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Nov 21

30 businesses you can do without leaving your full-time job

Reading Time: 7 mins

Ever wished you could save a dollar or two to save up for vacations, get started on your kid’s college fund, or perhaps build your path to financial freedom?

Whatever your reasons are, earning extra money now can help you take one step forward toward your goal. Just make sure they don’t put a strain on your mental health and important relationships.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to start earning your extra dollar soon without sacrificing your full-time economic commitments. Listed below are some of the best gigs you can do on the side to help you create an extra cash flow.


Getting Paid to Solve Problems

Websites like Innocentive, IdeaBounty, and IdeaConnection pay anywhere between a few hundred dollars to $40,000 to one who comes up with clever solutions to companies’ most pressing problems. It’s basically like outsourcing research to freelancers. Multinational companies like Bayer and Johnson & Johnson’s are just some of the companies that post challenges on these problem-solving portals.



Thanks to the internet, the freelance market has ballooned over the years. If you have a need for labor, you can put up job postings on the web and hire talent from across the globe. The freelancing market is hugely appealing if you’d rather work at home rather than commute to an office every day. The most popular niches in the freelance market include these:

  • Writing
  • Web design
  • Teaching short courses
  • Consulting


Selling Handmade Anything

The possibilities of what you can sell right at the comfort of your own are endless:

  • Commissioned paintings
  • Handmade seasonal decorations
  • Mugs and tapestries of your own printing and design
  • Soaps and bath bombs
  • Homemade jars of pickles and jams

To do well in this business, you can’t just rely on the good old word of mouth. Set up your own website, and leverage the power of social media to market your business.


Selling Things Online

As long as you have the grit, capital, and an adequate amount of patience, you can get started on your own online retail business. You don’t even need to know anything about making anyway or learn about the more technical aspects of setting up a website. Online selling platforms are diverse and readily available for you to start selling without a steep learning curve.

Here are the most profitable items to sell online in 2019.



The richest YouTubers are people who are basically just sharing things they genuinely love. PewDiePie plays games on the daily; Jeffree Star does makeup tutorials and reviews; and Jake Paul flexes his outrageous lifestyle, no more, no less.

If you’re confident in front of a camera and genuinely passionate about comedy, gaming, or sharing practical tips for daily life problems, you only need a YouTube account to get started.


Streaming Your Hobbies

Initially, video games took on the majority of the video-game-streaming platform, but in time, more people have found it as a great way to share things they’re passionate about.

Popular streaming site Twitch is now an expanding platform for e-sports enthusiasts and fantastic artists. They are not only getting the recognition they deserve but also finding a community that may be limited by their local scenes.


Teaching Online

One of the many advantages of the internet is that it has allowed the proliferation of knowledge like never before. Eradicating the physical barrier to learning, it has provided instantaneous access to a wealth of human knowledge.

But of course, mentorship is something that can’t be replaced, and many have sought the right advisers to guide them to mastery in their fields. Be that language, programming, cooking, or coaching, the web has platforms for your expertise.


Writing E-books

If you’re an expert in one field but don’t want the strict, regular schedule for meeting students virtually, you can pack your expertise into a downloadable e-book. Of course, writing is just one part of it, you may have to find a way to profitably market your book and make it stand out above the competition. Luckily, there are plenty of online resources on marketing e-books.

30 businesses you can do without leaving your full-time job


Being a Social-Media Marketer

Face it: social media is the next big thing, and it’s here. If you are familiar with the ins and outs of the marketing business or are willing to learn, being a social-media marketer is a fun and challenging way to earn money.



There are currently millions of blogs running on the internet about absolutely anything, from medieval swordsmanship to how to create your own mudhouse in the Australian outback. You can blog about anything that interests you or are already interested in. These blogs are then monetized through ads, affiliate marketing, or direct merchandise that site owners sell to their audience.


Making Podcasts

Podcasting is a great option especially if you already have a significant following on your own blog. If you don’t, no worries. The trick is to get specific.

If you like philosophy, what can you possibly bring to the table that people would like to listen? Competition is still rife in the podcasting world. Stick to your experience, expertise, or topic. That way, you can come out as authentic and relatable to your audience.


Virtual Assistance

Do you love continuously learning about new stuff, solving problems, and taking on multiple challenges? Then being a virtual assistant may just be the perfect job for you. This job requires strong communication skills, basic computing ability, and the capacity to think on the go.


Being a Travel Consultant

People fly all the time, and when they do, they’ll most likely want to find the most economic deals. That’s where a travel consultant comes in.

If you have firsthand experience traveling, much better, but it’s not a requirement. You just need to be mindful of what happens in the industry and know how to use the tools to do so. You should have excellent persuasion, administrative, and communication skills to deal and work for your clients.



The reign of social media in the past decade has made photographers more in demand these days. Beautiful photos have become the hallmark of quality and, to some extent, status. It’s a highly introspective, creative, and also social hobby as you start to deal with the people you photograph.

But of course, you can choose to pick a niche: stock photography, wedding photography, photography for advertising, etc. Refine your skills, and market them well.

30 businesses you can do without leaving your full-time job

Driving for Uber or Lyft

Ferrying one passenger from location A to B on the weekends or after your work hours when you’re not too stressed is a viable way to earn extra cash. You just need a car (with insurance) and the app.


Renting Your Car

If you don’t like driving around or have an extra vehicle sitting in your driveway, why not put it into good use and make money out of it? Put up a sign, post ads on the web, or go to apps like Turo to start earning.


Renting Out an Extra Room in Your House

If you have no qualms about receiving tenants or are okay with handling them, renting out extra bedrooms for short- or long-term stays is another way to earn cash. You can also use sites like VRBO, HomeAway, or Airbnb to rent out your room for a price for a night’s stay.


Renting Out Real Estate

Do you have an apartment that’s sitting empty or a lakeside vacation home you only visit once a year? Why not rent it out? In these instances, you may have to hire extra help for the property’s upkeep, but if your location is good and you’re making money regularly, it’s a worthy investment.


Being a Part-Time Realtor

Selling properties these days is different from what it was in the old days. Online listings are becoming as compelling and as competitive. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started.


Being a Part-Time Dance Instructor

This is one of those side gigs that only the truly passionate can survive doing. It may be tedious and physically draining at times, but if you really love it, then everything else is not an issue.


Collecting Art

This is one of those side gigs that often initially start out as a hobby. But if you’re confident in your eye for good art, then you may as well venture into the money side of things. It takes patience and dedication to build, but many times, it’s also a high-risk, high-return business.


Developing an App

The smartphone’s got to be one of the most revolutionary technologies of the 21st century. Now, almost everything people need takes the form of an app as a solution.

Need food delivered? There’s an app for that. Want a dress for your next party? Just download the popular fashion app. If you see a problem, then there’s probably an app that can be done to address the issue.

30 businesses you can do without leaving your full-time job

Analyzing Data

Put your logical and analytical powers into dollars by launching a career as a part-time data analyst. They usually collect data and translate what this data means into plain English. Some people are natural at this.


Filling Out Surveys

If you want something slow but sure, try sites like Survey Junkie, Toluna, PaidViewpoint, and Swagbucks, and get paid for your opinion.


Designing and Selling T-Shirts on Amazon

You will be surprised how many thousands of dollars some designers on Amazon get just by spending a few minutes putting their Photoshop experiments into T-shirt mockups. You may have to start slow, but if you’re consistent with it, the money will come flowing right in in no time.


Doing Translation Work

From translating literary manuscripts, to college essays, to a full thesis, there’s a great variety of work available for multilinguals. Work may be competitive, however. The trick is to get started.


Teaching Music

Whether you teach neighborhood kids in person or a cello apprentice on the other side of the world online, teaching music can be very rewarding.


Investing in Stocks

Investing may be a little risky, but once you’re in the race, it can be very nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. Read up, and do your research first before you risk your or someone else’s money on this venture.


Getting Paid to Shop

Popular cash-back sites like Rakuten and Shopkick are willing to pay you for your attention. This is great if you’re a stay-at-home mom who always needs to fill in the fridge inventory. Saving a few dollars every time you shop may not be much individually, but they will add up in the long run.

Doing Odd Jobs for People

From walking a dog to helping people move out, sites like TaskRabbit and Gigwalk help you land diverse jobs for people. You will be surprised by what you can do for people.




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