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Lucrative Side Hustles in the COVID Era

Mar 25th 2021

On the surface, cinema’s mafia masterpiece Goodfellas is about crime, loyalty, money, rising, falling, and not putting too many onions in spaghetti sauce. But deeper analysis of the timeless classic shows it is actually about a certain kind of power, one that can be beneficial for those with and without Sicilian bloodlines.

The power of the side hustle.

Now make no mistake, protagonist Henry Hill allows his lucrative side hustle to derail his glamorous, fret-free life. This is largely on account of the side hustle being cocaine trafficking and, well, studies show this path seldom ends well.

This elevates Goodfellas to cautionary tale status, but only through showcasing the utility of side hustles. And boy oh boy, the COVID era has amplified this utility by a thousand. Side hustles can keep the wallet thick whether you're seeking any job outright, supplementing a current one, or just want safety net options in your back pocket. The ones below are COVID-specific, but could prove to be fixtures in the future of work. Regardless, these will get your mind off COVID and on productivity, all while expanding your social circle and keeping you safe.

Local Odd Jobs and Random Tasks

Several websites and apps are taking the lead here because of how much they encompasses. Master gardener? Plant people’s flowers. Have a strange knack for those couch assembly instructions? Put it to use for those who would otherwise begin dropping F-bombs two minutes in. You are a tasker in some form, and there is a strong chance it can be applied for website and app clients. Find a list of odd job websites and apps here.

Food Delivery Driver

Just because we’re in a pandemic doesn’t mean people are eating less. Hell, evidence shows we’re eating more, and definitely not inside restaurants! This has paved the way for apps and websites to disrupt the food service industry. Setting your own hours, minimizing contact, and potentially raking in up to a grand a week are three reasons you should get in on the action.

Pet Care Provider

One of the most uplifting stories of the past year is the reduction, and sometimes even total emptying of, pet shelters. Being locked down has increased demand for pets, and in turn a need for them to be walked, fed, housed, or sometimes even just played with. This can not only be lucrative thanks to owners’ unyielding love of their pets, but also a safe and a great way to sneak in some exercise, fresh air, and animal companionship. You may even come to know your neighbors better! Check out these websites and apps to explore the ocean of pet care opportunities.

Digital Tutor

This one involves some extra preparation steps, but execute them well and you may find the income rivals that of a full-time gig. Whether within the realms of strict academia, casual music lessons, or the always-in-demand English teaching, online tutoring has exploded in the 21st century. Depending on what you are equipped to teach will dictate what type of registration & approval is required. But once that’s done, only good equipment and a well-lit room teaching stand between you and fulfilling, lucrative work.

Online Freelancer

Think product review, website building, press releases, graphic design, social media management, bookkeeping, biographies, you name it. These are immensely popular - meaning you shouldn’t expect $100/hour contracts out of the gate. But build a good reputation by communicating well and delivering exceptional work, and the satisfaction and income will exponentially grow. Here are a list of the best online freelance websites


Stock Market Investor

Stocks ain’t like they used to be, virtually taking on a new meaning over the past five years. Once perceived as a daunting endeavor for some mythical and exclusive club, it has now become as simplified as it is accessible. Competition for hungry investors has made platform (or brokerage to use the technical term) a buyer’s choice, with tons of online brokers yelling for your attention. This typically means no-fee stock purchases. Yes, the startup costs in investing would be technically higher, as you’ll need thousands invested to see $100 days. And there are risks, leading to days where you could actually lose money. But the major indexes that track the stock market, have always, always recovered, and have always gone up over the long term. So despite the cost and temporary risk, investing closes the list because of its magnificent potential as a complement to any of numbers 1-5. Think about it, you could assemble that your bedframe while the new electric automaker gains 3%. You can walk Spud while a stable stock achieves its all-time high. How’s that for a double-whammy?

It will be fascinating to see how the global COVID experience shifts work. We suspect the  endeavors above, once classified as fringe and unreliable, will become the new normal, or at least more embraced. So why not give these side hustles a shot, and while earning respectable spending cash, maybe just end up on the ground floor of something.

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