Join a startup accelerator: Another great option is to apply to a startup accelerator like Y Combinator, 500 startups, or TechStars, where a group of investors will help coach you, connect you with potential partners, and provide startup cash in return for a small stake in your company. The competition is tough to get into these, so don’t rely on them as your only path forward.
(As an example, this still happens, even now: Just recently, I spent 4 months working on a business idea with my team, spending a huge amount of time and money, until we ultimately concluded it wasn’t worth it. We shelved it away and I wrote an email to the team, telling them, “We can’t figure out how to make this work. We’ll re-look at it in 2 years.”)
How fast will you get paid? Could be within 24 hours of completing the study or several weeks after. And these studies can be like auditioning for a role, making it even harder to find and get them. For instance, a marketing firm might be looking for a man in his 50s to comment on a new razor or a mother in her 20s to offer her opinions on what she looks for when buying baby formula.
Not only will this multiply the money you’re bringing in in a serious way, but it protects you against any sudden changes in the market or in your business. Remember that old saying about putting all your eggs in one basket? A few hours a week committed to just one or two of the following opportunities will put you in a much stronger position to be financially safe and independent.
If you’ve got some free time and don’t live in the middle of nowhere, becoming a Lyft driver can be a very lucrative side hustle that allows you make money fast. And right now, they’ve got a promotion going on where any new driver will instantly get a $300 bonus after completing their 100th ride. If you start now and hustle hard on the weekends, you can probably unlock that bonus within a few weeks of driving (and that’s in addition to your normal earnings).
Logan is a CPA with a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of Southern California. He has been featured in publications such as CNBC, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, and HuffPost on topics ranging from paying down debt to using credit card points to saving money on taxes. After spending nearly 10 years in public accounting, including 5 with professional services firm Ernst & Young where he consulted with multinational companies and high net worth individuals on their tax situations, he launched Money Done Right in 2017 to communicate modern ideas on earning, saving, and investing money.
My next self-funded business hit $160,000 in revenue in its first year alone. After that first taste of self-made success, I’ve gone on to sign consulting contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars with startups like LinkedIn and Google, launch profitable online courses, and build a following of hundreds of thousands for this blog and my podcast series.
Set up a professional invoicing system and send invoices either bi-monthly or monthly. Use your computer software’s invoicing templates or you can create an invoice using Excel. Decided when you plan to bill and be sure you send invoices on the same day of the month to ensure consistent payment. Institute a 10 day late policy, if possible, to make sure payment is received promptly.
Do you enjoy fast food or going into retail shops? Many companies hire mystery shoppers to test the customer service of their stores. A common one is Subway, which hires mystery shoppers to ensure that "Sandwich Artists" are following all the franchise guidelines. If you have time and can travel to different places, this could be a good side hustle.

Hunt for under-priced used books that you can sell online. Download an app that reads ISBN numbers so you can scan the barcodes on books. This will pull up the book’s current price on Amazon so you can see if it’s worth trying to resell it. Then, visit used book stores, thrift stores, and garage sales to look for high value books. Post the books for sale online using sites like Amazon or Ebay.[9]
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