You go to college, fork over tens of thousands of dollars in tuition, graduate, and then end up landing a job that’s either unrelated to your degree or pays way less than you wanted. It sucks. There’s really no other way to put it.
While my experience doesn’t match this to the tee I know what it feels like to earn far below my actual worth – to feel like there isn’t a single viable job option in my area that would let me earn to my potential. And now I am so very grateful for this.
If it wasn’t for the lack of good jobs in my area I would have never started a side business, which is now my full time gig.
So today, for all of you who are feeling discouraged by your earning potential and are treading water, I want to talk about the power of a side business.
Why Start a Side Business?
In 2012 I was working two day jobs to make ends meet. I worked as an insurance agent full time and a bookkeeper for a department store part time. Out of the 50-60+ hours I worked on a weekly basis I brought home around $500 a week.
I only grossed around $1,600 a month working as a full time personal lines insurance agent!
Knowing that I couldn’t continue working these amount of hours for such little pay I decided to make my life a bit crazier for a short period of time – in addition to working these two day jobs I started an online freelance business on the side.
My side business started from very humble beginnings. Getting started was fairly tough but each and every month it got a little easier. About six months after starting I was able to replace my income from my part time job (which was pretty low) and went down to side hustling plus working the main job.
One year in I was able to earn enough from my freelance business to quit the main day job. I kept my expenses super low and save a large emergency fund. Once I was at the point of earning $2,000 per month online I took the leap into full time self-employment. It’s not like I had anything to lose!
Fast forward to this year. I set a goal to earn $60,000 and I’ve cracked that $5,000 a month mark this month.
In two and a half years I went from earning $1,600 a month working 40 hours a week to earning $5,000 a month working 40 hours a week. To put that in perspective the median household income in my county is $33,000 a year.
And just to encourage you a little more – I never finished college. I have some college experience but no degree.
So that means if I can do it you can definitely do it too.
Here are some reasons you should consider starting a side business if your income situation isn’t working out to well.
You Can Keep Your Day Job
When you start a side business you start it on the side.
While a side business can definitely grow into a full time business there’s no need to quit your job until you’re pulling in a decent income and have a large safety net. (In fact I would never encourage someone to quit their day job until after proving they can earn an income for themselves. These things take time to grow!)
Since you get to set your own hours you can put in extra work after normal business hours. Does that mean you’ll have to sacrifice things like watching TV and maybe a bit of a social life? Yes, but it’s temporary and totally worth it.
You Get to Choose What You Want to Do
When you start a side business you get to choose what you want to do. You take a skill you have and twist it into a profitable service. Your side business is tailored to what you’re good at.
Nobody else is choosing for you.
Don’t know what to do? Here are 53 side hustle ideas to choose from.
Your Earnings are Unlimited
The best part of all is that your earnings are unlimited! The more you put in the more you get out. How many day jobs can you say that about?
You can also diversify your income and while most income streams will start out with humble beginnings they’ll grow over time and add up to something significant.
It’s Like One Big Experiment
You can change your mind at any time. If you start to hate what you’re doing you can take your business in a different direction. Everything is up to you. If you’re a self-motivated, goal oriented person a side business can be highly lucrative.
If you’re feeling stuck in your current income situation starting a low or no upfront cost side business (like some type of freelancing) has the power to turn your life around.
Need some ideas to get started? Check out this post for more than 100 ways to make money in college.
Do you have a side business? Are you considering starting one?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.