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We live in a “monetize everything you can” culture, where a hobby can potentially turn into a million-dollar enterprise. At the very least, your hobby can become a side hustle. And I’ve found that when you work for yourself, there’s a bit of hype — and sometimes pressure — to turn fun endeavors into a money-making empire.
When I went from being a chronic side hustler to a full-time freelancer, it seemed as if all my colleagues were pouring a significant amount of resources into coaching, courses, and building fancy websites for their businesses. But in my own career, I discovered that you actually don’t really need to spend money to make money. To build my personal wealth, here’s what I’m doing instead.
I chose side hustles that didn’t require a lot of money to get started
The side hustles I tried — test proctoring, pet sitting, being a Rent-a-Friend, and participating as a background actor for a talk show — required no special skills or fancy equipment. I just had to follow the rules, be respectful and professional, and show up. These different side hustles added up to a few thousand dollars a year, which I put directly into my emergency savings or new car fund.
When I started picking up writing and proofreading gigs, I was already doing that type of work at my main job and working toward my copyediting certification. So it didn’t feel like I was doing a complete 180 to earn more money as a writer. In fact, certain types of work I was