My Wacky (but Profitable) Weekend Side Job: 4 Fun Ways People Bring in Extra Cash

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weekend jobAs a full-time freelance writer, I’ve learned to master the art of hustling.

I’m constantly pitching and scouting new story ideas, and juggling numerous assignments from my home office.

But writing is a solitary exercise, and I get antsy if I’m stuck inside too long without human interaction. That’s why, for a fleeting second, I entertained the idea of supplementing my regular gig with a part-time job as a driver for Lyft—a ride-share service that I didn’t know much about until the company recently beefed up recruitment efforts in my hometown of Chicago.

Suddenly, online ads were everywhere—in my face, calling my name, teasing: “Wanna make $500 in a weekend?”

Why, yes! Yes, I do!

There was just one problem: I don’t own a car. So I begrudgingly gave up that dream—but I’m still fascinated by those who live it.

In fact, the service-oriented side-hustle economy seems to be plowing full steam ahead given the growing number of white-collar workers like me who are stepping out of their comfort zones to do things like drive Lyft cars all the way to the bank.

Nick Loper, founding editor of Side Hustle Nation, a website devoted to the trend, pins it partly on social-media-driven pressure to achieve something novel—as well as the impulse to hatch an independent venture as a possible fallback in a time when the threat of layoffs still lingers.

“You’ve got to be self-reliant,” Loper says. “Creativity is our 21st-century survival skill.”

Unsurprisingly, creativity just happens to be something these four enterprising—and totally inspiring—full-timers have in spades. Here’s how they’ve transformed their off-hours into an opportunity to support a profitable weekend job.

RELATED: How I Did It: I Left My Corporate Job to Work for Myself

  • Rachel

    These all sound so fun, and I particularly like that the DJs are donating their extra income to support local charities! While none of these are quite for me (I squirm at any blood that isn’t my own, am not too musical, don’t drive, and have never been properly introduced to a sewing machine), I find inspiration in these folks using their free time to turn their natural skills and interests into extra cash. I just have to figure out if I have any skills or could be coming interesting :)

  • G

    These are seriously awful. Two have to do with child-related ventures, because of course they do. One is a job that, by the guy’s own admission, it took him a decade to get paid to do. The last one involves putting wear and tear on your car to go pick up total strangers and drive them around. Yeah, THAT’S not just begging someone to knock you over the head and jack your car or worse. No thank you. Glad these people are having fun. More power to them. Extra cash would be nice every now and then, but I think I’ll keep my weekends to myself.

    (And “Kip Winters”? Really? He should just go with Eisenberg. It sounds like Heisenberg. Most awesome DJ name ever.)

    • Kat E

      @ G… The wear and tear is a concern, so I bought a 2nd car (paid cash) and now I drive that for Lyft, so my car doesn’t get wore out. I paid $2k for a 2005 Buick Rendezvous that sits 6 pax + driver.

      I’m not too worried about getting hurt or having my car stolen. They passengers must register with Lyft and input their debit/credit card and telephone number, which would make them pretty easy to track if something did go wrong. Plus, that’s a lot of steps to go through to car jack where there are parking lots full of cars everywhere. :)

      I’ve given 450+ rides and have not had any bad experiences.

  • Colleen

    “They’re miners” isn’t a hint. It’s the answer.