At Learn Grant Writing, we love working for ourselves and living the entrepreneurial lifestyle, but sometimes quitting your full-time job cold turkey is a bit more of a risk than is feasible or practical. What can folks do who are not in a position to quit their full-time job, but do want to work for themselves or add an income stream? Drum roll please… Enter: the side hustle.
Why Side Hustling is a Smart Move
We are 100% convinced that side hustling and freelancing are amazing skill sets to have. Essentially, a side hustle is an additional job that a person takes in addition to their primary job. A lot of people have side hustles to supplement their primary income, but there are other reasons too such as being plain ol’ passionate about that work or wanting to continue learning or building up a financial safety net. With a side hustle you can earn money and even give yourself a raise without quitting your full-time job.
Is it a stretch to say that 2020 reminded us just how little control we have over the world around us? Knowing how to successfully operate a side hustle is a critical skill we want you to acquire. We believe everyone should have a side hustle—especially since there are so many successful side hustles from home you can do. Here’s why in a nutshell: continuing education, you’ll know how to make money, and you can adjust your side hustle to reach your lifestyle goals. Moreover, at some point in your life you might discover that you are in a place where you absolutely need something to make ends meet. A side hustle can help you get there.
This blog post will inform (and hopefully convince) you why starting a side hustle is a killer strategic move.
Side Hustles From Home
Every person—yes, we’re looking at you, cupcake!—has unique talents and skills to offer the world. Brainstorm some side hustle ideas that you can do from your home. This article in Entrepreneur.com lists 50 different side hustle ideas to help you get started thinking creatively about your side gig.
Otherwise, think about what you are naturally gifted at. What do you want to learn more about? There is undoubtedly an online course for that. We live in the world of the internet these days. Our grandparents have email addresses and social media accounts and there is a YouTube channel to learn anything you desire.
Take us for example. We teach grant writing online. We do it in a fun, practical way because we learned the craft the hard way and the hard way can be soul sucking. Meredith spent years honing her grant writing skills, i.e. making a million mistakes, investing in expensive sub par grant writing training, and feeling stressed. After that whirlwind, she, alongside co-founder Alex, decided to save the rest of us from all that heartache with the Grant Writing Unicorn Collective. (And aren’t you so grateful?!).
There are hundreds of other online courses designed to teach you more about the side hustle you want. We pinky promise that dedicating three months to learn or cultivate a skill is well worth the investment into yourself. Our money bets that you’ll even have fun!
A side hustle can act like continuing education credits, if you will. We mentioned that we want you to never stop learning or growing. Well, a side hustle can make that possible for you. Regardless of what your specific side gig is, you’ll learn more about that particular field along with communication, marketing, and other business development skills.
Bonus: when you’re side hustling from home, there are often few start-up costs associated. That’s definitely true for grant writing, at least. In today’s world, many times you only need a laptop, internet connection, and a client willing to pay for your service or product.
If you can invest in yourself in a worthwhile way, make money, and get going for just a little bit of money, why wouldn’t you start a side hustle?
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Side Hustles to Make Money
Side hustles are great for making you a little extra cash. They can be the source of fun money, a fall back, or serve as the good, humble beginnings of a career launch. For example, what if the economy tanks, there are major layoffs at your place of employment, or you suddenly need to make money on your own (for whatever reason)?
Again, if 2020 revealed anything to us, it’s that we can’t predict the future with accuracy. Relying on someone else to keep our best interest and our family’s best interest in mind isn’t always the safest or smartest course of action. Knowing how to make money—good money—isn’t rocket science, but it does require a certain degree of investment and commitment to learning.
Starting a side hustle while you still have the stability of a steady income is a great way to learn how to make money. The pressure is off in this scenario and if you’d like, you can think of your side hustle as practice. The project management, financial know-how, communication prowess, and business acumen you cultivate through your side hustle are transferable and applicable skills you can take anywhere. This means if you decide your side hustle needs to be tabled for a season or two in your life, you can feel free to set it aside with the confidence that your time was not wasted in the slightest.
Lucrative Side Hustle
Some side gigs are more lucrative than others. Selling your needle art projects might not have as high of a return on investment (ROI) as certain writing niches. You’d likely be interested to learn that freelance grant writing is one of the highest paying freelance writing jobs. It can be a very lucrative side hustle if that’s what you’re after. It is within reason for a grant writer to earn $5,000 a month. Keep in mind this is our sensible, conservative perspective. The average salary for a grant writer is $69,000. That average means there are people making less and people making more than $69,000 a year. But, really, the sky's the limit!
For specific rates on what grant writing consultants charge, check out our free training and take a screenshot of the pay rates slide. Our course is all about turning you into a grant writing unicorn and setting you up for success whether you want grant writing to be a side hustle, a full-time business, or help you land a salaried position. In our course, our goal is to teach students how to earn the cost of our course back through grant writing projects within the first six months. After that, it’s gravy. Profit for you.
Depending on what your goal is, through your side hustle you can pay off debt, save for your ideal dream lifestyle, set yourself up to launch a new career, or just have a bit of extra fun money. Check out these success stories for more about how a grant writing side hustle has impacted real people.
Side Hustle Jobs
Sometimes, starting a side hustle is a necessity. In an article in Forbes magazine, results from a study from GoBankingRates.com are highlighted and reveal that more than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, at a time when the average indebted household owes more than $16,000 on credit cards.
That’s a bit bleak, huh? What can a person do? Perhaps the best investment is a side hustle.
Author and entrepreneur Chris Guillebeau believes side hustles could be the best answer. He has been studying the concept of side hustles for years as a result. After completing numerous case studies, Guillebeau has found that nearly anyone can take an idea and make it profitable if they’re thoughtful, strategic, and realistic enough. He wrote a book all about the process he developed: Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days.
For Guillebeau, the perks of a side hustle are substantial.
“A side hustle is more than just another stream of income, it’s also the new job security. When you receive paychecks from different sources, it allows you to take more chances in your regular career. More income means more options. More options equals freedom. You don’t need entrepreneurial experience to launch a profitable side hustle. You don’t have to have an MBA, or know how to code, or be an expert marketer. You don’t need employees or investors, ” Guillebeau said.
As Guillebeau mentioned, with multiple income streams, you’re able to take more chances in your regular career. A side hustle can operate as a sort of confidence booster. You might be willing to take more risks than you ever thought possible. That is certainly appealing. What sorts of risks would you take if you knew you had a little extra cash in your pocket? Isn’t it so fun to dream?!
Side Hustles: The New Reality
Again, a side hustle may just be your best investment ever and, if we’re being honest, side hustles are kind of the way of the world nowadays. Most people don’t want to be entrepreneurs, they just want (or need) more money.
In a CBC article, “'The millennial side hustle,' not stable job, is the new reality for university grads”. This trend is particularly interesting and a bit concerning if we’re being honest. Essentially, this article sheds light on how recent graduates are discovering that having a post-secondary education is no longer a guarantee of stable employment. So, recent grads are turning to side hustles to make things work. This “millennial side hustle” or “gig economy” means no steady job and no safety net. That is clearly not a sustainable long term solution.
Another tough piece of this complex issue is that so many employers want to hire an individual with field experience not just a degree. How does a recent grad gain experience when seemingly no one is willing to hire them? Round and round we go.
If you are in the position that so many recent grads are in you could strategically leverage a side hustle into a more steady position whether you land a salaried position (with your freelance experience!) or go into consultancy full-time.
Point blank: we don’t want you to be without a safety net nor do we want you to invest tens of thousands of dollars into a career that may not guarantee you stable employment. We are pro side hustles that move the needle on your long term goals and give you freedom to build a life you love.
Side hustles make sense for a lot of different reasons. You can do them from home, they teach you how to make money so you aren’t dependent on any one employer, they can propel you toward a lucrative income, and they grant you more freedom in your regular 9-5 career.
When you’re strategic with your side hustle whether due to necessity or your intrinsic motivation, you have the opportunity to make steps toward your dream lifestyle. Folks who start a side hustle may choose to keep it as a side hustle, start a business, or gain experience to switch careers.
Ultimately, what do you want your lifestyle to look like? Can a side hustle bolster your vision? We said this once already, but you are chock full of talent and skills that are unique to you. A side gig could be the perfect place to explore what you might offer. Please share your gifts with the world!
If you’re interested in developing a grant writing side hustle, you can take online classes to get started in the right direction and save tons of energy, time, and money in the long run. Here’s a blog post with our top recommendations for online grant writing classes.
Interested in pursuing a side-hustle? Come say hi and chat with us on Instagram.