Do What You Love (On The Side)

I’m a big believer in having multiple streams of income. A side-hustle can help you reach your financial goals faster and fuel your entrepreneurial spirit. Do what you love, on the side, and you can strike the perfect balance between entrepreneurship and a steady paycheque.

When I left my job in the busy hospitality industry I was putting in 60+ hours a week at work, plus spending time on various local boards and committees. After a decade I needed a change. So I moved to the public sector where the hours are much more flexible and I’m home from work before 5:00pm every night.

But instead of spending my ample free time on the couch watching television (or wasting it on Facebook), I turned my passion for personal finance and investing into a second income stream.

Do What You Love (On the Side)

How my side-hustle was born

It all started the year our first child was born. After she settled into a solid sleep routine I found I had nothing to do in the evenings after 7:00pm. I started reading financial blogs like Million Dollar Journey and soon realized that instead of consuming content all night long I could be creating my own.

Most personal finance blogs had a similar theme: 30-something guys making six-figures a year looking to save and invest their way to financial independence. I wanted something different to stand out from the pack so I talked to my mom, a former financial advisor with one of the big banks, about a tag-team approach to the blog.

Boomer & Echo was launched a few months later. We split the writing responsibilities and managed to publish five articles a week for two years. Within a year-and-a-half the blog had 100,000 page views per month and earned several thousand dollars per month in advertising revenue. The extra income allowed my wife to stay home full time to look after our two kids.

There’s a reason it’s called a side-hustle and not a side-hobby. Running a profitable blog requires some business savvy. It takes time and effort to write consistently every week, not to mention promoting and networking with other financial bloggers, journalists, and advertisers.

Since then I’ve started another blog – Rewards Cards Canada – and landed a column at the Toronto Star. My mom and I even launched our own fee-only financial planning business.

My side-hustle now brings in almost as much income as my day job. The best part is that I can do all of this during the evenings and on weekends and still have plenty of spare time to play with my kids, go out with my wife, or stay home and watch Netflix.

Other ways to hustle

A personal finance blog is just one example of turning your passion into a profitable side business. What are some other ways?

A friend has his own landscaping and snow removal business in addition to his full time job. It’s grown so big that he’s had to hire two employees to keep up with demand.

A local entrepreneur started his own DJ business and has been booked solid for weddings and Christmas parties for years. His taste for entrepreneurship didn’t stop there, as he started a Booster Juice franchise a few years ago and expanded to five locations.

Our neighbour rents out her basement to help pay off the mortgage faster.

I also discovered that several people I work with have their own side-hustles. Here’s what some of them are doing:

  • Photographer
  • Promotional items (sourcing pens, t-shirts and other promotional items for your business)
  • Mortgage broker
  • Freelance writing for local magazines and newspapers
  • Content creation for local websites
  • Web design for local businesses
  • Bartender

The point is there are plenty of ways to make more money outside of a traditional 9-to-5.

Final thoughts

Doing what you love full-time might not pay the bills. That’s why doing what you love on the side can fuel your passion and put some extra money in your pocket.

Can you turn your passion into a money-making side-hustle?

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  1. Andrew on September 19, 2016 at 5:48 am

    That’s great that you have so many streams of income Rob. It’s a good reminder that you can do what you love and still have a job that pays the bills. Thanks for the inspiration. 5 days a week for two years!!!! That’s amazing great for you and your money to do that.

  2. Kurt on September 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    Nope. I just want to make great beer. No money in that on the side…legally anyway lol. Glad i love my job and it provides all i need. Now i just need time to brew!

  3. Nelson Smith on September 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    While I’m definitely a fan of building multiple streams of income, I’d only encourage people to work on a side hustle if they want to. I’ve heard too many stories of people starting and then promptly quitting a part-time job because they just didn’t value making more money.

    I have a friend who insists on never working weekends. The thing is at least half the time he’s just hanging around doing nothing anyway. It doesn’t make sense logically but he’s insistent. If you told him to give up his weekends, it just wouldn’t work.

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