The current COVID19 pandemic has highlighted more than ever before, the case to always have a contingency plan when it comes to career choices. Many industries such as hospitality and airlines have suffered great financial losses and many have found themselves out of work.

If you are thinking about your next career after leaving the military, or you are a veteran without work, or a spouse of either and in a similar position, take a moment to read how you can earn money on the side from an array of projects from former soldier, John Collicutt.

Wherever you are in life, you need a side hustle

What an extraordinary time we are living in. Health affects apart, Coronavirus is likely to change our way of life for many years. Some things may never return to how they were. The nature of employment is likely to be one of those, which must matter to you right now, because you are reading a resettlement magazine website.

Add to this, increasing automation in the workplace, a recent estimate was that 30% of jobs will be at risk in the next 15 years, and there are two clear messages: we need to stay skilled and capable, and we are at risk if we rely on a single source of income.

Maybe it’s time to shout it loud, but both of these are reasons why you must consider a side hustle.

What is a Side Hustle?

A side hustle is any activity which you undergo, which provides you an additional form of income. Just think about that for second, what could extra income do for you? To be clear, I’m not saying that you need to have lots of small part-time jobs to enable you to survive, a side hustle can be much more than that, and that’s why it is a serious proposition.

Don’t let “Hustle” put you off

When somebody first encouraged me to think about side hustles I thought they wanted me to become an Arthur Daley character, looking for a quick buck at the expense of others. That is the wrong way to think of it. Hustle, reflects the American meaning of getting on with things, and making it happen, something former service families are great at.

In the USA there are thought to be 44million people with side hustles, and in the UK some estimates are that 40% of people between 18 and 30 have one. Don’t think it is the sole preserve of the young either. The next largest group to take up the challenge is people in their 50’s and 60’s. It is fast becoming the norm.

When you set the idea against the concept of portfolio careers it makes perfect sense.

What can a Side Hustle do for me?

There’s the potential financial side of course, which can be significant. In addition, there are two other advantages.
Firstly, there is the sense of fulfilment. You have created something of value that people or businesses will pay for. The second is that you are growing and developing skills which keep you relevant. They may even help you leap frog others in your primary job.

None of this is possible without hard work and commitment, and there is ultimately no guarantee of success. With your background, however, you are already well equipped, resilient, and accustomed to using your initiative.

So, what Side Hustle could I do?

Without wanting to say everyone is different, there are potentially profitable niches and markets everywhere, and it depends on your interests, skills and commitment. With the lockdown, ecommerce has surged and people who trade on Amazon have done very well. Equally I have a friend who was highly successful with a dating site for chess players. You can make side hustles work locally as well as selling to anybody who is online, which means 50% of the world’s population.

Try to think of your opportunities as falling into three distinct lanes.

Selling your existing know-how

If ever anyone asks you for advice, how to do something, or can you help, then you already have a skill which is in demand. The challenge is to present it so others will pay for it.

With the ease of access to online platforms, you could be putting your skills out as a teacher, through YouTube, in the form of online courses, ebooks and on freelancing platforms. The beauty of all of these options is that once you have produced them, they may create a passive income stream for you. Let’s be honest, an extra £200 a month that you don’t have to chase, is worth it.

You don’t need to be a Kardashian to make money on YouTube, and that video you watch of someone teaching football skills may well be earning them passive income. Have a look at:

Frankie Widdows was a police dog handler with an interest in eyelashes. She started a side hustle selling eye lash extensions. Soon she had tutorials on YouTube and now she runs a successful business, Eyelash Excellence, having gone from idea to £500,000 in three years.

Selling digital services
There are more than 400million websites, but less than one in five is active. 2.6billion use Facebook every month and 2billion YouTube. The numbers continue to grow, which is good for you.

If you have any digital skills then you could be selling them to others who need websites, chatbots, social media sites, YouTube channels and content for them. The great thing is that many small businesses don’t want to employ anybody fulltime to manage their services, and so there is opportunity for contract and freelance work. This is a market made for the side hustle.
A website builder may charge £250 per hour, a social media manager, £500-£1,000 per client per month. The going rate to build a chatbot for a small business is between £1,500 and £2,000.

The great thing is that even if you don’t have these skills, you can gain them quickly and relatively cheaply. It’s possible to do a three day online course which will give you a recognised diploma in internet marketing and the skills to build websites and run social media campaigns for just about £1,500.

Buying and Selling Online
This may be the quickest way to start making money online, and there are plenty of well-known platforms like Amazon, Ebay, and Gumtree. There are also specialist sites for niche products like Auto-trader.

Most platforms provide step by step guides about how to set up and get going. They will also make receiving your money easy through PayPal or Stripe.

You can sell your own product but you don’t need to. Affiliate sales is the practice of promoting and selling someone else’s proven products and receiving a commission for your work.

I had never heard of affiliate sales and yet it is all around us. Every time you go in to a supermarket they’re selling somebody else’s product. That is affiliate sales, and most companies support it. Look at the bottom of a website and you are likely to spot an affiliate or partner link.

There are also several sites on which you can find current affiliate opportunities, such as Click Bank.

We are in the online age

Your side hustle need not be online. Many locally skilled people gain their business through word of mouth. For most side hustles though, the future is online.

Never before has it been as easy for you to post an advert, website or tweet and, for it to be seen in Rio, Alaska, Berlin and Singapore, as well as Lancashire and Kent. If your niche clientele is measured in thousands then you are unlikely to find them all in Manchester.

You don’t need a physical shop or massive overheads. Ed Snelson is a 27 year old millionaire who started his printing business in his bedroom, buying and selling on Ebay while completing his apprenticeship.

I hope you will succeed, but without expensive overheads, the cost of failure, should things go wrong, can be very small.

Learn more

Research and planning is critical, so why not have a look at Side Income Planet, It’s a free resource focused on all things side hustle. Join our free webinars, follow us on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and have the latest ideas, best practice and resources delivered straight to your inbox.

John Collicutt served in the army for 20 years. He is now an online entrepreneur, writer, speaker and coach. He created the website at the end of 2019 as a free resource to help people to create their own side hustles.