Following the pandemic, remote working and digital nomadism has never been more accepted. As such, it’s now easier than ever to supplement your regular income with one, two, or even three side hustles. Valued TLR member Paula Melbourne, aka The Maple Leaf Coach, decided the time was right to put together an introduction to this potentially lucrative practice.

WHAT is a side hustle?

A 1950s American term, to do work ‘on the side’ from the ‘hustle’ (of paid work). The COVID pandemic, acceleration in virtual working and the agile workforce, has brought forth a rise in the adoption of side hustles. Could this be the future of work?

Paula Melbourne (aka The Maple Leaf Coach) writes about side hustles for TLR. What is a side hustle?

WHY a side hustle?

A side hustle is a great way to supplement income, and earn extra cash or passive income. It is a great way to save, and potentially also to get paid to do what you love. It offers the following advantages:

1. Career Exploration

For individuals exploring a new career direction, but not yet ready to take the plunge and leave steady employment, a side hustle is a great low-risk strategy. It allows them to test out the new business endeavour and discover if it’s lucrative, sustainable, and of interest. As a career coach, I often support people to explore new employment in this direction:

Paula Melbourne (aka The Maple Leaf Coach) writes about side hustles for TLR. What is a side hustle?
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2. Alternative Outlet 

Many people are in jobs that provide financial stability, a major priority. However, people can become bored. The job may be well paid and something they excel at, but may not allow them to be themselves, pursue their interests, follow their passions or be creative. A side hustle can give someone a new, exciting, and CREATIVE outlet. For many, this is the motivation – over and above income generation. 

3. Building a Business and Brand 

If you’re an Entrepreneur committed to setting up a new business venture, it can be wise to start with a side hustle and build the brand, its products, services, and client base, and grow your network – at the same time as being employed. The strategy is to take your  business to a certain point and, once there, resign from your job in order to invest fully.

4. Multiple Income Streams

Earning a passive income removes dependency on one main income stream, and protects in the event of redundancy or job loss. 

5. Independence

Running your own gig means BEING YOUR OWN BOSS. You structure your offering, market it, and deliver it in the way you want to. It is empowering. 

6. Flexibility 

As your own boss, you can do as much work as you want. You can scale it up fast, or let it evolve based on demand and your availability or dedicate more time at certain times of the year.

Paula Melbourne (aka The Maple Leaf Coach) writes about side hustles for TLR. What is a side hustle?

WHO side hustles?

ANYONE can side hustle – students delivering newspapers and renting out their bikes, women selling online retail while on maternity leave, guys doing leaf-blowing on the weekends, retired people making audio books. There are millions of people who hold down two or three jobs, in order to make ends meet. This is distinct from a side hustle, which is generally supplementary to one’s main income stream. 

Paula Melbourne (aka The Maple Leaf Coach) writes about side hustles for TLR. What is a side hustle?

HOW to side hustle?

Understand what your motivations are. Consider how long you might need to do it for. Assess if you have the commitment and capacity to deliver it, at the same time as your other work. Be clear on the side hustle you want to do. You can have more than one. Analyse the market for demand for products and services. Review your own skill-set and experience. Reflect upon your interests and passions.

Once you’re clear, set up your shop, market yourself, and actively network so as to be visible and clear about your offering. Look at competitor pricing for a guide to your own. Set up a website if necessary. Consider posting videos on YouTube. Manage your time wisely. Know your value and turn down projects and gigs if they are underpaid  or too time consuming. Get feedback so that you can improve, build and expand your gig. 

The BEST side hustles:


  • Coaching
  • Speaking
  • Podcasting
  • Blogging
  • Writing
  • Workshop Hosting
  • Proofreading
  • Video Editing
  • Virtual Assistance
  • Researching
  • Translating
  • Legal Advice
  • Graphic Design
  • Logo Design
  • Web Design
  • Website testing
  • Coding
  • Programming
  • Transcribing
  • Voiceover work
  • Tech Support
  • Creating an App
  • Teaching
  • Tutoring
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Sales
  • Affiliate Marketing or Introducer of Products and Services
  • Selling (on local platforms and Ebay, Esty, Shopify, FB Marketplace, Amazon)
  • Creating an online store
  • Designing and selling t-shirts


  • Coaching
  • Speaking
  • Personal Training
  • Workshop Hosting
  • Interior Decorating
  • DJ-ing
  • IT Repair
  • Landscaping
  • Legal Advice
  • Marketing
  • Massage Therapy
  • Tech Support
  • Drone Piloting
  • Freelance Consulting
  • Teaching
  • Tutoring
  • Fashion Consulting
  • Delivering Groceries
  • Driving for Uber
  • Babysitting
  • Pet-sitting
  • House-sitting
  • Gardening
  • Painting
  • Selling photography and paintings
  • Cooking
  • Furniture Upcycling
  • Window-Cleaning
  • Car-Washing
  • Transport Services
  • Entertainment (Singing, Musician, Comedian, Magician)
  • Buying and Flipping Cars and Property
  • Renting out Space
  • Renting out Parking, Storage, or Equipment

About Paula

Paula, known professionally as The Maple Leaf Coach, is a certified Career Coach and Talent Business Partner, passionate about values-driven culture and equality of opportunity. She has 20 years’ experience in private sector talent acquisition and management, building and leading successful, diverse teams in Canada, the UK, Europe, Russia and Asia Pacific. Paula lives in Málaga, Spain and works remotely from The Living Room Coworking (TLR). For more information, go to or email

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