5 side hustle success stories

6 min read
Matthew Pattinson

When the hour hand strikes 5, some people clock-off and don’t think about work again until they are back at their desk the following day.

Then there is the side hustler. The mover and shaker who has a burning idea to create their own business alongside full-time employment.

If the latter sounds like you, here is some inspiration from those who have been there and done that, creating their own successful ventures around their day jobs.

Tmup - Michael Heap

Proving that side hustlers come from a variety of career professions, Michael Heap, founder of Tmup, is a senior manager in financial services at EY. Yet his Side Hustle couldn’t be further from the world of finance.

Tmup, is an app which connects people who want to play sports with others. His startup has been so successful that Michael has now moved to a part-time working arrangement with EY.

“My small business started as a Side Hustle,” says Michael, adding how with the support of his employer it quickly became a “greater part of my working week”.

EY granted him 3 months leave to get his project up and running. “Their flexibility as an employer allows me to work three days a week at EY, with the rest of my time devoted to my own business, which is taking shape.”

Michael is one of a growing community of side hustlers in the UK. And, with the benefits side hustlers offer to the economy and employers, Michael believes this is hardly a surprise.

“This new way of working is a growing trend, which I’d expect to become more popular in the workplace of the future.

“Employees can pursue their personal and professional ambitions, while employers are cultivating an entrepreneurial culture and innovation among their workforce.”

Find out more about Tmup

Five Dot Botanics

Behind each product on the supermarket shelf resides a story. A person. A passion. Someone who dared to venture outside the comfort zone. What we see before us didn’t simply just happen.

Meet Five Dot Botanics and its founder, Zaffrin O'Sullivan. The media lawyer began blogging about honey in 2015 while on maternity leave. Buzzing with interest, Zaffrin carefully balanced work, parenthood and her blog.

Whilst time was pressed, she’d cultivate an environment to learn about skin care and business in general. Zaffrin’s blog evolved an interest in beeswax from which she developed her own beauty products, eventually moving away from beeswax to use vegan ingredients made from plants, seeds, nuts and flowers.

Zaffrin has now launched Five Dot Botanics. The skin care brand promises “transparent minimalist skincare for people who want fewer ingredients”.

“Starting my own business was relatively easy,” she says. “ I started out small so there was not a lot to lose but a whole lot of learning to be gained.”

“I do something on my business every single day, no matter how busy I am. Whether that’s just 40 minutes on my commute or later after I put my kids to bed.”

Visit Five Dot Botanics

TFJJ Supercars

For those who Side Hustle, age is just a number. Take James Vincent-Jones. At 14, James steered into the fast lane with his supercar Side Hustle.

The venture started out as a vehicle to indulge his passion. “I’ve always been obsessed with supercars and started by just taking photos of them,” says James. The young side hustler recalls how he’d “film supercars and upload them to YouTube and Instagram and monetise them through Google AdSense”.

James’ social following has since accelerated from 0 to 56,000 YouTube subscribers, 173,000 Instagram followers and 40 million videos views. Online traction means online influence. And the supercar industry knows this. James is now regularly approached by key players such as Goodwood Festival of Speed, Lamborghini and Ferrari.

“When I was younger, I had more time to travel around and find opportunities to film, but now I have a full time career I have to balance my time more.”

From website to social, James says his digital presence has been the key in the ignition of his success. “Having a website is a good way to exhibit my high resolution pictures and films to a wider audience, while also being able to make some money by selling posters and prints of some of the more popular cars.”

Visit TFJJ Supercars' website for more information

My Student Expert

Some people were born to have a bit on the side. Meet Joe Boydell, co-founder of MyStudentExpert. Joe’s inner side hustler followed him through school to Durham University.

“I have always had a side hustle in some form or another throughout school and university, but the last two years developing MyStudentExpert have been highly rewarding,” he says.

MyStudentExpert was born when Joe and a fellow student realised the potential value students can bring to businesses of any size.

“The site is designed to put growing businesses in touch with talented students, allowing them to benefit from high quality, low cost, bespoke services, and at the same time gives the students valuable real-world experience in a flexible working environment,” explains Joe.

Joe believes his Side Hustle has the potential to be a “game-changer” for working students while also having “massive potential benefits” for small and medium businesses.

“None of this could be have been possible without a functional website that delivers what it needs to, both students and businesses.”

MyStudentExpert also provides students with the legal and financial framework needed to freelance in a competitive work environment.

Visit My Student Expert

Adinkra Yoga

We might think of yoga as a calming activity, but given its popularity worldwide, it can also be a fantastic Side Hustle idea too.

Babs Ofori-Acquah has a background in sales, and it was whilst training for her Side Hustle passion of yoga that she saw the business potential, after visiting India and finding looser fitting yoga clothing much more agreeable than the tight-fitting alternatives most commonly worn.

“I’ve always had extra projects alongside work,” says Babs. “When I founded Adinkra Yoga I found that I was squeezing my Side Hustle work into all of my free time.

“Although I started Adinkra Yoga very offline, focusing on pop up shops and festivals, my website has become extremely important to my side hustle as I’m looking to launch an online store.”

We can spend ages thinking about starting a Side Hustle, but in the words of Babs “you should stop overthinking and just do it!”

Visit Adinkra Yoga

A way of life, not work

Who can argue with the knowledge you are building something that is yours? The freedom that comes with making it your own way is hard to beat. Of course, nobody said getting started would be easy. But it’s not nobody who’s doing it, it’s you!

If you are feeling inspired, why not create your own side hustle with GoDaddy?