25+ Lucrative Side Hustles You Can Start With Minimal Upfront Investment

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Chances are, if you’re interested in side hustles, you’re interested in making extra money.  You may have goals that you want to accomplish that make having an extra $100, $200, or even doubling your income sound nice.  This post will give you 25+ side hustles that can make your extra cash goals VERY attainable.

real side hustles

Real side hustles have completely changed my life in a positive way.  Until 2015, the only way I was confident at making a full-time income was by working in a job.

I always felt a compromise between my profession and my job that was more than I wanted to give.  I’ve enjoyed many things about being in the workforce, however, choosing to pursue my side hustles to make a full time income has been a great decision for me.

I want more than financial independence.  I want financial confidence as Dan Lok calls it.  I want the assurance that my skills and my ability to offer value ensures that I can recoup any assets I accumulate.  Real side hustles have added to my financial confidence because thru them, I have gained confidence that I can make money in various ways.

I’ll openly admit that despite the fact that my husband and I make a full-time income from our own businesses, we work hard!  We spent in excess of 80 hours weekly to turn our side hustles into full-time income.  

I’ll also admit I’ve tried many side hustles while I was in my journey to self-discovery; not all of them was profitable.  Many of my side hustles helped me to learn what to do, what not to do, and have a greater understanding of my likes and dislikes.  

real side hustles

The Truth About Real Side Hustles

Real side hustles don’t have to take 80+ hours of work in order to produce SOME income.  You can spend 5-10 hours weekly and acquire a nice extra $100 or more.  

As you get beyond the learning curve, and begin acquiring lucrative skills and developing systems, you’ll increase your earning potential from your side hustle.  Then, you can turn from making hundreds into thousands and on.

Even now, after two years of making our side hustles our primary income earners, we still have moments of uncertainty.  We may ponder which clients will rehire us, or which networking opportunities will yield the best returns, and so on.  

Our uncertainty shrinks more and more as we implement the practices I told you about in my post 5 Things to Invest in While Living Paycheck to Paycheck, and as we increase in skill and value to the marketplace.  As our learning, time management, financial planning, and saving habits have gotten better, we have gotten more security and peace.  

real side hustles

Our learning curve is still going on, and we’ve seen the normalcy of having a learning curve as we’ve surrounded ourselves with people who venture into the business world.  

A strong tip I want you to know is “Give yourself permission to learn and grow into a more and more profitable entrepreneur or side hustler”.  Liken yourself to a plant.  

First the seed (idea) is planted, then it needs watering (learning), then it germinates (starts to yield small), then it keeps sprouting larger and larger.  Your pace may be different than your neighbor, but don’t rush in desperation when you don’t see germination right away.  

Give yourself time to focus on one thing long enough to make it work if it’s what you really want to do!

real side hustles

My husband and I have grown more and more into better entrepreneurs where we’re more conscious about what is a profitable use of our time.  Our growth took time.  

With all that being said, I’ve listed over twenty-five side hustles: most I’ve personally tried, some I have friends who have tried, and some I have heard work.  I have several more real side hustles I’d love to tell you about, but I think this list is a great starting guide that brings out some different ideas than what I’ve seen on other “side hustle” blog posts.  

Before snagging one of these ideas, analyze your skills, your interests, and the list enclosed to see if you can use your predisposed skills in a useful way to help others side hustling.  Don’t get distracted by the plethora of possibilities.  Stay true to yourself!

Now, without further ado, let’s talk about money-making, side hustles that you can do with low startup time investment and low startup capital (for most)…

  1. Freelancing on Upwork, Hubstaff, networking, or even by cold-emailing

Freelancing on Upwork has been a consistent way for me to get clients.  There is a lot of lowball offers on Upwork, so you have to weed thru very closely if you are not an entry-level person.  

Persistence is key when sending out proposals.  You can’t expect that your first, second, third, or even your hundredth proposal is going to be your winning proposal.  You have to keep testing and keep trying.  

When starting out, you may have to begin offering in-demand services and compromising on price if you are in need of making quick cash.

However, if all of your needs are covered by savings or a stable income, then you can be patient and persistent, and wait for the perfect diamond in the rough.  You can write proposals with security and confidence–knowing you are only going to accept fair bids because your needs are covered.  

When I was desperate (as I mentioned in my previous post here), I was making bad business decisions because I felt the pressure of putting food on the table.  With my business consulting and digital marketing background coupled with my writing ability, I could be stern that I wouldn’t take low-ball offers, but when looking around and seeing need, you tend to panic.  

Then, I would jump on offers that are compromises away from what I actually deserve.  Now, that I have acquired a certain level of financial confidence, I don’t accept lowball offers anymore.  Some people want you to accept $5.00 or $10.00 for 5000 words of content writing!  

If you have compared in the market by hiring people (as I have), you will see the quality of work you can get for varying prices.  For $5.00, you can hire someone.  Someone would be happy to perform the work, however, if you want someone who is skilled, who will give you a clean document, you’ll have to pay more.  

Be stern on your pricing when you’ve done your research, and you know where you fit in the market.  

Don’t mix arrogance with earned position in the market because your skill level will be apparent in your deliverables.  Be honest.  Know your worth.  Take classes from successful freelancers in your niche to continue to accelerate your position in the market, and get paid!

2.) Start a blog

real side hustlesAt this point, I’m not exercising every possible option for monetizing my blog.  I’m at the beginning with adding affiliate marketing and advertising as streams of income onto my blog.

I enjoy writing content that can potentially help someone else.  The main way my blog makes me money today is by being a stellar portfolio or business card for freelancing clients who want to see my skills or who want to see if I know what I’m talking about.

When I give my blog URL, freelance clients have been able to decide whether my perspective is valuable to their companies, and I have won contracts by having a well versed business card as my blog.  I want my blog to perform more as a standalone income stream; independent of freelancing.  

I’ve taken two courses that are opening my eyes to opportunities that I didn’t know before.  The Billionaire Blog Club and Wealthy Affiliate are the two courses I’ve enrolled in that have offered great advice and great communities for me to grow as a blogger.  

I will keep you informed as I grow my income streams on my blog.  I can share with you ways I’ve been able to grow income streams on my blog.

The first two years of my blogging, I performed as a hobbyist–simply sharing ideas, interests, and beliefs I thought were helpful and impactful.  Now, I am accelerating the seriousness of my blog.  I’ll no longer write content simply because it’s my personal interest as a monopolizing theme on my blog.  

Now, I’m writing content that I KNOW readers are interested in hearing about.  Topics like “how to start a business”  are topics I love to write about,  but something I had no idea of the level of interest.  When I present more of my interests to the market (especially ones there is a proven track record of market demand), then my blog becomes a more lucrative venture.  

real side hustles

If you want to start a blog, it’s a great call; however, don’t fall into the trap of the hobbyist if you want to make money blogging.  Blogging can be one of the real side hustles. 

Listen to the business experts when they say “do market research”.  In layman’s terms, “do market research” means “get to know your potential audience and competition”.  Observe people around you.  

Write about topics that you are knowledgeable about, but topics that also positively benefit their lives.  

The more beneficial your articles, the more you’ll be able to leverage word of mouth in your promotion strategies.  If you want the best blog acceleration advice for how to take your blog from concept into profit, I would recommend the Wealthy Affiliate.  It’s by far my favorite blogging course!

3.) Write books that give people good ideas

People pay for ideas.  The sale of ideas is the concept behind many of the most profitable opportunities.  When you have a good idea, you can package it many different ways, and have very high-profit margins.  If you focus your studies on acquiring good ideas that are not common, then you can resell those ideas and profit a lot.

real side hustles

I’ve written more than 15 books on relationships and Bible prophecy.  I got the ideas enclosed in my books from lots of research, lots of hard knocks, and lots of time and study.  

Compiling a valuable book does not happen from cramming and throwing together content.  A valuable book results from taking valuable time gathering valuable ideas and formulating the written form of them in a way that makes your book have a competitive advantage in the market.

The writing style, the subject matter, the promotion strategy, and the visual appeal will make your book soar or plummet.  

4.) Help people repair their houses

I told you a little background about myself in my post “Seven Figures in Seven Years”.  I mentioned that my husband owns and operates a General Contracting Company.  He does repairs, painting, and full blown renovations.  

From time to time, I spend time in the business.  Sometimes I offer administrative help.  Sometimes, I offer customer support.  Sometimes, I let him “nurse his baby”.  His business is his baby, so sometimes, I have to let them have their alone time.

I’M JOKING. I’M JOKING.

real side hustles

On a serious note, most people contain their most valuable assets within their primary residence (whether the residence itself is the asset or whether the goods inside are their assets).  Accordingly, they want to maintain their homes because it is valuable to them.  If you are handy and willing to do the hard work, offering a home repair service could make you lots of money.  

Be careful not to expand your service offering too fast.  Many handymen mistakenly see dollar signs without paying attention to the profit margins.  

If a client is willing to pay $5,000 for a project, don’t mistake that for your spendable cash.  You MUST calculate your expenses well including labor costs.  If you are unable to perform the necessary calculations to know your profit potential with unquestionable confidence, you should continue to offer the services that you can calculate well.

5.) Help people paint their houses

A good painter can be a very valuable asset.  There are many shows online that make painting look like making peanut butter and jelly.  Most people can slap two pieces of bread together with peanut butter and jelly, but to paint a house with attention to detail is not as easy.  The TV shows make it look easy, but I’ve tried to help my husband cut labor costs telling him, “Don’t worry Honey, I will help you”.  When I paint, my house painting skills are not equivalent with a professional and my parents operating a General contracting business all my life!  Some acquired skills take patience, nurturing, and attention to detail.  If you have the patience to learn how to paint houses well, then you should consider painting as a side hustle.  Even if you offer the service solo, painting is a very lucrative venture!

6.) Help people with their groceries

real side hustles

With all of the convenient grocery options available, you have to see and know that there is a market of people who need convenient ways to get groceries to their houses and put away.  You can capitalize on the need for convenient grocery services and provide the service.  

Senior citizens, moms (especially moms of multiples), busy people, disabled people, or people who just don’t want to be bothered could be the perfect customers to make your business thrive.  Even with big businesses in the industry like Walmart or meal delivery services, there is still an advantage that a reliable small business owner will always have over others: their ability to be flexible to their customers’ demands.  

Big businesses need to go thru so many layers of hierarchy to make policy changes whereas the good ol fashioned small business owner can see something that would work best for their clientele, and MAKE. IT. WORK.

If you enjoy serving others by taking one or all steps out of the grocery shopping process, you could be onto a great business venture!

7.) Help people clean their houses

real side hustles

Not everyone has mastered the habits required to keep an organized home.  Some people are aware that they have bad habits, but they either don’t know how to reshape their habits or they are not trying to reshape their habits to maintain an organized space on their own.  

They may have too much space to organize on their own, or they could be overwhelmed with their life circumstances, and wind up with disorganization from time to time.  Regardless of what the customer’s obstacle may be, offering cleaning services is a lucrative option that I’ve watched very close friends use successfully.  

You can start out residential and leverage your testimonials to win sizeable contracts.  All of my friends who’ve went into this business have taken it up more than six figures profits in less than ten years!  

If you are reliable, personable, and willing to do great work, you could offer a great cleaning service that you could either do as a side hustle or scale it into a full-time income!  Leverage the internet and watch how quickly your business could grow!

8.) Help people clean their cars

real side hustles

When I say car cleaning, I’m going a little beyond the bucket and sponge.  You can make money if you’re reliable with a bucket and sponge, but if you go even further, and master the detail work, you can make even more.  

A lot of people who have cars know how to do a basic car wash.  Some people may like the convenience of having other people wash their cars for them (especially as you go into higher income neighborhoods).  

Detailing is really the cream of the crop that I was talking about: getting the nooks and crannies, the fries and graham cracker crumbs many mothers are ashamed to say they have in the cracks of their seats.

If you can help people to clean their cars, especially if you can go beyond the normal bucket wash, you can make some good side hustle cash.  My cousin and my uncle used to detail cars as a side hustle.  

They were earning hundreds per week on the side of their full-time jobs because they were detailing cars!  Don’t overlook this one if this is something you might enjoy.

9.) Help people watch their kids

real side hustles

If you have patience to watch other people’s kids, don’t mistake that patience as normal.  Many people crack when they are under the pressure of handling responsibility while simultaneously balancing organization, and when adding the squealing voice of a crying baby or the argumentative nature of a teenager, they would be driven UP. THE. WALL.  

If you are capable of multitasking, carrying out tasks required to manage kids in an orderly way, and organize things as to keep a sanitary play area, nutritional food prepared, and challenge the kids developmental milestones, you could be onto something if you’re considering this side hustle.  

Taking care of other people’s kids is a service in high demand and always in high demand.  Parents have several things they need to juggle: finances, relationships, marriage, work, and other things.  

Having a nanny, a babysitter, or a daycare provider can be such a relief in their life regimen.  Sites like care.com or sittercity.com could be avenues for you to market a service like childcare.

10.) Help people watch their dogs

real side hustles

I see people in my neighborhood all the time walking dogs.  Some people I know are paid dog walkers.  

On the other side, I’ve seen people stressing at work because they can’t watch their dogs, so they’re concerned about what is potentially destroyed, how much pee will they have to clean up, or is there poop on their walls.

 Being the owner of a dog comes with its pros and cons, and having a service provider that can help manage the responsibility is a service many people would be happy to pay for.

In my neighborhood, we have services that arrive in a truck similar to a ice cream truck who come and groom animals, give them haircuts, and so on.  The dog owners who use services like this are so overjoyed to share the responsibility of caring for their dog with someone else.  

If you do a good job providing a reliable service to dog owners, you can count on your side hustle of watching other people’s dogs (whether grooming the dog, walking the dog, babysitting the dog, or otherwise) to be successful!  

You can take this business from hundreds to thousands, and even further if your work ethic is aligned.

11.) Help people fix or restore their broken furniture

real side hustles

Places like Home Depot, arts and craft stores, or even local small businesses teach woodworking classes that can be translated into a successful furniture restoration business.  Many people treat furniture like it expires like a carton of milk.  Once it gets to a certain age, or once it has scratches and dents, they dispose of it as if it was worthless.  You can capitalize on the disposable furniture mentality, and make a fortune!

I have friends like this one here who is EXTREMELY talented in furniture restoration, and she is taking this hustle to the moon and back!  She is taking care of three kids, homeschooling them, being an amazing wife, and hustling like a rockstar!  Check out some of her designs here.

12.) Help people fix their broken phones

real side hustles

When I was gathering baby items for my baby girl, I met a guy who had epilepsy.  He said he was unable to drive, unable to keep a job, and medically disabled because he had very bad seizures.  Despite his health condition, he still had the tenacity and drive to make a living that was more than “just getting by”, so he started fixing broken phones as a side hustle.  

He would fix cracked screens, dysfunctional screens, and keyboards.  As he learned more, he would add onto his service offering.  He did not let his situation stop his income potential.  

As phones are growing steeper in features, price, and popularity, there will be more demand for people who can fix them.  Replacements can be so pricey.  People who can fix a phone at a reasonable price can tap into a strongly flowing stream of revenue.

13.) Help people fix their broken jewelry

Jewelry wearers come in all income brackets, and when they break their jewelry (especially if it had a nice memory or price tag connected to it), they are willing to pay to get it fixed.  The people who won’t pay to get it fixed may be willing to sell it under market value–giving you the potential profit margin that would be ideal for a resale deal.

Fixing broken jewelry may require good vision, skill with small utensils, attention to detail, and if you want to get into binding metals together, you may have to learn some chemistry and heat-related sciences.  Fixing jewelry is a rare skill that offers value in the market.  If you’re interested in helping people fix their broken jewelry as a side hustle, do your research, develop the skill, and begin promoting your service!

14.) Help people sell things they don’t need

real side hustles

Having too much clutter is overwhelming!  Everyone needs to have usable space.  Typically, when life transitions are happening (babies are growing out of clothes, starting a business, moving, or taking care of older parents), more things come along, and there is a need to get rid of old stuff.  If you are good at listing items on Ebay, Offerup, Craigslist, Facebook Yard sale, or reselling items elsewhere, you could be very valuable to a person who is suffocating in clutter.

Piggyback on the threads of organization blogs, and see how many people are trying to participate in the minimalism movement!  There is an epidemic of people noticing they have too much stuff!  Take this epidemic by the reins and help people sell their stuff!  Add your profit margin in the middle of the sell price and what the person is willing to pay for your service, and walk away with some extra side hustle cash.

15.) Sell things you don’t need

On the flip side, maybe you are the one who has too much stuff.  Maybe you are not suffocating in clutter, but maybe you have items that you just don’t need.  Take those unneeded items and begin listing them.  Listing old items may not make you a millionaire or even a thousandaire, but I’ve been able to get an extra hundred dollars here and there by listing old items on Offerup and Craigslist when I didn’t need them anymore.  

16.) Help people get access to snacks in a convenient location

Now, we’re talking about more passive income side hustles.  I love passive income!  Vending machines can be a great way to place food in a convenient location with minimal recurring effort.  The machines are fairly reliable and your job would be to keep the machines working and with food.

If you can add the necessary time in your schedule and the money into your budget to negotiate vending machine placements, ensure their delivery, and maintain a nice stock of conveniently placed food, you should give the vending machine business a try.

Alternatively, I’ve seen people run a business similar to a catering business where they bring prepared food and snacks to locations where people typically have to wait.  Places like doctors offices, barber shops, hair salons, or other service centers have customers waiting for services.  A convenient food delivery service can be valuable to the business owner and to the customers at service centers who may be antsy, hungry, or just want something that can help stretch the patience of their kids.

17.) Help people get access to money in a convenient location

real side hustles

I owned an ATM for almost one year.  It was a lucrative venture.  I placed my ATM at a medium traffic convenience store.  The owner there had no ATM, and it was no ATM in the high traffic area for at least 3 miles!

I wasn’t thinking about going into the ATM business full time.  My reason for starting this side hustle was because my son was in private school across the street and they only took cash!  

I was complaining in my head every time I had to pay tuition UNTIL my personal issue became a cash cow for me.  Other parents had the same issue.  The school had about 5000 students, and all the parents had to pay tuition in cash.

I told the owner at the convenience store that I had an idea that could increase the traffic in his business if he split the profits with me.  He agreed to profit sharing, and we split the surcharge from each ATM transaction 70/30.  I got 70% and he got 30%.  

My job was to place a nice ATM machine, keep it operating and full of cash, ink, and receipt paper.  The job was fairly easy.  I felt like I was getting paid to come the route to pick my son up from school.  As a newbie ATM owner, I was making about $400.00 per month with minimal expenses (travel and personal time was the biggest expense because I never ran out of receipt paper and the store provided internet), and 5-7 hours of weekly checkups.

18.) Take over ownership responsibilities for distressed homeownersreal side hustles

Be very careful with this side hustle!  I’ve read so many books about zero down real estate where they illustrate it as a get-rich quick strategy.

It can be a lucrative venture, but it is VERY high risk if you take ownership responsibilities to implement the “buy and hold” real estate strategy.  If you’re looking to invest in real estate with no money down, there is a high likelihood that you are not in the financial position to do well in real estate.  (Many people will disagree with me here).

Accumulating wealth is not solely about increasing your access to capital quickly, but it is equally about security and a sense of peace.  If you constantly have to worry about making the next mortgage payment (even if it’s in someone else’s name), it can be more stressful than holding a mortgage for a big business.  

You would have seen the distressed family and empathized for their situation, then signed an agreement saying you will make sure their credit history stays clean by ensuring each of their payments is made timely.  When you struggle to make the person’s payment, it can be a very heavy stress load on top of your struggling personal finances.

The ideal time to take over the payments for a distressed homeowner is when you have achieved Dave Ramsey’s baby steps one thru seven, and you’re debt free with a sizeable savings account.  When this is the case, taking over someone else’s mortgage can be advantageous because you can use liquid cash to outright buy the person’s house; alleviating their stress, and acquiring a house under the market value.  This scenario would be a win-win!

Sometimes, you can turn around and rent or offer a lease to own deal to the same owners while adding profit in the middle to compensate you for taking the risk and offering them their space back!  I love real estate.  I have participated in it in many ways since I grew up with a real estate investor for a dad, and my husband primarily renovates houses for real estate investors.

If you are not financially secure (with an emergency fund and debt paid off), the best real estate strategy is real estate wholesaling (in my opinion).  

With real estate wholesaling, you find deals and offer them to investors with cash on hand; sandwiching your profit in the middle.  Wholesalers can start making $3000 per deal, and as they grow in skill and find better and better deals and allies, they can increase their rate per deal.

If you want to get into real estate prior to having money, wholesaling is the way to go unless you want to help investors renovate their projects.  Either, contracting services or wholesaling can get your foot in the door–helping you acquiring knowledge in the real estate industry.

19.) Mystery shoppingreal side hustles

I talked about my experience mystery shopping here.  I have yet to make an income with mystery shopping but I learned ALOT from mystery shopping the one time I attempted at it.  Authors online post articles saying they make 14,000+/year mystery shopping.

I know for sure, you cannot make mystery shopping a viable option unless you are particular about which gigs you accept, you batch more than one shop in a trip, and your careful not to spend more time than what you’re being reimbursed for.

If you are interested in getting paid while shopping in your spare time, mystery shopping could be a fun side hustle.  I would recommend signing up with a reputable mystery shopping company along with a couple others, read my article so you can skip the mistakes I made, and go for it!

20.) Do direct sales or network marketing

real side hustles

I signed up for more than one network marketing company before.  I liked the camaraderie they had, and I liked the potential of acquiring business training and being mentored by a “successful person”.  

Network marketing did not turn into a business model I enjoyed, however, it can be one of the real side hustles.  I did not personally enjoy recruiting.

Many of the companies say their product alone will generate sales for you, but they typically mark the prices up so much in comparison to the same product with a different business model.  

I’ve seen people who find a network marketing company they like.  

If you are looking for a side hustle with a low startup and a supportive community, network marketing could be a good opportunity.  Sort closely thru the forest of opportunities in network marketing very carefully!  

The scams are rampant with the network marketing pyramid payout model, so decide whether the company is legit, whether it would be a struggle for you to go up the ranks, or whether you stand a good chance.  You must be a salesperson BOTTOMLINE: selling the business opportunity and selling the product or service of the company.  

If you’re considering a network marketing company, do your due diligence, don’t go off your individual route to success to quench temporary thirsts, and choose an opportunity that resonates deeply.

21.) Dropship items

real side hustles

One of the network marketing companies I signed up for taught my husband and I a valuable skill.  They taught dropshipping!  

We learned how to pick products and make a profit.  Our “upline” helped keep us motivated in our journey, and we were making money.  

We were listing items from Amazon onto Ebay, then when Ebay customers bought the items, we would turn around, add their shipping address to the Amazon order, and their order would be on its way.  No boxing items, no packaging issues, and oftentimes no shipping costs incurred!  

If you are looking for ways to earn extra cash. Dropshipping could be a nice opportunity.  At the time that my husband and I tried drop shipping, we were very happy with the results we got; however, we were dabbling in TOO MANY side hustles at the same time.  Don’t jump into too many side hustles at the same time.  

Choose opportunities that are true to what you would enjoy; rather than choosing solely based on dollar signs.  I wouldn’t tell everyone to start a blog; neither would I tell everyone to start a car washing business.  

Choose a venture that is true to you!  If you’re still learning what “true to you means”, try recalling your childhood dreams.  What did you want to be?  Which side hustle compares to that childhood dream?  

If that exercise doesn’t work, try a real side hustle, decide if you like it or not, and try another until you find your favorite way to make money.  You don’t have to settle with a 9 to 5 job.  

You have alternatives: side hustles can be a great place to explore the alternatives while maintaining the stability of an alternative stream of income.  What’s the worse?  You decide you don’t like to side hustle, and return to your primary income earner?

22.) Help people make good decisions by coaching

real side hustles

Coaching is such a booming business, however, just like all of the other side hustles, booming doesn’t mean you have the persistence and passion necessary to make them work.  You have to have both, persistence and passion, to make any side hustle work for the long haul.  

Every side hustle will have its ups and downs: fun parts and not so fun parts.  The side hustle “for you” will be the one that has downs your willing to tolerate and ups that make you feel amazing.

Coaching can be a side hustle you may enjoy.  For me, I am the oldest child, and I have always loved being a big sister to other people.  If I can prevent someone from making mistakes, I would, so coaching comes natural to me.  

Coaching is learning about someone else’s goals, making note of their individual obstacles to achieve their goals, helping them work thru their obstacles, and holding them accountable for personal growth.  Coaching cultivates beautiful growth in everyone I’ve seen invest in it. 

There is one thing to try things and learn the hard way.  It is another thing to have an external perspective analyze what you’re trying to do, and help you navigate.  I think coaching is most effective when the person you are being coached by has experience with something you are trying to succeed in.  You get the privilege of leveraging their experience as they hold you accountable to success.

I can coach select people who I can play that “big sister” role to, but that is not everybody.  Some people may be further ahead of me.  

Some people may not be teachable.  There are so many reasons why the coaching relationship can or cannot work.  

If you have a passion to help people navigate their lives, overcome barriers, be rooted on, and held accountable as they pursue their paths to success, maybe you should consider coaching as a side hustle.  I’ve had friends who coach one or two clients on the side to make an extra few hundred dollars here and there.  

I’ve also hired coaches to accelerate my professional journey.  My coaches have been full-time experts in their area of expertise.  I’ve had coaching for real estate investing and for Public Relations.   The knowledge I’ve acquired thru coaching is unparalleled.  I could not equate my coaching experience with my university experience or anything else.

You can hire KOHA Inc. for business consulting here and if you want me to help you navigate personal concerns, I’m open to that too.  Shoot me an email, and let me know.  I’ll give you directions for getting on my schedule from there.

23.) Help people keep a smile by entertaining them

real side hustles

Life can be so full of emotions: good and bad.  Sometimes a husband and a wife can have the most enjoyable time in the midst of a horrendous trial when a talented entertainer performs in their unique abilities.  

Sometimes, children are victims of horrific tragedies from child abuse to neglect, from a divided home to poverty.  You never know what people are going thru.  If you are a skilled entertainer and you can transition negative emotions into a joyful occasion, you have a income stream that you can tap into!  

I’ve spent a lot of time in the entertainment industry.  I’ve been in ballet, jazz, hip hop, modern dance, and tap.  I’ve sung in choirs, played instruments, and done public speaking.  

Most of the time, I performed for fun or to uplift others with no expectation of pay, however, I have friends who make a great living from entertaining others.  The sky is the limit in the entertainment industry.  There are ways you can get in with low start up costs, but there are ways you can get in to accelerate your reach that may be more costly.  You choose your path.

If you want to make money in the entertainment industry, you have to find a direct way to monetize your efforts to make this a real side hustle.  You can sell tickets to see you perform.  

You can sell recordings of your performance.  You can sell the intellectual property rights to your song, painting, idea, or invention. 

You can resell other people’s tickets!  You have to map out your monetization strategy for your entertainment gig FIRST.  Donations can be lucrative, but they can be very unpredictable, so find ways to monetize that stabilizes yourself.

Whenever I’ve taken a stage, I can see the attention taken from each audience member’s situation and placed on me (the person on the stage).  When you stand before people, you have a lot of potential power to positively affect their lives, and if you’re a good entertainer, you should use that power wisely.

From clowns to circuses to the side hustler who gets off work and sings on the main road downtown, there are so many different avenues to take the skill of entertainment and make it accessible to people who need a way to calm their minds and bring joy to their souls.  

Consider partnering with a local business to bring more clients to them by using your talents publicly in their facility.  Most facilities are looking to maintain a professional image while boosting sales.  If you can help them achieve their goals, they can help you earn some good real side hustle cash!

24.) Start a fish farm

real side hustles

So…..this is a funny thing for me to write about because it’s an off-the-wall thing I tried, but…I started a fish farm about 2-3 years ago.  It was a flop, but it was a lot of fun while I was doing it. 

It was a family venture that we each looked forward to checking on everyday after school or work.  At the time, I was in the military.  I bought seven tilapia in March timeframe, and by October, I had well over one thousand fish!  

My husband and I built a massive above ground pond in our backyard.  We were also planting many edibles, so my logic was to use the pond for a hydroponics type of setup.  

Fish water is a well known plant fertilizer.  I thought we save money on fertilizer by having the fish pond.  We could locate the fish pond in the part of our yard with the highest sun (and that is very hard to grow grass) because then, we could grow algae well, which is food for the fish!  I still think the idea was great!

It was a fairly passive idea, but we had so much fun, we were looking at it, and counting fish all the time.  We learned about many large companies who give medicines to their tilapia to change their genders, and increase the reproduction.  

I thought “no wonder why we are having an epidemic of gender confusion”, but I’ll leave that rant for another post.  We wanted to have Non-GMO fish who are naturally raised.  Since we were farming edible fish, we were going to comply with local Public health standards, so we could sell the fish to tilapia eaters.

This  side hustle idea flopped in October when I was at work, my husband was at work, and my son was at school.  The weather dropped drastically in one day.  It went from sunny and warm to rainy and cold.

We didn’t have a heater in our pond, and tilapia require temperatures above 70 degrees.  I had a lot to do at my job that day, so I couldn’t fathom the idea of talking to my supervisor, and requesting time to go fish all of my fish out of the pond, or to hurry and buy a heater.  My husband and I thought we could act fast after we got off work and the temperatures wouldn’t bother the fish THAT MUCH.

Unfortunately, when we got home, our fish were floating.  Not one of our fish was alive.  What a sad story, right?

You can use our experience to run a very profitable fish farm.  You have to choose a type of fish that works well in your area, otherwise, you will have to do extra to maintain a suitable environment for them.  

The “extra” could be very costly if you’re not careful.  A fish like tilapia doesn’t require much: no salt water, you can grow their food in the water (so that can be free with time), and their prolific reproducers.  

A full grown tilapia at my local grocery store sells for about $30-40.00!  I think you can start to see the revenue potential of this idea.  Of course, with any side hustle, you have to commit, persevere, and put in the work.  If you want to help people get access to chemical free food; while also having good laughs and fun raising fish, you should read about fish farming, and consider starting one as a side hustle.  They can be started outdoors or indoors, but have to be managed well either way.

25.) Start a scrap metal business

Scrap metal can be a high ROI business to start IF you spend time becoming familiar with identifying worthwhile metals.  There are books that can help you identify metals like the Scrap Metal Bible.  You can find bronze, platinum, or even gold easily if you take time to learn where to acquire it.

I took time reading about scrap metal businesses while I was in the military.  Did I mention I was trying to do almost every side hustle I found?  

If not, let me mention, I was all over the place trying to do all the real side hustles I found.  I was intrigued by all of the varying ways you could make money, and I was determined to separate the military to put my values into perspective.  

I didn’t want to drop in income, so I tried “diversifying” my efforts.  Now that I am more mature, I think I needed to focus.  I was all over the place.  Don’t do what I did!

If a scrap metal business is for you, take time to learn the ins and outs.  Learn how to be successful taking things like electronics, and finding the gold on the motherboards, learn to cut the chords and extract bronze, and all of the other tricks to be successful.  

Closing Remarks on 25+ Real Side Hustles

When you’re going out to pursue real side hustles, make sure to treat it like a business!

Regardless of which side hustle you choose, learning internet marketing (when done right) will give your side hustle the traffic needed to get sales and make money.  If you currently feel lost about how to get sales online, I’d love to walk alongside you as you learn how to use internet marketing to get sales and make money online.  My #1 recommended course is Wealthy Affiliate.  I am dedicated to help all of my referrals there, so if you’re interested, let’s get started HERE free!


Calculate your startup costs.  Track how long it takes for you to recoup your investment.  Don’t go down the rabbit hole of trying to do all or too many of these real side hustles at one time (like I did).  

It becomes very hard to manage, track, and profit when you are all over the place.  Listen to my more mature version when I tell you to focus, don’t get impatient when your results are not coming in the first, second, third day, or even the third month!  When you’re focused, you can be more creative with the business strategy and the plan.  You can fine-tune and create a process that will work.  

Now, it’s your turn…

As always, please leave your comments below.  Have you tried any of these side hustles?  What was your results?  Have you tried another real side hustle?  How did you like that?  

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4 thoughts on “25+ Lucrative Side Hustles You Can Start With Minimal Upfront Investment”

  1. Tiffany Domena

    Hi Tiffany,

    What a great post about Real Side Hustles. With so many ideas, it’s hard to know where to start.
    Some of the ones that interest me are:
    Help people repair their houses – I’ve done a lot of home renovations over the years.
    Help people paint their houses.
    Help people clean their cars.
    Help people fix or restore their broken furniture – guess I’m just a handyman at heart.
    Start a scrap metal business.
    Which one do you think is the most profitable for the time spent?
    Thanks for the ideas.
    Ed

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Hey Ed! I couldn’t say which is more profitable for the time spent because I’ve seen that be so subjective. I think it will depend on the entrepreneur.  There are some people that do good in each, and the contrary also exists as well.  You’re welcome! I’m cheering for you.

  2. Tiffany Domena

    woow, this is an extremely detailed article. You introduced me to a brand you concept Side Hustle, which i never heard before and you provide great ideas of how to do it. It sounds like a hard way to make big money but I suppose it improves the income but it is as limited as the hours in the week and from what i understand there’s no residual income involved.
    It is some extra cash but its different to working from home.
    Thank you for the 25 ideas of Side Hustle and i’ll keep them if the future calls for it.
    Thanks,
    Eli

    1. Tiffany Domena

      Thanks for the feedback Eli. I tried to include a mix of passive income ideas and earned income ideas. Passive income typically takes some startup investment, so I didn’t want to discourage those who may not have so much room for cash investment.  I tried to offset that by giving ideas that include sweat equity investment.  Hopefully the mix can help some people.  Thanks for stopping by!

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