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Good Side Hustles For Musicians To Make Some Extra Money

by vaughn skow November 27, 2019 3 min read

Howdy guitar gang!  It's approaching the holiday season as I pen this blog, and for some musicians that just slaps them in the face with how much money they are NOT making at their craft.  What to do?  Throw in the towel and get a "real job"?   If you're 40-years old and still playing video games all day and living with Mom and Dad, yeah, probably a good idea, but for the rest of you... listen up!

So we all know the problem with musicians getting a day gig, lack of flexibility.  I mean, who wants to loose a GREAT gig that pays fifty bucks, and requires you to load up a van full of gear, set up for hours, and get home at 2am smelling like an ashtray someone puked in, right?  I mean, that soooo beats sitting in an office all day and only making $50,000 a year!  Ah, the stupid, crazy, things we do for the love of our craft :-)

So, what CAN we do to earn some extra coin and still accept all those AMAZING musical opportunities?  Let's talk about that.

The oldest (musician) job in the world:Telemarketing/phone gigs.  Since the day I moved to Nashville, I had buddies that sat in cubicles  making calls for money by day so they could play in clubs by night.  These are generally "temp" gigs through a temp agency, so you are not locked into the phone thing for the rest of your life ... or even the rest of the week, if that's what ya want! What's even better, most of the phone-gigs are not even something you need to travel to these days ... most will pay ya to not even leave your home.   Interested?  Check out these 75 Great work at home phone gigs!

Speaking of Temp agencies.  When I first moved to Nashville, it took me about 2-weeks to find myself flat broke!  That's when the secretary at the recording studio I was hanging at said the magic words (imagine a sweet southern accent here) "Oh honey, call a temp agency, they'll have you working somewhere in the morning" ... I did, and I was!  These jobs are anywhere from light clerical to heavy industrial, and everything in-between, with terms from a single day commitment to months long.  Sound like your thing? Check THIS out!


Okay, here we get downright complicated, so I'll only hit the high points here.  It seems like these days EVERYONE wants their crap delivered to their homes ... like right away!  From burgers to big screens, home delivery is totally the norm these days, as a result, there are literally HUNDREDS of opportunities to use your own vehicle to bring stuff to people and get paid for it. Inversely, there are also opportunities to bring PEOPLE to their stuff!  Let's hit those high points:

Bringing people to stuff:  So, we're really talking Uber and Lyft here, although there are a few other smaller companies offering similar services.  If you have a newer, low-mileage vehicle that gets decent gas mileage, and you are someone who can feel SAFE and comfortable inviting strangers into your car with you, this might be a viable option.  However, if your only vehicle is the typical musician 15-MPG cargo van, this is certainly NOT the gig for you!  For alternatives to the big two click here!

Bringing stuff to people:  WOW, wow, wow!  Man are there options here.  Most folks think Grub-hub and door-dash but these are probably two of the worst options if you actually want to make some serious cash; most folks are VERY lucky to clear $10/hr after vehicle expenses.  Speaking of, if delivery is your gig, once again, a late model low-mileage car is almost a requirement.  But wait ... there's more, waaaaay more!  Why carry stinky food when you can carry STUFF?  Here, musicians, that cargo van just might work to your advantage, too!  Amazon is, of course, the 1000-pound gorilla in the home-delivery gig world, and it turns out they even offer a BIG bonus for "high capacity" vehicles (yep, like your gear-hauler).  And, of course, amazon is only one of literally hundreds of home delivery gigs, so if ya got a good reliable stuff hauler, and you ain't afraid to drive to who-knows-where and deliver to who-knows-who ... check out these options:

That out to get you a good start.  Got any other good side-gig ideas not listed here?  Feel free to include them in the comments section!

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