In today’s increasingly expensive world, achieving financial security often requires more than just relying on a single source of income. The unpredictability of the economy and job market, coupled with inflation and the desire to live debt free, has many people searching for additional ways to supplement their income. Side hustles, once a fringe concept, have rapidly become a mainstream solution to address these needs and open up new doors of opportunity. For many, their side hustle is not just about making extra money, but also about following a passion or exploring new interests.
What is a side hustle? A side hustle is a self-employment or entrepreneurial venture that someone pursues outside of their main profession, primarily to earn extra income. It can also be a part-time job, but unlike a traditional second job, a side hustle often aligns more closely with personal passions or market gaps, offering both fun and profit.
This blog post offers some insights into the benefits that side hustles offer, especially for massage therapists. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of starting a side hustle, guide you in choosing the best gig for you, and even share some ideas tailored for those in the massage therapy and wellness industry. Read on to discover how you can make extra money and diversify your income, and potentially have some fun along the way!
What is a Side Hustle?
A side hustle is any venture, project, or job you take on outside of your main profession, to serve as an additional income stream. It often results from a passion, the need for extra money, or the aspiration to grow something bigger. While side hustles can just be a part-time job, they typically take the form of an entrepreneurial venture that you start and grow yourself or with a partner.
Side hustles are more than just an opportunity to make extra cash; they are a way to diversify income. So instead depending on a single revenue stream (like counting on a steady flow of massage appointments), you can have multiple income streams. This strategy can add resiliency to your monthly income and increase your financial security. And speaking of increasing financial security, be sure to check out out article on reducing massage client no-shows.
For many therapists, massage is their main job, the core way they meet their financial needs. And because of the flexibility that a career in massage therapy offers, it often means there’s room for another venture. For other therapists, massage is their side hustle, and is something they pursue during free hours outside another primary job.
Side hustles can take many forms, from gig-based tasks like food delivery or driving for a ride-share company, to entrepreneurial endeavors like making and selling products online or locally. Some side hustles have the potential to grow into a full-blown business. So whether you’re thinking of expanding your massage therapy offerings or diving into something completely new, the world of side hustles offers endless opportunities.
Benefits of Side Hustles for Massage Therapists
Having a side hustle can potentially offer several advantages over only working as a massage therapist. In this section, we’ll shed light on the benefits so that you can determine whether a side hustle is worth the time and effort for you.
- Extra Money: The biggest and most obvious benefit is additional income streams for more financial security. This means if the spa or clinic you work at has a slow month, or if you run your own practice and appointments are sparse, you’ve got a backup plan.
- Test the Waters: Ever had a business idea but been too scared to dive in headfirst? Side hustles let you start small with little risk. Maybe you’ve thought about selling products online or starting a YouTube channel. Instead of plunging in full-time, you can start small and see how it goes.
- Grow and Learn: Starting a side hustle is a great opportunity to learn about business, marketing, or even technology. These new skills can benefit your main gig too. Let’s say you learn some social media marketing with your side hustle; those skills can be used to promote your massage therapy business as well.
- Rest Your Hands: Working as a massage therapist can be tough on the body, particularly the hands. A side hustle, especially if it’s something less physical, can provide a welcome change of pace and give your hands and body chance to recover. Plus, it can add some variety to your daily routine and provide a welcomed change of scenery if you spend all day cooped up in a windowless massage room.
- Dream Big: The right side hustle can potentially grow into a main income source, offering you more flexibility and the freedom to choose when and how much you want to work.
So, while working as a massage therapist is rewarding, there’s no harm in looking beyond the massage table. Who knows, your next big thing could be just around the corner!
Pros and Cons of Starting a Side Hustle
It may be tempting to jump right into a new side hustle. The potential for extra income, personal growth, and the chance to try something new are all pretty enticing. But as with everything, there are pros and cons to starting a side hustle. This is true whether you’re a massage employee, self-employed, or running your own practice.
Pros of Starting a Side Hustle
- Extra Income: Side hustles provide an additional revenue stream, easing financial pressures.
- Income Security: Having multiple earnings sources offers a safety net in case one slows down.
- Skill Enhancement: Diversifying into new areas can help in acquiring and refining new and valuable skills.
- Entrepreneurial Exploration: It’s a chance to try out a business idea with less risk.
- Career Flexibility: Side hustles can offer the freedom to work on your own terms and set your own hours.
- Passion Pursuit: It allows you to earn from activities you’re genuinely passionate about.
- Personal Growth: Facing new challenges and navigating them fosters personal and professional development.
- Future Potential: What starts small might grow into a full-time, prosperous venture.
Cons of Starting a Side Hustle
- Divided Focus: Juggling a side hustle commitment can spread you thin, potentially affecting the quality of your work or lead to scheduling challenges.
- Potential Conflicts: Your side hustle could interfere with your primary job’s terms or non-compete clauses.
- Initial Costs: Some ventures require upfront investment which might strain your budget.
- Burnout Risk: Managing multiple jobs can be mentally and physically taxing, leading to fatigue and stress. It can put your time management skills to the test.
- Uncertain Returns: There’s no guarantee that the side hustle will be profitable, posing financial risks.
- Learning Curve: A new venture may require skills and knowledge you don’t currently have.
- Regulatory Challenges: Depending on the hustle, there might be permits, licenses, or regulations to deal with.
- Work-Life Balance: More work hours can intrude on personal time, impacting relationships and leisure.
Now let’s look at this from the opposite perspective. What are some of the pros and cons of just doubling down on your massage therapy business rather than starting a side hustle? Some of the pros of just focusing on building your massage practice include faster growth and not having to learn a new set of skills. Some cons include missing out on all the benefits of starting a side hustle. Since the pros and cons depend on your goals and individual situation, I encourage you to create your own list specific to your needs.
What Makes a Side Hustle Idea Great?
In a world of opportunities and endless ideas for earning extra money, what truly sets a great side hustle apart from the rest? Whether you’re looking to leverage your skills, chase a passion, or simply make some additional cash, identifying the right venture is an important first step. Here are some key factors that make a side hustle idea stand out:
- Low Startup Costs: A best side hustles often doesn’t require a large initial investment. They also have a low entry barrier in terms of cost and training. It’s about maximizing returns while minimizing the upfront costs. This ensures that you start profiting sooner. Just be aware that when there are low barriers to entry, you will probably have more competition.
- Minimal Risk: A great side hustle shouldn’t jeopardize your financial stability, your main job, or your personal well-being. While all ventures come with some degree of risk, it’s better to opt for one that doesn’t put undue stress on your resources.
- Lean Startup: A top side hustle can begin small, allowing you to test ideas without major upfront costs. This approach is budget-friendly, offers faster learning, and makes scaling up smoother once you’ve found your groove.
- Diversity of Income: A side hustle that diversifies your income sources is especially valuable. It can offer more financial security, especially in times when primary income sources might be unstable, like during a recession.
- Flexibility: One of the primary attractions of a side hustle is its flexibility. A great side gig allows you to work on your own terms, be it during weekends, evenings, or in short bursts throughout the day, without interfering with your main job or personal commitments.
- High Demand: A profitable side hustle taps into a product or service with consistent demand year round (unless a seasonal gig is what you’re looking for). By identifying a gap in the market or a niche area that you can cater to, you ensure a steady stream of potential clients or customers.
- Scalability: Can your side hustle grow? An excellent side business offers the potential to scale up. This might mean expanding your client base, branching into related services, or even automating or outsourcing certain aspects to generate passive income.
- Passion-Driven: The best side hustles often align with personal interests or passions. When you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work, which can lead to greater persistence and better outcomes.
- Personal Growth: Some side hustles, even if not immediately profitable, can offer immense personal growth. They might help you acquire new skills, become an expert in a hobby, or simply boost your confidence.
- Leverages Your Skills & Talents: Great side hustles often capitalize on existing skills. Whether you’re a graphic designer, writer, or a handyman, if you can leverage what you already know, you’ll save time on the learning curve and start earning faster.
- Future-Proof: In our rapidly evolving digital age, a great side hustle idea should have longevity. It’s essential to consider the future demand for your chosen hustle and how it might adapt to changing market conditions or technological advancements.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what makes a “perfect” side hustle, these guiding principles can help in evaluating opportunities. Identifying a venture that aligns with your goals, strengths, lifestyle, and values will set you on a path to both financial and personal rewards.
A side hustle should complement your life, not complicate it.
29 Side Hustles for Massage Therapists
Let’s explore some side hustle ideas that cater to the unique skill set of a massage therapist, a well as some ideas in other niches.
Ideas Related to Massage & Wellness
- Build your own clientele. Probably the most obvious side hustle for massage therapists who currently work as an employee at a clinic or spa is to start building their own clientele on the side. As your clientele expands, this part-time endeavor could pave the way for a successful transition into a full-time practice.
- Sell massage and wellness products. This idea taps into a growing market of health-conscious consumers. With products like essential oils, candles, Himalayan salt lamps, ergonomic massage tools, EMF blocking products, or hand-made microwavable heat packs, this side hustle offers a tangible way to meet the needs of those prioritizing self-care and relaxation.
- Offer classes or workshops online or locally in your community for other health and wellness professionals or for the general public. These can be group sessions or individual classes. Find a wellness or massage niche to specialize in like meditation, corporate massage, specific massage techniques, and become the local expert.
- Massage blogging of vlogging. Launching a massage-centric blog or vlog can harness a growing interest in holistic health and self-care. By sharing techniques, product reviews, or client experiences, you can potentially generate advertising revenue or affiliate commissions, or even sell your own products.
- Virtual wellness coaching taps into the surge of online health consultations, allowing practitioners to guide clients in areas like stress management, sleep improvement, or posture correction. Using platforms like Zoom or Skype, coaches can hold sessions, set achievable health goals for clients, and provide tailored advice, all while benefiting from the flexibility of online scheduling.
Ideas in Other Industries
- Fitness side hustle. Offer services like local or virtual personal training sessions, yoga or Pilates instruction, or sell custom workout plans. Share workouts or fitness challenges. Platforms like Zoom or Skype can be tools for real-time coaching if you want to go the online route, and a simple website or even social media can host and promote your tailored workout regimes. Consider catering to individuals seeking specific fitness goals like post-pregnancy weight loss or muscle toning.
- Ride-sharing driver. Using platforms like Uber or Lyft, you can set your own hours, driving during peak times like weekend nights or morning commutes to maximize earnings. Many drivers utilize fuel-efficient cars and targeted strategies, such as airport runs or event shuttling, to boost their monthly income, often reaching $1,000 – $2,000 per month or more in busy urban areas.
- Delivery driver. Leveraging platforms like DoorDash, UberEats, Grubhub, Postmates, or Amazon Flex, a delivery driver can transport meals, groceries, or other goods to customers in their local area. By optimizing routes, focusing on high-demand hours, and providing exceptional service, individuals can consistently earn a good supplemental income in densely populated regions.
- Teaching classes or workshops provides an avenue to monetize everyday skills. For instance, if you’ve mastered the art of using a smart device, crafting candles, or basic home repairs, hosting local workshops or online tutorials can cater to the growing DIY culture.
- Virtual assistant. You can offer virtual assistant (VA) services from data entry and calendar management to content creation and social media management for businesses and individuals alike. Using platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, Hire My Mom, or Freelancer, it’s feasible to find clients looking for these services, especially as remote work continues to surge in popularity.
- Backyard nursery. Starting a backyard nursery involves cultivating plants, such as succulents, herbs, houseplants, bamboo, rare plants, or flowering perennials, and selling them to neighbors, at local farmer’s markets, or online platforms like Facebook Marketplace. By leveraging local demand for garden plants and focusing on high-demand varieties, this side hustle can serve as a sustainable way to tap into the gardening boom.
- Herbal products. Creating herbal products could include handcrafting items like lavender-infused oils, rosemary salves, or chamomile tea blends from homegrown or ethically sourced herbs. Selling these through local craft fairs, online marketplaces such as Etsy, or community co-ops can cater to a growing audience interested in natural remedies and self-care.
- Farmers’ market vendor. Setting up a booth at local markets to sell fresh produce, homemade jams, or handcrafted goods. For instance, if you have a knack for baking, you might sell sourdough bread and pastries, or if you’re a gardener, offer bundles of fresh herbs and seasonal veggies to eager weekend shoppers.
- Baking as a side hustle means whipping up delicious treats like chocolate chip cookies, decadent brownies, or artisanal bread from your kitchen and selling them to to customers in your community or at local events. With the rise of social media platforms like Instagram, showcasing your creations can attract local customers who are on the lookout for custom birthday cakes, cupcakes for events, or even weekly bread subscriptions.
- Transcription involves converting spoken words into written text, often for industries like medical or legal where professionals need recordings turned into accessible documents. Platforms like Rev or TranscribeMe allow individuals to take on transcription tasks, transforming audio files from podcasts, interviews, or seminars into clean, formatted text.
- Blogger or freelance writer. This side hustle idea lets you curate content around your passions, such as creating DIY crafts tutorials or reviewing the latest tech gadgets. On the other hand, freelance writing can have you writing articles for various clients, like crafting health tips for wellness magazines or generating engaging product descriptions for e-commerce sites.
- Proofreader. With a proofreader side hustle, you’ll meticulously review and correct documents, spotting errors in grammar, punctuation, or spelling, ensuring the final product is polished and error-free. For instance, you might proofread manuscripts for budding authors, business reports for companies, or even blog posts for digital marketers.
- House cleaning. Offer services like vacuuming, dusting, window cleaning or pressure washing services, catering to homeowners or small businesses who need periodic deep cleaning or are too busy for regular upkeep. For a touch of specialization, consider offering environmentally-friendly cleaning using only natural products or providing quick services for homes prepping for an open house or post-renovation cleanup.
- Reselling or flipping. Scout thrift stores, garage sales, or online marketplaces for undervalued items like vintage clothing, electronics, or collectible toys, then sell them at a marked-up price on platforms like eBay or Poshmark. For instance, buying a mid-century chair for $50 at a local sale and reselling it for $200 after a minor refurbish can provide a sizable profit with minimal time or investment.
- Do tasks for people like running errands or assisting people with home projects. For instance, offer grocery shopping for the elderly or people who have trouble getting out. Or you could assist busy executives in personal shopping or curating gift lists. Earn extra money an Instacart shopper or use platforms like TaskRabbit as your launchpad.
- Lawn care. Offer tailored services like mowing, trimming, weeding, and fertilizing for homeowners in your community, or aerating and raking services during specific seasons. To stand out, provide eco-friendly options or package deals, such as monthly maintenance or drought-resistant plant installations for those looking to conserve water. You could also offer plant sitting, where you take care of plants for people while out of town.
- Event planning. Assist clients in organizing memorable events by coordinating venue bookings, managing guest lists, or even offering themed decoration suggestions. For example, specialize in small gatherings such as intimate weddings, kids or milestone birthday parties, or team-building retreats, focusing on personal touches and efficient communication to distinguish your services.
- YouTube channel. Start by sharing engaging content in a niche you’re passionate about, such as DIY crafts, cooking tutorials, or tech reviews. For instance, if you’re into antique collecting, showcase rare finds, restoration processes, or history lessons on popular items from the past, gradually building a subscriber base and monetizing through ads, sponsorships, and affiliate links.
- Pet sitting or dog walking. Offer services in your local community to look after pets during vacations, daily dog walks for working individuals, or even manage feeding schedules for clients with irregular hours. Busy professionals or frequent travelers could be potential clients, looking for reliable hands to ensure their pets get the attention and care they need while they’re preoccupied.
- Crafting and handmade goods. Turn your creative skills into profit by making unique items like hand-poured candles, intricate jewelry, or custom tote bags. Utilizing platforms like Etsy, local farmer’s markets, or social media, you can showcase your products and connect with customers searching for authentic, tailor-made items.
- Creating and selling digital art. Use graphic design software to craft unique pieces, from vibrant digital paintings to practical items like planners or calendars. List them on platforms like Etsy, Gumroad, or your own website to attract art enthusiasts and those seeking out useful digital tools or decor for their personal use.
- Print on demand allows individuals to create custom designs and sell them on products like t-shirts, mugs, or tote bags without holding any inventory. By using platforms such as Printful or Teespring, entrepreneurs can upload their designs, select the product type, and have the item created and shipped only when a customer places an order, ensuring minimal upfront costs and a chance to tap into niche markets with unique offerings.
- Affiliate marketing. Collaborate with businesses, such as Amazon or ClickBank, to promote their products on your blog, social media, or website. Each sale made through your unique referral link earns you a commission, turning product recommendations into passive income, especially if you focus on evergreen items or high-demand niches.
- Dropshipping. Launch an online store using platforms like Shopify or WooCommerce, and partner with suppliers to list their products without holding any inventory yourself. When customers purchase from your site, you order the item from your supplier who then ships directly to the customer, allowing you to profit from the difference between your sale price and the supplier’s price.
How to Choose a Side Hustle and Get Started
The following is a step-by-step of how to choose a side hustle idea that fits your needs and interests, and will help you achieve your goals. It pays to do some research first!
- Self-Assessment: Before anything else, take a good look in the mirror. What are your passions? Where do your skills and talents lie? How much time you can realistically dedicate to a side hustle? Recognizing your strengths and interests will lead you to opportunities that don’t feel like a grind.
- Set Clear Goals: Define what success looks like for you, whether it’s a certain income amount or building skills. Would you be happy with earning an extra $500 per month? Or are you looking to earn and extra $1,000 to $2,000 or more per month? Calculate any startup costs and recurring expenses, and ensure that these are within your budget.
- Brainstorm Ideas: List all the ideas that you can think of that fit your criteria.
- Decide on Your Niche: Narrow this list down to the top ideas and then research these closely. Write down the pros and cons of each. It is ideal to talk with a few people that are already doing that type of work to learn the inside scoop.
- Research: Investigate market demand, potential profitability, and competition for the top ideas you are considering. Ensure you understand any regulations, licenses, or permits required. Also find out any potential risks or pitfalls associated with these ideas.
- Choose a Marketing Strategy: Depending on your hustle, this could be anything from an online marketplace, website, or a local venue. Develop a catchy name, logo, and consistent branding message to make your side hustle recognizable. Determine how you will stand out from the competition. Promote using social media, local advertising, word-of-mouth, or content marketing to get the word out. Network to connect with others in your chosen field to gain insights, partnerships, or potential customer referrals.
- Iterate and Adapt: As you go along, gather feedback and be ready to adapt to changing circumstances or customer needs. Stay updated with trends, tools, and techniques in your niche. See if you can locate any resources or tools to help your side-hustle grow faster.
- Re-evaluate Periodically: Take time every few months to assess the direction of your side hustle, the workload, and its profitability. Adjust strategies accordingly.
- Stay Committed: Side hustles often require time to mature and become profitable. Stay committed, and be patient and persistent.
Remember, success in a side hustle, as with most things, often comes down to a mix of passion, persistence, and adaptability.
In today’s fast-paced and uncertain world, relying solely on one income source can feel risky. Side hustles, from teaching yoga classes or starting a backyard nursery, to selling handcrafted products, have become essential strategies for many massage therapists seeking both financial stability and personal fulfillment. They’ve transitioned from mere hobbies to serious ventures, offering not just extra cash but avenues for personal growth and peace of mind.
Starting a side gig is a journey from a simple idea to a purpose-filled project, providing a safety net in unpredictable times. In closing, side hustles are more than just financial ventures; they’re opportunities to explore, learn, and adapt, showcasing our adaptability and resilience.
If you’re eager to dive further into the world of side hustles, there’s a wealth of information out there to guide you. Here are some top-notch resources to set you on the right path:
- The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. An insight into optimizing, automating, and outsourcing everything in your business and personal life.
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau. Great read on launching a successful venture with minimal investment.
- Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days by Chris Guillebeau. A step-by-step guide that provides a roadmap for readers to launch a profitable side hustle in less than a month.
- 100 Side Hustles: Unexpected Ideas for Making Extra Money Without Quitting Your Day Job by Chris Guillebeau. A compilation of unique and varied side hustle stories from across the world, serving both as inspiration and a guide.
- The Side Hustle Path: 10 Proven Ways to Make Money Outside of Your Day Job by Nick Loper. This book offers multiple ways to generate extra income outside of a traditional 9-to-5 job, providing actionable advice for each method.
- Hustle Away Debt: Eliminate Your Debt by Making More Money by David Carlson. This book focuses on overcoming debt by leveraging side hustles. It provides strategies and actionable advice on boosting income.
- Side Hustle Blueprint: How to Make an Extra $1000 in 30 Days Without Leaving Your Day Job! by Lise Cartwright. A guide filled with ideas and strategies to start earning additional income quickly, without jeopardizing one’s primary job.
- The Side Hustler’s Handbook: A Beginner’s Guide to Side Hustling, Freelancing, and Making Money Online by Kelsey Henson. This handbook is tailored for beginners, offering a primer on various online money-making opportunities, from freelancing to digital entrepreneurship.
- Side Hustle Nation. Founded by Nick Loper, this website provides actionable advice, podcast episodes, and resources to help people start and grow their side businesses.
- Side Hustle School. Created by Chris Guillebeau, author of the “Side Hustle” book, this website offers daily podcast episodes featuring different side hustle stories.
- Reddit’s r/sidehustle Community. A community where individuals share their side hustle experiences, ask questions, and get advice from fellow side hustlers.
FAQ About Side Hustles
What are some ideas for a side hustle that I can start while in school?
Many options in the lists above would be suitable for a massage student as well. Some of the best include: running local errands, yard work, cleaning services, and various online ventures. These options require minimal initial investment and tap into the everyday needs. Plus, they fit comfortably into a student’s unpredictable schedule. Finding a gap in the local community’s needs and offering a solution can lead to a successful side hustle.
What are the best side hustle ideas that I can work from home or online?
For those keen on working from home or online, a few standout side hustles include freelance writing, where you can produce articles, blog posts, or web content for various clients; virtual assisting, where you handle tasks like email management, appointment scheduling, and data entry for businesses; and designing digital products, such as templates or graphics, which customers can purchase and download. Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and Etsy are great starting points to market these skills and products to a wider audience.
Which side hustles pay well?
Well-paying side hustles often have a few key characteristics: they offer a quick return on investment, are scalable, and cater to a consistent demand. For instance, offering services like lawn care or house cleaning can provide immediate income with minimal upfront costs. Similarly, teaching a skill you’re proficient in, such as a musical instrument or a foreign language, can bring steady clientele. Lastly, creating and selling digital products, like printables or simple software tools, can generate passive income while requiring low maintenance after the initial setup.
Are there any side hustles that I can start with no experience?
Absolutely! There are several side hustles you can kick off without prior experience. Side hustles with minimal learning curves are those that often tap into basic skills or activities you’re already familiar with. For example, pet sitting or dog walking is straightforward and relies mainly on your love for animals. Washing windows or lawn mowing for neighbors or local businesses doesn’t require intricate knowledge but can be lucrative. Selling hand-made crafts, whether it’s knitted scarves or handmade jewelry, can be both a passion and profit, especially if you already have a crafty hobby. These models are not only easy to grasp but can be started quickly without diving deep into complex online business nuances.