit.

The challenge however is finding the agencies that hire mystery shoppers.

Also, it might be helpful to know that there is actually more work to it then you might think.  The agencies that pay you are doing it because they want DETAILS.  That means after the fun of visiting the shop and being your own private detective, you’ll have to come back home and write a decent report on what you experienced.

So don’t be surprised if they screen you for your writing abilities, attention to detail, and ability to describe events clearly.

Mystery Shopping Agencies to Check Out:

A Closer Look – Restaurants, Hotels

Management Consulting Group – Restaurant, Hotels, Fast Food

Pacific Research Group – Retail

Side Hustles For Freelancers

1.  Craigslist

Yes, the same place you go to sell your old sofas also turns out to be a great place to find freelance work.

Under the jobs section there are a few areas you can try, such as part-time, marketing, general labor, and admin/office.

But, they also have a place specifically for “Gigs”.

These can range from doing computer based work such as graphic design, social media, and seo, to more general work like writing, casting, and photography.


2. Elance

Elance is a job posting site that is built for freelancers.  Employers have to pay a fee to get started on Elance, so the jobs are real and the employers have a sense of urgency to hire you quickly.

The categories of jobs listed range from IT to Admin Support.  It should be fairly easy to pick up a job if you have some basic skills with a computer, marketing, or writing.

A good thing to be aware of on Elance is that you will end up competing on projects.  So it’s not easy to charge whatever you feel like.  There’s going to be an Elance economy in effect where certain projects tend to go for certain rates.

So to stand out, make sure your profile looks nice and that you can link to some of the work you’ve done.


3. Freelance Switch

If you Google freelance sites, you’ll find plenty of results on the topic, but if you ask me you really only need one.  Freelance Switch.

This is the ultimate resource for everything freelance, even the jobs themselves.

To be fair, to apply for the jobs you do need a subscription which is $7 a month.  But this is a good thing.

The jobs here are quality.  Sony, Comcast, EA, and other big name companies use this site to post their freelance work. Having a name like that on your resume isn’t bad, right?

Also, some of the writing gigs pay $75 an article. So you aren’t working hours for pennies here.

Finally, this is aimed for serious freelancers so it’s expected that if you sign up for the subscription, you are going to take the time to apply for the jobs listed in order to make a return on your investment.


Side Hustles For the Online Business Folk

Now despite what the headline says, this isn’t a quick way to make some extra cash.

The reason being, that it just takes time to set up a site, generate traffic, create a product, market the product…you get the point.

Sorry, if you’re looking for a way to get rich quick, I can’t help you.

Still, this is an excellent option for those who are motivated to work on something they have a passion for and can wait to get money down the road.

There are already remarkable courses and lessons on how to do develop this path, so I’m not going to try and replicate it quickly right here.

If you are serious about starting your own site, and want to learn how to monetize it, I suggest you take Corbett Barr’s course Start a Blog That Matters.

Still Can’t Find A Side Hustle?  I’ll Help You…

I understand, looking for work is tough, even if it is a side job.  So if you still can’t find something that works for you, I’ll personally help find a gig for you.

Here’s what you do.

1. Post a comment below describing the type of side hustle you are looking for and what your interests and skills are.

2. Subscribe to our email updates above (this will let me know you are serious and are open to the advice I’ll give).

Best of luck, I’m interested to hear your thoughts.

image courtesy of scottkellum

15 thoughts on “How to Start a Side Hustle That Pays Fast

  1. Interesting take here, Bryce.  I never really learned to “side hussle” (which may explain why I feel uncomfortable the few times I’ve “tried” to do it).  But I can see where it can be a great source of income if you’re willing to put yourself out there!

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Bryce Christiansen

    Thanks Grady,

    It’s kind of weird at first having a really flexible side job.  But once you get going on one, it’s easy to find other opportunities.  It’s always helpful having that resource for those times you need a little extra cash.


  3. Of course, motivation is the key point which can make us doing something or vise versa

  4.  Very interesting and necessary for me information, thanks

  5. Well, this was a little bit new information for me, another point of view

  6. Bryce Christiansen

     Thanks Amanda, when we get used to a daily grind at work, sometimes we just want to do any kind of work.  So motivation gets removed from the picture and we continue to be unhappy.

    It certainly is the key.

  7. Bryce Christiansen

     Thanks Jessica,

    Let me know how it goes.

  8. Bryce Christiansen

     Thanks Melissa,

    Happy to help, let me know if I can help you with anything.

  9. I read this piece of writing completely on the topic of the resemblance of latest and preceding technologies, it’s amazing article.

  10. Theo


    i thought this was a great article and felt its very relevant to what ive been looking for as far as a side job that i enjoy doing. im in my 2nd year of college and have lots of bright ideas. Its been hard to actually get my foot thru the door doing something. I thought and read into Ebay, selling things but having a steady flow of items to sell is hard. Then into buying and selling cars has worked for me some but thats pretty risky in itself. im pretty goodLet me know what you think and what other paths there could be.

  11. It’s an awesome post in favor of all the internet people; they will take advantage from it I am sure.

  12. Bryce Christiansen

    I really enjoyed doing promotion work on the side. They usually need people on the weekends and pay really well. It’s been a great way to make a couple extra bucks for the holidays or a vacation you’re saving up for.

  13. Norberto

    I am a full time employee that wishes to make extra cash for my families future. i have great customer service skills, as i work with the public daily. my interest is directed more towards working online, considering that i do work full time. i am hard working and ready for new opportunities. please assist me on finding what is suitable for me.

  14. Bryce Christiansen

    Hi Norberto,

    Thanks for the comment. There are a number of side hustles you can do online. It’s rather daunting. I’d recommend you sign up for the free ecourse we have so you can understand yourself and how it would apply to running a side hustle online.

    We have exercises throughout the ecourse that will help you gain more clarity around what you might try doing on the side to make a little more income for your family.


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