Hustling in The New Millennium

Hustling in The New Millennium

The world of commerce has changed. I realized I used 5 “gig” websites just in the last few days. I booked a handyman on Thumbtack, hired an animator for our company video on Fiverr, had my daughter call Uber to get to the airport for her Thanksgiving flight home and just secured a rental house for Christmas via Airbnb. Now, if only dinner could arrive at my door…oh, it can!

With the projection that 43% of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelancers by 2020, it seems we will all become more and more familiar with both earning income and/or conducting much of our business and our day to day lives via these on-demand services. Here are just five of the services I used this week where you can either make money or benefit from their work.

ThumbtackThe founder of this venture hopes his platform can be a source of meaningful income long-term. Thumbtack surveyed 12,000 of its professionals and found that pros on the platform are making a median annual income of $61,010 — which is higher the national average of $54,000. Top categories for hiring include help around the house (painting, cleaning, organizing), events (planning, decorating, photographing) and help with animals (pet sitting, grooming, walking).

Fiverr – What started out as a platform where anyone would do pretty much anything for $5 bucks, the site has evolved to more of a tiered pricing with jobs escalating in price depending on the service provided. Recently even a “Fiverr Pro” level as added offering hand-vetted, higher end service providers. I primarily use this site for creative services (such as writing, videos, graphic design) which seem like some of the most popular categories.

Uber/Lyft – I realize there is hardly anyone on the planet who doesn’t know these services, but I found it interesting to note that Lyft and Uber drivers earn about the same amount, though Lyft comes out slightly ahead with its drivers earning an average of $377 per month compared to Uber’s $364.  Of course, this is just the average – many drivers earn a lot more than this, if they make it their primary job. And if you want to turn miles into money, both companies usually offer juicy bonuses to sign up as a first-time driver.

Upwork –  Probably the most active site for remote work, three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of $1 billion. If you are a freelancer new to the site, I’m told you have to work hard the first few months to get the recognition and gigs (given the number of workers listed) but once that happens, work can be pretty consistent. If you think of it as a job – checking the site and emails regularly, answering inquires quickly and aggressively submitting for jobs for which you qualify – a strong income can be generated.

Airbnb – For some dedicated hosts on this short-term home rental platform, their efforts have been profitable enough to be a primary source of income. However most Airbnb hosts make an average $924 per month.  Have an extra room, boat or camper to rent – get it listed!

So if you have a specific talent that the world needs or you simply have a car you’re not using full time there are an increasing number of places to turn to in order to generate extra cash. And, if you can, remember to tuck some of that newly earned money away for the future!