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Financial Literacy - May 13, 2022

5 Side Gigs That are a Waste of Time

Side gigs are a terrific way to earn more income, but they are some that are simply a  waste of time.

Not all side hustles are made equal, and the majority of literature on the subject either offers very basic ideas that can’t be grown into a viable business.

You’ll hear things like ‘Quit your job in 90 days by starting this online store. My course will teach you everything you need to know, for just one small payment of $9.99.’

Profitable side gigs should be enjoyable, scalable, and fun and not feel like a waste of time. 

Everyone’s notion of a “profitable side hustle” is a little different. For one person, blogging can be a lucrative source of income, while for another, freelancing writing can be. Your thing might be baking, singing, or publishing artwork online.

But, whatever you do, when looking for lucrative side gigs, make sure you understand what it will cost you in terms of time and energy, as well as how much you can anticipate to earn from the get go.

Here are 5 side gigs that are a waste of time. 


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1. Joining a multilevel marketing company

Multilevel marketing is abbreviated as MLM. These businesses aren’t like pyramid schemes because they sell products, but they can act like them. When someone further down the hierarchy ladder sells a product, the individuals at the top profit. Products like Oriflame and Longrich practise this scheme. 

So, how many people profit from an MLM side business? According to the Federal Trade Commission, only 1% of MLM participants make a profit. The remaining 99% lose money.

This excellent analysis by the Federal Trade Commission sets out the hard facts about MLMs and what to anticipate if you join one.

2. Starting an online store

Some side gigs are appealing because of the potential for profit. It is also feasible to profit from an online store. The issue is that maintaining an online store takes time, effort, and marketing know-how.

There is a lot of competition in this type of business, especially if you don’t have the funds to advertise. Even if you can, you must account for the cost of your time spent running the store. 

You’ll also need to factor in inventory costs unless you launch a dropshipping business.

The difficulty in advising people about the dangers of launching an online store comes from the overwhelming number of persons attempting to persuade them to do so.

Many websites that offer wonderful advice on how to launch an online store are actually businesses seeking to sell you a service. 

They want to charge you a monthly fee to host your business, or they want to pay you to set up your store. In other words, they’re making use of their online platforms by promising to turn you into an online entrepreneur.

3. Survey sites

Again, it appears to be a decent side business because some people earn some money on the side by filling out surveys. Many survey sites promise you’ll have a good time while winning gift cards and other prizes.

If you devote your time and effort to one of these survey companies, you can expect to make about enough money every hour to buy a cup of coffee. That’s not insignificant, but it’s difficult to rationalise giving up hours of your life for such a low wage.

Signing up for a focus group is a better option. Although it is not a regular job and you only work when they contact you, online focus group companies can assist you in getting started.

Focus groups are more lucrative than surveys, and they may be worth your time.

4. Don’t get caught up mixed up with the NFT hype

Don’t fall for the hype. The issue is that the value of NFTs is either speculative i.e., buyers believe the digital assets will increase in value in the future. Yes, paying $69 million for an NFT art ensures you own the only original copy, which is kept on the blockchain. But why should the majority of people bother?

The majority of NFT buying and selling is done by those who are already well-versed in the crypto world. For regular creators like you and me, it’s unlikely to be relevant. It’s a lucrative side hustle for a select few.

5. YouTube 

This is a side hustle that many people aspire to excel at, but only a handful will.

Some people have pivoted to several Youtube channels and yet to find their footing. While others struggle to create captivating content that pulls in the likes and subscriptions.

Although YouTube can be profitable, it will take a lot of time and effort. When you gain 4,000 hours of total view time in 12 months and have at least 1,000 subscribers, you qualify for Youtube monetisation. This can be a great hassle for some people who aren’t naturally intune with content creation. 


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