February 21, 2020

Do you have a “Side-Hustle”? Should you? Could you?

By Erica Pero


It seems most of my clients took at least a little time off to recharge this summer. Sometimes when I unplug from work, my brain starts to get creative. I start thinking about strategic ways to earn more money and live out my passion of helping clients grow their businesses… which leads me to the concept of a “side-hustle”.

A side-hustle is something like a side business that you do in your spare time to earn extra income. I thought the phrase was fairly common, but my husband didn’t know what it meant – and he has several side-hustles going at the moment!

Traditionally, healthcare professionals make money from the services they provide. When you treat a patient, you bill for your time and receive payment. Unfortunately, this requires spending time providing the service to earn money – and with only 24 hours in a day, providing services in person (even through telemedicine) is rather limiting.

To overcome this time restriction, you can use your knowledge and expertise to develop a marketable product or program. Once developed and available for sale, clients can buy your product or program without the need for your personal attention. (Ideally, you earn money while you sleep!) 

If you’re thinking of starting a side-hustle, here are a few things to consider before starting:

– Find a side-hustle that incorporates what you’re currently doing in a new or novel way. Use knowledge and experience you already have (or connections you’ve already got) to answer an identified need.

– Make sure you’re not restricted from pursuing your side-hustle. Do you have a non-compete with your current employer? If you are a co-owner of your practice, check the formation documents, such as the shareholder agreement, bylaws, or operating agreement – are you prohibited from engaging in any other type of business? If you have a non-compete, is your side-hustle different enough so that you’re not competing with your current employer?

– Don’t forget to start a separate company for your side-hustle. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and open a separate bank account for your company. Make sure to keep the company finances separate from your personal finances.

– Once you’ve got your side-hustle going, consider hiring someone to handle the day-to-day operations. Use your expertise to tweak your product or program when necessary. The goal is to minimize the time you spend on your side-hustle while it makes money for you!

Erica Pero, an attorney with Pero Law, focuses her practice on health law. She helps healthcare professionals navigate the complexities of running a business in today’s healthcare  industry.  Pero Law is a lean law firm committed to excellent customer service and exceptional legal representation. perolaw.com