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There’s no doubt that a little extra cash in a person’s pocket is never a bad idea. Statistics show that more than 65 percent of people working a side hustle are doing so because they want to have more spending money, while other common reasons include increasing savings, paying off debt, and covering their basic expenses. From allowing you to purchase that cappuccino guilt-free to helping you build up your emergency fund, many Americans are finding that a side-hustle provides expendable cash that most find useful.

More than 44 million Americans have a second gig beyond their primary job, and no one understands this better than millennials, who are the most likely generation to engage in the side hustle. For many millennials, however, it’s not all about money. Unlike previous generations, millennials value their happiness and work-home balance more than corporate loyalty. Additionally, they are more likely to seek employment that allows them to feel completely fulfilled and involves a true spark of passion and interest in the work itself. Side hustles allow these seekers to tap into their full creative potential and become the masters of their destiny. As a result, they are more than a financial cushion.

If you’re looking to join the throngs of entrepreneurs who are finding ways to monetize their skills and creativity, try not to overthink it. You may be surprised at the many ways people have started with what they are good at and what they know to capitalize on the side hustle. Here are just a few ideas to get you started building your business empire:

Market your unique talent. If you have a crafty side and can make things like silk flowers, homemade invitations, party cakes, crocheted or knitted items, or even works of art like paintings or caricatures, there are plenty of places to sell handmade crafts online. Making a small number of items in advance may help your potential customers get to know and understand your product and potential, but be certain that you offer options so that items can be personalized or tailored to their specificities.

Some options for creative ventures may not even require much in the way of materials. From keepsake quilts made from baby clothes to pillows created by using one of dad’s shirts, you can start a side hustle that allows people to keep their loved ones close to them. Are you good with wood? Consider making tiled photograph boxes or personalized jewelry boxes. The opportunities are only limited by your imagination.

Pet sitting or feed services. Pets are family members, and Americans spend over 60 billion dollars a year on their furry family. If you love animals and are inclined toward caring for them, you may want to look at pet sitting, pet walking, pet training, and pet feeding services. From teaching Fido to heel to offering an opportunity to get out for a walk in the middle of the day when fur-mommy is at work, there is no limit to what people who own animals will do to keep them happy and healthy.

You may also have some raw food recipes or wholesome baked goods that you can sell as an alternative to the pet foods currently available that contain grains and other hazardous ingredients. If you have knowledge of pet allergies or the special needs of diabetic pets, you may be able to offer a nutritious, delicious option for parents of these special furbabies. Add home delivery, and the possibilities are endless!

Delivery or Transportation Services. Not only are people working longer hours now than ever before, but we are also living longer. More and more people are finding it difficult to complete the many tasks that are required on a daily or weekly basis. This problem may allow some enterprising drivers to capitalize on those things that need to be delivered or people who need transportation.

It may be picking up and delivering someone’s pre-ordered grocery list or prescriptions or include retrieving someone’s dry cleaning or mail from their post office box. Many working individuals with aging parents may also want to hire someone they trust to deliver items to their parents’ homes, as well as allow them to take their parents to therapy, dialysis, or doctor visits. This last entrepreneurial venture may take a little time, as it will require a high level of trust. You may want to consider getting bonded and insured to provide a degree of comfort for both you and your clients.

If you are like most people, you are looking to line your pocketbook with a little extra cash with a minimal amount of time, effort, and upfront cost invested. Setting yourself up for financial success doesn’t have to be something you put on your list for the future. Dive in, and get going in a new industry based on your skill and passion!

What are some original ideas you have for a business? Feel free to post your most creative ideas here!

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