4 Ways to Break Into the Gig Economy

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If you still have a burning desire in you to ditch the 9-5 grind and have decided that starting a business just isn’t for you, then guess what? There’s good news. There is still a way to get away from your regular job without ever having to start a business or make any serious investments. You also won’t have to take any significant risks, and what little you may have to invest will pay for itself in time.

Entrepreneurship doesn’t always have to mean that you own your own company. Sometimes this can mean that you simply provide a service as an individual contractor. In doing this, you still get to experience the joys of entrepreneurship and independence, and of course, the delight of setting your own schedule, making time for the things you enjoy.

The gig economy offers you the chance to become independent and self-sufficient as well as free to control your own schedule. It does come with the disadvantages as well as the advantages. You won’t get a discount health plan, paid time off, or any of the other advantages of regular employment, but if you do well, you’ll find the benefits pay for themselves.

Here are just four ways that you can get a piece of the pie that is “gig economy.”

Shop for Instacart

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Instacart is an excellent app for making money online, especially if you like to get out of the house, drive around, and help people. Instacart allows users to claim hours as they become available in certain “zones,” which include municipal areas where you’re willing to shop.

You may refuse any order that pops up during your shift, but if you accept, you’ll run around the store, find each item, scan it with your phone, and check out. Once you’ve made your purchases (using the company credit card Instacart provides) you’ll be ready to deliver your order. You receive an automatic fee for each delivery and a tip that is chosen by your customer.

This app will start out as a very slow earning opportunity until you begin to familiarize yourself with the local stores and become more efficient in finding your items. If you enjoy shopping, driving around, fast-paced work, and helping old folks, you’ll love this gig-economy job.

Deliver for Take Out Apps

You no longer have to apply at a pizza place to get paid to deliver. There are many apps online that allow people to order food from the comfort of their own home, including Grubhub, Uber Eats, and one of the oldest and most popular, Door Dash. Some of these apps have different requirements for their drivers. For example, Dash will require a crystal clean driving record.

Each of these customers always has work available. If you like running around, discovering great food, meeting up with friendly faces door to door, you’ll love some of these apps. Best of all, you can, of course, set your own schedule and earn your own tips. With these food delivery apps, you’ll have access to an all-day, every-day food delivery gig, and you can work and earn whenever you want.

Drive With Uber or Lyft

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You don’t have to go through the long and tedious process of applying to work with traditional cab companies anymore, and you don’t have to endure an unending schedule while constantly following orders barked out by a dispatcher over a muffled radio. Uber and Lyft are all over the country and changing the face of the Taxi Cab industry everywhere they go. With the efficient service and low prices offered by apps like Uber and Lyft, it’s no wonder cab companies are afraid and are aggressively lobbying the government to push them out. Uber and Lyft have made it easier than ever for anyone anywhere to become a cab driver and start collecting fares. All you’ll need is a smartphone and in good condition and in compliance with local and state laws. Once you have this, you’ll be ready to drive full time or part-time, pretty much whenever you want, and start earning.

If you love driving, have a great sense of direction and know your way around, and love meeting new and interesting people from diverse walks of life, you should definitely consider driving for the gig economy.

Try Your Skills on Job-Bidding Sites

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Think of something right now that you could do at home and deliver to someone over the web. This could include writing a blog post for someone, editing a video or an image, designing a logo, or creating a website. Pretty much any skill or service that you can use to deliver something of value to someone over the internet will afford you the opportunity to make money doing so. You no longer have to run to an office to be a web designer, a business writer, or a professional graphic designer. You can now do that online, and you don’t necessarily need expert marketing skills if you learn to master the art of using job bidding sites.

Job bidding sites may include a broader category of websites that essentially allow two-way networking opportunities between freelancers and people (or companies) who need them. These sites, like Upwork and Fiverr, allow you to build a public profile to showcase your skills. Often they also allow you to search through numerous online postings, refreshed regularly with requests from someone who might need your skills. You can then apply for (or bid on) a contract for a chance to earn some freelance income. Once you post your profile online, you may also find that some clients come directly to you, allowing you to make a deal without bidding against others. This will also often happen too.

Whether you’re on Freelancer, Fiverr, or Upwork, job bidding sites are a great way to start earning from gigs with your expert skills. They will often allow you a foot in career you may not have been able to obtain by applying for traditional employment.

There are many ways to make money without going to a regular paycheck to paycheck job, but which path you take will ultimately depend on what works best for you.

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