The idea of a having a “side hustle” always sounds appealing, the only problem is finding any time on the side—and mustering up the energy to hustle. But these days, the smartest thing you can do is keep your mind open to opportunities. Don’t expect your life to go according to plan; investigate and even start some projects on the side that have the potential to bring in money for a long time. There’s no way to predict which industries will be stable or where the economy is headed, but you can cover your bets by exploring other ways to use your skills. Here are some suggestions for the best side hustles to start for long-term success:


The rise of remote learning has skyrocketed the demand for anyone with a specialized area of knowledge. Everyone is feeling the lack of one-on-one attention, even adults looking to learn English as a second language. China, in particular, is clamoring for some language coaching, with some websites paying up to $26 an hour if you don’t mind staying up late. If you take on some local students, you can expect their brothers and sisters to follow, as well as other schoolmates. Online, you can expect to grow your clientele along with your reputation.

Airport Driving

If you already have a van, there are a number of ways you can use it to make extra money: deliveries, moving, scrap metal, or advertising other businesses with decals. Or, if you can make the family minivan presentable enough, you can start with Uber or Lyft to get a feel for it. Getting a commercial driver’s license, a “hire plate” for your vehicle, and insurance can add up, but the promise of an independent income may be worth it to you. Do your homework so that you know what to expect; with a little vision, though, you can eventually upgrade to a shuttle bus, then another, and even a few drivers. Travelers will always need rides to and from the airport, so life on the road may be for you.

Renting Out Property

Real estate folks like to say that owning your own home doesn’t make you rich; owning someone else’s does. Coming up with the funds for a down payment can be daunting, but with planning and some creativity, the temporary sacrifice will have long-term benefits. Stick to an area you know well, so you can anticipate what new renters are looking for. Also, make sure you choose a property that has the potential for profit. Being a landlord is hard work, but you’ll get used to that extra monthly income pretty quickly.

Starting a business is no small feat, but you can at least begin by researching how much time and capital it would take. If you focus on the best side hustles to start for long-term success, you could be on your way to financial independence and control over your future.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.