This Side Hustler

Let’s face it. It’s hard to keep the boat afloat when your bills, other compulsory financial contributions, and some ambitious dreams, are in this fist fight for your very wallet . These are just the ones I did to help save my ass

1. Freelance Writer 

It’s uneasy to be that kick-ass writer you’re a big fan of. But man proud to say it’s a hobby I picked from writing essays and found a proper way to monetise it. Why writing? No clue. The idea how beautiful a writer can fuck someone is just compelling to me, and how their intelligence sparks throughout their writing. That hobby has landed me to a lot of solo freelancing journeys, working for the person or attached to an organisation. I wrote articles of different topics, resumes, even had it as a stable job for growing tech startups in town. I even took some translation offers (world’s most typical job for multilinguals, I know). Let’s just say I had fun with words. 

2. Tutor

Interacting with people is a skill I must hone more. It was not my forte. A lot of my friends who needed extra income went for it – so did I. I tried to learn as much as I can from interacting and transferring knowledge to whomever I was assigned to. I became a volunteer teacher at a underserved community in Jakarta, a tutor for international school kids, or privately hired, I take them all. Sometimes with the help of advanced technology, it’s done online, virtually to professionals and teenagers across the globe. Funny how I got these jobs. Through referrals of a friend, my friend’s friend’s mother, you tell me. I like this job. Transferring knowledge of subjects I didn’t even find interesting. The years I spent doing this, I’ve gotten better at handling kids and treat adults more seriously when they speak. 

3. Uber Driver

OK. Uber got bought in Indonesia so I drove for their competitor: Go-Jek. I had some free time and my sister’s car that sits at her office the entire day. So yeah. It was extremely strange to have welcomed a stranger in your car at first and gave them a lip service on their way somewhere. In this part of my journey, let’s just agree that I’ve heard enough of people’s weird secrets from cheating husbands to open lesbian couples in a place like Lombok. 

4. Researcher 

Sounds cool yeah? I don’t know how exactly I met these people but fate had allowed me to cross-path with these crazy talented smart women and men wherever I go, stormy midnight at an airport or on a street in Hong Kong. They hired me for different purposes. Sent me on a few missions. It was decent experience. I charged my services by hour and in USD but decided to discontinue for a few reasons I can’t really explain here. 

5. Local tour guide-slash-driver

At a time I was a senior in high school and wishing to collect enough money to take expensive standardised tests and to pay admission fees into colleges in the US and UK, I took every chance that came my way to make money, one of which was to welcome foreign tourists arriving at the Lombok airport while holding a a board that says ‘need $ to study abroad’. Some of those tourists bought my creepy gesture. Basically I took them to the resorts they’re staying, to tourist places, told them a bunch of Lombok tips and all that, if I was lucky they’d give me good tip and wished me all the luck I needed for my future. Right after I graduated high school, I moved to Jakarta. No more tour guide hustling. 

6. Host/Master of Ceremony

On this front, I had an early start at a local radio station. I became the youngest radio announcer they’ve had. All the years I basically learned how to talk and engage people. It seemed easy on the outside but really tough when the crowd goes silent, which they do plenty of times (sigh). For someone who hates crowds, it was some tough feat. But the personal brand I’ve been able to build has gotten to some of the important ears in the industry and business owners in Lombok, Jakarta or Bali. However, in the recent years, I’ve been passing up these offers as I didn’t feel fit anymore for the job. It’s like I grew up tired hearing my own voice trying to cheer up the crowd or simply light up the party I wasn’t even sure I enjoyed. 

//

There is plethora of fun side hustling options I believe are worth exploring into for anyone who is looking. It’s been a while since I opted to not do it anymore. The choices I made in career and life haven’t allowed me to. Everyday, the stakes are higher I cannot leave my commitment to continue to pursue my dreams, whether there is money for me on the table or not. 

BUT, all these mentioned above have helped me push through my financial goals, then to support whatever I had in mind to build and do with the hard-earned cash.

Just glad I haven’t like sold parts of my body or rent it out to someone for fun to survive this…magical life.  

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