Today, we're going to talk about 4 side hustles that you can start right now to learn skills, grow your network, increase your confidence and earn money!
In this episode, we talk about:
- How to start a services business and why it's the quickest way to earn money and learn business skills.
- How you can learn content creation and sell that service to businesses.
- How to start a Print-On-Demand business using Printful or Etsy.
- How to be a self-published author using Amazon and freelancing sites to earn passive income.
Ryan and Hannah also share their side hustles and how they affected their life and career!
Enjoy the episode!
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Check out the first part of this episode where we talk about the reasons WHY you should start a side hustle!
Ryan: Aloha folks. And welcome back to Degree Free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama on this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.
Hannah: Okay. folks, you definitely, definitely wanna get the Degree Free newsletter that is gonna come out once a week and you are gonna wanna run, not walk over to degreefree.co/newsletter to get job ideas, resources, really cool paid Apprenticeships, Degree Free news, like companies that are no longer requiring degrees and just interesting stuff that Ryan and I have found that , we think that you're gonna wanna see.
So go ahead and sign up for that. So you don't miss anything.
Ryan: Yeah. And, let's get into today's episode. Today is gonna be a part two of last week's episode, where we were talking about the four reasons why you need to start a side hustle. And today we're gonna be talking about the four side hustle ideas you can start today right now.
Ryan: And so if you haven't listened to last week's episode, definitely go back and listen to it, but just quickly, the four reasons learn, network, build confidence and earn money. Right? And when we're talking about side hustles, we're not talking about driving Uber or doing door dash or TaskRabbit while those are very good ways to make cash.
We're talking more about building a business,
Hannah: Something that's your own,
Ryan: right? Exactly.
Hannah: So that you get the practical experience and skills that come with building something of your own.
Ryan: Yeah. So the first. Thing that we are gonna be talking about in this second part is gonna be starting a services business.
Hannah: Oh. And everybody's going, oh, no, not again. this is all we say. We always say this, but there's a reason that we always say this, starting a services business is one of the lowest barrier to entry things you can do.
Ryan: Yeah. It's one of the quickest ways that you can. Make money.
Hannah: People need things done.
Ryan: Yeah. And we're not necessarily talking about going like door to door to wash cars, or like nannying kids, although those are both viable businesses. Yeah. Very much so. I knew somebody that washed cars. I just met him in passing and that's how he started his very successful business.
But he treated it like a business from the get go it wasn't just to make cash. Right. Although I'm sure that that helped yeah. At the time, but he went around town with a bucket, a sponge and soap and he watched people's cars and I met him on the golf course and he didn't have to work anymore.
He had people, he had his own stall now where they do like the hand car wash and wax.
Hannah: Oh wow.
Ryan: Type of thing. So he ran a team of people and he could play golf. It was his dream-
Hannah: in the middle of the day.
Ryan: Right. It was his dream to be on the tour, on the PGA tour.
Hannah: That's cool.
Ryan: Yeah, it was cool. He was good, but he wasn't that good.
Hannah: Did you tell him that?
Ryan: No, I didn't wanna crush his dreams.
Hannah: No. Why not?
Ryan: No. I didn't wanna crush his dreams, but he was very good.
Hannah: Well, have you noticed that there's a lot of people and maybe I don't know what this is, but I'm, I think you've met this a similar group of people, something about people that start car washes man.
Always. They work and I feel like they're always successful. I don't know what it is. So many car wash guys. I don't know what it is.
Ryan: And so the key here is find something that you're good at or can do, or at least have a mild interest in and start doing it. For money start taking people's money for it.
Hannah: There's no limit to what that could be to like, just people that I've known that have done things like this. I knew a lady that, , did professional interior design and that sounds like so Hoy toy, but I'm talking about, she'd go in to a normal family's home and if the house was disorganized and kind of like not cute, she'd go.
All right, well here and she would teach. She would teach whoever, you know, the wife, she would teach the wife how to pick things out at Ross. Literally, that was her. That was her business. And that's how she made money. She was like, here's how to put things in bins. Here's how to work with what you have.
And look now your house looks, you know, now your house looks better and you feel better about it. That was a business. She did that as a services business. And that was her full-time job.
Ryan: Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. That's super creative
Hannah: and she doesn't need anything. She didn't need any tools. All she needs is her brain.
A good example. Another good example of that would be somebody who helps people do like personal shopping, right? Where you help somebody like buy clothes that fit them. And that can be for men and women and you don't need anything. You just need yourself and you need to go be able to help somebody do something that they wanna do.
So as far as starting a business and like how to execute it, we actually went in depth on how to do it. That was episode 30, how to start a services business. We'll have it in the show notes of this one. If you degree free.co/podcast, you'll be able to find it. If you wanna know exactly how to do it, right.
How to execute these things. The thing like we said before, the thing that's great about services businesses is that it's one of the quickest ways to become profitable.
Ryan: It is super fast because you're basically trading your time for money, but also what is that? That's a job right? So you're creating another job for yourself.
Hannah: Yeah, it's not like you're gonna be able to make money while you're asleep. You're gonna have to do work in order to make the money, but you also need the least amount of things in order to do that.
Ryan: Exactly, exactly. And so that's just something to keep in mind about when we're thinking about which side hustles that we're gonna be doing.
Hannah: but also a services business can give you really good ideas about what sort of products you might wanna make too.
Ryan: And so the next thing we're gonna be talking about is we're gonna be talking about doing content creation for brands.
Hannah: Yeah, this is, this is one of the easiest formulas probably too out there right now, you know, even.
possibly even easier than starting a services business, but basically what you could do. And let's just use an example. Right. So let's say let's take hot sauce. This is a really easy one, right? Um, but let's say you start reviewing hot sauces and you're gonna start with Tabasco and you're gonna move to SRA and you're just gonna keep reviewing different types of hot sauces.
You're gonna film yourself, reviewing a hot sauce, and you're gonna use the same exact format for everything. This could be a TikTok, a YouTube video. This could be on Instagram. This could be on Twitter. It could be wherever you wanna put it. It doesn't really matter, and you would just continue to do that.
And then as you continue to do. You start to reach out, not only to the brands that you've already made reviews about, but to other hot sauce brands and say, Hey, if you want me to, I will review your hot sauce for X amount of money or if you send me a certain amount of hot sauce or what have you.
And now you have a business because you're now in the business of reviewing hot sauce.
Ryan: Yeah, absolutely. You're in marketing.
Hannah: Yep. And you can do this. You can do this at your own pace. You can do it whenever you want to. You can post whenever you want to, you can create your own schedule for it. And there's no limit to what this could be about.
Like this could be car, audio, car, audio systems. This could be nail polished. This could be pool floaties. This could be literally anything. Yeah.
Ryan: This is one of those things that while you could do it, very complicated, you can also do it very simply. If you're listening to this podcast, you probably have the tools ready to do that right now.
Yeah. You have a phone and maybe you can get a $10 lapel mic on Amazon or something like that. If you wanted to, but.
Hannah: You don't even need one at first, right?
Ryan: Your, your phone microphone is probably good enough at first and just start doing it.
Hannah: You could buy a ring light if you want. Or you could just film in the same spot during the daytime and use natural daylight to get decent lighting.
Ryan: Exactly. And it's one of those things that it's kind of like a no brainer, but people want information on products before they buy.
Hannah: Yeah. And this is any product folks. You, it could be anything. Yeah. It's best. If you pick something that you actually like, that you're interested in, that you already spend a lot of time, either buying or researching or talking about, because it makes it even more natural for you to be like, Hey, this is my insight on this thing as a user of this type of product.
Ryan: Yeah. And when it, when we're talking about these things, I guess it helps to remember that the reasons why we're starting it, main reason why we're starting it is so that we can learn. Right. I mean, so ideally, although it doesn't really matter what business you're in, you're gonna learn something.
You're gonna learn a lot about business. It might be a good idea to pick an area in which you want your career to move it doesn't have to be that being said it would be good to kind of hit it two birds with one stone,
Hannah: right? If you wanna be involved in outdoor stuff, review outdoor stuff.
Like it is really that simple folks. And then, now you have experience with filming, , marketing material for outdoor brands. Look at you. All of a sudden. Now you have experience in this thing that you care about, that you want and entry into, you know? Well, it doesn't matter what it is.
Ryan: Like if you want to be an accountant or something like that, you can start with reviewing like Excel add-ons or like notion and air table, things like that. Right. QuickBooks, you can start reviewing those types of things or at least building content around it. Not necessarily, you don't have to review it, but even tutorials, how to, and we've all watched some sort of this before, so we're not reinventing the wheel here.
This isn't some groundbreaking thing, but it is something that you can start today. So the next thing is gonna be selling one size fits all, or one size fits most products. Right. And the reason why we say that, and I guess we'll get into it. I'm gonna give it to you right now, inventory management.
Right. Or, , having to. Having to have inventory and having to buy product.
Hannah: AKA, you can tell that we've been down this road of the t-shirts before, and it's really difficult to guess what sizing people need. Just so people know . It's impossible to keep inventory management for t-shirts. If you don't know what you're doing,
Ryan: you have no idea, if you've never worked in-
Hannah: how many smalls do you need right now?
Tell me how many small t-shirts you're gonna sell.
Ryan: I have no idea
Hannah: Exactly. That's the right answer because nobody knows.
Ryan: Well, some people do, right. If you work in retail, I'm sure that there are numbers. I'm positive that there are
Hannah: for sure.
Hannah: For sure.
Ryan: I'm positive that there are, but
Hannah: if you're new and you're a beginner and you're on your own and you've never done it before, then you have no idea.
Ryan: Right? Exactly. Yeah. So that's why one size fits all is really good. And some examples. Of one size fits all are gonna be like pins, stickers, hats, and like hats are a good example of something that can be fitted. Think like for the hat wearers out there, think of like new era, think of like major league baseball hats that actually have sizes.
And then there are also classic like snapbacks and. We're talking about snap act, right? Because you can fit it. Your seven year old daughter, daughter can wear the same hat that you wear as an adult.
Hannah: If you move the snaps.
Ryan: Exactly. As far as one size fits all, we know somebody that did this pretty successfully and they sold patches and it was brilliant because it weighs nothing and you can order it from China in bulk and, a thousand of 'em maybe take up a shoebox.
Hannah: We were shocked by how ingenious this was when we saw our, the people that were doing this. That is so smart, cuz we'd been trying to do apparel stuff and we were, the shipping, the guessing that just all of it really difficult. And then here they are slipping these little patches into envelopes. Like Ryan said, they weigh nothing and their, they, their packaging was cool and it took up no room in their house.
Ryan: Exactly. And if that's something else that we have to think about here is gonna be.
Like, order fulfillment and how to deal with the inventory, where to put it right at this early stage. If you have any money for an inventory run, you probably don't have a fulfillment center to put it in because you can't pay them cuz you don't have any revenue so you're gonna take it and guess where all that's gonna live.
Hannah: It's gonna take up an entire room plus more of your house.
Ryan: It's gonna live in your house and then. Guess who's gonna have to pack up the orders and mail them.
Hannah: Guess who's gonna have to tag every single one.
Ryan: Yeah. That that's you. And so small things are really good ideas to start with if we can, right.
So that's gonna say once again, pins, stickers, patches, things like that. Hats aren't that bad, but depending on how big your production run is, it can, take up a whole room as Hannah and I have literally done this.
Hannah: We gotta make an episode about, this. We, it was like our biggest, our most embarrassing, big, the dumbest thing that we ever did.
But also it's a good story now.
Ryan: Yeah, it was,
Hannah: but it was the dumbest thing we ever done.
Ryan: The dumbest thing we've ever done.
Hannah: And you know what?
Ryan: Well, that's.
Hannah: Okay, well, we've done a lot of dumb stuff.
Ryan: I have done a lot of dumb things, so this,
Hannah: but we
Ryan: I can't even claim in business. It's the dumb, dumbest thing I've ever.
Hannah: Okay. Folks, we will make an episode about the hats that we made and we will go over in every excruciating detail, how we made every decision wrong and continue to make wronger decisions. And it's real fun. And I'm gonna tease it now, cuz it will be a good episode. We'll have fun. I feel like we would almost need to drink on that episode to get through it.
Ryan: but wronger nice.
Hannah: Thank you. I figured on this topic, it's just, it just fits it was a mess.
Ryan: So, okay. Another thing that we can do instead of selling one size fit all items is you can start an apparel brand and there are print on demand now, and we've also done this and it's definitely doable. There are people that are killing it.
Print on demand.
Hannah: Oh yeah.
Ryan: It's also difficult because the margins are a lot less and in many ways, depending, especially at the beginning, you can't really control, you never see your product.
Hannah: Yeah. So you don't really know if it's good or not.
Ryan: Right. Exactly.
Hannah: Unless you order samples first and you have to proof and even then there's still gonna be some variation.
Ryan: Yeah. But anyway, that's all, that's either here nor there on this one, but just to know that you can, right. I mean, there is printful is the company for this. Now
Hannah: we have had good experiences with Printful that the company has done really well. It's grown a lot too, and they've just added more and more stuff, easy to use.
Pretty simple. Yeah. It's easy to integrate with Etsy and Shopify and WooCommerce. It just plugs right into the sites. Yeah. And so it's pretty easy for beginners to use very unintimidating, easy use.
Ryan: And so. One of the things with this is where you're selling it. And there are many ways to sell this crazy amount of ways to sell it.
You could sell it on a Shopify store. You can make it WooCommerce site on where press you could, I think Printful now sells stuff like I think to have a store build it themselves. I haven't looked in it in a really long time,
Hannah: or like you can actually, you can actually sell from the site.
Ryan: I think so.
But yeah, you can even set up like a WordPress form that has a payment gateway and just take money that way too. It's super simple and basic, but those are the types of things that you can do. You can also do Amazon.
Hannah: Oh yeah. You can sell on Amazon. .
Ryan: You can sell on Amazon as well.
All of these because
Hannah: they do print on demand too now. Right?
Ryan: I'm not sure about print on demand actually.
Hannah: Oh, for shirt. Okay.
Ryan: But I'm just saying, for one size fits all items in general for any of this selling these different marketplaces.
Hannah: Okay. And then last, but definitely not least on our list here is publishing eBooks. And this is something that I think is overlooked.
It seems really intimidating because people think that publishing books is this large stuffy affair where you have. Get your book published by a publisher and what have you. But a lot of people don't realize you can, self-publish your own book. You can buy your own ISBN numbers and you can publish your books on amazon KDP, which is their self-publishing platform. There are also other self-publishing platforms. There are different ways that you could publish and sell a book so you can sell their gumroad is another one where you can publish your own material and then sell it to people, but your book. A lot of people think books have to be a certain length.
They have to be by a certain type of person. They have to be written a certain way and there's really, there's no rules about what books you can write or how you can write them or what they can look like. You can make your own covers, you can format them however you want to. They can be. You could sell a one page book, if you so desired.
If people bought it, then you would make sales off of it. But you know, your book doesn't have to be a hundred pages. It doesn't have to look. It doesn't have to be the most attractive thing you've ever seen. And it doesn't have to be about something that you feel like a proper book should be about. It could be about an experience that you've had that can teach other people, something, an experience you've had that you, that was interesting. You could talk about something that you know a lot about. That could be anything, if you know a lot about a specific type of moth and you write it, there's somebody who's interested in that in the world.
And that person's probably on Amazon because that's just the nature of the internet. And you can write about whatever you. It can be as long or as short as you want, and you can publish it if you want to. And you can sell it to people if you want to.
Ryan: Yeah, we've done a couple of episodes actually on publishing books.
We'll link to 'em in the show notes and it's one of those things that you can do. Anybody can do it.
Ryan: And that's a good and a bad thing. It's a good thing because there's a lot of not so great books out there.
But it's good. Cuz there's a lot of books out there.
Ryan: It's good because there's a lot of books out there and there are a lot of people that are making maybe not a full living off of it, but there are a lot of people that are making extra income every month because of that.
And I think we mentioned it before, but you know, you wrote a couple of books.
Hannah: I did, about cosmetic tattoo. Right. Which we, thoroughly researched and knew a lot about. And we wrote about it. You can write fiction too, though.
Ryan: Right? You can write fiction, you can write whatever you want.
Yeah. Our books, the books that, you wrote them, I guess, but we were both involved in the publishing process.
Hannah: I don't know how to use KDP.
Ryan: Not only that, but there's a lot to know. And we were trying to also get it done in a. Shorter timeframe.
Hannah: Yeah, we were. So we, we teamwork the dream worked it.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly.
Ryan: And I'm friends, as I curious, we can link it down. We can link it down in the show notes as well. It seems really intimidating because for a lot of people, they don't know where to start, but Fiverr has a really great library or really great, selection of professionals in order to help you do everything that you need to do.
Ryan: Right. And we talked about it before. So you can go listen to those podcasts, but other than the four reasons of starting a side hustle for a book, what's good. If you're trying to start a business in order to further your career is writing a book on a topic that is related to your career.
Hannah: Yep. Huge.
Ryan: This isn't reinventing the wheel. People have been doing this forever.
Hannah: This is literally how people make their careers. It's crazy. This is how people do it.
Ryan: Exactly. You okay? You're not an expert. and then you write a book and
Hannah: now you are
Ryan: now you're an expert. You do the research and now you're an expert.
Hannah: Yep. And people again, I'm sure that's, I'm sure that's not gonna be a popular sentiment. However, it is effective and it does work and that's how a lot of people have made their living and established their professional credentials. I wrote a book, I wrote two books. I wrote three books and now I'm the authority on this cuz I wrote the most about it.
Ryan: Yep, exactly. And so today's episode was really just to give you an idea of how simple starting side hustle and starting a small business really is, it really doesn't need to be complicated at first. It really shouldn't be.
Hannah: No, because you're gonna have a lot to learn.
Hannah: And I hope that I hope this episode made this show showed you folks how unintimidating this is because it's hard for sure, but it's not. It's pretty simple to, once you pick one of these, and you just start to figure out how you're gonna do it, you can do it.
You can absolutely do it.
Ryan: Yeah. And this one, this episode, I know there's a lot of information in this one. We are gonna put all the links into the show notes that we can, you can get those at degreefree.co/podcast. But yeah, that's pretty much it for today, guys. Thank you very much for listening. If you guys like this episode, if you guys could please like and subscribe, right.
And, one of the best ways you could support the podcast is just by leaving an honest review. Wherever it is that you get your podcast. We're everywhere. Hopefully
Hannah: hope, hopefully folks. And I know as you know, that we send out a newsletter every week and that newsletter has resources, job ideas, paid apprenticeship opportunities, cool stuff that Ryan and I found that we think you're gonna be interested in and degree free news, different companies that are no longer requiring degrees, just different trends in the job market that we see and I promise you want this newsletter. So go on over to degreefree.co/newsletter and sign up for it so that you get it every week.
Ryan: Yep, absolutely. And that's it for this week until next time. Aloha.
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