Your Side Hustle Doesn't Have To Be An App
You want a side hustle, but you don't want to be tethered to a screen. We've got you covered...
Here’s a challenge: bring up virtually any “side hustle ideas” article on the Internet. Then, look at how many ideas involve plopping yourself down in front of the computer or your phone and typing a bunch of stuff into your keyboard. In other words, you’re probably looking at a slew of computer/mobile-based ways to earn extra cash. Online opportunities. Apps.
Those ideas include things like completing online surveys or publishing your own Kindle book, offering your services on Fiverr or even being an electronic jury member (aka: eJury).
Of course, there’s nothing necessarily “wrong” with any of these ideas. But, they can definitely be a bit...impersonal. You’re giving yourself more of a reason to sit in front of your computer, a task that most of us probably don’t need to do MORE of.
What ever happened to the lost art of, you know, just getting outside and doing something to make some extra cash. Like, doing something physical. Getting exercise.
We probably did a few of those jobs in high school, but don’t think that just because you’re an adult, you have a pass on pursuing anything that involves getting your hands a bit dirty.
Side hustles don’t need to be computerized. Here’s proof!
5 alternatives to online side hustles
Many of us don’t have enough computer background to feel confident in working online. Others spend so much time in front of the computer that they can’t imagine spending even more time staring into a monitor.
I’m very much the latter!
Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to make a little extra cash while pursuing a side hustle that isn’t computer-based or an app. Below, let’s briefly discuss a few common—and less common—in-person side hustle options that will help get us involved in our communities and meet people the old-fashioned way.
Yup, I’m talking about face-to-face!
1: Become a fitness / yoga instructor
This idea knocks out two birds with one stone. Not only are you getting your own exercise, but you’re helping other people to do the same. And, leading happy and healthy lives is one of the best ways to improve your life.
Picture the feeling of helping someone take control of their health. Seriously, think about that. I cannot imagine many feelings that are better or more wholesome.
How do you become an instructor? A fitness certification will be an important element to ensure that you have enough knowledge and experience to provide the best fitness instruction possible.
And, most fitness customers will ask for your certification before becoming one of your trainees.
Popular fitness certifications include those from ISSA and ACE, but there are several others.
After becoming certified, consider working part-time at a gym to start building your experience and expertise as a fitness instructor. You’ll meet lots of people and work with seasoned trainers that’ll help you build up your fitness training resume for future work.
Fair warning: There are some coaching MLMs (Multi-Level Marketing) options out there, but we recommend being very careful getting involved with anything that requires you pay for products you wouldn’t already be ordering or buying to participate. Working at a reputable gym or starting your own fitness hustle might be a better option for you.
2: Start your own walking tour
When my wife and I vacationed in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico several years ago, one of the coolest experiences that still stands out to us was the walking food tour we did.
We paid a fee to be a part of a guided tour around the streets of downtown Puerto Vallarta. The guide talked to us about the city and its history, showed us around the area and took us to several food trucks (more like “carts”) around the city to sample street tacos.
He told us that reputable taco carts always have someone to handle the money as well as someone else to prepare and serve the food. He led us to some of the better taco options and made sure that we had a good time walking around the city.
By the end, we were completely stuffed. And happy.
It was a lot of fun and something that I’d recommend anyone do when they are in a new place.
If you’re especially knowledgeable about the history, food, architecture, or anything that’s unique, in your area, consider starting your own walking tour. Or, be a guide for one that’s already established.
It’s an incredible way to get exercise, and you’ll meet a ton of people along the way.
Most walking tour guides accept tips as well as payment from the tour company, making it a potentially lucrative side hustle if you stay busy.
Here is a helpful guide on starting your very own walking tour.
3: Coach or referee sports games
You’ll need thick skin for this side hustle idea, but it’s a great way to get involved in the community. Local sports in your area (like Little League baseball, Pee Wee Football, Basketball and Soccer leagues) all need coaches for teams and referees for games.
Clearly, you’ll need to know the rules of the game well. Most games are on nights and weekends, so your availability needs to mesh well with the schedule of the league.
Additionally, coaches and referees need to be able to handle criticisms well. You might be surprised at how many parents yell at the staff during their own children’s games.
But, being a coach or referee is an excellent way to work with kids in your community and generally doesn’t take a lot of experience or a background in sports. It just takes time.
4: Become a bike messenger
Believe it or not, companies will pay bicyclists to make small deliveries on a bike. In fact, bike messengers are more common in big cities than most people think. After all, we are increasingly living in a world where we expect everything to be brought right to our doorstep.
It’s not always a glamorous hustle, but it will earn you some extra cash and it’ll definitely get you consistent exercise. And, you will get to know your city quite well during deliveries. Maybe even TOO well, depending on the city and where you’re delivering!
If you’re looking to get into the messenger service as a side hustle, check out this Reddit thread with comments from people who’ve done it. Some of those tips are invaluable, and the bike messenger industry is growing in many larger communities where driving cars around town isn’t the fastest way to get from Point A to Point B.
Looking for bike messenger opportunities? Check out this page on Indeed.
5: How about starting a landscape consulting business?
I think “landscape consulting” just sounds better than “landscaper”, but the idea is the same. Many homeowners despise yard work. Removing weeds. Mowing lawns.
Innovative entrepreneurs who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty can offer monthly lawn or garden maintenance in their local communities. Finding potential customers is easy. Just look for people with unmaintained yards, then knock on the door and sell your services.
If you’re not quite that much of an extrovert to knock and cold sell, consider designing a short and simple brochure and slip it into their mailbox instead. Make sure that your phone number or email address is on the brochure! Make it easy for them to contact you.
In many states, you will need to be licensed depending on the work that you’re doing.
Licensing ensures that you’re properly bonded and have enough liability insurance if something goes wrong while you work (or with the work that you’ve done!). And, licensing also ensures you have the proper knowledge of how to apply pesticides and other poisonous chemicals.
Requirements vary based on state. Here’s a nice guide that’ll point you in the right direction.
Other physical side hustle ideas
Making money while getting some exercise or giving back in your community is a great way to boost your wealth, keep yourself busy and make a difference. We’ve talked about becoming a fitness or yoga instructor, leading walking tours, coaching or refereeing sports, making deliveries on a bike and maintaining people’s lawns and gardens but the options are virtually limitless.
Here are a few other side hustle ideas to consider:
Farm or Ranch Hand: This will really get your hands dirty and it’ll probably help you build strength and get super physical, not to mention a great learning experience. It can also be a way to travel to new cities or countries and stay/work on a farm.
Seasonal server: Help out at a local diner or restaurant during the busiest parts of the season. You’ll certainly be on your feet a lot, but you’ll also meet a ton of people and help out that local business. Of course, servers can make good money with tips during busy evenings.
Photography or Videography: Like to work with still or motion photography? Covering smaller community events can be a good way to start your creative career and maybe even earn some extra cash, especially with videography. Filmmaking isn’t common knowledge.
Housecleaner: If you’re a naturally neat and tidy person who loves to keep things clean, this might be a good opportunity to extend your personality to other people.
Dog walker: Love dogs? People spend a LOT of money on their pets, especially if they work full-time jobs with a dog home alone all day. Offer to walk pups for a small fee. Dog walkers can make extremely good money in certain parts of the country.
In general, doing jobs that most people don’t want to do is a great way to earn a consistent income, both full-time as well as part-time through a side hustle. As we’ve learned from Joe Rogan’s “Dirty Jobs” television program, there’s good money to be made in getting dirty.
The only requirement? You need to be willing to do the job. Are you?