While it is possible to get rich quickly from a very lucrative side hustle that doesn't take much of your time, most people turn their successful side hustles into a full-time business. I've been making money online for about 27 years now, so I've tried almost everything. Some businesses don't stand a chance at making you rich, while a small handful offer this potential fairly reliably with enough hard work.
In this post I will be talking about side hustles that are lucrative or at least offer the possibility to make a lot of money. If you're going to spend money to start a business and potentially spend years working on it, you don't want to waste your time on something that doesn't have a lot of future potential. This guide can help you avoid wasting that time and money to help you figure out a good choice from the beginning.
Wealth is Relative
Before I get into talking about some specific lucrative side hustles, I need to talk briefly about wealth first. Being rich and wealthy are relative terms. Someone with very low monthly expenses may consider $50,000 per year in earnings to be wealthy. Someone that spends millions a year may view a $1 million annual income as being poor. Being rich to you may mean something entirely different than it means to me.
For me, being wealthy is having enough money for your monthly expenses without really having to worry too much about money. When you actually have cash left over at the end of each month to invest and save. You can afford luxuries for yourself to improve your quality of life. You can take vacations to experience the world without breaking the bank. All of these things are being rich and having wealth to me, but it doesn't require being a millionaire for most people to have these things either.
Many of the side hustle businesses I'll talk about in this guide do have the potential to make you a millionaire, even though it may not happen for everyone. However, these businesses are much more likely to offer the potential to be wealthy for most. With a reasonable amount of time and effort, these hustles can be turned into $100,000 per year or more full-time businesses. Extremely motivated individuals may be able to scale a successful business to boost revenue even more to have the potential to make millions each year, but this may not work for all types of businesses and can sometimes just depend on sheer luck.
When you have money that you can use to start your side hustle, it's much easier and faster to turn it into a high-earning business. It is still possible to create a fruitful, high-wealth business without a large upfront investment, but it is less likely and will usually take much longer. Anyone that is highly motivated can overcome a lack of startup funds though. Just like with other investments, don't risk what you can't afford to lose.
Sometimes you just don't know whether a business will actually be successful until you try it. For this reason, I highly recommend starting side hustle investment small. Dip your toes in the water and see how it goes. There's nothing stopping you from increasing your investment in the future if your business start to make a lot of money. However, you can't go back in time and decrease your investment if it doesn't go good.
Besides the initial startup costs, also consider ongoing expenses for your business. Some side hustles can be deceivingly cheap to start but then require high ongoing costs to keep them running. This is okay if your expenses go up as your revenue increases but can be a major problem in the beginning if the expenses are a large flat fee no matter your income level.
The of the most common types of side hustle businesses that can potentially generate substantial earnings is e-commerce. You buy products in bulk and/or at wholesale prices and then resell then for more to retail customers. When this is done online, you then package and ship the goods to the consumer. This means that starting this type of business requires an upfront money investment to buy products. You also need to continually buy new products, so you always have inventory available to sell.
Although the high-income potential exists for this business, it's not guaranteed. The competitiveness of your industry, the prices you pay for products, which products you try to sell, how good you are at marketing your products, where you decide to sell your products, and much more can drastically alter your success. This is why it can be good idea to start small and then scale if you're successful to limit your risk if you fail.
When a retail business is conducted online, it may be run from your own home. When you do e-commerce from home, you need extra space that you don't currently use. Some of the space will be for inventory. However, you also need room to work on a computer and a packaging area. The packaging area is more than just a table to box up orders though - you also need room to store and easily access all of your shipping supplies. As a result, doing this type of work at home isn't for everyone.
Without the appropriate room in your house for it, it can be overwhelming trying to do this business at your kitchen table. Your house constantly being filled with inventory and shipping supplies is almost guaranteed to strain most relationships too. For these reasons, make sure you consider whether this type of business is right for you before you dive into it.
See a related e-commerce article for more information: Where to Find E-Commerce Suppliers.
Digital Product Creation
I've personally created and run an online e-commerce business that profited six figures a year. In addition, I have also created a business selling digital products that profited six figures a year. The e-commerce business required a large upfront investment, high ongoing expenses, and a lot of physical work. The digital product business also required a lot of work, but it most all at the computer and a lot of it was "mental work" and being creative.
Since both of these businesses offer high potential, the real question is which one sounds like it is best for you. This should be best for you personally in terms of what kind of work you would enjoy more long-term. It could also be a matter of which kind of work you would be able to do better, since some people are not technologically inclined and less creative.
As long as you will do the work yourself, you can actually start a digital product creation business for little or even no money. You can jump-start this type of business with a big investment by hiring people to do the work for you and to market your products. However, unlike e-commerce, this side hustle is something that can technically be done by anyone no matter your financial means.
You ultimately need to decide what kind of digital product you want to create, who will you sell it to, and how will you get those people to see or find out about your product. Writing a book can be done by almost anyone. Video creation is also feasible for most people since you don't have to make fancy edits. Software is much more difficult since you need technical knowledge, but it's also possible to outsource this work too.
Social Media Influencer
These days, most people want to be a social media influencer. It seems really easy and has a certain appeal, especially with large amounts of money being made. While this can be an extremely lucrative side hustle that makes you a multi-millionaire, it's also somewhat similar to winning the lottery. Your chances of big success in this industry are not great. Even when you have something amazing to offer, it can still be really hard to actually get yourself in front of the faces of others when you first start.
Being a big influencer means that you have something special to offer that people want to watch and it means you're good at marketing yourself. This can be much easier when you know certain people in life or much harder for the average person. Timing is part of it too. It was much easier to get noticed 10 or even 5 years ago than it is today because there are many more people attempting to get famous and rich this way.
Even if you can find success with this industry, you still make money the same way everyone else does by selling advertising and/or products. In many ways, this is still a normal business but instead of a company name, you are the brand. More attractive people and those with an exceptional, outgoing personality may find it easier to be their own brand, while other people may just prefer a business brand.
Pretty much every kind of online business requires marketing. No matter how great of a product or low of a price you can offer, you still won't get any sales if nobody can find you. Anyone that is familiar with online marketing and can do it successfully on a regular basis can consider turning this talent into a lucrative side hustle. Sometimes you just don't have the desire to run your own business but are good at certain parts of it like marketing. Consulting work for other businesses can be a perfect choice for those people.
If you're good at this type of work, I highly recommend going for a subscription-based business model. Figure out what kind of marketing work you want to do for others on an ongoing basis. In general, most marketing is not a one-shot type of job and requires ongoing work to do it best. By building this into your business model, you only need to do work for a handful of companies to make a very comfortable living.
Although it is more difficult, it is possible to scale this type of business. After doing it solo for a while, if you notice a specific process that you perform to achieve success, you may be able to hire others and teach them the same skill. By getting others to do this type of work for you, you can potentially expand your number of clients drastically.
Some side hustle businesses may be started with the intention to get rich, while others are created just to make a few extra bucks each month. Sometimes the part-time, casual side hustle that you start becomes popular beyond your wildest dreams and almost forces you to turn it into a full-time business. With the way the internet works, this is actually more common than you might think.
Ultimately, if there is something that you enjoy doing and want to share it with others online as a hobby, then do it. As you keep doing it long-term, if you see that your popularity explodes then consider turning it into a business.
Other kinds of side hustles may simply take time to achieve success. Passion projects like writing a blog are not get rich quick schemes. However, they can at least offer the potential for high-income as a long-term venture. It's possible to run a business like this for years without making a penny and then transition it into a business that makes tens of thousands each month.
Big Business Creation
If your ultimate goal is to get filthy rich so you can earn and spend millions each year, you will need a long-term plan. It will also be really helpful to have a large startup investment available or else it can take years longer to achieve the same results.
Even for those with the biggest dreams, I still recommend figuring out something you can scale as you build it. Start at a smaller scale to ensure the business will be profitable. Examine the economics of the business and whether any changes might be necessary before ramping up your investment to a higher level. This method not only allows you to limit your risk but also lets you test your business idea with the public.
Anyone that does not have a big investment fund to work with will need to start from scratch. If you run the business as a side hustle and still work a normal job, you probably won't depend on business earnings to pay your bills. In this situation, you can simply reinvest all of your business earnings into growing the business. Doing this for a few years can sometimes produce really amazing results in the form of lucrative earnings.