Side Hustle Success!
Every day, ambitious workers are finding ways to make extra money outside of their regular day job, and in central Oklahoma, those side hustles can range from selling items on the internet to freelancing a particular skill. According to a new study from Bankrate, 44 million Americans report having a side hustle which helps make ends meet or helps save for a special purchase. In addition, the study shows that 36 percent of those reporting a side job make $500 or more a month doing so.
Can a side hustle be both lucrative and rewarding? According to these four locals, the answer is yes.
Building Savings By Delivering
Emily Brashier of Edmond spends her working days as a reporter for the Guthrie News Leader newspaper, but in the past several months, she’s been able to meet a financial goal through delivering food.
Brashier drives for Postmates, which is on-demand delivery service of food, groceries and more. She got the idea in January after reading an article on how to start saving money.
“I read this article that was about how to start saving, and it was geared toward people who had no savings,” she said. “My goal for the new year was to start saving more, and the article had information about how you could save $1,000 in a year. One of the tips was to earn extra income on the side.”
When Brashier signed up for Postmates and saw how much she could earn, she changed her goal. Instead of making an extra $1,000 in a year, she wanted to make an extra $1,000 a month.
“I have made that extra $1,000 a month since I started,” she said. “What sets me apart, I think, is having the drive to do it. You have to have a real goal that you’re working toward. I constantly ask myself, ‘What do I want?’ Do I want savings or to go on vacation or to not always stress about money?”
Brashier says she works between 20 and 30 hours a week doing her side hustle on nights and weekends, but she gives herself a weekend a month off.
“I like doing this because my kids come with me while I deliver food,” she said. “It works for me. I think it’s also important to allow yourself some time off so you don’t get burned out.”
For more information about Postmates, go to: www.postmates.com
Business Meets Bellydancing
Jennifer LeBlond of Edmond works production, purchasing and customer relations at a promotional product distributor in Edmond, but in the evenings and on weekends, she becomes Jahara Amar, an award-winning bellydancer with the Aalim Dance Academy of Oklahoma City.
Although LeBlond is a high-demand and national award-winning bellydancer, she had to be dragged kicking and screaming to her first dance class.
“I was 18, and my mother decided she wanted to take a class,” LeBlond said. “She dragged me along. I didn’t want to go. But it just kind of clicked, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.”
LeBlond teaches at the Aalim studios, but also teaches the professional competition bellydance troupe Aalim Najim. The troupe has won at competitions in Las Vegas and Dallas, and LeBlond has personally taken top titles in competitions in Dallas and California.
LeBlond, along with other bellydancers at the Aalim Dance Academy, also performs at local restaurants, hookah lounges and venues across Oklahoma.
“What I like most is teaching and seeing my students transform in class as they become more connected to themselves, their feminine energy and confidence,” she said. “I also love performing as well and brightening people’s day when we dance at local venues.”
For more information on learning how to bellydance, go to: www.aalimdanceworld.com
Fighting the Good Fight
Jon Hill used a lifetime of trouble-making and fighting to create not only a successful security business, but a career as a Mixed Martial Arts competitor as well.
Owner of One Hill Security, Hill is a professional MMA fighter who has competed in events like Rage in the Cage, King of the Cage and more. Although successful, he was working for other people and spending money when he earned it.
“One of my mentors asked me what I was doing with my money, and I said ‘spending it.’ He said, ‘You’re a big guy. What about doing security?’” Hill said. “I had bounced around since I was 16 and had done odd security jobs since I got my CLEET license, and I was tired of working for other guys and making them money.”
Although his mentor helped him with the initial steps of forming his LLC, Hill created his business on his own in 2014. One Hill Security provides personal and private security throughout the metro area.
“I’d say fighting is my side hustle now,” Hill said. “It’s not as consistent as security work is.”
For more information about Jon Hill, go to: www.facebook.com/jon.hill.946
Building and Carving
When it comes to building and working with wood, Dusty Hutchison of Edmond knows his stuff. After working for 10 years for his father’s company, Hutchison Custom Homes and Hutchison Construction, Dusty formed his own custom home company, Alder Fine Homes, in 2008.
“It was a natural step for me,” Dusty said. “We create custom homes.”
Throughout his life, Dusty also worked with his hands, creating his own custom furniture out of reclaimed wood and scrap wood from the build sites.
“I’ve always made furniture for myself, but 18 months ago, my wife told me to get a hobby,” Dusty said. “Instead of just building furniture for myself, I started building furniture and custom pieces.”
Dusty’s side business, Archaic Provisions, specializes in custom-created furniture made from reclaimed wood. He creates everything from dining tables and barn doors to bookshelves and benches. Archaic Provisions has a booth at Broadway Antiques and Market in Edmond, but Dusty said he really just enjoys watching a piece of wood transform into something beautiful.
“I know it will never eclipse Alder Fine Homes, but when people notice you creating something, they reach out,” he said. “I’ve always used reclaimed lumber. It’s one of those things you hate to waste, and that’s how my parents raised me. It’s nice to make extra money, but I love to see the transformation of reclaimed wood into furniture.”
For more info about Archaic Provisions, go to www.facebook.com/archaicprovisions
Whether begun as a way to manage debt, boost a savings account or test a new interest (or skill), side hustles often open doors of opportunity not only for monetary gain but personal growth as well.