My $1 Million Side Hustles

best side hustles

My $1 Million Side Hustles

Grant Sabatier

Founder of Millennial Money. Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. He's passionate about helping others build wealth and is addicted to Personal Capital.

Latest posts by Grant Sabatier (see all)

Side hustles are my jam. Seriously, I wouldn’t be millennial millionaire and achieved financial independence at the age of 30 without side hustling. I’ve always been hustling. It’s in my blood. I can’t help it. Everything I look at in life I see a business opportunity. Sometimes it’s a blessing and sometimes it’s a…. we’ll I guess it’s always a blessing. #gratitude

I launched my first business at the age of 5 when I started a newsletter for my neighborhood. I sold subscriptions for $10/year to my neighbors, promising to keep them informed of the happenings in the neighborhood. I made them pay up-front either with cash or check. I sold 18 subscriptions and made $180 in one weekend at the age of 5.

While I don’t have detailed records spanning back over the past 25 years, I am 100% certain based on my calculations that…

I have made over $1 Million Side Hustling. Here's How. Click to Tweet

Unfortunately, while I invested quite a bit of that money, I didn’t invest it all. I bought my condo with side hustle money. I bought my car with side hustle money. And I’ve traveled to over 25 countries using side hustle money.1 million dollar side hustles

I also have a lot of problems with side hustling. I’ve talked with too many people who tell me that they want to be career Uber drivers, despite that fact that Uber is clearly trying to replace all drivers with robots. Also, I see too many people trying to side hustle on Fiverr and websites where the only way they can compete is on price – essentially offering a commodity product. It is very hard to get ahead in life if you offer a commodity product at a low price.

Offering services on Fiverr for a vast majority of people is just a waste of time. I encourage anyone who is interested in side hustling to try and look at your side hustling as a business – and then build that business. Don’t just offer commodity services for a fee. Taskrabbit, Uber, Instacart, etc. are fine to pay the bills, but your time is better spent MAKING MONEY WHILE LEARNING SKILLS that can you use later.

Check out our recent Millennial Money Podcast episode on side hustles:

A lot of side hustle posts that I read are written by people who haven’t tried the side hustles themselves. I have tried all of these side hustles personally. Here’s a list of most of the top side hustles that I have used to make money, invest, and build wealth.

7 Best Side Hustles

 

1. SEO Consulting

 

I have worked as an SEO consultant for over 10 years and booked side gigs ranging from $500 to over $100,000. This has been by far my most successful side hustle. And even though SEO has become more of a commodity service – it feels like everyone and their mother does SEO these days, I have built a referral network that continues to generate new clients.

I also recently wrote a blog post on Free SEO Tips for Bloggers that has been viewed over 100,000 times and is bringing in an additional stream of SEO clients. If you happen to want to take your traffic to the next level, hit me up if you are are in need of SEO consulting. This is a really in demand side hustle and can be done from anywhere in the world. In total the SEO work I’ve done has resulted in hundreds of millions of additional traffic, which I’m super proud of.

 

Side hustle revenue: $500,000+

 

I have been working with this blogger for the past 2 years and along with their traffic, their revenue has also grown significantly since leveraging SEO.

 

2. Concert/Event Ticket Reselling

 

I can’t buy tickets to an in-demand concert without buying 4 extra tickets to sell on the side to pay for mine. Sometimes if I can get a pre-sale code I’ll buy 12 tickets just to make the money. I bought 12 Beyonce tickets and made over $5,000 just from less than 3 clicks on my computer. “Buy” “List in Stub Hub” “Confirm Purchase”. What did I do with the money? I used it to make my annual IRA contribution.

I have repeated this many times over the years and it’s actually pretty easy to do when you are already planning on buying tickets for an event. A piece of advice, there are a ton of people who try to do this so it’s hard to make a full-time business out of it, but I do know one guy who makes over $200,000 every year simple buying and reselling concert tickets to the big name shows. Something about ticket reselling has always felt a bit skeezy to me, but good tickets get bought up immediately anyway. Might as well make a few bucks doing it.

 

Side hustle revenue: $100,000 +

 

 

3. Domain Reselling

 

Investing in domains is one of the easiest side hustles. There is no other place where you can get a 1,000%+ return on your money in a pretty short amount of time (less than 90 days in some cases). I buy and sell them at $400+ profit regularly and have been doing so for over 10 years. Domains are the real estate of the internet and they are only getting more and more valuable. I have seen the average price for a mid-tier domain jump from $400 to $3,3000 in the past 3 years alone.

One huge driver of these price increases, of course, is the growth of WordPress and as building websites have gotten easier, more people have been willing to shell out pretty big bucks to get the exact domain they want. I currently own over 800 domains and a vast majority of them have a “Domain For Sale” landing page where visitors can submit an offer to me. I have them all set-up so unless an offer is over $1,000 then I don’t receive the email. So I don’t have to deal with lowballers.

 

Side hustle revenue: $140,000 +

 

 

4. Launching A Blog

 

This blog currently makes over $2,000 per month on advertising and affiliate revenue. This is money that I have to do nothing to get – readers just reader, they sometimes click, and then sometimes they sign-up or try a service at no cost to them. Here’s a guide I wrote on how to start a blog and make money.

I didn’t launch Millennial Money to make money. I launched it because I really like thinking and writing about money. To learn more about why I blog check-out my blogging and money as meditation post. I also feel like it’s my personal mission to share sound financial advice and spread financial literacy. It just so happens that pretty much everything I get interested in turns into a business opportunity. The money from the blog is simply a by-product of my passion for writing. If you don’t enjoy writing then don’t start a blog – you really have to love writing.

 

Side hustle revenue: $50,000 +

 

5. WordPress Website Building (& Maintenance Fees!)

 

I no longer build WordPress sites, but back in the day I easily built over 100 of them and worked on even more. I was an OG WordPress adoptor and loved building websites for anyone who needed one. I got my early clients from Craigslist and eLance (now UpWork) and started building websites for law offices, consulting firms, non-profits, churches, real estate companies, and e-commerce startups.

One bonus is that I got to learn about so many different industries, including for example hydroponics, which I would have probably never learned about had I not had to build WordPress site for the second largest (at the time) online hydroponics store. Another cool thing about building WordPress websites is that my clients then wanted to buy on-going website maintenance services from me. These services included things like keeping the website secure and uploading content. This is where the real gold was, especially from larger law firms. I was able to get some maintenance contracts at $1,000/month – which is a tiny expense for a big firm. Building WordPress websites really added up.

Unfortunately, while there is still a ton of WordPress website projects – it’s now more of a commodity service. The best WordPress developers now on UpWork are based in India or the UK. WordPress development becoming a commodity is fine if you want to build a $500 website for your friend’s local business, but it’s a lot tougher to scale. I no longer work on WordPress projects unless I am helping a friend for free, because I don’t enjoy building sites as much as I like doing SEO consulting.

 

Side hustle revenue: $300,000 +

 

me on maintenance fees!

 

6. VW Westfalia Campers and Moped Flipping

puch moped

my pride and joy – 1978 MK2 Puch Moped

 

This is probably the side hustle I have the most fun doing. I have been buying and selling both VW Campers and mopeds since I was in college. I sell a lot more mopeds that VW campers, but when I find a good camper deal I don’t hesitate. I love VW Westfalia Campers from the 1970’s and 1980’s and have owned 2 over the past 10 years. They have gone up a ton in value over that time, but you can still find deals on them locally.

I also buy and sell moped – little 49 cc Italian and Austrian mopeds made in the mid 1970’s to the 1980’s. These are super cool and command premium prices in cities since they are easy to ride and get 100+ mpgs!  I have Craiglist alerts set up in Chicago for mopeds and pounce quickly on the deals. I actually have a storage facility just for my mopeds and still love buying and selling them. These two hobbies of mine are actually great side hustles that I don’t ever imagine stopping.

 

Side hustle revenue: $50,000 +

 

 

7. Freelance White Paper Writing

 

I’ve never worked as a freelance writer for any websites, because I was never able to find lucrative enough gigs. I didn’t want to write posts for $200-$300 each. I wanted to get paid to write $5,000 – $10,000 reports! So I haven’t written as a freelancer for any websites, but what I have done quite a bit of is write white papers for companies. Here’s basically how it works. Consulting companies, engineering firms, law firms, and tons of other professional service firms like to put out “thought leadership” reports which basically are blog/research reports on steroids. Sometimes they are pretty big.

The firm wants to look smart on a topic and then use the whitepaper as part of their sales strategy. The funny thing about these reports is that very few companies actually write them – they hire freelancers to do it. If you were good at writing college papers then you will be awesome at writing white papers. I’ve written papers on all kinds of things and even hired my own researcher in India to do most of the fact finding for me. Always be hustling! A great place to look for these gigs is on Craigslist or through networking at local corporate events. If you go in expressing interest in white paper writing you can find likely find some gigs.

 

Side hustle revenue: $30,000 +

 

I’ve done other side hustles, but these have been my most profitable and all helped me build new skillsets. I strongly recommend that you try side hustles that enrich your skills and teach you new things. Those side hustles will pay you back for a lifetime.

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Grant Sabatier
grant@millennialmoney.com

Founder of Millennial Money. Dubbed "The Millennial Millionaire" by CNBC, Grant went from $2.26 to $1 million in 5 years, reaching financial independence at age 30. He's passionate about helping others build wealth and is addicted to Personal Capital.

45 Comments
  • The Financial Tech
    Posted at 17:34h, 07 February Reply

    Congrats on achieving FI at a such low age. I wish I had hustling before but I was lazy. Seing all these hustle prove that you’ve worked hard to achieve the FI.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 20:34h, 07 February Reply

      Thanks! I attribute my side hustles as the reason I was able to reach it.

  • Max Your Freedom
    Posted at 19:41h, 07 February Reply

    That’s some serious side hustle scratch! All the skills you picked up along the way are definitely showing with the blog. Sounds like you’re both in control of your finances and how you spend your time. Good work!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 20:32h, 07 February Reply

      Thanks Max. I just love hustling! I’m hoping this inspires at least a few people to take their side hustles to the next level.

  • Alexis @FITnancials
    Posted at 19:46h, 07 February Reply

    Wow! You had a business personality and drive to you at such a young age. I was doing something similar, but not nearly as difficult, I presume. I set up a lemonade stand weekly and donated the money to our local animal shelter.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 20:29h, 07 February Reply

      Thanks Alexis. Yeah I was definitely an intense kid.

  • Biglaw Investor
    Posted at 06:16h, 08 February Reply

    Love it. Reminds me of the time in college when I had 10,000 CDs (weighing over 1 ton) delivered to my apartment via semi-truck. I saw an opportunity to break them into boxes of 100 and sell them on eBay. Made a couple of thousand on the deal. Always be hustling!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 09:13h, 08 February Reply

      Thanks Josh. What are CDs? Haha. Infinite ways to hustle. If you want it.

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher
    Posted at 09:17h, 08 February Reply

    This is so timely. I started doing freelance writing/marketing work on Upwork and have my first client call tomorrow. Hopefully I can build a nice little client base and some side hustle income. Ideally I’d love to replace my full-time income so I can just focus on fun jobs!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 10:56h, 08 February Reply

      Good luck! There is definitely some gold on Upwork, but you need to hunt for it. Then the recurring revenue from consistent clients is key.

  • Mrs. BITA
    Posted at 14:59h, 08 February Reply

    That was a fun read. You sir, are a very enterprising man and I am your polar opposite. I only make money via my day job and I enjoyed being a voyeur to all your many adventures.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 15:22h, 08 February Reply

      Thanks Mrs. BITA.

  • Steven
    Posted at 17:38h, 08 February Reply

    Wow that is really inspirational and a breath of fresh air compaired to the typical drive an uber, di gigs on fiverr advice. This brought some new insight. I’m wondering how you handlle taxation on side husttles. Can you just add that income to your tax declaration in the U.S. or do you need to set up some sort of company to be able to do your invoicing etc… ?

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 17:49h, 08 February Reply

      Thanks Steven. I’m all about fresh air! I run all of my side hustles through an LLC, so I can also take some deductions come tax time. It’s a win-win. I also do my best to pay quarterly taxes on the income, but sometimes really misjudge based on cash flow. I’ve gotten stuck with a few pretty big tax bills, but now I’ve gotten a better handle on it. LLCs are pretty amazing.

  • Miss Mazuma
    Posted at 20:21h, 08 February Reply

    Kudos, Grant! I need to start being more productive with my side hustles. Trip trading only goes so far and it is not passive by any means!!! 🙂

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 09:56h, 09 February Reply

      Thanks Miss Mazuma. Sounds like trip trading has worked pretty well for you so far though! I’d recommend looking into the concert tickets route – Stubhub is the path to easy riches!

  • Jason Butler
    Posted at 13:46h, 21 February Reply

    This is a great list of side hustles. Flipping domains is something that I’m interested in. I need to start doing some research.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 15:46h, 21 February Reply

      Thanks Jason. Domain investing is awesome!

  • Mystery Money Man
    Posted at 16:20h, 22 February Reply

    Great post, MM! Incredibly inspiring, I really only grasped the side hustle concept since starting my blog about 6 months ago, after reading sites like yours. Already, apart from my blog, I’ve put my personal recording studio into use and started a music production side hustle, and a friend and I have launched a boutique logo design start up, called BroGoLogo, as an quality alternative to commodity products/services that you mention in this post.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 17:58h, 22 February Reply

      Thanks MMM. Great idea with the recording studio and the logo business – both of those build those replicable skills. Love the BroGoLogo name too. You’ll look back in a few years and be amazed by how much those side hustles grow.

  • Matt Kuhn
    Posted at 13:53h, 26 February Reply

    Your moped/VW flipping made me smile. I ref highschool basketball all winter to stay in shape and because I love the game. Been doing it for 12 years and have recently been asked to ref NAIA and D2 ball. Revenue is about $6k now and -4000 calories for weekend tournaments.

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 22:05h, 26 February Reply

      Nice!!! Are you investing that surplus? I definitely have a moped and VW problem. It’s such a win-win that your side hustle keeps you in shape too.

  • Life is too short for Crappy Beer - Apathy Ends
    Posted at 05:01h, 06 March Reply

    […] Millennial Money has a pretty awesome event ticket hack in his side hustle post as well. […]

  • Gbea
    Posted at 14:37h, 06 March Reply

    I really like these ideas – especially the one about writing white papers. Are there some sort of special keywords to use to search for these on Craigslist? I seem to be coming up empty when I use “white paper” and/or “thought leadership” – when I use something general like, “writer” I mostly get job ads for Postmates which really makes me wonder…

  • Cilla
    Posted at 15:14h, 23 March Reply

    Wow… I would love to have you as a friend… Soak in all of your knowledge…. U gave some great advice. I saw ur story and had to check out your blog. U want to be friends?? Lol… Everything you said was was nothing but truth… And I’m awakened 😉

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 16:03h, 23 March Reply

      Thanks Cilla!

  • Caitlin
    Posted at 15:27h, 23 March Reply

    Grant is there a post on here that goes more in depth about your use of your LLC as you mentioned in a comment above? Thanks!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 18:25h, 25 March Reply

      Not yet, but great idea for a post!

  • Krista @ Miss Corporate Dropout
    Posted at 17:43h, 02 May Reply

    Hey Grant! This is a great post! It’s so refreshing to hear of side hustles other than the typical options like Uber, Lyft, etc. I’ve been selling concert tix for over a year and have made some good money….I’ve also lost my ass a couple of times. There’s a definite learning curve! I’ll check out writing white papers since I loved writing in college. Thx for the tips!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 17:38h, 03 May Reply

      Thanks Krista!

  • Paul Andrews
    Posted at 22:15h, 08 May Reply

    Grant, you’ve got a lot of info in here that I LOVE! I swear to god, if I read another blog post telling me about a side hustle and I read the word “fiverr” I’m going to implode. You bring up an AWESOME point about not trying to compete in market places where your only advantage is price; eventually you’re profit will be ground down to 0. I’ve heard of domain reselling before; there might be a course there for you… (I’d buy). Great post!

    • Grant @MillennialMoney
      Posted at 09:55h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks Paul

  • Matt
    Posted at 17:31h, 09 May Reply

    Wow first time on your site, and I like it already. These were very different from the usual “do freelance work” kind of advice I see in most places. Thanks for taking the time to write out these ways you’ve made money, it’s making me think about how to turn some of my own hobbies into money-making opportunities…

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 17:34h, 09 May Reply

      Thanks Matt. I appreciate the kind words.

  • Ainjel M.
    Posted at 13:15h, 16 May Reply

    Hi Grant,
    Thank you for sharing your experiences and the lessons you’ve learned along your way to financial freedom. I’ve recently been introduced to your website, and it’s one of the realest personal finance blogs I’ve ever read for our generation. I do have a question about buying and reselling tickets if you’re willing to share. What website did you use to buy these tickets? I use the most popular one…ticketma$ter, but there’s no option to resell on another website (that 3 click).

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 22:53h, 16 May Reply

      Hi Ainjel. Thanks for your kind words. I bought tickets from a bunch of sources – ticketmaster, vivid seats, stub hub, and others. I would only buy printed verified tickets.

  • Amanda Northern
    Posted at 13:10h, 24 May Reply

    Thank you for sharing your side hustles! I’ve never heard of most of these! It’s so refreshing to actually see new ideas of how to make money online versus the same ole “take surveys” and sign up for an “Upwork” account.

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 15:07h, 25 May Reply

      Thanks Amanda.

  • Phil
    Posted at 17:21h, 31 May Reply

    Refereeing a sport like basketball is a great way to bring in constant cash. You’ll need to get certified, but it’s fun and consistent.

    I surprisingly get a lot of people asking to detail their car. I never intend to make a business of it, but I love doing it to my cars and people ask me to do it to theirs. All it takes is a cheap orbital buffer (mines a used craftsman) and a shop vac. I normally get easily $100 for a basic wash/wax/vac, or $200 to remove scratches and polish then wax the car.

    Yard work. Might be a little late in the season for it, but I always seem to find someone who’s looking to have mulch put down, a tree torn out, or something painted around the house.

    As for other tips, all I can say is “a penny saved is a penny earned”. If you are running out of ideas to make money, start saving. Some quick “low hanging fruit” tips to save some quick cash include – switch to MetroPCS or Boost for cellphone (I only pay $20/month), switch auto insurance to Insurance Panda ($25/month), and start using GasBuddy (saves me like $100/month at least. I drive a lot).

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 14:08h, 01 June Reply

      Thanks Phil. This is a great idea.

  • Benjamin Jones
    Posted at 03:20h, 17 July Reply

    With regards to DOMAIN RESELLING;
    I’m not sure how profitable that will continue to be as there now new domains types opening up.
    What would have been Millennialmoney.com – could potentially be expanded into Millennialmoney.*insert choice ending*
    Could be .entrepreneur .USA .Money etc.
    Whats your thoughts?

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 02:35h, 19 July Reply

      .com will reign supreme in the near future. It all comes back to how recognizable the domain ending is, as well as how it ranks on search engines. At the end of the day it’s really the search engines who control rankings and traffic, and it’s easy to see how they prioritize .com over other extensions. We shall see. Great question.

  • Scott W Johnson
    Posted at 13:32h, 08 August Reply

    OK, I too have thought of dozens of side jobs to do over my lifetime and i too agree that there are million great ideas out there – but I never considered renovating camper vans. Its actually a really interesting idea because so many guys are into cars and working on them endlessly.

    • Grant Sabatier
      Posted at 07:57h, 15 August Reply

      Thanks Scott

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