Since leaving my respectable, full-time, corporate career to pursue entrepreneurship; I’ve taken on a plethora of side gigs to keep the dream alive and help WonderMan pay the bills. Recently, a new acquaintance asked the age-old conversation starter…so, what do you do for a living? Wow! I hadn’t boiled it down to the 30-second elevator pitch. Before 2005, my reflexive response was “software engineer” with a raised left eyebrow and virtual collar pop. Until one of these ventures breaks loose, I’m in title purgatory swimming in a sea of entrepreneurial endeavors.
I’ve decided to craft an interim title. A good title should encapsulate my hustle experience, flexible employment standards, and long standing aversion to routine schedules. Thank goodness WonderMan doesn’t share my condition! Gig-ologist Extrodinaire at your service. Yes, I specialize in the science of gig’n.
A gig, a.k.a side hustle, is a great way to generate additional cash flow which helps accelerate any debt elimination strategy. Gigs generally don’t expect a long term commitment. A good one will possess flexible scheduling parameters and shouldn’t impact your main gig, I mean job. The kids might call it a Friend without Benefits. The Internet opens a swath of possibilities for the internally motivated among us. Multiple income streams are possible with a little creativity and willingness to part with your evening or weekend play time. For example:
- Online Adjunct Faculty – Of course a master’s degree is generally required. If you have one, use it. A few hours a week and you too can help mold minds of the future in your PJs.
- After School Program Coordinator – I dealt with other people’s less-than-ruly teenagers three nights a week. I taught them about technology. They taught me that patience can be overrated.
- Leasing Agent – The jury is still out. I’ll check in after I’ve had more time to evaluate this one. So far, the potential is promising.
- Retail – As long as your entire check isn’t re-surrendered in the form of “employee discounts” on merchandise, retail jobs are easy to locate, flexible, and can be steady income.
- Freelance (fill in the blank) – If you can do it, someone might pay you. I’m continually amazed by the way people are generating freelance income. Sites like ifreelance.com or guru.com charge a monthly fee to bid on projects. Freelance may be an option.
If you have a debt burden, and/or like me – entrepreneurship pulses through your veins – consider supplementing your income as a Gig-ologist. Also, try to keep a straight face while answering that age-old, conversation starter. I can only imagine the reactions. What? Eh? Come again?