Side Business

I’ve got a blog category called “Side Business” because, in addition to being a W2 worker… I have a side business.

And I think this is a very common household model.  People have to “hustle” a bit outside their main job in order make ends meet.  Certainly if you have young kids with material needs.

And this “hustling” is all on the up and up.  It might be buying and selling something you became an expert in, or it might be the vending of some very niche bespoke artisan ship.  What makes the proliferation and success of side businesses possible to the extant it goes on now is the internet.

So I do this, and it’s filled in the household budget gaps.  And I’ve done it both ways.  10 years ago, I was flipping SDRAMs on Ebay for a few dollars here and there.  If there still were SDRAMs to flip for more than a dollar profit, maybe I’d be doing that.

But I ended up devoting most of my time to the pursuit of some kinda goofy, niche craftsmanship.  I basically started in 2005, and since have become the top vendor for the product I have.  Now, it’s a very small market, so I am in the habit of properly describing this as being “king of the dipshits.”

So how well can you do with goofy, niche craftsmanship?  This guy’s experience is a parallel to mine:

He does less volume and charges more per piece for the item he makes and sells.  But I get the feeling he’s earning about $20 / hr on the labor he puts into it.  Which is what I earn.

That’s a decent part time job.  But as a full time job, it’s merely $20 / hr.  Which is why when people ask me “why don’t you do that for a living?” I say, “it’s not enough to make a living.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m pleased with my experience.  It is disappointing you cant run a suburban household on one $20 / hr job.


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