50 Lucrative Ways to Make Money on the Side

50 Lucrative Ways to Make Money on the Side

So - maybe you've found yourself with some extra time on your hands and the itch to make few extra bucks on the side.

But there's one missing piece.

You need an idea.

And not just an idea, but the right idea that will be successful, sustainable, and enjoyable!

We've put together a list of 50 lucrative side hustle ideas to help get the wheels turning for you:

1. Start a healthy meal delivery service ($1.56M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$5,000 — $25,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$500
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills
Work from home

Cesar Quintero from Miami, Florida, USA started Fit2Go almost 18 years ago, a healthy meal delivery service.

  • Revenue: $130,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 11
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

Case Study

I have an engineering degree and a corporate marketing background, and worked as a production engineer in Venezuela, specializing in logistics and project management. I also spent four years as a marketing manager in R&D for Proctor and Gamble in Latin America.

Three factors combined to fuel my move to Miami in 2005 and change my career path. First, things were economically tough in Venezuela. Second, I wanted to start a business. And finally, while I’d found weight management to be a lifelong struggle, the corporate lifestyle made it even more difficult. A hectic work schedule basically gives you two options—grab something from the vending machine or hit a fast food joint.

For a long time, I thought that being a good leader meant feigning total strength and confidence. This is a big problem with first-time and even many seasoned entrepreneurs—those negative connotations around the positive concept of vulnerability.

how-i-started-a-130k-month-healthy-meal-delivery-service-before-that-was-a-thing

2. Start a party supply store ($300K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$25,000 — $400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$500
Skills

Barry McLaughlin from Los Angeles, California, USA started Barry & Jason Games and Entertainment about 7 years ago, a party supply store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Case Study

Jason and I met on our very first day of college at UCLA 23 years ago, and we’ve been collaborating ever since. We started with a comedy band called The Bicycling Mariachis (with Andy Coyne) and then went on to do variety sketch shows all over LA.

Work with someone you really trust, admire, and enjoy spending time with. Jason and I are very lucky to have our friendship and business relationship flow so easily, and we’re always having fun.

We’re both huge fans of game shows and have been contestants on over 10 game shows between us, including Jeopardy for Jason and winning the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right for me. (Crazy, right?) So clearly we had a love of games and comedy right from the start.

how-two-best-friends-are-making-a-killing-with-party-game-products

3. Start a custom prints business ($36M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,700 — $3,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$135,000
Skills

Rishi Narayan from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA started Underground Printing over 21 years ago, a custom prints business.

  • Revenue: $3,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 250
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Case Study

My childhood friend, Ryan Gregg and I started the company in 2001 when we were sophomores at the University of Michigan. I learned about starting small businesses from my father, a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan State University who was also an entrepreneur. When I decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at Michigan, I assumed that learning about entrepreneurship would be part of my ChE degree. So in Ann Arbor, I was looking for an outlet for this entrepreneurial spirit. It wasn’t long before Gregg and I started a dorm-loft building business. Gregg, a civil engineering student, designed the lofts and I would sell them. Unfortunately, I soon realized that this enterprise would keep me active only for one week in September. I knew I wanted a business that I could pursue the other 51 weeks of the year.

It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.

We considered some other products we could sell on campus to our fellow students. In our sophomore year, we decided to start a t-shirt business—after all, everyone wore t-shirts and we had a little experience making t-shirts in high school. We named the company that we ran from our dorm room, A-1 Screenprinting, so our company would be first in the phone book. In 2003, we purchased a screen-printing business in Chelsea so we could increase our production capabilities. We thought that the company’s name seemed like a better fit for our company’s style, so we officially changed our company’s name to Underground Printing.

how-i-started-a-3m-month-custom-printed-apparel-company

4. Start a flip flop brand ($6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$40,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$26,000
Time To Revenue
300 days
Skills
Business model

Matt Griffin from Issaquah, Washington, USA started Combat Flip Flops over 9 years ago, a flip flop brand.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Issaquah, Washington, USA

Case Study

I’m an army brat and a single child of divorced parents. I bounced around a lot as a child, but I claim Iowa as home. When I was 18 years old, I left Iowa for West Point and started my career in the Army. As a member of the class of 2001, life quickly transformed after September 11th, 2001.

The attacks drove me to become a part of the Special Operations community with the 75th Ranger Regiment. In the Regiment, I learned what is possible with a team guided by values and driven by purpose. After four deployments to Iraq (1) and Afghanistan (3), I saw the futility of Armed conflict to defeat radicalism and left the military--with a desire to take the teamwork and leadership lessons learned in the Army to help those in need.

Before Combat Flip Flops, I held a variety of jobs. I built homes for a national homebuilder. After the market crash in 2008, I worked for Remote Medical International, coordinating clinics and medical care in “difficult” regions of the world.

growing-an-e-commerce-company-with-a-positive-mission-to-350-000-mo

5. Start a natural beauty product business ($840K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$300 — $70,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$65,654
Time To Revenue
360 days

Tony & Faye Ouyang from San Francisco, California, USA started Doppeltree over 4 years ago, a natural beauty product business.

  • Revenue: $70,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Case Study

I (Tony) launched our first product - an Organic Cotton Cold Brew Filter Bag - back in December 2017 - after getting inspired by my younger brother, Jeffrey Ouyang, who launched his own Amazon/DTC business The Press Club Rosin Company 1+ year earlier, focusing on premium rosin bags and accessories. I started our business mostly as a side hustle/hobby alongside my marketing exec position at a financial services technology startup in San Francisco. I had a simple (financial) goal in mind when I started: find a way to pay for my expensive $15 lunches in the city :)

The reason I picked cold brew was because: I’m an avid coffee drinker (personal interest - check), I saw people going nuts for it everywhere (demand - check), I wanted to sell a simple product that wasn’t going to literally break during shipping (no product quality issues - check), and I needed to make money off of it (margin - check).

Selling on Amazon is great to get started, but start thinking about how you can diversify away from it as soon as you’ve hit a good rhythm with your sales.

how-we-started-a-40k-month-side-hustle-selling-all-natural-self-care-products

6. Start a food delivery business ($3.6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$6,000
Skills

Cameron Manesh from Rockville, Maryland, USA started Cameron's Seafood almost 5 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Rockville, Maryland, USA

Case Study

My father invested in the first retail seafood location in 1985 and my uncle ran it. My father and I built our Apartment Brokerage while my uncle and his son built what is now the largest retail Maryland crab company in the world.

My cousin, Pey, and I are second generation and we wanted to ship Maryland Crabs from the Chesapeake Bay to people who can’t get them real thing, nationwide.

One morning, a crab-lover from West Virginia rolled up to one of our family-owned food trucks in Hagerstown, MD, to buy a bushel of Maryland blue crabs. He told my cousin Pey, who was working on the food truck that day, that he was so sick of paying exorbitant prices for dodgy crabs in WV, and to him it was worth driving 6 hours, round trip, to come get the real Maryland crabs from us.

cameron-s-seafood-175k-per-month-selling-maryland-crabs

7. Start a finance blog ($1.2M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,500 — $665,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$364
Time To Revenue
150 days

Michelle Schroeder from started Making Sense of Cents almost 11 years ago, a finance blog.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location:

Case Study

I was forced to learn about money at a young age. I have been working full-time since around the age of 14 (I was a full-time nanny for a job I had found on a bulletin board), and once that job was over I worked in retail for many years before I became an analyst. My dad passed away when I was a teenager, and there was no inheritance or anything like that, so I only had myself to rely on.

While I haven’t always been good with money, and I have made mistakes in the past, I have learned a lot and enjoy talking about it. I also enjoy helping others learn how to improve their financial situation too!

Learn how to separate work and life. Being a blogger can mean that your work-life balance can get out of whack, and this is because it is so easy in today’s world to constantly be connected.

how-i-started-a-100k-month-blog-about-personal-finance

8. Become a fitness-focused marketing consultancy ($156K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$13,000/month
Time To Revenue
300 days
Skills
Business model

Isaiah Grant from Connecticut, USA started Dream Fitness Client Academy ago, a fitness-focused marketing consultancy.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Connecticut, USA

Case Study

I grew up in a single-parent household, by nature I had to learn entrepreneurship. My mom was low-income and disabled, so I had to focus on being a provider from the age of 10. I was flipping CDs, DVDs, trading cards, and anything else I could get my hands on all throughout middle & high school.

Believe In Yourself – Be your biggest fan and pat yourself on the back because no one else will!

In 10th grade, I was assigned to an entrepreneurship class where there were only two people in the class including myself. I had thoughts of dropping out of the class, however, I decided to stay. This was the best decision I ever made in my life because this is where I made my 24-page business plan that would become the company that I have today. During the first three years of the company, I focused on providing branding and marketing services to local businesses and coaches. What I learned from these years, helped me create the perfect signature product that I now provide to fitness professionals to help them sell high ticket services.

how-i-started-a-13k-month-fitness-focused-marketing-consulting-business

9. Start a career coaching business ($2.4M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,050
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills

Patrick Curtis from Saratoga, California, USA started Wall Street Oasis about 16 years ago, a career coaching business.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Saratoga, California, USA

Case Study

After working 90+ hour weeks in investment banking at Rothschild for a few years out of college and then transitioning to private equity two years after that, I thought I had it made. I landed my dream job in private equity in my dream city (Boston) and had a much more healthy work/life balance.

The dream, however, quickly turned into a nightmare. In my first review less than 4 months on the job I was fired on the spot and asked to sign a waiver and take $10,000 to go away. I was confused and my confidence was shattered.

Even worse, I was blackballed from private equity in Boston. Every time I had an offer in hand it would get rescinded because the employer that fired me would only say that I worked there and wouldn’t give me a reference -- probably out of fear because I wouldn’t take the $10,000 or sign the waiver.

from-getting-fired-at-24-to-growing-a-140k-month-online-community

10. Start a watch brand ($240K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,500 — $320,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$7,333
Time To Revenue
240 days
Business model

Steve Christensen from Alberta, Canada started NOVO watch over 10 years ago, a watch brand.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Alberta, Canada

Case Study

I am a watch fanatic! Ever since I was a young boy I’ve loved watches. During a summer job, after failing to find a cool new watch to buy, I told my friends I was going to start my own watch company and I did!

It seems the best way to attract customers is the story. Customers are smart and if the story isn’t authentic they’ll see that.

My goal was to look at new unique ways to tell time and approach the watch world differently. For the next few semesters and throughout my masters program I would sit at the back of the class drawing designs, emailing people from China and sending money to unknown people in hopes I would see my ideas turn into reality. When I finally got my first products, I was hooked. Entrepreneurship in the watch world my dream and I was standing at the foot of it.

steve-christensen-is-building-watches-from-old-train-tracks

11. Start a subscription box business ($420K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$400 — $400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,182
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills

Nelli Jeloudar from Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands started Bundleboon over 4 years ago, a subscription box business.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

Case Study

Bundleboon is my first business, in fact, I never wanted to become an entrepreneur.

When I graduated from college in Copenhagen, I started working for Pandora Jewelry where I quickly found a passion for customer experience and the importance of it.

Don’t quit your day job before you have validated your concept. Run it as a side hustle, until you have enough knowledge, customers and resources to go all-in. You don’t have to have a lot of money in the bank when starting off.

how-i-started-a-subscription-box-business-for-kids

12. Start an online t-shirt business ($2.4M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $833,333/month
Average Initial Investment
$11,703
Skills

TJ Mapes from Chicago, Illinois, USA started RIPT Apparel about 13 years ago, a online t-shirt business.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Case Study

RIPT Apparel was created by myself and two of my oldest friends, Matt Ingleby and Paul Friemel.

We grew up together in Bettendorf, Iowa. Matt and I played on the same pee wee baseball team and Paul and I played in a pop-punk band together for many years. We all attended the same high school and later college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

After we graduated college, we found ourselves spread out for a few years but ultimately all ended up in Chicago.

how-three-friends-launched-2-4m-t-shirt-startup-ript-apparel

13. Create a screensharing software ($374K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$31,150/month
Time To Revenue
240 days
Skills

Jói Sigurdsson from Reykjavik, Iceland started CrankWheel over 7 years ago, a screensharing software.

  • Revenue: $31,150/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Case Study

When I left Google mid-2014, I was planning to build the typical type of ex-Googler startup, one that would bring an approach that I had seen used successfully at Google and worked on, to the wider market. This was in the internationalization space. A couple of months in, I found that this had already been done, in the same way, with the same go-to-market strategy that I had been thinking of, and that the competition had even recently hired a person I had trained to replace me to work on the Google-internal version a couple of years earlier. I decided I did not want to compete in that space since they were already doing a great job.

As you can imagine, I kicked myself a bit for not realizing earlier, but I never regretted leaving Google - it was time, I had been wanting to start my own thing for several years at that point.

Around the same time, I reconnected with an old friend from primary school, my CrankWheel cofounder Gilsi, who I hadn’t spoken to more than a couple of times in over twenty years. He and I started brainstorming what types of solutions might be missing in his space, which was sales, particularly sales over the telephone to hard-to-reach prospects, of products like telecoms, insurance, banking, and software. We reinvented a lot of sales enablement tools before finding that lots of solutions already existed.

how-i-launched-a-31k-month-screensharing-for-sales-teams-app

14. Start an ebikes business ($3.6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$50,000 — $1,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$20,911
Time To Revenue
330 days
Skills
Business model

Stephan Aarstol from San Diego, California, USA started Tower Electric Bikes about 12 years ago, a eBikes business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA

Case Study

I live right on the boardwalk on the beach in San Diego. I get a good sense of up and coming trends in beach lifestyle while just kicking back on my patio with a Margarita and watching the world go by. In the last three or four years, there has been an explosion in electric powered things buzzing down the boardwalk. They've always been there, but it used to be one dude cruising the boardwalk with some kind of homemade electric skateboard or something once a week. Then the trend started growing exponentially in the last few years and you could just see the future.

My main form of transportation down the boardwalk has always been a beach cruiser. While bikes are also recreation around the beach, unlike many places they're a central form of transportation for anyone who lives at the beach. Why sit in aggravating coastal traffic and then search for scarce parking when you can just cruise down the boardwalk with the wind in your hair and an ocean view. A rusty beach cruiser literally offers you a better quality of life than a car which might set you back $50K. Not to mention the rent for a garage to park said car might be $500/mo.

The thing about electric bikes that most people don't get is that they're basically the perfect form of transportation. This is NOT just a "different kind of bike". Aside from kids, beach dwellers like myself, and what my son refers to as "butt darts" (those odd and colorfully dressed Tour de France type road cyclists), normal people just don't use bikes as transportation in the US. Bikes are a recreation with a side of exercise. Electric bikes can be better described as a replacement for a car. It's like a scooter that doesn't require a helmet and you can ride on paths, boardwalks, sidewalks, across the lawn, wherever. The first time you ride one, the light bulb goes off in your head... wait, this is fun, requires no effort even up hills, let's me avoid traffic, doesn't require a parking spot, has a range of 30-60 miles, and if the battery does die I can just pedal the rest of the way home.

how-i-partnered-with-mark-cuban-to-start-a-250k-month-company-selling-ebikes

15. Start a greeting cards business ($1.2M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $100,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$11,166
Time To Revenue
300 days
Skills
Business model

Travis Peterson from Irvine, California, USA started Joker Greeting over 7 years ago, a greeting cards business.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Irvine, California, USA

Case Study

My background is in finance. I worked in investment banking for six years in New York. I loved the job, the people, and the hours. But as a service job I wanted to be making things not just helping others make things. This desire has led me to where I am today.

My brother and I have always loved to make fun of everything. Around 2014, we visited my mom’s house and she had this musical greeting card. We thought it was annoying. We asked each other, "Who wants to listen to this!?" Then Nick asked, “What if it didn’t stop?”

That was it. Nothing more. No market research.

launching-a-prank-card-and-growing-to-30k-mo

16. Start a freelance writing business ($1.8M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$700 — $150,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$633
Time To Revenue
90 days
Skills
Business model

Dave Thornton from Bolton, UK started Thornton & Lowe over 12 years ago, a freelance writing business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 24
  • Location: Bolton, UK

Case Study

Thornton & Lowe is my first and only business. What I still get asked regularly is, ‘who’s Lowe?’ Well… as I always wanted the company to be more than just me I knew I needed a name, which could ‘hint’ at being larger and more established. Lowe is my wife’s, Cassie’s, maiden name. It sounded right to me, and I was then known as Dave Thornton ‘trading as’ Thornton & Lowe, which then developed into a limited company a couple of years later.

So how at 23 did I decide to set up a bid writing and management consultancy? After completing my undergraduate degree I managed to secure a Graduate Trainee position at a large Social Housing Provider. This was a great opportunity for me to work across their divisions, from supported housing (working with vulnerable groups), through to traditional housing management and dealing with contractors and suppliers, to report writing for the Board of Directors. A great opportunity to develop a broad skillset.

how-i-started-a-130k-month-business-selling-bid-writing-services

17. Start a jewelry making business ($24M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $2,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$38,333
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills

KC Holiday from Santa Ana, California, USA started QALO over 9 years ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 45
  • Location: Santa Ana, California, USA

Case Study

We are often asked the story of how we came up with the concept, and I wish I had some elaborate story about almost losing a finger, but my life isn’t dangerous enough for that.

The simple answer is, we got married.

Ted and I married our wives in 2012, a few months apart from one another. We were both living in Los Angeles pursuing a career in film and television, which really meant we spent a lot of our time working in a restaurant together.

how-kc-holiday-built-qalo-a-100mm-silicone-ring-business

18. Start an idea management software ($9M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$66,000 — $750,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$20,000
Skills

Rob Hoehn from San Francisco, California, USA started IdeaScale over 13 years ago, a idea management software.

  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 53
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Case Study

I started the company ten years ago with my friends Vivek Bhaskaran, Jessica Day, and Josh Folk, because we kept hearing this question from our business contacts: “how are we supposed to get answers to the questions that we don’t know to ask?”

I was working at a bank as a programmer and moonlighting on some start-up projects with Vivek. Josh was a White House intern who had started his own sports and technology company and Jessica was a freelance marketer. So we really were just piecing IdeaScale together in the time that we had between our other projects.

This question of shining a light on our blind spots has always fascinated me. It’s something that we stumble on as individuals constantly, so of course it’s something we stumble on as a business or government agency. What we realized is that if we could help organizations gather ideas… they would start finding answers not just to the questions that they knew to ask - but to questions they’d never even thought of before. But it couldn’t just be a suggestion box - it needed features that would allow anyone to help select the best idea, improve it, and move it forward.

how-we-launched-a-750k-month-idea-management-software

19. Start a subscription box business ($720K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$400 — $400,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,182
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills

Charles Carette from Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina started Bambox almost 5 years ago, a subscription box business.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Case Study

In Bambox co-founding team, we are 3 french engineers, Timothée Jauffret (COO), Rémi Beaufils (CTO) and myself.

We all left our day jobs and we bootstrapped Bambox from our living room in our shared flat. Until today, we couldn't be more thankful to our roommates for letting us pile stacks of diapers in the house for at least a year!

We all came to Argentina for different reasons. One came to study and is getting married now, another settled down here after traveling around the world. For me, after graduating from an engineering Msc in Brazil I wanted to stay in LatAm to enjoy the lifestyle and I ended up working with Timothée at a third-party logistics provider.

how-we-grew-our-baby-subscription-box-to-60k-mrr

20. Start a volleyball net product ($6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$500
Skills
Business model

Greg Meade from Miami, Florida, USA started CROSSNET about 5 years ago, a volleyball net product.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 18
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

Case Study

I graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with a film degree in 2014. Growing up in a small farm town in Woodstock, CT, my dream was always to make it big and become a famous horror movie director. I had such a strong passion for directing and cinematography, but after one cold morning in Chinatown at 4 am on the set of the HBO show GIRLS, I knew that I wasn’t cracked up for that life.

I then took my first sales job in 2015 at a software company in New York City called Contently to pay off my student loans. It ended up being one of the most important things I ever did as I learned invaluable sales and outreach skills that would help me later land deals for CROSSNET with retailers such as DICK’S, Target, Academy, Walmart, and Scheels.

After a lovely layoff in the spring of 2017, I got offered a gig as Uber’s first-ever external Account Executive in their NY HQ helping launching UberEats in Boston and Providence. Through Uber’s relaxed start-up culture and demanding sales quotas, I learned the value of providing autonomy and trust to my future employees and freelancers. Who cares if you take a 20-minute coffee break and take an extra day off if you are hitting 150% of your quota. I have that same mentality for all of my employees, as long as we are hitting our deadlines, putting out high-quality work, there’s no need to add extra stress in anybody's life.

how-we-invented-a-2-5m-year-four-way-volleyball-net

21. Start a cat treats brand ($360K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$30,000/month
Time To Revenue
330 days
Skills
Business model

Spyq Sklar from Quebec City, Quebec, Canada started Cat Sushi almost 7 years ago, a cat treats brand.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Case Study

In 2014, I quit my job in Silicon Valley to start a pet supplies store with my longtime friend John and business partner Barry. About a year after opening Wolf & Lion Pet Supplies, the idea for Cat Sushi came about.

![barry-cat-sushi](https://s3.amazonaws.com/www.starterstory.com/wolf-lion-team.png)

Barry, who's been in the pet industry for many years, knew about this human food that cats loved called bonito flakes, which are small, flaky pieces of tuna that you can buy at the supermarket.

22. Start a wireframing software business ($6.6M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$6,000 — $550,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$1,500,500
Skills

Natalie Gould from Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy started Balsamiq about 14 years ago, a wireframing software business.

  • Revenue: $550,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 33
  • Location: Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Case Study

That company value starts out:

“Our team is filled with talented, skilled, and knowledgeable people, but we are also humble enough to know that there is always something more to learn - something that can be improved.”

Learning and constant improvement are important to us, but also in telling our story. There is a tendency to look at startup success as coming from a single moment’s inspired idea and perhaps from one individual genius founder. When Peldi launched Balsamiq Mockups in 2008, it may have appeared from the outside as an overnight success.

how-we-started-a-550k-month-wireframing-software-company

23. Start a poetry business ($420K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$35,000/month
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Daniel Zaltsman and Erick Szentmiklosy from Remote started The Haiku Guys & Gals ago, a poetry business.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Remote

Case Study

People always ask us if we’re poets or writers. The short answer is yes, but it wasn’t always that way. In our adolescent years, we both wrote poetry here and there but individually decided we were pretty bad at it. Erick even failed poetry class in high school. Erick comes from Hungarian and Colombian parents, grew up skateboarding, listening to rock, and reading Henry Miller in Dover, NJ. Daniel was born in Saint Petersburg, emigrated to the US and grew up in Cliffside Park, NJ performing in Russian plays, ballroom dancing, and playing counter strike.

Both of us grew up in lower-middle-class households and our journeys crossed at freshman orientation of Montclair State University. We spent most of our time studying at the library and going on vision quests. Our studies, like our interests, intersected - Daniel’s Marketing and Sociology and Erick’s Mathematics and Philosophy. Later these would serve as foundations for running our business.

During senior year, we wanted to start a business but had no idea what business to start or how to go about it. Inspired by a late-night dazed encounter with a stop sign, we developed a logo that replaced STOP with START. Shortly thereafter, our friend Zach came back from a keynote by Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS Shoes, and was reeling about how inspired he was by the story. A lightbulb went off: we should interview entrepreneurs and share their stories on the internet as inspiration for other people to START going after their dreams. But how would we find these entrepreneurs?

how-we-started-a-35k-month-business-writing-personalized-poetry-at-events

24. Start a tradeshow booth business ($360K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$30,000/month
Skills
Business model

Ryan Schortmann from Plymouth, MA, USA started Display Pros about 4 years ago, a tradeshow booth business.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Plymouth, MA, USA

Case Study

Ever since I can remember, I have tended to geek out on anything that I’m remotely passionate about – computer building, web design and development, business automation, inbound marketing, and the list goes on for personal pursuits. I love to dig into the esoteric and learn what really makes things tick. I have always been obsessed with entrepreneurship from a young age so that led me to read and study the subject voraciously.

It has been a bit of a roundabout journey to get to this point. I initially started in film school and eventually earned my degree in Business Administration and Computer Science. I’ve held some random jobs over the years working as a PC tech, technical intern for a video editing hardware company, camp counselor, photography teacher, guitar teacher, documentary filmmaker, and retail clerk. That list kind of sounds like Homer listing off his occupations in the Simpsons, but eventually I landed on something more aligned with my skill set.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhKQ6oxLsEU&feature=

how-i-started-a-30k-month-business-selling-custom-trade-show-booths

25. Start a time tracking app ($2.22M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$350 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$29,210
Time To Revenue
330 days
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Dean A. Logan from New Jersey, USA started Labor Sync almost 13 years ago, a time tracking app.

  • Revenue: $185,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: New Jersey, USA

Case Study

As a roofer and family business owner for 17 years, I faced the ongoing struggle of keeping track of my employees, job order costing, processing payroll and ultimately losing money due to the mismanagement of time.

As an end-user, I knew I needed a product that could streamline these processes but couldn’t find a single product on the market that met the needs of my company. At that point, I realized that if I am struggling with these problems, surely plenty of other business owners with a largely mobile workforce are facing the same issue. Thus, Labor Sync began!

My father and I partnered with IT guru Joe Burger and beta tested within our own roofing company, Complete Roof Systems (CRS), to see how this technology could help us save both time and money. Joe had his own company and was a tenant of one of our roofing clients, she introduced me to Joe and we immediately hit it off.

how-i-launched-a-185k-month-employee-time-gps-tracking-app

26. Start a christmas tree accessory business ($420K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$35,000/month
Skills
Business model

Ryan Kenny from Atlanta, Georgia, USA started The Christmas Tree Hugger over 5 years ago, a christmas tree accessory business.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Case Study

I come from a design and advertising background and have been an Art Director for 15+ years, working on Madison Avenue for most of that time.

I chose that gig because I’ve been a maker since childhood and have always loved figuring out new ways to solve problems in a creative out of the box way. Another huge part of my personality since childhood has been my interest in entrepreneurship.

As a small business you need to try harder to get noticed, so if that takes you showing up in person to get noticed, go for it!

how-ryan-kenny-started-the-christmas-tree-hugger

27. Start an online masquerade masks store ($300K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$25,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,000
Time To Revenue
270 days
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Josh Bluman from North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA started VIVO Masks almost 9 years ago, a online masquerade masks store.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: North Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Case Study

Prior to VIVO Masks, Jackson and I were online marketers, working at various agencies and marketing different small and large businesses. We were both also very entrepreneurial, having had some small successes with other endeavours, but had never committed to growing a full-on ecommerce company.

Being well versed in online marketing, we were already familiar with the tools to evaluate potential business ideas and while looking for product ideas we came across an unusually high number of people searching for masquerade masks (using the Google search tool). And when looking at what was being sold, we thought we could do much better. They were for the most part cheap, plastic, mass-produced masks.

It may not be a success, but just taking some action, and trying to get something going is key.

how-we-started-a-25k-month-venetian-masquerade-masks-ecommerce

28. Start a mystery game store ($1.02M/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$85,000 — $5,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,500
Skills
Business model

Jimmy Cowe from Ghent, Belgium started Crimibox about 5 years ago, a mystery game store.

  • Revenue: $85,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Ghent, Belgium

Case Study

My day job is in the criminal investigations of the Federal Police in Belgium. Every day, I’m seeing dozens of cold cases on my desk. Over the last couple of years, most cases get solved at the detective’s desk instead of out in the field.

This involves double-checking witness reports, alibis, motives, … So that got me thinking of creating fictional murder cases and letting people solve it with the police file and online media.

8k-per-month-side-project-helping-people-solve-murder-cases

29. Start an earring business ($264K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,500 — $2,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,000
Time To Revenue
240 days
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Jackie Burke from New York, New York, USA started Tini Lux over 4 years ago, a earring business.

  • Revenue: $22,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

Case Study

In college, I stopped wearing earrings because every pair I tried, even the ones labeled “hypoallergenic,” gave me extremely painful reactions and even caused my piercings to bleed. I researched online and asked around and so many people had the same problem. The solutions online said to try things like putting clear nail polish on your earrings or putting vaseline on your piercings. None of those “hacks” worked. At that point I just resigned myself to not wearing earrings again.

A few years later, when fashion influencers became really popular on Instagram, I started buying everything my favorite bloggers posted. Unfortunately, they always wore the cutest earrings and I could never buy any of them. So one day I decided to do some serious Google-ing because I knew there had to be someone that had created skin-friendly earrings by then.

Deep within the pages of Google, I found a woman who was selling very basic titanium studs. They were made of pure titanium and manufactured by a medical implant manufacturer. She explained how titanium is an inert metal that does not react with the human body, which is why it is used in medical implants. Because of that, it is perfect for earrings. I ordered a pair right away. They completely healed my piercings and I wore them for weeks with absolutely no issues. The only problem was that I wanted fun statement earrings and hoop earrings that looked high end and I couldn’t find any that were made with titanium.

how-i-launched-a-profitable-earrings-business-in-one-year

30. Start a woodworking business ($240K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $25,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$17,833
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Mat Hofma & Erik Polumbo from Maitland, Florida, USA started Mini Materials over 7 years ago, a woodworking business.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Maitland, Florida, USA

Case Study

I was a graphic designer by trade and really wanted to start up my own e-commerce shop. I wanted to learn web design and at least get some business experience under my belt. I had never even thought of starting my own business.

I couldn't think of what to sell until I saw a guy making mini cinder blocks for fun on Reddit. I wanted to buy some, but they weren't for sale. I figured it couldn't be that hard, so I taught myself 3D design in SketchUp and made molds from 3D prints.

I figured throughout the process that I could at least sell enough to break even - since startup costs were under $500 total. The worst that could happen was that I got an education on 3D design, web design, and prototyping.

selling-mini-construction-supplies-and-making-17k-mo

31. Start a glue business ($204K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$17,000/month
Skills
Business model

Tripp Phillips from Dalton, Georgia, USA started LeGlue LLC about 7 years ago, a glue business.

  • Revenue: $17,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Dalton, Georgia, USA

Case Study

Here is exactly how it started...

My 3rd-grade teacher, Mrs. Martha Thomason, challenged me to write a paper or come up with an invention, so I got motivated to show some creativity. As I told the Sharks, “I did what any logical 9-year-old boy would do, I chose to avoid the writing”.

I came home and said Dad, “I need to make an invention. How in the world do I make one”? Dad told me what now has become our core belief: “ Tripp, you have to Identify a problem and then come up with a solution to fix it.

how-this-13-year-old-made-it-on-shark-tank-and-did-500k-in-sales

32. Start a hot sauce business ($156K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,250 — $12,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$30,000
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills
Business model

James Bryson from Wimborne Minster, England, United Kingdom started Flaming Licks almost 7 years ago, a hot sauce business.

  • Revenue: $13,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Wimborne Minster, England, United Kingdom

Case Study

Our journey started back in 2014 when James decided to make his own piri-piri sauce to gift to friends and family members as a Christmas present. His sauce didn’t quite go to plan, but we gifted them anyways, and everybody loved it. From that, Sidekick sauce was born in 2015, selling at UK chili festivals and to a few retailers.

https://www.instagram.com/p/-zA7fhCjS8/

Not happy with just making sauces, we opened a chili shop in James’ hometown, Wimborne in Dorset, and then shortly after acquired the first hot sauce subscription box in the UK (named Lick My Dip at the time). The love for discovering new hot sauces in the UK and finding out about new amazing producers is what made us jump at the opportunity to take it on.

how-we-started-a-13k-month-hot-sauce-online-store-and-subscription-service

33. Start a planner brand ($270K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,800 — $50,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$10,000
Skills

Jess Yasuda from Hobart, Tasmania, Australia started Planner Peace almost 7 years ago, a planner brand.

  • Revenue: $22,541/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

Case Study

When I started Chasing Planner Peace I was a mum of two very small children, working part-time in a job for the government. I found my job extremely unrewarding and boring and had a little avenue for creativity. I never dreamed that starting an Etsy store would lead to growing a company that could become a full-time career. I had always had it drummed into me to find a secure job and stick with it - don’t take risks!

After my second child was born I became interested in using a paper planner as a hobby. There’s actually quite a big community of people (mostly women) who combine organization and creativity and love using their planners as a memory-keeping, scrapbooking tool using stickers and washi tape to decorate.

I loved the idea of using Filofax type planners where you could really customize your planner by adding in what “inserts” (refill pages) you wanted. I would download printable inserts off Etsy for calendar pages, meal planning, etc. but I could never find a layout that really worked for me. I would also waste huge amounts of time, money and printer ink trying to print out the printable inserts - as every file was a different format.

how-i-started-a-12k-month-selling-productivity-planners-online

34. Start a marketing agency ($120K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,300 — $8,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$29,754
Time To Revenue
330 days

Sam Wilcox from England, United Kingdom started Tribecto Automations almost 4 years ago, a marketing agency.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: England, United Kingdom

Case Study

I’ve been in the sales and marketing space for over 10 years now, starting from the bottom and working my way up. I started out as a lot of sales professionals do, hitting the phone in a call center environment. I was pretty good at it but it wasn’t something that got me excited about getting out of bed in the morning so I decided I wanted to get involved with marketing and the agency space.

I should have prioritized my physical and mental health sooner. In the beginning, the business was all consuming. I was working extremely long days and not seeing much of the outside world.

I came up with the idea for Tribecto while working at InvisiblePPC a white label PPC agency. I had re-designed and re-built the sales process a few times while working there and had really learned how to wield the CRM and automation tools to build better experiences for our customers.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-business-developing-marketing-and-sales-automations

35. Build an api ($360K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,600 — $500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$150
Skills

Ervin Ruci from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada started Geocode.xyz over 5 years ago, a API.

  • Revenue: $30,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Case Study

I have a background in CS and Math (My master CS thesis was on a class of 3SUM hard problems in Computational Geometry)

I’ve been building independent bootstrapped startups since 2005, when I quit my last day job. One of those is geocoder.ca, a geocoding API for Canada and the US I started in 2005 (and is still going strong). It also served as the starting point to go global with geocode.xyz in 2016.

Identify your strengths and do what you like to do. Having a sense of purpose is important, especially when that purpose is to solve a problem you can muster the ability to solve.

creating-an-api-for-developers-earning-15k-month

36. Start a life coaching business ($120K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$100 — $120,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,400
Time To Revenue
240 days
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Sinem Günel from Vienna, Austria started Personal Growth Base over 2 years ago, a life coaching business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Vienna, Austria

Case Study

One and a half years after starting my studies in business administration I came into touch with entrepreneurship and I immediately knew that I wanted to dig deeper into how to build your own business and be your own boss.

So I started reading books, especially biographies, of successful entrepreneurs.

Pretty soon I found out there’s one major component all of them have in common: They all talk about their personal growth and how they had to improve themselves so that their businesses could grow.

This immediately triggered me and I started digging deeper into the topic of personal growth.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-personal-growth-advice-business

37. Start a finance blog ($120K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$3,500 — $665,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$364
Time To Revenue
150 days

Pardeep Goyal from Chandigarh, India started Cash Overflow about 7 years ago, a finance blog.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Chandigarh, India

Case Study

I worked in an IT company from 2006 to 2013 and lived in the US for 2 years. I was getting paid well but unhappy with the work culture. I returned back to India, left my job and started a small software company by investing all my savings.

My startup failed with a loss of over $20,000 and I lost the motivation to join back the job. I started taking up freelance writing work to pay my monthly bills and started a blog to practice whatever I was learning about digital marketing in 2015.

I never thought that CashOverflow would ever make any money. I was just sharing my personal finance hacks on my blog, those worked for me to manage my finances in my bad time.

how-i-started-a-10k-month-blog-about-banking-investment-products

38. Start a campervan conversion business ($96K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
Skills

Bryan and Jen Danger from Portland, Oregon, USA started ZENVANZ over 3 years ago, a campervan conversion business.

  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Case Study

As a part of our nomadic lifestyle, we built out a campervan simply to facilitate our own travels, whether it be a summer spent on the coast of Baja or chasing snow from mountain to mountain in the Canadian Rockies.

We really never had the intention of starting a business… In fact, we said no for a couple of years to those asking us to either buy our campervan or for us to build one for them. We loved the process and loved the idea of helping others to get out and enjoy more nature/adventure the way we had, but the idea of giving up some of our own freedom to go back to working in the shop simply wasn’t attractive.

Eventually, friends came to us and convinced us to start the business. To simply show them how to do what we had learned and for us to simply continue “marketing” the business as we already had been (by camping and attending events and simply talking to others who saw the van when we opened the doors). Those friends were also looking to make a transition in life as they wanted out of their 9-5s, and we saw it as an opportunity we couldn’t refuse- both to help them and to help others we had talked to about van builds over the years.

how-we-started-a-8k-month-business-transforming-campervans-while-traveling

39. Start a gift store ($96K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$5,000 — $749,997/month
Skills

Tiffany Reimer from Fresno, California, USA started Passport 4 Change over 8 years ago, a gift store.

  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Fresno, California, USA

Case Study

I've loved coins from around the world since I was a little girl. My dad was in the Air Force and he had coins from around the world including Taiwan, the Philippines and other places. These simple coins were magical entries into a much greater world. That probably greatly influenced me and put me on my current world-traveling path.

So when my niece didn't think about a greater world, I knew I needed to help her and other children expand their horizon.

My idea turned out to be a great success so I built a website and started selling my educational (and fun!) tooth fairy kits. I offer different kit options that I named the Business Class kit and my biggest seller, the 1st Class kit.

how-this-flight-attendant-started-an-e-commerce-business-on-the-side

40. Start a stuffed animals business ($0/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$800,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,000
Skills
Business model

Justin Baum from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA started ZZZ Bears about 7 years ago, a stuffed animals business.

  • Revenue: $/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA

Case Study

I had no idea how to get a teddy bear made. So I did what anyone in my position would do. I Googled it.

That led me into the abyss, AKA Alibaba. I quickly found a manufacturer in China who was willing to make a small quantity for a reasonable price. We traded emails, thoughts and sketches for a design and finally landed on something I was happy with.

I wired him the money not knowing if I’d actually ever see a bear. After all, I had no idea who this guy was. For all I knew, he was emailing me from his new yacht in Bali, paid in part by me!

how-i-built-a-teddy-bear-business-helping-military-kids-sleep-at-night

41. Start a life coaching business ($120K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$100 — $120,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$2,400
Time To Revenue
240 days
Time Commitment Per Week
Min. 5 hours/week
Skills
Interests

Foti Panagiotakopoulos from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA started GrowthMentor over 3 years ago, a life coaching business.

  • Revenue: $10,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

Case Study

I graduated with a degree in Finance back in 2007 but never ended up using that degree.

After University I ended up heading growth at EuroVPS, a managed hosting provider, as their first marketing hire. With zero experience in marketing and nobody to show me the ropes, I ended up having to learn everything by myself through trial and error.

From not setting 301 redirects after site redesigns to burning shit loads of money hiring fancy agencies that didn’t deliver, I’m proud to say that I’ve made almost every noob mistake in the book!

how-i-launched-a-5k-month-platform-to-connect-with-growth-mentors

42. Start a jewelry making business ($60K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,000 — $2,000,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$38,333
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills

Aziza Browne from Asheville, North Carolina, USA started Aziza Jewelry ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA

Case Study

I first started making jewelry as a hobby when I was a little girl. My very rudimentary jewelry somehow became popular with family and older friends of the family and they actually bought some of my early jewelry pieces believe it or not! From childhood, I was always very encouraged to continue with my art.

I attended art schools for most of my life and I intended to study jewelry design in college, however, once I started taking jewelry design classes, the program didn't appeal to me, so I chose to study ceramics instead. After college, though, I resumed my love of jewelry design by taking several types of different classes at various art studios in NYC. I studied all types of jewelry making techniques from glass bead-making to metalsmithing to working with PMC (precious metal clay). After graduating from college, I took about 10 different types of jewelry making classes over the years.

After making connections at a glass bead making studio, called Urban Glass, I gained enough confidence in my designs that I was able to start selling some of my early glass bead jewelry at the Shop at Urban Glass.

how-i-started-a-5k-month-side-hustle-selling-custom-word-necklaces

43. Start a sneaker reseller business ($60K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,000 — $70,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$120,000
Time To Revenue
210 days
Skills
Business model

Chris Casseday from Cincinnati, Ohio, USA started 513 Kicks about 5 years ago, a sneaker reseller business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

Case Study

Growing up I was a huge Michael Jordan fan. The 90s were dominated by the Chicago Bulls (except when Michael decided to play baseball), and I soaked it all in. Being such a fan of MJ, I would always notice what shoes he was wearing on the court. Naturally, I had to have whatever pair he was wearing. At this point, the Air Jordan line was already well-established in the market, but nothing compared to what we see today.

Do not let someone else determine your success. It can be easy to look at similar businesses and make assumptions that they are better than yours, causing you to get discouraged.

I have vivid memories of going to a local sneaker store, typically Just For Feet, with my dad. If anyone remembers this store, they were famous for having a basketball hoop inside. This meant that you could take your new kicks for a spin before walking out of the door. It was simply the best.

how-i-started-a-side-hustle-reselling-sneakers-for-profit

44. Start a sports coaching business ($57.1K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$4,759 — $8,500/month
Time To Revenue
360 days
Skills
Business model

Sarah Wolfer from Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic started Girl Boss Sports over 3 years ago, a sports coaching business.

  • Revenue: $4,759/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic

Case Study

As an athlete and coach myself, I have experienced many situations that left me feeling dismayed at the state of affairs for women and girls involved in sports. I recall one such instance where I was playing at a very competitive level and the head coach screamed at me from 2 inches away with every expletive he could think of in front of our entire team because I asked him a question about the drill that was being done. I still vividly remember the spittle flying out of his mouth and hitting me in the face and not knowing what to do. The powerlessness I felt at that moment, coupled with the lack of appropriate response by the system when I reported him left me feeling hopeless for my future in sports. I ended up quitting soccer and refused to touch a ball for an entire year.

On the coaching side - as someone with 16 years of experience now, there are still instances in which I am treated differently than my male counterparts. One such example was when I was on the sideline waiting for the referee to come over and check my team prior to the start of the game. I was dressed in my coaching attire, had the whistle around my neck, the clipboard in my hand, and the player cards ready to be presented when the referee walked over to our sideline. He made eye contact with me and then proceeded to walk over the dad who happened to be on our side tying his daughter’s shoe and assumed that he was the coach.

Take time for yourself! Being an entrepreneur is hard work and you can’t do it to the best of your ability if you haven’t taken time for yourself to rest and rejuvenate. Self-care is integral to success.

how-i-started-a-4-8k-month-business-offering-sports-coaching-services-by-women

45. Start a freelance writing business ($54K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$700 — $150,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$633
Time To Revenue
90 days
Skills
Business model

Kate Angelella from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started Angelella Editorial about 8 years ago, a freelance writing business.

  • Revenue: $4,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Case Study

I started out my editorial career working as an assistant editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s Books in New York City. The first book series I edited was Nancy Drew, and later the Hardy Boys series (the new series! Though like many people, I have a fondness for the old hardcover series). I was blessed to have been given an opportunity to skip the entry-level position in my career track, so I was a bit over my head when I began and tried to make up for it by working my butt off--which meant long hours and lots and lots of reading.

A lot of people think editors at publishing houses edit in the office, but the truth is, our days are so filled with meetings and paperwork and email, we do most of our editing in our free time (at night after work and on the weekends). At that time, I was working full time at S&S and also in the midst of pursuing my graduate degree in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts, so it was a very full plate, to say the least. It’s a time I remember as “baptism by fire.” I loved working with authors and other editors and reading middle-grade and YA fiction for a living--it was my dream job! But it was a lot of work, and I began the job during a transitional time in publishing. Which meant a year in a half in, my company had put a freeze on promotions and was no longer compensating for overtime, which was a sizeable portion of my paycheck.

S&S was the best career learning experience of my life. During my time there, I acquired and edited dozens of books by authors I’m extremely humbled to have worked with, such as #1 New York Times bestselling author Nova Ren Suma and NAACP Image Award- and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe award-winning author Kekla Magoon.

how-i-started-a-4-5k-month-freelance-editorial-business

46. Start a tour company ($45K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,800 — $23,330,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$3,700
Skills

Alexandra Kenin from San Francisco, California, USA started Urban Hiker SF almost 10 years ago, a tour company.

  • Revenue: $3,750/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Case Study

Before starting Urban Hiker SF, I worked as a marketing manager at Google from 2007 to 2012. By the end of my time there, I was very burned out on big company politics—and mainly on commuting (up to three hours a day), so I knew I needed to leave. I had saved a bunch of money and knew I had enough funds to take some time off.

After I quit, I took some time off to explore San Francisco. By that time, I had lived in the city for 4.5 years, but I didn’t know it that well as I spent most days at Google headquarters in Mountain View. With my time off, I explored our city’s mosaic stairways, our beautiful beaches, our “wave organ”—all the places I had wanted to visit, but never had the time to.

Take actionable steps toward your goals every day and you’ll make progress. Also, once you get started, you’ll meet people along your way to help you. You won’t necessarily find those people if you’re only doing research and not actually launching.

leaving-google-and-starting-a-hiking-tour-business

47. Start a mom blog ($36K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,500 — $10,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$1,000
Time To Revenue
120 days
Skills
Business model

Audrey Marshall from Utah, USA started Mommy Enlightened about 4 years ago, a mom blog.

  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Utah, USA

Case Study

Blogging has been a crazy journey for me. I found out about blogging really randomly, and as soon I read the first article about it I decided I was going to go for it. I never once believed I would fail - and I think that’s a large part of why I didn’t. My partner and I had to sell our house and move in with my in-laws due to my husband’s job location. We were in a situation where we could afford to have me quit my job short-term. It was a risk because we were still paying off a large amount of debt (and desperately wanted to get back into a house of our own) but it was the first time in our marriage where there was a smaller risk associated with it. I planned to try it for a year, and if it didn’t work out I would go back and get a job. I worked 60 hour weeks - not only creating content but also learning about the RIGHT things. I invested a LOT of money in the first year, but I believe that’s necessary if you want to progress faster.

Before starting, I had limited knowledge of all things technology. I used Facebook and Youtube, but I had no knowledge of the technical aspects of it all. It was very frustrating in the beginning, but blogging is in large part about taking the initiative to do your own research and never stop trying to learn. So that’s what I did. It’s a huge learning curve, but it’s definitely doable. It helps that I have a myriad of new skills now. I can do minor coding, marketing, copywriting, SEO, and create/sell products. I have learned more in the last year and a half than I have from any other job - and it’s neat to think that even if I decide to stop blogging, I can get a job with many of my new skills.

There are no fast hacks to success. You have to do a lot of grinding to see success, and there aren’t any shortcuts to success.

how-i-started-a-3k-month-blog-writing-about-motherhood

48. Start a photo sharing platform ($24K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$2,000 — $500,000/month
Skills

Paweł Kadysz from Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland started Tookapic almost 9 years ago, a photo sharing platform.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Białystok, Podlaskie Voivodeship, Poland

Case Study

Back in 2013, I moved to a new house with my girlfriend. Our own house. It was a completely new chapter for us and I thought it would be nice to document it somehow. Naturally, I thought about photos. But I had no idea about photography.

I did have an old DSLR though. I decided to start taking photos daily and publish one on a Tumblr blog every day for a year. That was August 13th, 2013 - the day the idea was born.

everything-i-learned-launching-a-2k-month-photojournal-project-website

49. Start a travel agency ($24K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
$1,100 — $1,500,000/month
Average Initial Investment
$16,390
Business model

Marissa Daniels from Charleston, SC, USA started Spread Your Wings Travel over 3 years ago, a travel agency.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Charleston, SC, USA

Case Study

I was blessed to grow up in a two-parent household with a loving and caring set of parents. My father was in the military and because of that, I was born in California in ‘94. I’m a Georgia Peach all the way, but I was born in California. Unfortunately, in September of 2018, my life shifted when my father passed from cancer. It was pretty quick. In July, he was diagnosed and in September, he took his last breath. I was a Daddy’s girl to the FULLEST, so you can imagine the pain I went through - and still going through.

Do research before starting. If you want to start a business - research before you pay anything.

Fortunately, he was there to see me graduate from Valdosta State University in 2016. I majored in Mass Media with a Speech Communication Minor. Growing up, I loved to be in front of the camera (my father was a photographer) and I would record the video announcements at my church, as young as 11 years old. I also recorded the announcements in elementary school. I just knew Broadcast Journalism was something I was interested in.

how-i-started-a-2k-month-side-hustle-selling-vacations

50. Start a penny portrait business ($15K/year)

How Much Can You Make?
Time To Revenue
180 days
Skills
Business model
Work from home

Maury McCoy from Austin, Texas, USA started Penny Portrait over 14 years ago, a penny portrait business.

  • Revenue: $1,250/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Case Study

I was surfing the internet and was inspired by a story about a father and son who created a giant portrait of Abraham Lincoln out of $25 worth of dark/light pennies. I thought it was a fantastic concept and thought maybe other people would like to do the same thing. The idea of making Lincoln out of little Lincoln’s thoroughly amused me.

I have a background as a graphic designer/animator so I was able to create a proof of concept in Photoshop rather quickly. I added a few additional shades (4 total) which provided detail to the image while also allowing me to shrink it to a more manageable size without losing the illusion. After several iterations, (actually, many, many iterations...) I came up with a version that I was happy with but only used 846 cents.

starting-a-business-selling-portraits-made-of-pennies

Conclusion

Finding a "good idea" is not only hard, but it's a decision that will change the course of your life.

Once you make the plunge, you will be “stuck” with it for a long time.

But here’s the thing: finding a good idea is not rocket science. It just requires some patience and critical thinking + some time to step back and make sure you’re checking all the right boxes.

We hope you were able to get the juices flowing from this post 😊.

Thanks for reading!

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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