The Biggest Barrier to Making Extra Money: It’s Not What You Think

Overcome the biggest barrier to making extra money

Ask people to name things that are stopping them from making extra money in a side business, and you’ll hear stuff like this:

  • I don’t have enough time
  • I’m not sure what I could do
  • I need to be able to care for my kids
  • I don’t have any startup money
  • I don’t know how to write a business plan

But those aren’t the biggest barriers to making extra money.

While time, uncertainty, and the need to care for family are barriers that could make it harder to start making extra money, the last two — a lack of funds or the ability to write a business plan — are pretty much irrelevant when you’re talking about bringing in some income on the side. And none of them touch on the biggest barrier to making extra money: the failure to start small.

The failure to start small

Why is failing to start small the biggest barrier to bringing in a few extra bucks? Because it often prevents people from starting at all. And if you don’t start, you never get anywhere.

Think about it. You’re tired from your day job and everything else you’ve got going on. When you finally get home, you’re ready to crash before it starts all over again the next day. Trying to fit something big in there is just not going to work. So you don’t try. Instead, you daydream about something awesome coming along. But you’re not willing to start small, either, because the potential return seems so low. So you get stuck. And another day passes.

There is a way out

But there is a way out. You don’t have to stay stuck. All you have to do is start small.

Be willing to risk a little, and to carve out just a tiny bit of time in your schedule each day. We all have a little bit of time we can grab. It might be part of your commute, your break at work, a shorter shower or a tiny bit less sleep. The important thing is to take advantage of it — even if it’s just 15 minutes a day.


No, most of the time you can’t start a money-making side business in just 15 minutes. But you can take the first step, and then the next one in the next bit of time, and so on until you get it done enough to start bringing in some cash.

Often that first step is the hardest of all, but once you get past it, things move a little faster and start to build. So don’t waste your time thinking about all the things you can’t do and reasons why an idea might not be worthwhile.

Use that time to doing something instead. Find out who will pay you to do whatever it is you want to do — and take the first step now.