You don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to make a million dollars…

Here’s a quick thought for you to marinate on today:

“You don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to make a million dollars, you just need to figure out how you’re going to make more than you’re making today.”

My blogger friend Stefanie O’Connell shared that recently, and thought it was a brilliant reminder to take it step by step and not get so hung up on the long play as we often do which tends to make us want to quit before we even get started…

But working towards smaller – incremental – goals day by day such as income??! MUCH more do-able! And all still lead towards that Big Hairy Goal at the end, only with hundreds of little wins under our belt to keep us motivated :)

(Though of course I have to add a caveat here that just because you EARN more money doesn’t mean you actually HAVE more money! Haha… We all know people who are good at spending whatever’s in their account whether it’s $5.00 or $500,000 ;) So if you are going to hustle and bring in more over the months, please do yourself a favor and actually BANK IT so it counts! And then of course, don’t touch it.)

Here’s a list of 75 ways to earn extra money btw, for all those new to the site:

J’s Side Hustle Series

Some of my favorites in particular are:

It can take a while to find something that sticks, but when it does it does!! And there’s only one way to figure it out – keep putting yourself out there and experimenting ;)

So here’s to experimenting more and taking it step by step! You don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to make a million dollars, you just need to figure out how you’re going to make more than you’re making today.

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  1. Ev August 28, 2019 at 6:09 AM

    I’m with you on the (relatively) small wins idea J… especially since small “right now” wins compound better.

    And nice side hustle list…

    1. J. Money August 28, 2019 at 9:29 AM

      Thank you, kindly!

  2. elizabeth August 28, 2019 at 6:45 AM

    I’ve never had a great desire to make a ton of money. We just save what we can while still enjoying life. My husband’s military so of course he tries to make rank and of course I’d like him to but not actually for today. I just want him to make rank cause that means more money for the rest of our lives. He’s got 8 years left till retirement we have almost 300k in assets now. I just want to own a home in full when he retires and I’m not worried about the rest we’ll have a couple hundred thousand stashed away in retirement by then so we can work jobs that make us happy. I’m a strong believer in it’s not how much money you make it’s what you do with that money.

    1. J. Money August 28, 2019 at 9:33 AM

      Yes – 100%!! The managing of the $$$ makes all the difference in the world… And I’m very similar to you in the income part too, especially with this blog. I’ve always done just enough to be happy and have a nice quality of life and then don’t really kill myself to amp it up. At least once kids came into the picture :) I was a hustler extraordinaire back in the early years but now life trumps money/business! For the better or the worse!

  3. elizabeth August 28, 2019 at 6:47 AM

    I’m 30 btw husbands 34 he’ll be 42 when he retires

  4. Financially Fit Mom August 28, 2019 at 9:30 AM

    Some of these are really interesting! My daughter and I used to pick up trash for free just to make our neighborhood a little cleaner…now that she’s older, what a great idea to show her how to make a little extra cash after school! I may look deeper into that!

    On another note, I was out with some friends this weekend at one of our favorite cocktail bars and in conversation the bartender mentioned how he’d love to have a female bartender but he has yet to get a resume from anyone who has ever inquired. I’ve thought it would be fun to be a bartender ever since I was 10 years old (ish) and saw the movie Cocktail with Tom Cruise so I’m thinking this may be an unbeatable opportunity to do something I’ve always thought would be fun and perhaps make a little extra money at it too!

    Sounds to me like the secret to side hustling is be open minded and willing to just give things a try!

    1. J. Money August 28, 2019 at 9:41 AM

      TRY IT!!! So I can live vicariously through you too! :) Bartending has been on my “dream jobs” to try one day too, but way too hard to pull it off with so many wee ones in my nest (for now, anyways). So you gotta soak it up for the both of us and then blog about all the juicy stories!!

      That trash picking up one was one of the more popular articles in our series too. Highly recommend picking up the guy’s ebook if you/your daughter is serious as it helps answer a few of the questions and get your mind right about it as well. It was a fun read :)

      1. Financially Fit Mom August 28, 2019 at 11:24 AM

        Oh, you know I’m going to see if I can make it work!

        Thanks for the note on the book, I just added it to my reading list. Worst case, it doesn’t turn into a side hustle but we’ve still made our neighborhood a little cleaner in the time we gave it a try :)

        1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:12 AM


  5. Joe August 28, 2019 at 9:38 AM

    The key is to include passive income in “make more.” If you keep investing, your passive income will keep increasing. That’s how I’m planning to make more. Trading your time for money isn’t a good long-term solution.

    1. J. Money August 28, 2019 at 9:43 AM

      Good point… though it is necessary to *get* that money to passively invest in the early stages :)

  6. Eelis Vatanen August 28, 2019 at 11:40 AM

    I’d like to add a dimension to this: investing time in the ways that somehow scale or compound.
    Like Joe points out, investing of course is nice, since it compounds so well.

    But outside of that, side gigs can be split into ‘scalable’ and ‘non-scalable’:

    Non-scalable: Selling time or physical items

    Scalable: Selling ideas or digital items.
    – Write a blog (yes difficult, but still, you know how it scales)
    – Write a book
    – Create an online tutorial in the field you are an expert in
    – Create digital products and sell them on etsy

    Of course scalable things are more difficult, but, if you find one, it will take you to a million sooner.

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:16 AM

      Yup – all excellent points/ideas!

      Perfect world you’ve got unlimited inventory to sell on auto, and on the side you can still do these one-off hustles as well to keep things turbocharged. What matters most is just DOING SOMETHING though! :)

  7. Angela August 28, 2019 at 5:32 PM

    Agreed. I’ve spent the past few years aggressively paying down my student loans. According to my loan pay-off tracker I was supposed to have them paid off this November, but then I ran into some unanticipated expenses and the payoff date was slipping into next year. So, I put up a post on my neighborhood Facebook page looking for any and all extra work and earned ~$4,000 over a month and a half by doing odd jobs. (Babysitting, pet sitting, yard work, house cleaning, helping people pack for a move, etc. I’d consider any legal offer.) My biggest payoff, though, has definitely been painting. I’ve had repeat customers and am amazed by the number of people that are willing to pay someone else to paint a room. To me, it’s so easy! And now my student loan payoff date is back on track! And I’m hoping I might even be able to pay it off sooner.

    When I discovered how in demand I was and how easily I was booking all my spare time (I also work a 9-5), I was kind of kicking myself for not doing this sooner. I’m now getting solid referrals by word of mouth as well.

    Until I did this, I kept trying to come up with the “perfect” side hustle that would tap into my skills and experience. And what I learned is you just have to put yourself out there and see what sticks. I also really enjoyed the change of pace from my desk job and having a set project that was completed. I don’t get that at my job, so it was very fulfilling.

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:18 AM

      That is awesome, Angela! Congrats!!

      What a thing to fall into that you couldn’t have planned even if you wanted to :) And you’re right – it all came out from putting yourself out there and seeing what happens!! So well done!! Crazy inspiring and hope it catapults into even more business (and debt pay offs) over time! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Buyside Hustle August 28, 2019 at 10:31 PM

    People don’t realize all it takes is just 30 minutes a day to start something on the side that generates an income. 30 minutes every day for a whole year becomes a ton of time spent on your side hobby.

    Problem is people quit after just a few months before they see any actual progress. Consistency and discipline is key if you truly want to make more money.

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:19 AM

      True dat.

  9. TheEngineer August 29, 2019 at 1:37 PM

    While it is true that “You don’t need to know exactly how you’re going to make a million dollars”, you do need to setup a Financial Independence Target.

    The FIT is different for everyone!

    Financial Independence is the detachment from other people money – their money can no longer enslave you.

    Financial Freedom is the freedom from money itself – money have very little or no role in the true meaning of your life.

    On the average, Financial Independence will take 10, 15, 20 to 30 years of planning and execution – it is the first financial mile marker.

    The problem for many is the lack of the life framework!

    Every ten years, each and everyone of us physically and biological changed so much that we are a different person – birth, 10 years old, 20 years old, 30 years old, 40 years old and forward.

    Every ten years we see ourselves and the world around us with a different perspective.

    The question is – do we have the right framework to grow us along the way for the new you and the new world.

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:22 AM

      Damn, getting deep up in here today!

      I think you need to turn this into a blog series on your site if you haven’t done so already. So many pieces of this to think and act on :)

  10. Torrie @ To Love and To Learn August 29, 2019 at 3:55 PM

    This is exactly the inspiration I’ve been needing lately! Sometimes my goals just seem so far off and impossible when I calculate the huge numbers I’d eventually need to reach, but I definitely CAN concentrate on upping our income just a bit every month. Thanks for the motivation!

    One of my side hustles that I’ve been wanting to return to is buying storage sheds up at auction.

    I wrote a post about the ins and outs of storage shed buying here, if you’re curious to add to your list of side hustles:

    1. J. Money August 30, 2019 at 11:23 AM

      I used to be OBSESSED with those shows and trying it out one day :) I never did (and seems like the trend has died down a little?), but always fascinated when hearing of others do it.

      I think you need to do one this weekend and then let me live vicariously through you, please :)

  11. Sachin Bhargava August 31, 2019 at 6:15 PM

    Interesting article.. A penny saved is a penny earned. Very motivational indeed. Taking little steps when it comes to passive income is the way to go. If Financial freedom is the end goal, then its best to make sound judgment and make money each day.

  12. Iris Black September 2, 2019 at 1:41 AM

    Hey Jay, I have been reading your posts, but hadn’t left a comment. Here I had to, because this is something I totally believe in. Little drops of water fill the mighty ocean, right? Smaller, more realistic financial goals is what we need, especially during times of economic uncertainties. And, I’m glad you mentioned about putting money away instead of spending it all. Safeguarding financials puts us in a better frame of mind and gives us the flexibility to pursue things we love.

    1. J. Money September 2, 2019 at 10:47 AM

      “Little drops of water fill the mighty ocean”

      I like that :)