How physicians can start lazy side hustles

How do I start a side hustle?

I have heard this plea so often, It is no wonder there are many how to blog posts trying to answer this exact question.  As helpful as they may be, most of the ideas espoused are both time and energy-consuming.  For instance, starting a blog is great!  But if you want to truly make money, be prepared to put in full-time hours.  Or real estate sounds quite lucrative.  As long as you’re cash heavy, patient, and willing to get emergency phone calls in the middle of the night.  I could go on and on, but most of us just don’t have the emotional and physical prowess that it takes to juggle our hustles with our side hustles.  So why not try a lazy side hustle?

Lazy side hustle?  What you ask is that?

I spent a decade learning and training to be a doctor.  My education included four years of medical school and three years of post-graduate training.  By the time I finished, of course, I had built the skills necessary to earn a high income.  I had put in the appropriate time, energy, and money to develop expertise.  So why ever would I waste time on a side hustle?

The problem with side hustles

Most likely, you are not an expert in your side hustle field.  You likely didn’t go to school to learn this particular skill or spend hours practicing.  You were too busy with your main hustle.  So how in the world are you going to justify taking time away from your lucrative main hustle to develop this other new gig?

For me the answer was simple.  The lazy side hustle.

What do I mean by the lazy side hustle?

Simple, create side income with the skills you developed with your main hustle, but outside your W-2 wage.

The lazy side hustle

When I started practicing medicine, I worked for a hospital associated medical group.  Every two weeks, my W-2 wage was deposited into my bank account.  Being young and full of energy, I immediately looked for ways to augment my income.

I was too busy to develop new skills.  Too tired to go back to school.  So I searched the internet for local law firms in the area, and offered my experience as an expert witness for medical malpractice cases.  Days later, I was hired and paid a ten-hour retainer fee of $2,500.

This was the ultimate lazy side hustle (not because I didn’t have to put in the hours — I had to prepare to testify and review the case) because I didn’t have to develop a new skill set or build a complicated business model.  I simply used what I already had.

Years later, while in practice for myself, a nursing home approached me to be a medical director.  Again, as a physician, I already had the requisite skill set.  Furthermore, I was in the nursing home every week seeing patients already.

Since then, I have taken on consulting gigs, telehealth, and advisory roles.  All have added significantly to my yearly income without requiring further training or start-up time.

Not every hustle has to be a passion side hustle

I am all for passion side hustles.  I mean, I blog for goodness sakes.  They are more fun.  More engaging.  And you most definitely learn more.  They often, however, take up huge amounts of time and may only lead to a trickle of income.

Not a physician?  Many other fields can take advantage of the lazy side hustle.  Accountants can offer to do tax returns of friends and family during tax season.  Coders can start a business building websites on the side.  Digital marketers … well, you get the idea.

The possibilities are truly endless.

“DocG” is a physician who blogs at DiverseFI.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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