Women Who Became Rich Through Side Hustles Share How They Did It

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Many women turn to side hustles as a way to bring in extra income, and sometimes, these side hustles take off in a way that they never anticipated.

Options: 22 Side Gigs That Can Make You Richer Than a Full-Time Job
And Check Out: 5 Lucrative Side Hustles That Can Make You Six Figures

GOBankingRates spoke to women who got rich through their side hustles about how they did it and their best advice for women who want to start a successful side hustle of their own.

Jenna Carson, Partner at MoneyLucid.com

Jenna Carson started the finance and investment resource MoneyLucid.com as a way to make an income that wasn’t reliant on anyone else.

“I was inspired by the lack of women in the financial space and a strong desire to make myself financially independent,” she said. “Despite having had other businesses in the past, I had always relied on someone else to support my income stream. I wanted to change that — I wanted to be free!”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Carson started monetizing her side gig within weeks, but it took about 12 months before it took off and started bringing in substantial income.

“It was a busy 12 months, where the side hustle took up almost as much time as my other full-time work,” she said.

Carson eventually quit her full-time job to focus on growing her company.

“I work full time on it now and employ staff,” she said. “I knew it was time to make the leap as soon as my projected income stream for my side hustle was more than from all my other work combined.”

Carson believes that more women should take a chance and start a side hustle of their own.

“Society tells women that starting a side hustle is hard or impossible, but only each individual knows what they are capable of,” she said. “Look inside yourself, and if the energy and fire are there, get started!”

More: 7 Best Side Hustles for Parents

Dandan Zhu, Real Estate Investor

Dandan Zhu’s side hustle as a real estate investor and Airbnb operator allowed her to quit her corporate job at age 28 with a “humongous cushion” to experiment and develop as an entrepreneur.

Make Your Money Work Better for You

“When I was 25, I had a great career as a headhunter,” she said. “Since I was a top biller, I was making over $215,000.”

At the same time, she got started in her real estate side hustle by “house hacking.”

“I learned how to sublet and manage tenants every single day because I lived with them,” Zhu said. “Because I saved up so much money by hacking my apartment and earning such a high income, I was able to save up and buy my first property. A year later, I did the whole thing again — lived cheaply, spent very little and used the money for another down payment on another condo.”

Within five years, her condos had increased in price so much that she was able to quit her full-time job and go into full-time real estate investing.

“Right as I quit my job in 2016, I sold my first property and quickly bought three more,” Zhu said. “I emptied out the rest of my savings and took a big risk in 2017 to buy a four-family home, which is to date my best investment.”

Make Your Money Work Better for You

Zhu’s success as a real estate investor allowed her to start her own recruitment businesses. She continues to run her side hustle — buying, holding, renting and then selling real estate at a high profit — and also manages 14 rental units across six properties in four states.

“For other women considering a side hustle, I’d have the following advice: Pick something that has the potential to generate income quickly with your existing skillset,” she said. “Because I had good people skills and a high pressure tolerance due to my sales job, real estate is the perfect alignment because it allowed me to leverage my best strength — dealing with tough people in tough situations. For you, this could be building a business around your artistic skills and strengths, talents, or other special and unique features of your personality and/or technical skills.”

Thalita Ferraz, Editor/Creator

Before she was a full-time content creator and fashion influencer, Thalita Ferraz worked as a customer service representative for American Express.

“Creating a website and social media brand has been one of the best things that I could have done,” she said. “I have always had a passion for fashion and beauty, so when I realized that I was actually going to be able to monetize that drive, I could hardly believe it. It really was one of the best feelings in the world.”

But it took some time for her to gain enough of a following to turn her side hustle into a full-time gig.

“It took maybe a year of casual posting to actually start making any money out of it, and then once I started hitting certain marks in terms of income, I talked to my husband and we agreed that it was time to go full time,” Ferraz said. “It took a little while to get any traction, but once the ball started rolling, it kind of didn’t stop, and I was able to live an influencer life and actually do what I was passionate about.”

Ferraz encourages other women to pursue their side hustle passions as well.

“Work on whatever you’re passionate about whenever you can, so long as you can still support yourself and your family,” she said. “Only take the leap to do your side hustle full time once you’re confident that the money will continue coming in.”

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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