I am self-employed and my business is successful on many different levels but not yet consistently lucrative. To help ride those waves of inconsistent finances I have a few different side jobs. My side jobs must meet all four of the following criteria:
- Provide reliable income of at least $10 per hour.
- Not take away from my main job.
- Not take away from my passion of music.
- Be fun, relaxing, and/or help me grow.
My favorite side job has gone above and beyond these fairly low standards. Every Friday night I don my apron as the Cocktail Server at Low Spirits, a really cool live music venue. It’s great not only because all of my coworkers are my friends, but also because it brings me closer to my passion of playing music. It is so important for musicians to support each other by going to shows — yet I have to admit I do not go out as often as I used to. By moonlighting at Low Spirits, I stay immersed in the music scene and get to meet and connect with many different musicians, from locals to touring bands.
When I go see shows I often revel in my introversion and avoid a lot of socialization with the exception of a nod, wave, or “how’s it going” to my acquaintances and a hug for my friends. But when I’m working I am the epitome of an extrovert: greeting everyone at the venue, taking their drink orders, asking how their night is, discussing the music, meeting the bands, sharing lots of conversations and smiles.
Not only does my moonlighting job meet my side-job criteria number 3 — not taking away from my passion for music — it significantly advances it. Through the networking I’ve done during my shifts at Low Spirits, I’ve developed music collaborations, booked shows, promoted my upcoming shows, and built lots of relationships based on mutual interests. And without a doubt, the number one benefit I get from moonlighting at a music venue is inspiration from exposure to live bands and genres of music I wouldn’t normally see.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to reap all of these benefits, along with a handful of spending cash, from a small investment of five or six hours of my time each week.
In what ways do you benefit from your side job?