Side Hustles: Proceed with Caution

Side Hustles: Proceed With Caution

Side Hustles

Proceed with Caution

Hello again!  Thanks for following The Green Swan.  What’s a side hustle?  I’m disappointed you had to ask…but a side hustle is a side job that makes you some extra cash.  For example, my side hustle used to be refereeing youth basketball tournaments on the weekend.  I could easily pull in an extra couple hundred dollars per tournament!  If it is not already, you need to make “side hustle” part of your everyday vocabulary.

Alright, now down to business.  Today I want to share a few side hustle fails…or I guess I can leave it to your judgment whether it is a fail or not.

Side Hustle #1

First up, being a “professional guinea pig”.  It grabbed my attention when I saw the NPR headline which you can read the full story here.  I would highly recommend you not do this, but if you are interested you can sell your body in the name of science and to partake in drug tests.  Sounds a little risky, huh?  But if you are curious and decide to read more, you will notice the subject they are interviewing first heard of signing up for drug trials from a homeless man in Kansas City, MO.

Wait, did I just read that right?  This guy began a profession of being a lab rat from a homeless man!  Let me say it again a different way just so we are clear, a homeless man gave you career advice and you took it!?  Stop right there and tell me that isn’t a “red flag”…

The man acknowledged more risk in the study comes with higher pay and also recognized a recent study in France that was halted after many participants developed neurological problems and one even died.  Sounds like a couple more “red flags” if you ask me.

The benefits of such a line of work would include steady work if you can’t otherwise get a job.  For example, after being laid off during the recent recession, or if you have trouble getting a job because you are a felon, etc.  So being a lab rat can be a fall back option.  Another benefit would be the fact that you would get full medical checks as part of the studies (i.e. physical examinations, lab work, ECGs, MRIs, etc).

So what do you think?  Interested?  Would you consider this a side hustle “fail” or “pass”?  I think you know my answer…

Side Hustle #2

The second side hustle fail comes to you from an article written last year by the Washington Post which you can read the full story here.  This side hustle involves selling your poop…

Sorry, I didn’t mean to just drop a load on you like that, how about a little background?  A company called OpenBiome has been processing ship loads (yes, I meant to say “ship”) of it all over the country.  Why?  To help those who are very sick and suffer with infections from bacteria called C. difficile.

If you qualify to be a donor, which the co-founder says is more difficult than getting into MIT…and he would know since that is where he got is PhD, your fecal matter could be introduced into the gut of a patient and help abolish C. difficile for good.

The main downside I see here is it may be a little inconvenient to “donate” which entails going into one of their centers each time.

One upside is the rigorous testing you must go through which can cost up to $5K, paid for by the company.

Secondly, it is for a good cause and you can make a real difference!  The company acknowledges that most its donors do it for more than the money, and that makes complete sense.

And the most obvious upside, you can make some decent money.  If you become a regular donor, you can earn up to $13K per year!  I wonder how much that is per pound…?  Anyway, is that enough to get your attention?

I’m reminded of the original gold rush, folks flocking out to California to strike it rich.  Then there was the second gold rush, for back gold, with the discovery of oil in Texas.  And now I’m wondering if there will be a third, for brown gold?  Will the masses flock to the nearest OpenBiome center to strike it rich?

What do you think?  Interest in some brown gold?  Is this a side hustle “fail” or “pass”?  I’m on the fence right now, but I like that it is for a good cause.  Maybe I’ll give it a second thought next time I sit down to…you know…ponder things.

Thanks for taking a look.

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach


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  1. Side hustle #2 looks legit to me… quite passive, just sitting and reading some blogs to earn up to 13K/year…
    Why not if a donation centre is close by?

    I have been giving blood for years. AL I got was a free coke, a waffle and a towel after 4 donations.

  2. Well neither of these are relevant to me in Australia, but they sound like good back-ups; it’s better to be in a scientist’s hands than about to hit the fan that’s for sure.

    Sounds better than a lot of what Mike Rowe gets up to.


  3. So many side hustles to partake in. The two above sound a little far fetched for me to manage so I think I’ll stick to blogging myself. Thanks for bringing these to our attention, haha.

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