“I got hustle though/ambition flow inside my DNA.”
— Kendrick Lamar
Call it a side-hustle, or call it a gig. If you operate outside a typical 9-to-5 workweek to make that extra cash with a freelance project, driving for Lyft, or opening your house to travelers through a vacation rental site, you’ve got hustle.
Urban Dictionary (where else do you go for definitions in 2018?) defines hustle: “To have the courage, confidence, self-belief, and self-determination to go out there and work it out until you find the opportunities you want in life.” Thanks, Urban Dictionary.
One part of this very credible definition stands out. That is the “until you find the opportunities you want in life” bit. Does that mean a hustle is usually a temporary fix? A means to a greater end? If so, people are using their side-hustles to get by while they work on things they’re passionate about.
Sound like you? You’re not alone. Last year saw major growth in the “gig economy,” and Intuit estimates that it accounts for 34 percent of the workforce. They also predict the freelance job market will grow from around 4 million to 7.7 million by 2020.
No matter your age, skillset, or education, there are a number of ways to make a nice little stack of paper without commuting to an office five days a week. With sites like Flexjobs, Ratracerebellion, Fiverr, Letgo, and Etsy, it’s easier than ever to find work or sell your work.
Of course, your side-gig might not be your end-game, especially if you’re not passionate about it. And to be sure, some side-hustles out there aren’t exactly the most commonplace, or even the most comfortable. But people hustle to get by, working hard every day to reach their goals. Here are five truly odd jobs people do make that extra cash.
1. The People Walker
Chuck McCarthy became the People Walker in lieu of walking dogs and to supplement his income while he looked for work as an actor. He finds it not only fulfilling to chat with strangers and walk around L.A., but it’s also lucrative.
In spite of his stature (this guy looks like he could be a personal bodyguard), Chuck loves making people feel good. Walking for pleasure or exercise is undeniably better with a buddy. But would you pay for it? Seems that there are enough people who would. He’s got about 12,500 followers on Facebook, and he is now making merchandise to boot.
2. Thrifters who flip
One woman’s trash is another’s treasure, especially in the online marketplace. Even if you consider yourself particularly thrifty, odds are you don’t hold a candle to this family of flea market flippers, who have made quite a hustle of shopping for used items and turning them into profitable sales. Now they teach others how to quit their day jobs and pursue thrift flipping.
3. Those who go to great lengths
Believe it or not, human hair is a very hot commodity, and people are willing to pay a pretty penny for it. According to this story, human hair can be used in horticulture as an organic herbicide. Its amino acid L-Cysteine can even be extracted to preserve the shelf-life of certain food products.
Luscious locks are shipped to Europe and America from places like India and China to create wigs and false lashes, and humans anywhere with a coveted head of hair can sell it on Hairsellon. The only problem with this gig is that you’ll have to wait a few years to try it again.
4. Seance suppliers
You don’t have to be a witch to sell a witch what they need to cast a spell. Really, all you need is an otherworldly Etsy account, some eggshell powder, tropical stormwater, or the hair of a black cat (that’s enough hair talk for one blog).
Whatever hocus pocus these internet-savvy, witchcrafting crafters are up to is really a personal thing. But the vendors, at least, are making a killing.
Ok, people say this a lot, but It MUST be difficult to find real human connection these days. In fact, that must be why sites offering rent-a-friends, cuddle buddies, and boyfriends are so popular. And people are making a side-hustle out of playing pretend!
Bridesmaid for hire by Jen Glantz began when she realized she could make extra cash by standing in as a bridesmaid at a stranger’s wedding. Her ad for the idea went viral, and she’s now turned her side-gig into a full-on wedding business.
And those renting … whatever.
In the gig economy, you can rent out your things — anything someone doesn’t want to buy for themselves — for a pretty good price. People looking for some extra cash have made side-hustles renting baby gear or even their driveway with Air Garage.
To all the hustlers out there, keep up the hard work. Build your ambition. Maybe someday all the awkward odd jobs will lead you to your passion.
Whatever you do for work, there is always a new way to hustle.