According to investor Kevin O’Leary, you’re never too young to start a side hustle and grow a business – and now, while social distancing due to Covid-19, O’Leary says it’s the perfect time to do so.
“Say you’re in high school … why don’t you start a business while you’re sitting around the house? Barriers to entry are very low,” he tells CNBC Make It. “Why wait?”
The pandemic shouldn’t be a deterrent, as “some of the greatest businesses are founded in times of extreme stress,” he says, using the example of crowdfunding platforms Indiegogo and Kickstarter, which both started during the Great Recession, in 2008 and 2009 respectively. “These were businesses started out of necessity that are now global.” Super successful companies, like Airbnb, Uber, NerdWallet, Venmo and Square, also came out of the Great Recession.
To start, O’Leary suggests young people take advantage of the internet’s reach and create an online platform to sell a service they’re passionate about.
In his opinion, “the biggest opportunity for young people today who want to start a side hustle is to go and start producing videos [or] photography for businesses,” he said, because “the whole world is going digital. It was forced on us by the pandemic, [and] the skill-set that’s missing is producing that.”
Indeed, the pandemic prompted a major shift online for workers and businesses, so skills like social media management, communication and editing videos and other digital content are in high demand right now, according to a September report by Money and job sites LinkedIn and Indeed.
And a side hustle highlighting one of those skills can be lucrative. For example, building a website can earn you between $395 to $4,095, and video editing can earn you between $100 and $3,200, according to Fiverr. Managing social media accounts can earn you $25 an hour on average, according to Upwork.
But “selling a good or service that you dreamt up and [are] really great at” could work too, O’Leary says.
O’Leary previously said in June that if he were starting a side hustle, he would be a virtual assistant and help people get things done at an hourly rate. “It’s a big business for those who have the guts to get out there and start selling themselves as people who can solve problems,” he said.
“Why sit around in the basement watching movies where you could start a business? Somebody has a great idea out there. Make it happen.”
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Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”