Working Your Illness Into Your Side Hustle

This post is sponsored by Op4G, the research partner that lets you use your opinion for good. They’ve established a research community for people with diabetes to have a voice in future diabetes treatment developments, make a little extra cash and support nonprofit organizations. Sign up to be part of the community.

Nowadays ( <- wow I feel old typing that) it seems that most people don’t have just one job anymore. You’ve probably heard terms like: side hustle, gig economy, extra income, freelancing, etc. a lot more in recent years. A lot of people are taking more control over their lives and their finances through doing more things.

A lot of people, like myself, work a normal full time job and spend a good chunk of their spare time doing other things that earn money. Other people have built whole careers on these independent projects. These things range from freelance writing, editing, coding, graphic design, etc to taking surveys, mystery shopping, operating a money-making blog (not all blogs make money) or even mining Bitcoin.

People who live with chronic illnesses often have opportunities to earn money related to their conditions.

Some may feel uneasy about making money off of things related to a medical issue, but my personal viewpoint is that my diabetes costs me enough money, time, sleep and heartache to manage, that it might as well also contribute to the bills… specifically my high-deductible health plan.

So, how can you earn money related to chronic illness? Read on!

Take advantage of paid research.

If you remember Part 2 of this series: Ways to Get Involved with Research, I outlined several research opportunities including clinical trials and studies, as well as medical and other surveys like Op4G connects users with. Although some research participation is voluntary, a lot of it is paid. Payouts for these things can vary widely based on the depth of information and time commitment they’re looking for.

Use your skills to freelance.

Take an inventory of the skills you have and start looking for freelance or contract work with companies and organizations related to your condition. For me those skills are writing, social media and apparently voice over work, which I’ve not only been paid to do for DiabetesMine, plus I love doing it because I feel more plugged into the DOC and developments in diabetes advocacy and treatment.

Let your illness to fuel contest entries.

I haven’t done this, but I’ve known many people who have. An illness, like diabetes, has a huge impact on your life, can teach you many valuable lessons and stirs up all kinds of emotions, all of which can be a catalyst for an award-winning essay, story, speech, video, poem or other artistic masterpiece.

I actually wrote an article for The Penny Hoarder on this topic back in 2016, check it out for more details and ideas.

I am by no means getting rich off of living with diabetes and I don’t think anyone really can, but I make it a point of personal pride each year to earn enough from diabetes-related activities to pay for my hefty insurance deductible.

Do you have a creative side hustle?

Check out other posts in this series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

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