How to earn extra income while working your real job


This morning I was talking with my mother about some of the small struggles I am experiencing with my business right now – she’s an entrepreneur running a successful law practice in The Woodlands, so I generally trust anything and everything she’s ever got to say when it comes to business-related topics. She asked me if I would ever be interested in going back to a corporate job while running my business on the side, and I said, without hesitation, “absolutely not.”

I told her that I knew it would certainly be easier for me to do so sometimes, but if I did, then I wouldn’t be able to sit with her in a Mexico City café on a Friday morning while eating breakfast at 9:15 AM.

And that’s really what this is all about – doing what I love while enjoying the freedoms that come with it. Entrepreneurship is hard work – I knew this when I started. But I’ve come to realize quickly that the good times are definitely worth the hard times!

This Split Aces Media adventure all started by freelancing.

There are a couple of ways that you can bring in extra income while you’re working a full-time job, and all of these will help you take the leap toward reaching a financial goal.

Whether you’re on a mission to start up your own business, or if you’re trying to save up to take that much-needed and well-deserved vacation, these are a few ways to help you along the way: freelancing, working a part-time job, affiliate marketing, and/or creating and selling a product.

Freelancing –

Freelancing is great because you can work with whatever service industry you’d like, you can set your own rates, you can choose your own clients, and you can get paid to do something you love while providing a valuable service to your client(s). Freelancing can come in all forms of service: graphic design, music lessons, web development, marketing, public relations, dog walking… you name it. Anything you want to do, you can do it, as long as you can find people willing to pay for your service/expertise.

This method is especially ideal if you’re looking to start your own company in the same industry because it provides you with extra practice and gets the ball rolling with your client list and testimonial opportunities. Starting out, you may not make $1,000,000. You may not make $100. But you’re starting, and you’re earning your first bit of income on your own… that’s the hardest part. Receiving that first paycheck from doing work you created for a client that you personally work for is like waking up on Christmas morning – exciting, happy, and warm fuzzies.

Once you get started as a freelancer, you’ll learn how to charge appropriately, you’ll learn who you want to continue working with, what types of clients you’d like to help out, and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to starting your own service business!

Take a look at my guest post on College Info Geek to learn how to get your first freelance client!

Part-time job –

This option isn’t the easiest pill to swallow, but you should know that it’s always an option. Part-time jobs while working a full-time job are not all that uncommon. Great ways to bring in extra cash to achieve your goals are bartending, becoming a server on the weekends at a local restaurant, helping out at a coffee shop as a barista, working the late night shift at a hospital as a front-desk receptionist, etc.

I know a super hardworking woman who worked full-time in a professional office during the week, and on the weekends, she worked for an MLB team in the admin offices. Again, she lost her weekends, but she was able to bring in the money she needed for her goals. These part-time gigs don’t have to be stressful or permanent – just enough to get you where you need to be.

Affiliate marketing –

If you really dive in and learn all about the ins and outs of affiliate marketing, you can make quite a sizeable amount of money through this method of passive income! In a nutshell, affiliate marketing allows you to make commissions off of other people’s products/services. You can sell Corbett Barr’s blogging program, and make a 75% commission off of this sale. You can sell Amazon products and make commissions on a semi-escalating scale. You can sell Bluehost web services for a flat rate of $65 per sale. You can sell my “Creating Your Own Website” guide and make 30% commission on each sale.

There are tons and tons of affiliate marketing opportunities out there for you to choose from. The hardest part about affiliate marketing is finding the right audience willing to trust your word on the products you sell, and willing to accept that you’re credible enough to sell products that are valuable.

Read this post on how to get started with affiliate marketing.

Creating/selling a product –

This is by far the most satisfying of all of the side income options. With this, you create something, you sell it online, and you can make money in your sleep.

Write an eBook (like this awesome one to teach you how to speak Spanish!!) that offers high value to a large number of people, market it to the proper audience, and hopefully if all goes to plan, you’ll start selling these suckers!

Create a t-shirt design and sell them online.

Create an online course to teach people how to do something.

Create ANYTHING that provides a value or service to others, and make sure that it’s something that you would buy for yourself if you were the customer. Then, go ahead and sell it. I know I just dumbed this process down like crazy, and there is much more involved when it comes to this online marketing stuff, but you get the idea. Create a product that provides value, connect with the right people to help you spread the word and provide testimonials for your new amazing product, set up an affiliate program so that more people will help you sell, and make money on the side.

For a more in-depth explanation, read this post on The Suitcase Entrepreneur to learn how to sell your first product.

Side jobs have incredible opportunities to turn into something more. You will begin bringing in more money to help pay your bills, to save for that family vacation, to start up your business/passion project, to pay off student loans – whatever. It will be awesome, and you can start today.

Send me an email if you have any questions, and I’ll do my best to answer them! If I can’t, I’ll point you in the direction of someone who can.

If you’ve got experience earning cash on the side, how did you go about doing it, and do you have any advice for people looking to get started?

Til next time, amigos!


(Photo: this is the dessert tray for a Mexico City hacienda dining experience. I died and went to sugar heaven).

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