Tell us your side hustle success stories.

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Topic Author
RL1013
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Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:55 pm

Those who found success with your side hustles, what do you do, how did you start, what percentage of it is your total income?

I will start. My side hustle was(I am planning to get back on this) writing non fiction books in Amazon KDP. I started writing for a ad revenue share site called Triond where I came across a guy who did publishing on KDP. That's how I got started. Mt max income was $100 a month but is way less these days.

k3vb0t
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by k3vb0t » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:05 pm

First real side hustle was a personal finance blog that I ran in the late 00's to early teens (what else are we supposed to call these times!). I wasn't very good at it, but it earned a few hundred bucks per month in ad revenue. When I got burnt out on it I sold it for low five figures which honestly still boggles my mind.

Next was flipping and retail arbitrage with Amazon FBA. That was a lot of physical work but pretty lucrative. Worked great until I had two kids and my wife and I didn't have time to go out and buy stuff in large batches, label it, package it together, and send it in to Amazon. Actually still have some inventory in my garage I am slowly selling off via eBay. Best month was probably $1.5-2k profit.

Currently running a gaming YT channel and earning income through ads and Patreon. About $300/month. Plans to expand into other types of content (knowledge courses) in the next 12 months. Edit: Wife is also beginning to write homeschool content in a niche she is qualified to teach in, so we'll have to see where that goes, too.

All of my side hustles started with me seeing someone doing it and thinking either "I could do that" or "I could do that better". All have taken a lot of trial and error, testing, and hustle, but it's been fun and earned me some nice extra cash.

Small Savanna
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Small Savanna » Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 pm

Teaching as an adjunct professor. It wouldn't be lucrative as a primary job, but pays better than a lot of part time jobs and keeps me grounded technically. There is nothing better for learning a subject than having to teach it.

Topic Author
RL1013
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:10 am

k3vb0t wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:05 pm
First real side hustle was a personal finance blog that I ran in the late 00's to early teens (what else are we supposed to call these times!). I wasn't very good at it, but it earned a few hundred bucks per month in ad revenue. When I got burnt out on it I sold it for low five figures which honestly still boggles my mind.

Next was flipping and retail arbitrage with Amazon FBA. That was a lot of physical work but pretty lucrative. Worked great until I had two kids and my wife and I didn't have time to go out and buy stuff in large batches, label it, package it together, and send it in to Amazon. Actually still have some inventory in my garage I am slowly selling off via eBay. Best month was probably $1.5-2k profit.

Currently running a gaming YT channel and earning income through ads and Patreon. About $300/month. Plans to expand into other types of content (knowledge courses) in the next 12 months. Edit: Wife is also beginning to write homeschool content in a niche she is qualified to teach in, so we'll have to see where that goes, too.

All of my side hustles started with me seeing someone doing it and thinking either "I could do that" or "I could do that better". All have taken a lot of trial and error, testing, and hustle, but it's been fun and earned me some nice extra cash.
:sharebeer

Topic Author
RL1013
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:11 am

Small Savanna wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:08 pm
Teaching as an adjunct professor. It wouldn't be lucrative as a primary job, but pays better than a lot of part time jobs and keeps me grounded technically. There is nothing better for learning a subject than having to teach it.
Nice

Quirkz
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Quirkz » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:48 am

RL1013 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:55 pm
I will start. My side hustle was(I am planning to get back on this) writing non fiction books in Amazon KDP. ... Mt max income was $100 a month but is way less these days.
I write books, too. My fifth book (fourth novel) just came out this week.

As a source of income, it has not been a good one so far, but I'm hopeful one of them will eventually take off, or sheer volume of books will eventually start to carry some weight. If I was only in it for the money I'd probably give it up, but as a hobby it's a satisfying one, and also compared to a lot of other hobbies it's pretty flexible and inexpensive.

I've also done a bit of freelance copy editing and proofreading. That depends on length and messiness of the source, but can bring in $500 - $1,500 per book.

Finally, I ran a web-based computer game for a while, back in 2007-2012. That probably brought in $20k in profits, but it was heavily front-loaded, and suffered quite a bit as smart phones and free-to-play games exploded in the market. I'm not sure if it's as viable now, or if I were to do it again I'd just make a game for a phone rather than putting it on the web.

umfan11244
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by umfan11244 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am

I’m also an adjunct professor in a LCOL area. I get paid $1500 per every 8-week graduate business course I teach.

Additionally, I buy acreage and subdivide it into smaller lots. My first flip brought in about $100k before taxes on a $155k investment. Looking to buy another one now.

Stich
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Stich » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:08 am

Quirkz wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:48 am

I've also done a bit of freelance copy editing and proofreading. That depends on length and messiness of the source, but can bring in $500 - $1,500 per book.
I have been interested in starting this. Did you go through a freelancing website?

k3vb0t
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by k3vb0t » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:15 am

umfan11244 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am
I’m also an adjunct professor in a LCOL area. I get paid $1500 per every 8-week graduate business course I teach.

Additionally, I buy acreage and subdivide it into smaller lots. My first flip brought in about $100k before taxes on a $155k investment. Looking to buy another one now.
$100k profit you mean? So started with $155k + $100k = $255k before tax?

TheOscarGuy
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am

RL1013 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:55 pm
Those who found success with your side hustles, what do you do, how did you start, what percentage of it is your total income?

I will start. My side hustle was(I am planning to get back on this) writing non fiction books in Amazon KDP. I started writing for a ad revenue share site called Triond where I came across a guy who did publishing on KDP. That's how I got started. Mt max income was $100 a month but is way less these days.
How about paid over time? Its essentially the same thing if end goal is to make more money. Significantly more convenient.

Topic Author
RL1013
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:22 am

umfan11244 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am
I’m also an adjunct professor in a LCOL area. I get paid $1500 per every 8-week graduate business course I teach.

Additionally, I buy acreage and subdivide it into smaller lots. My first flip brought in about $100k before taxes on a $155k investment. Looking to buy another one now.
Awesome. Do you have some good articles on the process for subdividing a large lot? Or is it dependent on state rules.

Wings5
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Wings5 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:29 am

Reserve component military. Tuition and retirement benefits, and a matching TSP option to boot 😀

Quirkz
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Quirkz » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:30 am

Stich wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:08 am
I have been interested in starting this. Did you go through a freelancing website?
Most of it was luck. My brother went to college with someone who ended up being an editor at a publishing house. They regularly used freelance proofers, and my brother's recommendation got me into the pool.

Since then it's either been word of mouth, or in a few cases I started out as a volunteer beta reader for authors I really liked, and my feedback was enough that they eventually offered to pay me for the help. I don't recommend the latter - giving away the product for free is poor business, and I volunteered because I wanted early access to good books.

In short, you'll probably have to find a different path. Some suggestions:

1. Go ahead and try the freelancing site.
2. Put yourself out on LinkedIn and other sites so you're findable.
3. Spend time on writer's forums, especially where there are indie/self-published folks who might be looking for help and don't have a publishing house doing it for them. Be available, but not spammy, in offering your ability to work.
4. It may be worth approaching the big publishers and see if they still use freelance proofreaders. (Pearson, of the Complete Idiot's Guide series was the one I used back in the day, but all of that may have changed.)

umfan11244
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by umfan11244 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:31 am

k3vb0t wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:15 am
umfan11244 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am
I’m also an adjunct professor in a LCOL area. I get paid $1500 per every 8-week graduate business course I teach.

Additionally, I buy acreage and subdivide it into smaller lots. My first flip brought in about $100k before taxes on a $155k investment. Looking to buy another one now.
$100k profit you mean? So started with $155k + $100k = $255k before tax?
Correct, sorry for the lack of clarity. I’m on my phone right now.

Further edit: I actually paid $145k for a lot, then invested an additional $10k in zoning, surveys, and small improvements. After 10 months, had sold all lots for $255k before taxes.
Last edited by umfan11244 on Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

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nisiprius
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by nisiprius » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am

??? What does "hustle" mean, nowadays? To me it means--or used to mean--just what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
But maybe that dictionary isn't up to date.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

FI4LIFE
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:39 am

I'll give a side-hustle failure story. General carpentry is a terrible side hustle IMO. I tried it for a while and wasted so many hours trying to properly price jobs that I wouldn't get anyway, loading up and setting up/taking down tools for odd jobs, running to the hardware store for that one thing I forgot etc. Not to mention the stress of trying to finish jobs in a limited time period while maintaining another full time job plus taking care of the family. Awful idea that was. Working here and there for another contractor would be ok.

umfan11244
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by umfan11244 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:52 am

RL1013 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:22 am
umfan11244 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:50 am
I’m also an adjunct professor in a LCOL area. I get paid $1500 per every 8-week graduate business course I teach.

Additionally, I buy acreage and subdivide it into smaller lots. My first flip brought in about $100k before taxes on a $155k investment. Looking to buy another one now.
Awesome. Do you have some good articles on the process for subdividing a large lot? Or is it dependent on state rules.
I'm sure you could find something, but I honestly just jumped in with the first one. There are plenty of variables that make it difficult to grasp, including geographical area, local planning/zoning laws, real estate market (including desirable lot sizes), local lending conditions, etc. Below, I included a brief list of things you could look at to get started.

1) Land for sale - note the varying price per acre based on lot size and location
2) Read your local Unified Development Code (UDC)
3) Attend local planning/zoning meetings
4) Talk to a local bank about funding

I've found that the sweet spot for me (based on one success and my soon to be next purchase) seems to be buying lots 20-60 acres in size, fairly close to town, then breaking them up into 4-8 acre lots and marketing them for sale with a broker one or two at a time. My first project lasted approximately 10 months and 3 of those months were bottlenecked in the zoning process of one of our local municipalities (NOTE: I'll try to avoid that in the future). Again, there is money in it but it would require a good amount of funding, research, and patience.

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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Godot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:59 am

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am
??? What does "hustle" mean, nowadays? To me it means--or used to mean--just what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
But maybe that dictionary isn't up to date.
"Hustle" in contemporary parlance also means to work hard. A side hustle is a part-time job.
“There is man in his entirety, blaming his shoe when his foot is guilty.” ― Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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BarbaricYawp
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by BarbaricYawp » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:11 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am
??? What does "hustle" mean, nowadays? To me it means--or used to mean--just what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
But maybe that dictionary isn't up to date.
Definition #1 here. https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hustle. Usually paired with 'side' (side-hustle) and sometimes called 'side-gig', as in, "Don't let your side-gig get in the way of your main gig.".

Definitely non-pejorative nowadays.
"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity." --Dorothy Parker

GT99
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by GT99 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:11 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am
??? What does "hustle" mean, nowadays? To me it means--or used to mean--just what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
But maybe that dictionary isn't up to date.
So it only means the slang definitions that you copied out, and not the other definitions within the American Heritage Dictionary? The ones you ignored are:
1. To move or act energetically and rapidly: We hustled to get dinner ready on time.
2. To push or force one's way.
3. To act aggressively, especially in business dealings
v
1. To push or convey in a hurried or rough manner: hustled the prisoner into a van.
2. To cause or urge to proceed quickly; hurry: hustled the board into a quick decision.
N
1. The act or an instance of jostling or shoving.
2. Energetic activity; drive.

I think it's use in this context fits the American Heritage Dictionary definition aptly.

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RL1013
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:43 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:21 am
RL1013 wrote:
Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:55 pm
Those who found success with your side hustles, what do you do, how did you start, what percentage of it is your total income?

I will start. My side hustle was(I am planning to get back on this) writing non fiction books in Amazon KDP. I started writing for a ad revenue share site called Triond where I came across a guy who did publishing on KDP. That's how I got started. Mt max income was $100 a month but is way less these days.
How about paid over time? Its essentially the same thing if end goal is to make more money. Significantly more convenient.
Definitely additional income but tied up with the same job.

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RL1013
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:52 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:33 am
??? What does "hustle" mean, nowadays? To me it means--or used to mean--just what the American Heritage Dictionary says:
a. To obtain something by deceitful or illicit means; practice theft or swindling.
b. To solicit customers. Used of a pimp or prostitute.
c. To misrepresent one's ability in order to deceive someone, especially in gambling.
But maybe that dictionary isn't up to date.
:D . I always thought about "hustle" as positive. Just like "clicking a mouse" and "installing Windows" meant different things during different times.

renue74
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by renue74 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:53 pm

FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:39 am
I'll give a side-hustle failure story. General carpentry is a terrible side hustle IMO. I tried it for a while and wasted so many hours trying to properly price jobs that I wouldn't get anyway, loading up and setting up/taking down tools for odd jobs, running to the hardware store for that one thing I forgot etc. Not to mention the stress of trying to finish jobs in a limited time period while maintaining another full time job plus taking care of the family. Awful idea that was. Working here and there for another contractor would be ok.
I do some carpentry gigs every once in a while. I own a small web design firm and have 10 rental properties. I rehab from the ground up on some of our properties.

When I price, I price high because I think a project will take X hours or days and I know it will take 2x that. I don't do it very often, because I have other things I have to do....but the last carpentry side gig, I made a closet for a guy and charged $3,000. Wife thinks I'm crazy to doing it, but I actually like that type of work.

I agree, it has to be a smaller job to be lucrative...because homeowners want you to do it as quickly as possible and get out.

oilrig
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by oilrig » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:01 pm

I've had a lot of different side hustles throughout my 9 year professional career. Ive done a little bit of everything: bartending, waiting tables, passing out fliers for marketing companies, promotions, helping out a friend with his photography business, uber, focus groups.

The ones that have stuck with me in terms of ease and most lucrative have been: focus groups, uber, working big fighting events, dividend growth investing. I know dividends are blasphemy around here but I really enjoy dividend investing and have been able to make a nice little monthly income stream. This month I will make around $2k in dividends. With uber I can pull in $1-2k/month, and with focus groups and fighting events thats an extra $1-2k/month. My side income this month will almost equal my full time salaried income!

Credit card and bank bonuses are another favorite of mine. I estimate I make around $3-5k/year in cash and free flights churning card bank bonuses.

dad2000
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by dad2000 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:05 pm

My spouse. Expert witness in civil court, relying on expertise gained in her primary job.

Accounts for half her income, plus the tax-deduction benefits from a side-business, which are now extremely valuable due to the loss of deductions in the new tax code.

bjs2025
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by bjs2025 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:10 pm

Mine is pretty unique and still in progress but successful so far. I had a crash course in sports betting over the course of the last 2 years (lost zero dollars, just was educating myself on who to follow for bets as I had a hard time handicapping myself). I follow a person with long time success betting international Soccer and am able to increase my stake size on a bimonthly basis because of how consistent he is. The ROI far surpasses anything in the stock market and I don't usually sweat games because I bet a small percentage of my bankroll. All things seem to be aligning as well as sports betting is literally this week becoming 100% legal and available in my state. This makes liquidity WAY better. I've increased my bankroll about 30% so far and look to use it to pay off student loans/invest, etc...over the next few years.

Cody6136
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Cody6136 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:20 pm

I have a profit center of my own that I started about three years ago.

I consult for non profits as a fundraiser. I put the fun back in fundraising and make around 8k doing so, alongside my current job, also as a fundraiser.

Three things are critical: 1) Avoiding conflicts of interest, and keeping donor pools with solid firewalls. 2) Realizing that some clients will ignore my recommendations; 3) Giving myself the rest that I need or the sense of humor evaporates.

HenryBemis
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by HenryBemis » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:32 pm

bjs2025 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:10 pm
Mine is pretty unique and still in progress but successful so far. I had a crash course in sports betting over the course of the last 2 years (lost zero dollars, just was educating myself on who to follow for bets as I had a hard time handicapping myself). I follow a person with long time success betting international Soccer and am able to increase my stake size on a bimonthly basis because of how consistent he is. The ROI far surpasses anything in the stock market and I don't usually sweat games because I bet a small percentage of my bankroll. All things seem to be aligning as well as sports betting is literally this week becoming 100% legal and available in my state. This makes liquidity WAY better. I've increased my bankroll about 30% so far and look to use it to pay off student loans/invest, etc...over the next few years.
You know, a couple of years ago I would have said you were delusional. And I'd wager that you'll get a response or two saying as much. But I'm in a legal state and have consistently made an average of $50 a week for 12 months now. Mind you, I have been super disciplined in only playing bonus related type bets where the odds favor the better. It's not a lot of money but I have lots of fun doing it! I think the problem becomes staying disciplined and having good money management skills. Since my job encompasses these traits, it's working out. I'm just hoping the sportsbooks here continue to wage war with each other by way of bonuses and odds boosts!

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sunny_socal
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by sunny_socal » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 pm

I keep wanting to do something on the side, don't know what (could be something like writing software or engineering consulting.)

In the meantime:
- All my own gardening/landscaping
- All basic auto maintenance
- All basic home maintenance
- Home IT dept
- Weekend cook

bjs2025
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by bjs2025 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:57 pm

HenryBemis wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:32 pm
bjs2025 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:10 pm
Mine is pretty unique and still in progress but successful so far. I had a crash course in sports betting over the course of the last 2 years (lost zero dollars, just was educating myself on who to follow for bets as I had a hard time handicapping myself). I follow a person with long time success betting international Soccer and am able to increase my stake size on a bimonthly basis because of how consistent he is. The ROI far surpasses anything in the stock market and I don't usually sweat games because I bet a small percentage of my bankroll. All things seem to be aligning as well as sports betting is literally this week becoming 100% legal and available in my state. This makes liquidity WAY better. I've increased my bankroll about 30% so far and look to use it to pay off student loans/invest, etc...over the next few years.
You know, a couple of years ago I would have said you were delusional. And I'd wager that you'll get a response or two saying as much. But I'm in a legal state and have consistently made an average of $50 a week for 12 months now. Mind you, I have been super disciplined in only playing bonus related type bets where the odds favor the better. It's not a lot of money but I have lots of fun doing it! I think the problem becomes staying disciplined and having good money management skills. Since my job encompasses these traits, it's working out. I'm just hoping the sportsbooks here continue to wage war with each other by way of bonuses and odds boosts!
Good to hear. Discipline is absolutely the name of the game. I'm sure people will call me delusional and that's fine, but when I say I had a crash course over the last two years, I mean it. I've gone to the ends of the earth educating myself on +EV strategies, sportsbook inefficiencies and guys in the industry worth following. I think people incorrectly associate sports betting with degeneracy but I will go weeks without a bet if there is no value. This goes against pretty much what every casual, losing gambler does. I haven't gotten to my goals yet but I think I'm on the best possible track and will go down swinging regardless. I think people envision someone betting on sports and immediately think of losing their life's savings LOL. The book does not always win and there are many folks who are beating it long term so badly that they get limited.

retire2022
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by retire2022 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:07 pm

Op

My side hustle is personal finance, total investment approx 518K, present Value 1.4 Million been doing this since 1987 stock market crash.

retire2022
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by retire2022 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:09 pm

RL1013 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:22 am

Awesome. Do you have some good articles on the process for subdividing a large lot? Or is it dependent on state rules.
RL it is local dependent, check with realtor and architects regarding zoning.

Scatterbrain
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Scatterbrain » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:17 pm

Not many of my family/friends know about mine so this question finally prompted my to make an account here.

I am a perpetual busybody curious about how things work. I’ve had a few failures that were pretty expensive but I have two doing pretty well.

First one was a very small real estate private equity fund back in 2011-2012. We bought a couple multi units to renovate and hold. We sold one property a few years ago and kept the other one. Everyone has made their money back plus a 17% IRR to date (excluding equity in last property which would push it to around 35% IRR). Market timing was perfect. I get a small manager promote of a few hundred bucks a year for doing a couple hours of work in addition to my share of cash flows to my equity position. I work in the commercial RE industry so I really just modeled the concept off much larger funds.

Second one is a portfolio of informational marketing websites that make some referral income for sales we send to vendors. I kind of stumbled into this rabbit hole when doing research for a product - the top google results were clearly written by someone who didn’t have a clue. So I looked into their monetization and got into SEO (search engine optimization) which lead to building a site that now has ranked #1 for that particular query for 3+ years among many others. Whole operation makes about $40k net a year before taxes. Trying to figure out how to scale it with kids and a day job so I can do it full time without burning out on the topic of the site (which happens to be my favorite hobby- dangerous territory). The internet is really fascinating.

This has all been done in the ~2hours a day of wind down before bed. Trick has been building a habit of doing it consistently and paying people to do the stuff I hate so I don’t dread working on it.

I think I tried to start at least 5 other side hustles prior to these so it was a lot of learning before doing it right. One of them was my $70k “mba” of developing an app myself. Painful to cut losses there but I learned a lot.

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unclescrooge
Posts: 3603
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Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm

Between 2005 and 2010 I ran a personal finance website and a bunch of affiliate sites. I finally got it to the point where it was pulling in $3.5k/month but I got bored and let everything fizzle out.

This is right before the FIRE movement took off and pf bloggers started pulling in tens of thousands each month. :oops:

Have 2 rental properties that net $1400 each month with property manager in place.

Swarm Trap
Posts: 22
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:29 am

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Swarm Trap » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:29 pm

How do you define success?

I started a bounce house business. It was not easy money, but it was honest work and allowed us to spend time with our kids while making a little extra scratch. I sold it a couple of months ago for a fair price and happily closed that chapter. We had very specific financial goals and met them. I consider that a success.

Best wishes!

Topic Author
RL1013
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:40 pm

Swarm Trap wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:29 pm
How do you define success?

I started a bounce house business. It was not easy money, but it was honest work and allowed us to spend time with our kids while making a little extra scratch. I sold it a couple of months ago for a fair price and happily closed that chapter. We had very specific financial goals and met them. I consider that a success.

Best wishes!
That IS success.

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Will do good
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Will do good » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 pm

I was a ad agency creative for Fortune 500 clients, did freelance work for local/smaller clients for 20+ years.
It bring in additional 20-30% income. When I was layoff after 25 years at the agency, I was able to use my skills and connections from running my freelance business to launched a full time business without skipping a beat. My business ended up making 3-5x my old income and retired early.

Topic Author
RL1013
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 pm

Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 pm
I was a ad agency creative for Fortune 500 clients, did freelance work for local/smaller clients for 20+ years.
It bring in additional 20-30% income. When I was layoff after 25 years at the agency, I was able to use my skills and connections from running my freelance business to launched a full time business without skipping a beat. My business ended up making 3-5x my old income and retired early.
That is great. I recently heard some folks getting success in Facebook ad campaign space. Is this something similar to what you did? How does one get started in this?

Scatterbrain
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:58 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Scatterbrain » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:20 pm

unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm
Between 2005 and 2010 I ran a personal finance website and a bunch of affiliate sites. I finally got it to the point where it was pulling in $3.5k/month but I got bored and let everything fizzle out.

This is right before the FIRE movement took off and pf bloggers started pulling in tens of thousands each month. :oops:

Have 2 rental properties that net $1400 each month with property manager in place.
The burnout is real. And you coulda been the points guy! Do you still have them or did you let the domains and hosting go?

User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 3603
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by unclescrooge » Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:52 pm

Scatterbrain wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:20 pm
unclescrooge wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:27 pm
Between 2005 and 2010 I ran a personal finance website and a bunch of affiliate sites. I finally got it to the point where it was pulling in $3.5k/month but I got bored and let everything fizzle out.

This is right before the FIRE movement took off and pf bloggers started pulling in tens of thousands each month. :oops:

Have 2 rental properties that net $1400 each month with property manager in place.
The burnout is real. And you coulda been the points guy! Do you still have them or did you let the domains and hosting go?
I could've been the "financial samurai" guy. (If I had work ethic).

I have 1 domain left and most of the content now a decade old. The content is related to generating passive income and dividend-investing. I think I had about 800 posts with 15k-30k monthly visitors.

FI4LIFE
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:27 am

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by FI4LIFE » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:09 pm

renue74 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:53 pm
FI4LIFE wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:39 am
I'll give a side-hustle failure story. General carpentry is a terrible side hustle IMO. I tried it for a while and wasted so many hours trying to properly price jobs that I wouldn't get anyway, loading up and setting up/taking down tools for odd jobs, running to the hardware store for that one thing I forgot etc. Not to mention the stress of trying to finish jobs in a limited time period while maintaining another full time job plus taking care of the family. Awful idea that was. Working here and there for another contractor would be ok.
I do some carpentry gigs every once in a while. I own a small web design firm and have 10 rental properties. I rehab from the ground up on some of our properties.

When I price, I price high because I think a project will take X hours or days and I know it will take 2x that. I don't do it very often, because I have other things I have to do....but the last carpentry side gig, I made a closet for a guy and charged $3,000. Wife thinks I'm crazy to doing it, but I actually like that type of work.

I agree, it has to be a smaller job to be lucrative...because homeowners want you to do it as quickly as possible and get out.
I love the work too. Might even enjoy it in retirement when I have time. I'd love to rehab my own rental properties. Just didn't work out for me as a side gig.

Kiter
Posts: 119
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:21 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Kiter » Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:23 pm

I replace landscaping plants that are not up to snuff in a HCL area ,plant the ones I remove ,fert, trim and leave them alone for a year or two. Sell them for a great deal of :moneybag

bhsince87
Posts: 2433
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:07 pm

sunny_socal wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:35 pm
I keep wanting to do something on the side, don't know what (could be something like writing software or engineering consulting.)

In the meantime:
- All my own gardening/landscaping
- All basic auto maintenance
- All basic home maintenance
- Home IT dept
- Weekend cook
There's a lot to be said for this approach. People tend to ignore the impact of taxes.

For example, if you paid someone say, $100 an hour to do your IT or auto work, you would actually have to earn maybe $150 to pay for it. That's assuming about 15% fed tax, 15% FICA tax, and 5% local tax.

So you're clearing $50 off the top, plus saving $100 that you can invest for future growth!
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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Will do good
Posts: 853
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:23 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Will do good » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:59 pm

RL1013 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 pm
Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 pm
I was a ad agency creative for Fortune 500 clients, did freelance work for local/smaller clients for 20+ years.
It bring in additional 20-30% income. When I was layoff after 25 years at the agency, I was able to use my skills and connections from running my freelance business to launched a full time business without skipping a beat. My business ended up making 3-5x my old income and retired early.
That is great. I recently heard some folks getting success in Facebook ad campaign space. Is this something similar to what you did? How does one get started in this?
I was old school, I did print ads and TV campaigns, that’s where the money used to be. With digital ads, Facebook and Google makes most of the money and agencies scramble to pick up the crumbs. Without already in the industry I’m not sure clients would had trusted me or anyone else to create and run their ad budget.

NotTooDeepLearning
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 2:04 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by NotTooDeepLearning » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:01 am

retire2022 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:07 pm
Op

My side hustle is personal finance, total investment approx 518K, present Value 1.4 Million been doing this since 1987 stock market crash.
Care to elaborate? I'd like to go this route. I'm thinking leveraged risk parity plus volatility risk premium harvesting are the highest returning strategies out there. What strategies did you use?

renue74
Posts: 1655
Joined: Tue Apr 07, 2015 7:24 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by renue74 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:51 am

Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:59 pm
RL1013 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 pm
Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 pm
I was a ad agency creative for Fortune 500 clients, did freelance work for local/smaller clients for 20+ years.
It bring in additional 20-30% income. When I was layoff after 25 years at the agency, I was able to use my skills and connections from running my freelance business to launched a full time business without skipping a beat. My business ended up making 3-5x my old income and retired early.
That is great. I recently heard some folks getting success in Facebook ad campaign space. Is this something similar to what you did? How does one get started in this?
I was old school, I did print ads and TV campaigns, that’s where the money used to be. With digital ads, Facebook and Google makes most of the money and agencies scramble to pick up the crumbs. Without already in the industry I’m not sure clients would had trusted me or anyone else to create and run their ad budget.
I own a small web firm. In the last 5 years, we've managed Google, FB, Instagram and Twitter ad campaigns for smallish clients. There's a lot of targeting that can go on and plenty of testing. What we find is that non-savvy clients rely on us more to provide full service. Creative, placement and reporting.

But, other clients I've seen tend to start hiring Millennials as "digital marketing managers," and bring that stuff in-house. Once you do it a few times and look at youtube videos, placing digital marketing is not rocket science.

Paddygirl
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:09 am

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by Paddygirl » Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:57 am

Real Estate

Took a 10 grand loan from a 2nd mortgage on my primary home and bought a duplex. Renters paid the mortgage and more. Was a pain in the neck having renters but it was working. Took another 10 grand loan and bought a rental house in a nicer area. Same deal. Both are paid off by renters after 15 years and were sold recently which added to my recent retirement 401K. Sitting pretty.

knightrider
Posts: 527
Joined: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:20 am

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by knightrider » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:37 am

I developed one of the first online court reservations systems for tennis and squash clubs fifteen years ago. I expanded it to a generic appointment scheduling system.. Brought in around $20-40k/year of profit.. But it's been in slow steady decline for past 10 years.. But I still have around 80 clients from a high of 170 clients in the peak..

Now there are tons of feature-rich systems out there that are heavily marketed. Mine just relied on people finding me through google searches and referrals.

Topic Author
RL1013
Posts: 147
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by RL1013 » Wed Jun 05, 2019 9:34 am

renue74 wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:51 am
Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:59 pm
RL1013 wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:23 pm
Will do good wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:57 pm
I was a ad agency creative for Fortune 500 clients, did freelance work for local/smaller clients for 20+ years.
It bring in additional 20-30% income. When I was layoff after 25 years at the agency, I was able to use my skills and connections from running my freelance business to launched a full time business without skipping a beat. My business ended up making 3-5x my old income and retired early.
That is great. I recently heard some folks getting success in Facebook ad campaign space. Is this something similar to what you did? How does one get started in this?
I was old school, I did print ads and TV campaigns, that’s where the money used to be. With digital ads, Facebook and Google makes most of the money and agencies scramble to pick up the crumbs. Without already in the industry I’m not sure clients would had trusted me or anyone else to create and run their ad budget.
I own a small web firm. In the last 5 years, we've managed Google, FB, Instagram and Twitter ad campaigns for smallish clients. There's a lot of targeting that can go on and plenty of testing. What we find is that non-savvy clients rely on us more to provide full service. Creative, placement and reporting.

But, other clients I've seen tend to start hiring Millennials as "digital marketing managers," and bring that stuff in-house. Once you do it a few times and look at youtube videos, placing digital marketing is not rocket science.
Any recommendations on how a newbie can get started. Willing to spend on training if it's worth.

confusedinvestor
Posts: 606
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 am

Re: Tell us your side hustle success stories.

Post by confusedinvestor » Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:39 pm

Best side hustle is double down on your core skill - An 'unknown' Boglehead advise when I asked this same question.

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