Is your day job stifling your creativity? Thanks to the gig economy, artists can focus more on their calling while still earning a living. Side gigs offer profitable and flexible work, leaving plenty of time to create.

Untraditional, flexible, and efficient. Freedom and flexibility are key motivations for more workers than ever, as the gig economy provides opportunities to balance dreams with basic needs and obligations. As Investopedia explains, by leaving the walls and restrictions of traditional workplaces, workers are embracing temporary and freelance work to enjoy the benefits of flexing their schedules and workloads. While that means dropping paid time off and the convenience of your employer saving money toward retirement on your behalf, for many artists, it’s a worthy tradeoff. It’s a chance to shift your work schedule so you can pursue your craft, cultivate skills and foster ideas. When you engage in a side gig, you can work almost anywhere, any time, so long as you have an internet connection and a computer or tablet. Some gig workers even function via smartphone.

Do you have what it takes? In order to be successful as a gig worker, you need to have self-discipline. This applies not only in your work habits, but also your spending habits. There isn’t a time card to punch every morning and no boss to write you up if you oversleep, nor is there a payroll department withholding funds to pay your taxes or insurance costs. Thankfully, just as there are a number of tech tools for engaging gig work, there are similar tools to support you in your endeavors. For instance, some apps are designed especially for freelancers needing assistance with time management. And as U.S. News & World Report explains, there are retirement accounts for people who are self-employed. You also can enroll in a health savings account to help with your medical costs. You should track both your income and your expenses relating to your work, and find out from a tax professional what is deductible and what isn’t.

What’s your gig? A great side gig offers you an opportunity to stretch your wings and exercise your skills. It should be something you enjoy and have talent for, or at least are proficient at doing. While you may not love bookkeeping as much as you love designing websites, if you’re highly skilled at crunching numbers and still learning about web design, you may find a more lucrative position balancing books while you develop your skills for designing websites. Finding a great side gig is extremely achievable. Depending on your abilities and interests, the possibilities are almost endless, and as Business Insider notes, many of them pay quite well. You can engage through a platform for virtually instant clientele, so you need to decide what your gig should be. If you love working out, you can be a fitness instructor, or if you have a favorite school subject, become a tutor. There are opportunities for drivers, project assistants, business consultants, and software developers. If you’re great with dogs, you can become a dog walker or offer dog-boarding services. And the beauty of it all is that you can try it on for size. If something isn’t working out as expected, simply shift gears into a different gig.

Promote your new venture. Once you jump into your side gig, don’t keep it a secret! Even if you’re engaging through a platform that helps market your abilities, it’s wise to promote your side gig on your own. Set up accounts on social media that are dedicated to your new endeavor, create a website, and purchase business cards to hand out to friends, family members and new clients. Word of mouth will help drum up business, expanding your customer base and getting you noticed.

Opportunities and endeavors. If it’s time to engage your creative efforts more fully, a side gig can be the answer. Decide what skills you can offer and what you will enjoy, find tools to support your new venture, and promote your work. Thanks to the flexibility of the gig economy, you can make ends meet while still pursuing your artistic dreams!

Image courtesy of Pixabay

Many Americans are finding these days that their job either isn’t enough to satisfy them creatively or can’t pay the bills. For some, however, there’s not an option to leave after spending years building up a career, and others are simply curious about what else is out there but don’t want to take a big risk and end up regretting it. That’s where the sharing economy comes in.

While the term itself is fairly broad in definition, the sharing economy basically involves any business that can be done in collaboration with someone else. Ridesharing services like Uber, websites like eBay, services such as Airbnb, and any business that utilizes crowdsourcing or crowdfunding are considered to be part of the sharing economy. It’s possible to run your own business using this model, which would allow you to set your own hours and work for yourself, but it’s important to know how to get started and what to avoid in order to make it a success.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to do just that.

Figure Out What Your Needs Are

The type of business you decide to go into should be dependent on your needs. Think about the amount of time you’ll be able to put into it, whether you’ll need startup funds, and what the demand is in your area or online for your particular service. Do your research, especially when it comes to offering something to the public (such as a room in your home) to make sure you won’t be in over your head.

Keep Business and Pleasure Separate

No matter which business you choose to go into, it’s imperative that you keep everything separate when it comes to finances. Set up a separate bank account for your business, apply for a company credit card, and keep separate books. This way, there will never be any questions when tax time rolls around.


Whether you want to sell vintage clothing on eBay or start funding a project on Kickstarter, you’re going to need to know how to network and spread the word about your goods and services. Talking to people to let them know about your business will not only help you grow, it will connect you with important contacts who could help you down the line. Look online for conventions and other events you can attend and get support from your local community by sharing your business via fliers and word-of-mouth.

Have a Solid At-Home Workspace

One of the hardest things about working from home is finding a place to get things done without distraction and, as many entrepreneurs will tell you, there is always a distraction at home. Whether it’s your child who needs a ride to soccer practice or the siren song of your couch and Netflix, your home provides ample opportunity to put things off, which is a big no-no when it comes to working for yourself. The best way to prevent this is to create a workspace that allows you to get things done distraction-free. If you don’t have an office, use a room with a door and talk to your family members about the rules so you won’t be interrupted.

Entering the sharing economy can be hugely beneficial, but it requires a good plan so you can protect yourself, especially in the beginning. Being smart about your first moves and taking your time will help you make good decisions and, ultimately, help you make your business a success.

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With the percentage of high-power women CEOs dropping to barely 4%, women today still face amazing challenges in the business world. Hope is not lost for the fairer sex, however, as the following five women clearly demonstrate. These ladies prove that “a man’s world” has plenty of room for the ladies.

Marissa Mayer

In 2012 at just 37-years old, Marissa Mayer, who Forbes claims to have a net worth of $540 million, become the youngest CEO in Yahoo’s history. This after a long career at Google – Mayer was actually one of the first Google employees and the search engine’s first female engineer. Upon her appointment with Yahoo, Mayer shook Silicon Valley’s foundation by announcing that she was also pregnant. Career lesson: Don’t be afraid to go after what you want, even if it means going against the grain.

Meg Whitman

Former gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman is a Harvard Business School graduate with a net worth of more than $2.5 billion dollars. At 60-years of age, she is the CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprises and been on the forefront of the global tech giant’s cloud computing revolution. When Whitman joined HPE in 2011, the company was in financial turmoil and filled with a boardroom of executives who simply couldn’t get along. Career lesson: Embrace challenges and don’t be afraid to succeed in the face of adversity.

Denise Morrison

Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Company, comes from a long line of successful women, including her sister Maggie Wilderotter. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wilderotter is a former executive with Frontier Communications who currently works alongside the aforementioned Meg Whitman at HPE in Palo Alto, California. Morrison has held high-ranking positions at Nestlé, Nabisco, and Kraft Foods and became the first female CEO of Campbell after serving the company for a number of years. An advocate for change, Morrison has made Campbell Soup a household name once again by introducing innovative products to appeal to millennials. Career lesson: Face an ever-changing marketplace with optimism and new ideas.

Sarah Blakely

You might not know her name, but chances are you know her pet project and billion-dollar company intimately. Blakely is the founder of Spanx, which is recognizable as an essential piece of shapewear touted by celebrities on nearly every red carpet event for the last decade. Sarah’s undergarment company was swept under the rug numerous times before her passion finally paid off. Blakely is a shining example of how a small business can upend the market and drive demand for a new kind of product. She reinforces the fact that passion is more important than financial gain in the world of women entrepreneurship. Career lesson: Find a niche and be the best at what you do.

Madam C.J. Walker

Sarah Breedlove was born shortly after the Emancipation Proclamation and was the first generation of her African-American family that wasn’t shackled by the chains of slavery. This doesn’t mean she didn’t face adversity; being a black woman in post-Civil War America made it all the more difficult for Breedlove to make a name in the beauty industry. But, that’s just what she did when she rebranded herself as the exotic French coiffure maven Madam C.J. Walker. The Madam C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, founded in 1910, helped Breedlove break two notable boundaries as the first self-made female millionaire and also the first black millionaire in America. Career lesson: Find a way to make yourself stand out in a competitive environment and market yourself accordingly.

Though historically women have been expected to manage nothing more than the home, these ladies prove that women have more to bring to the table than just dinner.

Image via Pixabay