How to Overcome the 6 Biggest Obstacles to Earn Extra Income

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What’s holding you back from starting a side hustle? The queen of side hustles shares her advice.

Side hustles changed my life. 

I started my first side hustle in 2013 and finally took the leap to become a full-time entrepreneur in 2021. Not only are side hustles a great way to supplement (or replace) your income, but they’re also an opportunity to explore and monetize something you’re passionate about. 

That’s why NextAdvisor tapped me on the shoulder to respond to the Instagram poll question: “If you don’t have a side hustle, what’s holding you back?” 

Here were the most common responses to the poll, my responses, and some ideas to get your wheels turning. 

1. “I Don’t Have the Time”  

Side hustles are built while real life is happening. The reality is that we will find time for the things that are important to us and will find excuses for the things that aren’t. It’s not about forcing more time into your day, but setting realistic goals and prioritizing your time wisely. When I started my side hustles, I would work during my lunch hour or after work. I intentionally found a main job that allowed me to work remotely to save me the time I would otherwise be commuting. This extra time gave me more flexibility to work on my side hustles.

Starting a business can be done with as little as 15 minutes a day or an hour a week if that’s all you have to give. You can put time in before work, during lunch, or after the kids are in bed. Put it on your calendar as a non-negotiable, make it sacred — and do that with all your projects and pursuits so that you can make a point of using your time wisely. 

2. “I’m Afraid”  

When I first decided to quit my job and work on my side business full-time, I experienced all kinds of fear. 

Fear of failure. 

Fear of judgment. 

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of success. 

It’s important to remember that our brains are wired to protect us from danger. If the idea of starting a business scares you, your brain is working just as it’s supposed to. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and scared. The only way to move forward, though, is to face the fear and take small action steps.  

With each small step, we gain the confidence to take the next, bigger step. The key is to not obsess too much about having it all figured out right away and ensure you’re not biting off more than you can chew. 

Advice that can help relieve financial fears is that there are many low-cost side hustles that you can start online without a heavy financial investment upfront.

3. “I Want a Passive Income Stream”

Any business can add passive income streams to its portfolio. If you’re a service provider, package your knowledge into a digital course that customers can purchase on-demand. You can also create digital workbooks, e-books, or templates that your customers can purchase to achieve a quick win on a problem they are facing. 

Don’t want to create more work for yourself? Invest! Investing in the stock market is a way to create passive income without having to sell anything!

4. “I Don’t Have a Car”

I’m all about online side hustles. Thanks to the power of the internet, you can build a side hustle right from home. Plus, the upfront cost of a laptop and regular expense of the internet is a lot cheaper than a car, insurance, and a driver’s license. 

5. “I Need a Steady Income”

To have steady income as a side-hustler, you have to create a steady stream of clients or traffic to your services. If you’re just starting, using a platform like Fiverr or Upwork is useful because visitors are actively looking for help with things like web design, graphic design, and other computer-based tasks.

You can keep your day job for steady income while you grow your side hustle. Remember, a side hustle doesn’t have to turn into a career. It could be a means to earn more money. With the right amount of passion and effort, though, it could very well launch into a full-time gig. 

6. “I Don’t Know What Side Hustle to Choose”

What are you good at? What do you enjoy? A side hustle shouldn’t feel like a regular job. The purpose of a side hustle is to explore your passion and figure out a way to monetize it. Once you’ve identified what you like to do, ask those around you if they’d pay for it. Your friends and family are a great place to do “market research” and test out your idea. Another place to do market research is social media. Is there someone else already doing what you want to do? Study their bio, profile, or website, and then figure out a way to translate that into your own vision.

I am a Puerto Rican who loves to cook. So I created a food blog to share my Puerto Rican recipes. This blog now makes over $300 a day! 

Side Hustle Ideas

To help you get started in your side hustle quest, we put together some ideas. Below you will find a column on interest or skills that could translate into possible sides hustle. We also provided some platforms and resources you can get started with. 

Happy hustling!

Interest or Skill Side Hustle Idea Resource
Animals and pets Dog walking; pet sitting  Rover, Wag, Care.com 
Good with tools, handy with fixing things around the house Home repairs  TaskRabbit, HomeAdvisor, AngiesList, Thumbtack
Artistic, creative Face painter; make and sell products for baby showers or weddings; lead “paint & sip” classes Etsy, carnivals, fairs, birthday parties, WeddingWire, TheKnot.com, marketplaces, blogs, social Media
Photography Weddings; special events, engagement photos; family photos; birth announcements; holiday cards Etsy, ThePros.com, WeddingWire, TheKnot.com, social media.
Hair and makeup Weddings; special events; engagement photos; local theater. Esty, ThePros.com, WeddingWire, TheKnot.com, social media
Driving Ride-share services Uber, Lyft
People person, foodie Food service worker Google restaurants in your area and fill out an application
Own a plow or snowblower? Charge your neighbors to clear their driveway, sidewalks, or dig out their car from the snow HomeAdvisor, Craigslist, Social Media, AngiesList, Thumbtack, TaskRabbit
Green thumb, own a lawn mower or weed wacker? Charge people to mow their lawns, pull weeds, trim shrubs, and take care of their garden HomeAdvisor, Craigslist, Social Media, AngiesList, Thumbtack, TaskRabbit
Good student, pursuing a teaching career, great with kids or seniors?   Babysitting; part-time nanny; tutoring; senior care helper. Care.com, Wyzant, Social Media Groups.
Clean freak? House cleaning HomeAdvisor, Craigslist, AngiesList, Care.com
Writing Freelance writer; blogger Twitter, Indeed, LinkedIn, HARO (HelpAReporterOut.com)
Refurbishing old furniture Buy, fix, and sell broken furniture or furniture in need of refurbishing Facebook marketplace, craigslist, consignment shops, flea markets 
Coaching Life coaching; money coaching; career coaching; resume writing Social media, blog, podcast
Selling your knowledge Create an online course that teaches someone a valuable skill Teachable, Podia, Kajabi

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