After I was finished with grad school, I had a job lined up and was feeling pretty good. I moved into the city where my new job would be and was then informed that because of the downturn (this was in spring 09) that the project I was slated to be working on was being pushed back indefinitely, and I was out of a job.

Of course, I wasnt happy about this and needed to get an income quickly. I started brainstorming ideas about businesses that I could start related to things I was interested in, and all of them required a large amount of start up capital – large being way more than I had at the time (which was basically nothing).


I went back to all the things that my friends and I talked about while bullshitting over beers in college – starting a brewery, opening a barber shop staffed by strippers, and various odds and ends. Like I mentioned earlier, all required a large amount of start up cash, and perhaps not all of them have real potential.

While I was blogging at this time, I wasnt earning much income/any income from the site, and didnt really want to become a blogger. I like going to work, learning new things, and chatting with co-workers. None of this eventually mattered, as I found a job about 2 months later. I kept writing though, and kept all of those half baked business ideas in the back of my mind – I talked them over with friends who have skills in various areas that are related to or ancillary to what I’d like to do.

After earning my first bit of income from the blog, I plowed that income back into the site to grow it and go for more revenues over time, all while keeping some of my original ideas in the back of my head, waiting for the day where I’d have enough cash to get into one of them (barber shop store fronts are expensive!).

I had a specific number in mind to get my blog fund to before I pulled money out of it and used it to start another potential money making venture so I just kept working towards that. I figured what the hay? If one became more successful than the other, I’d still be in great shape having two side hustles! Just recently however, I learned that the number I had in my head was way higher than the number I actually needed!


Needless to say, when I found out about this I was pretty excited and started plotting when I’d be able to reach my goal, all of the exciting marketing strategies I was going to employ with my new side hustle, and of course, dreams of me sitting on a beach sipping mai-tais sitting on a deck overlooking a very large plot of land with a herd of animals for sale and personal use while sipping some bourbon. Just as quickly, I talked myself back into reality and got back into planning for my new venture.

Once I start this new venture (if I end up starting it at all), I’m wondering what to do with the proceeds from that income stream. Should I use them to reinvest in the business, or create a new income stream for myself, or should I frivolously spend my profits and open up that barber shop with my buddies?

The reason that I got into blogging initially was because I wanted to write more and become a better writer, but then once I figured out I could make some money from it, I decided I needed a new plan for that extra cash. I dont want to use it to pay off debt (though I could) I want to use it to create more income streams, giving me more leverage and greater total cash flow.

Opening a business that deals in real products that you can see and touch and throw at people has always been a dream of mine – and blogging has been just the low overhead ticket to where I want to go.

Readers: What are you doing with your side hustle income? Do you spend it on gifts or debt or bills, or are you using it to try to earn more money over time? If you dont have a plan for it, are you willing to make a down payment on a dream or goal you’ve always had?

Photo: Grand Canal, Venice, Sam.