I have chased many side hustles over the years. I have learnt a lot by simply pursuing each of these hustles. For instance my family can never sleep hungry because I now know how to grow fish, chicken, vegetables, etc. from my backyard. These are some of the side hustles I have tried over the last decade or so.
1. Coaching. In my senior 6 vacation I partnered with a friend to teach A level mathematics at the nearby school. I would charge 500 shs per session for every student.
2. Quality Controller. Towards the end of senior 6 vacation I got a job in pharmaceutical factory in Jinja. My job was quality control. Basically taking weight measurements and performing other tests for the drugs. It involved night shifts. So I quit after one month. I was earning like 60k a month.
3. Secondary school teacher. At campus I used to teach mathematics and physics at a local school in Bwaise. I would walk from Lumumba hall to Bwaise. The school has since been replaced by a bar.
4. Course work help. At campus I used to do course work for some people and get paid. Some of my customers were actually studying engineering courses abroad. They would send the work on email and I would complete and send it back. A local friend would then give me my cash.
5. Road Construction Supervisor. While at campus I did a one month gig in Kaliro district. We were maintaining some murram roads in the village. One day while heading to work the pick up I was travelling in overturned and killed one person. I quit that day and returned back to Jinja.
6. Building construction supervisor. I interned for a construction company in Iganga while at campus. We were putting up the water supply system in Iganga town. I remember sharing a one room unit with a friend. Of course we slept on the floor and there were no amenities to speak of. The monthly rent was like 30k. I left after one month.
7. Professional chess player. I used to play national league chess. I was a member of Jinja chess club. I would earn like 20k per game every weekend. I also earned some little prize money from winning some competitions.
8. ACCA tutor. I used to teach ACCA (professional accounting) in Kampala and Kigali. For the Kigali hustle I would fly to Kigali on Friday evening and return on Sunday at midnight. I would then show up for work on Monday at 8.00am. While in Kigali I would teach from 8.00am to 6.00pm on Saturday and Sunday before heading straight to the airport. This was a good gig. I would earn like $10 to $30 per hour. I also used to teach at two other schools in Kampala on weekends and evenings.
9. YouTube tutor. I used to teach finance and accounting on YouTube. I got a couple of students whom I also coached through Skype. My channel is still there on YouTube and I still receive offers to help. However my schedule can’t allow me anymore.
10. Tomato farmer. I used to grow tomatoes on our 100ft by 100ft plot near home. I learnt how to grow tomatoes on YouTube and reading some books on backyard farming. I also visited some local farms around town. I sold the tomatoes to my colleagues at work. A kaveera of tomatoes sold for 5k.
11. Chicken farmer. I used to rear kuroilers in our backyard. I attended some Monitor forum on farming and learnt how to rear chicken. Plus I read a couple of books. I had 100 birds at some point. I sold to a few colleagues at work. The rest were eaten on Sundays.
12. Fish farmer. I am one of the pioneers of backyard aquaponics fish farming in uganda (you can find my profile somewhere on YouTube). I used to rear tilapia and catfish at home. I still have one pond with about 250 catfish at home. I learnt how to do this from YouTube and a couple of e-books. I imported the equipment I needed from China through Amazon.com.
13. Banana farmer. I now have a small banana plantation. These bananas are just for eating at home. I have never eaten so many bananas in my life.
14. Aquaponics tutor. Aquaponics is a system of growing fish in tanks and vegetables without using soil in a closed loop. I used to teach people how to grow fish in their backyards. I would charge 20k to 50k per session on Saturdays. I also ran a Facebook blog on backyard fish farming.
15. Tree farmer. I also grow pine trees. I learnt this from a colleague at work, YouTube and a couple of books.
16. Motivational Speaker. I have spoken to a couple of audiences about money and personal finances. I have began to charge a fee for my services. This can be a good gig if you are able to connect with the audience and influence them to make positive changes in their lives.
17. Facebook Influencer. I run two Facebook blogs (The Money Engineer and Backyard Fish Farming – Gayaza). One is about money and the other is about backyard farming. I have earned some little cash from this project. The idea is to grow “The Money Engineer” brand into one of the leading brands on personal development and personal finance within the region in the next decade. I intend to continue publishing a daily blog in some form for the next 10 years.
18. Money Talk host. I host a monthly workshop on money. I charge 30k to attend. This side hustle is not really about money. It is about building a network of similar minded people to tackle this poverty and unemployment problem which afflicts our society through mindset change. I have met so many different people in this workshop.
19. Manufacturer. I am currently involved in a small scale manufacturing operation. We make tomato sauce, ketchup, appeta, and enkooge juice.
20. Book Author. I have written two books. I have not yet earned even a shilling from this project! My first book published on Amazon is about backyard aquaponics fish farming. My second book is about money engineering. I intend to write at least one book every year for the next decade. The book writing is really about positioning myself as an expert and not necessarily about earning more money.
21. Business Consultant. I am also developing this side hustle. I have worked with a couple of businesses to help them streamline their finances and operations. This hustle could pay off in the long run
22. Personal Coach. I have worked with a couple of individuals to help them with their personal finances. This hustle doesn’t pay much but it can be fulfilling to see real positive transformation in someone’s life.
23. App developer. I tried developing apps mainly for office use. The learning curve is so steep and the competition is fierce. So the few apps I developed were mainly used to improve my efficiency at work. I developed some basic website apps and simple work flow automation tools. I learnt how to program on YouTube, Udemy and Coursera.
24. Board member. I am a board member in two small businesses. At the moment there is really no remuneration. Hopefully things pick up and I grow with the companies.
25. Forex trading. I tried my hand with Forex trading sometime back. I found the learning curve too steep for me and the risk too much for my taste. So I abandoned this hustle after a few weeks.
So these are some of the things I have tried my hand at while maintaining a full time job and career. I leveraged the time after work and on weekends to do many of these things.
Let me know in the comments section what your side hustle is?