You Should Make Money On the Side

Unless you are already independently wealthy and have your dream job, one job is not going to get you there fast enough. Every extra dollar you make now is worth tens, hundreds, maybe thousands in the future. If you want to live the dream tomorrow, you should make money on the side now.

The obvious caveat here is that you have to enjoy your life today too, because let’s face it, you could be dead tomorrow. But that we are not invincible and should not take life for granted does not mean we should throw our future to the wind. Because if, as the odds suggest, you’re still here tomorrow, I suspect you’ll hope you’re better off than you are today.

So before you rev up the engines and start piling up cash, get your priorities in order:

  1. Your mind. What you learn, both knowledge and skills, is your greatest asset in the future. Your money can be stolen and your assets burned, but your mind is how you could do it all over again (probably better) if you ever had to. Your first priority should be to develop your mind. Dedicate some time, however little, to learning something new, preferably something that you expect to benefit you in the future (but don’t let not knowing what that is stop you from learning something… anything).
  2. Your health. Without your health you will be useless now and in the future. You don’t have to be perfect, I’m not, but always make a conscious effort to eat the best you can (these guidelines are what I try best to follow), exercise, and give yourself a little time to rest and recover.
  3. Your relationships. There’s little point to any of this without sharing the journey with the people you love. While you have your eyes on your future, don’t forget to continue to build your relationships today.

With the present in order, it’s time to get on the fast track to the dream. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this, but I will present some considerations to get the wheels turning.

Making money on the side:

  1. Work overtime in your current job. The easiest course, when it’s available, is to work overtime in your current job. You already know how to do the job so there’s no wasted time learning something new.
  2. Work overtime doing new things in your current job. Find other things your employer needs help with and jump in. This gives you more work, new skills, and in every way makes you a more valuable employee in the future… which could lead to a raise or promotion.
  3. Find a second job. If you can’t get overtime and can manage it with your schedule, get another job too. The ideal is to get a second job that is on the path to your dream job… or use this opportunity to explore what may be your dream job. After all, you don’t need it, this is the freedom you wouldn’t have if you were out of a job.
  4. Do odd jobs. People always need help and are willing to pay for it. Whatever your skills are, start offering help. You may even find that helping someone for free may get you referred to a paying job. Again, ideally these odd jobs are building skills towards your dream future.
  5. Start working your dream. If you have an idea what your dream job is, this should really be number one… start doing it now! Hopefully you can still find time to make money on the side some other way too, because you likely won’t make any here at first. I must issue a warning here though: be careful not to waste money working your dream, be creative and start small.

What is stopping you from making extra money on the side?