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How To Make Up $$ You Lost With Your Side Hustle

Thanks to COVID-19, we now need side hustles for our side hustles. A lot of traditional side hustles dried up when restaurants, bars, and coffee shops closed–and the uncertainty over when things will fully reopen (and stay open) means those side hustles likely won’t be viable options anytime soon. We can’t waitress or barista or restock books at The Strand; a lot of freelance budgets have been frozen. Plus, even when the hospitality industry does fully reopen, there could be fewer patrons and tips.

There are still ways to earn back that money you’ve lost, however. You just need to know where to look. Here are five things to remember:

Go Virtual

As we adjust to our new normal, jobs that once seemed implausible to do through video are now plausible to do through video. You might have written off your nannying side hustle as a lost cause, but some parents are now hiring babysitters to virtually watch their children. It seems strange, but that’s the world we live in now. Figure out a way you can pivot your previous in-person side hustle into a virtual one. If you trained at the gym, coach your clients through Zoom. Maybe you cut hair or do sick makeup on the side. Give lessons over FaceTime. Side hustles haven’t necessarily disappeared, they’ve just gone digital.

We’re All Entrepreneurs

We often think of hobbies as outlets for stress relief and activities that bring us joy without worrying about whether or not they bring in money. For these reasons, though, we’re sometimes wary to turn them into jobs. But, this is a time for adjustment. Don’t be afraid to transform your nighttime knitting into a money-making enterprise—at least for the time being. Just remember to understand where the demand lies. We’re all in sudden need of new (cute) face wear. So, if you know how to sew, learn to make a mask instead of finishing that baby blanket. Maybe you like to cook. Offer to deliver a meal for a quarantined couple. Hobbies aren’t just fun, they also require skills, and you should take advantage of yours right now.

Marie Kondo Your Home (And Life)

It’s that time of year again. Yes, spring cleaning. And since we’re all stuck inside anyway, now’s the perfect time to sift through that clutter and rethink those books collecting dust. Instead of just throwing the items in a garbage bag and leaving them on the curb, try to sell them. Most people probably aren’t looking to spend a lot on new shoes or clothes right now, so it’s a good time for folks to cash-in on second-hand goods. Plus, online shopping is still alive and well. Bonus: decluttering your house will make you feel more in control of your life during this tenuous time. Does that sweater in your drawer still spark joy? If it doesn’t, it might for someone else. Time to let it go.

Say Yes to the Job

Side hustles can be a stepping stone to the job we really want. You might dream of being a professional quilter, so you buy a sewing machine and sell patterns and blankets when you aren’t at your office job. Now that side hustles are shifting and some of the work is waning, it’s time to take the work that’s available. This might mean accepting gigs that don’t exactly have you springing out of bed in the morning. That’s okay. It’s important to continue to be productive and earn money in ways that are feasible now. Remember this isn’t forever, it’s just to get you through the short-term.

Lend your Expertise

Many side hustle jobs involve teaching in some way—either in the classroom, over an SAT prep book, or while guiding tourists through the zoo. Figure out where your expertise lies. Don’t say you don’t have any! You do. It could be a fascination with medieval art or knowing how to master Excel. Either way, know your savvy and use that to land a gig. Being an authority will make you invaluable during this time when the available work is narrowly defined. Knowing exactly how you can help will give you a leg up. And if you’re finding your expertise lies outside the job demand, then adapt and teach yourself new skills.

Side hustles play an important role in our lives. They help us network, feel productive, stretch ourselves, explore new interests, and gain independence—both financially and personally. It’s important to fill the hole left by our B.C. (before COVID-19) side hustles, and it’s possible to do so. The traditional way of picking up extra work has changed, but there’s still money to be made–it simply requires a bit more creativity.

It’s important to fill the hole left by our B.C. (before COVID-19) side hustles, and it’s possible to do so. The traditional way of picking up extra work has changed, but there’s still money to be made–it simply requires a bit more… Click To Tweet

A version of this article was originally published on Forbes.

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