For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had some sort of side hustle happening in my after-hours. Looking all the way back to my years as an undergraduate student leader, I used to sell old-edition textbooks online. It started with a $150 business law textbook that the campus bookstore wouldn’t buy back because it was an old edition. I ended up listing the book on Amazon.com for $75 and within an hour, it sold. The following day, I went into my class and offered to buy everyone’s textbook for $35 each. With 40 people in the class, I went back to the computer lab with all 40 textbooks and listed them all for $75. After a week, every book had sold for $75. At the time, I remember being so excited because I was finally going to eat something other than Ramen noodles for dinner!
As time went on, I built up relationships with several campus bookstores in the Chicagoland area to collect and sell their old edition textbooks for them. As I rolled into my senior year, I was selling 1000s of textbooks to people all around the world. The cashflow was great and, for a short while, I thought I might actually be able to keep doing the side-hustle post-graduation. Sadly, however, the bookstores realized that they could sell the textbooks themselves and almost overnight, they cut off my supply. I went on to experiment with drop-shipping electronics online, but nothing was as profitable as my textbook business.
While engaging in my textbook selling business did take more time and energy out of my already crowded day, somehow it made me more energized about everything else in my life. My side-hustle was sort of like the dipping sauce for everything on my plate instead of yet another thing on my plate. Despite sleeping less hours, I was waking up and heading to school with more energy than before.
For many years, I always thought that the idea of me having a side-hustle was something only I engaged in. But that theory has been disproven many times over as I watched peers launch an Etsy or Ebay shop with their creative endeavors. I now know, I’m not alone.
After we check off our final task for the day and lock up the office to head home, some Student Affairs Professionals transition their mental and physical energy into a project that acts as both an emotional release and some level of supplemental income. From cross-stitching, to writing, to speaking, to software development, many SAPros engage in a side hustle independent of the work they love to do as an SAPro.
“A side hustle is something other than your main job that brings in some level of additional income.”
During the month of August, we’re going to explore, and learn, about the side-hustle of fellow SAPros. We’ll also dig into their reasons for engaging in something enterprising outside of work and how it makes them a better SAPros. We call it, #SASideHustle