Side Gigs for Disabled Parents: How to Earn Extra Cash by Starting Your Own Business

DISABILITY PERSPECTIVE-Side gigs have become increasingly popular ways for many Americans to make extra money, and they’re perfect for parents who need something that will fit around their schedules.

If you’re a busy mom or dad who is living with a disability, you may also need something that will allow you to work from home  or to work at your own pace. Starting your own business will help you run things the way you want while earning cash every step of the way, and you may even find that you want to take it to the next level and turn it into a career. 

The great thing about side gigs — other than their flexibility — is that there are so many of them to choose from. You can go with something creative that you’re already skilled at, such as painting, crafting, making floral arrangements or wreaths, or making clothes, or try something new, such as re-selling vintage goods, driving for a car service, or becoming a pet sitter. 

Read on for a few more ideas on how to get started with a side gig that will help you earn money even with a busy schedule. 

Think About the Details 

There are many details to consider when you’re going to start your own business, and it’s important to think about how you’re going to market yourself in the very beginning. Start by thinking of a fantastic name for your business, and look into starting social media pages to promote it. One of the best ways to put yourself out there is to create a stunning logo that will help customers find you easily in a sea of competitors. This can be placed on your website and shared across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as you start to build your business. 

Make Sure You’re Ready 

As a busy parent with a lot on your plate, it’s important to make sure you understand what you’re getting into with a side gig. Whether you choose to start a business with the intention to run it for the next several years or find a temporary job that will sustain you for a short time, you’ll need to keep in mind that it takes an ability to adapt to change and solve problems in order to be successful. It also pays to be a risk-taker, especially in our ever-evolving world of commerce. 

Stand Out 

Learning how to stand out in your chosen field is crucial; with so much access to selling platforms and creative endeavors online, there are many more people who are able to create side gigs and businesses than ever before, meaning you’ll have a lot of competition when it comes to getting noticed. Do some research on similar businesses to yours — both online and in your area — so you can get a feel for what is already available and what their price points are. This will help you tailor your product or service to match the need. 

Think About Your Needs 

When you’re a busy mom or dad who is living with a disability, it’s always important to make sure that any endeavor you choose will meet your needs easily. If you have limited mobility, you might want a gig that allows you to work from home, or something that will allow you to stay close, such as pet-sitting. If you’re going to start your own business, keep in mind that you may be eligible for a grant or special loan that will help you with the financial end of getting set up. 

Side gigs are hugely beneficial for individuals who are living with a disability because they are often easily adaptable to any lifestyle, but you’ll want to think carefully about the best business for your needs. Also, look for a mentor in someone who has already been through it, and get some advice about how to handle competition, marketing, and long hours; this will give you support during what can be a busy and stressful time.


(Patrick Young writes from personal experience. He is disabled, lives in Los Angeles and is a CityWatch contributor.) Photo via Pixaby. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.