In just a few years, most of the world’s population is expected not to have a traditional job. Instead, people will be part of the “gig economy,” a new, powerful social trend that is taking place right now in most of the developed world.
In the United Kingdom alone, the number of people who work for themselves has almost doubled, rising from 8.7 percent in 1975 to 16 percent in 2016, as reported by The Telegraph. In the United States, a survey conducted on behalf of MBO Partners, estimated there were 17.7 million independent workers in 2013, an increase of almost 2 million since two years before. Yet other, more encompassing estimations, like the one from the Freelancers Union, cite a number of 42 million independent workers, which is approximately a third of the workforce.
WhatIs.com defines gig economy as “an environment in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.” This economy was pioneered by apps and websites such as TaskRabbit, Airbnb, and Uber, which have opened a wealth of possibilities for anyone with a smartphone.
Depending on what role you decide to assume in the gig economy, your earning potential could be virtually unlimited. But no matter how much you earn, you will always have the benefit of being your own boss. So, get your Android smartphone ready, as we’ll show you top 5 ways on how to be your own boss using your Android phone.
1) Become an Uber Driver
Founded in 2009, Uber has reached an astonishing revenue of more than $1.5 billion and revolutionized how people move around the city. At the very core of Uber is the Uber app. Using this app, customers can submit trip requests. These requests are then sent to Uber’s servers, where they are analyzed and paired with the nearest available Uber driver. The driver can then simply tap on his or her smartphone screen to confirm the request and start earning money. The service is currently available in 66 countries and 507 cities across the world, and Uber is working hard to increase these numbers as much as possible.
Compared to traditional taxis, Uber has several significant advantages for drivers. First and foremost, Uber drivers can set their own schedule and work for as long as they please. Nobody is going to force you to work the graveyard shift, sit in the driver’s seat on your daughter’s birthday, or drive despite knowing that you should be studying for upcoming exams.
What’s more, Uber makes the driving experience more appealing by providing drivers with turn-by-turn directions, 24/7 support, and automatic weekly payments straight into their bank accounts. Uber drivers can also take advantage of discounts on fuel, vehicle maintenance, cell phone bills, and more. Don’t have a suitable smartphone or car in good shape? Uber can hook you up with both by arranging cost-effective financing options.
How-To Get Started with Uber
- Sign up on their official website.
- Share your license, registration, proof of insurance, and all the other necessary information to run a background check.
- Download the Uber app from the Play Store.
- Sign in with your newly created Uber account.
- Start driving.
Earning potential: $8.50 to $25 an hour depending on the market you work in.
2) Become a YouTube Superstar
If you can sharpen knives to make them cut arm hair, know everything there is to know about the Spanish cavalierly, can create realistic clay sculptures, are a music or a film buff, have a passion for gaming, art, or My Little Pony costume making, YouTube is the place to be.
The video-sharing website has been around since 2005 and is currently ranked as the second most popular site by Alexa Internet, a web traffic analysis company. As such, it attracts hundreds of millions of viewers, who go there to watch informative videos about niche subjects, listen to the latest songs from their favorite popstars, or see what the pro-gamer they are following is up to.
YouTube is about variety, quirky obsessions, cat videos, and a very intimate connection with the audience. YouTubers earn money through the YouTube Partner Program. Those who enroll in this program will have ads displayed before their videos. Each time a viewer watches an ad, the content creator receives money on his or her AdSense account.
Even though the revenue for a single view is nothing to brag about, when you multiply it by hundreds of thousands or even millions of viewers, which is exactly how many views some of the top YouTube superstars have, you get some truly astonishing numbers.
For example, the number one earner, PewDiePie, 25-year-old Swedish YouTube star who makes videos about video games, earned $12 million pretax over the past year. Another example is a woman who makes videos of herself unboxing Disney toys. She made $4.9 million in 2014 from YouTube ads, according to an article published on Yahoo Finance. But you certainly don’t have to be on the very top of YouTube superstardom to earn big bucks. There is a nine-year-old who is making $1.3 million a year from playing with toys, a guy from Hawaii with over 18 million subscribers, who creates lip-synch videos with his friends, or a young queen of make-up with 11 million subscribers. All of these people make a living doing what they love to do, and it doesn’t hurt that they earn more than many CEOs ever will.
How-To Get Started with YouTube
Chances are that you already have a Google account. If that’s the case, all you need is some basic equipment and the YouTube app for your Android smartphone.
- Camera: the Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is the go-to option for many prolific YouTubers, who appreciate its fantastic picture quality, wide-angle lens, and flawless compatibility with all modern operating systems.
- Microphone: if you want great sound on a budget, the Blue Microphones Snowball iCE is the mic to get. It looks stylish, records crystal-clear sound, and connects to your Mac or PC via a standard USB cable.
- Video editing software: while you can do some basic editing using the YouTube Video Editor, you will sooner or later want to upgrade to something better. Sony Movie Studio 13 offers a fantastic balance between functionality and complexity, making it easy to use even for people with little to no previous experience with video editing.
Earning potential: $0 to millions.
3) Become a Professional Mobile eSports Player
According to Skillz, an online multiplayer competition platform that can be integrated into iOS and Android games, “people spend more time playing video games than playing all offline sports combined.” It’s expected that total eSports viewing hours will reach 6.6 billion by 2018, and, at the current growth rate, the industry is going to surpass $9 billion in revenue by 2017.
The concept behind mobile eSports is simple: a competition platform partners with developers who want to attract more players for their games by offering them cash rewards for participation in tournaments. In turn, the developers and competition platform providers earn money on in-game advertisement and purchases.
Today, the market is led by Skillz and Cashplay. They both work on a similar principle, but they differ in a few critical aspects. First, Skillz has the following information displayed on their website: “Please note that our Services are intended only for use by residents of the United States. We ask that individuals residing outside of the United States refrain from downloading the Application or using the Services.”
What happens if you still decide to use their services? You won’t be able to withdraw your money, even though you will be able to deposit money on your account. Cashplay, on the other hand, comes with no such restrictions, allowing players to withdraw their money in a matter of hours.
Another difference is how both services are integrated with their games. Cashplay updates its user interface to more closely match each game, but Skillz keeps things consistent across all games.
How to Get Started as a Professional eSports Player
- Create a user account on your platform of choice.
- Download any game from the platform you like.
- Skillz: http://games.skillz.com/
- Cashplay: http://cashplay.me/#games
- Install the game on your Android device.
- Win tournaments to earn real money.
Earning potential: $0 to a few thousand.
4) Become a Professional Daily Fantasy Sports Player
Big money is to be made in the world of fantasy sports. DraftKings, the leading daily fantasy sports contest provider, awarded over $1 billion in prizes in 2015 alone. The company started in 2012, when it was established by Jason Robins, Matthew Kalish, and Paul Liberman. Together, they managed to achieve a major breakthrough by getting Major League Baseball to invest an undisclosed amount an in the company, thus becoming the first fantasy sports contest provider backed by a professional sports organization. It took just one year for DraftKings to award $50 million in prizes to players in weekly fantasy football, daily fantasy baseball, daily fantasy basketball and daily fantasy hockey, and the rest is history.
Now, with DraftKings’ Android app, anyone can set up a league and compete with any number of friends to win in free and paid tournaments. The only downside is that the app is not available in all regions. DraftKings has tournaments and games aimed at seasoned veterans and complete beginners alike, so everyone has a good chance at winning attractive prizes.
How to Get Started as a Daily Sports Player
- Download the DraftKing app from the Play Store.
- Draft a team of your favorite players while staying under the salary cap.
- Compete in a wide variety of free and paid games.
Earning potential: lose money to earning mid 6-figures
5) Become a “Tasker”
If there is one app that really exemplifies what the gig economy is all about, it has to be TaskRabbit. Founded in 2008 by Leah Busque, an American entrepreneur and Sweet Briar College graduate, TaskRabbit is a place where customers can find people who are willing to help them with just about anything you can think off. This includes house cleaning, handyman services, moving, errand running, grocery delivery, waiting in line, and many others.
The service is currently available only for 19 cities – San Francisco (Bay Area), New York City, Los Angeles & Orange County, London, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, and Seattle – but its availability is steadily increasing with each year.
What makes working for TaskRabbit so compelling for Taskers, a term used to refer to people who work for TaskRabbit, is the ability to set their own hours and earn quite a lot of money. How much exactly? According to Jamie Viggiano, vice president of marketing for the company, roughly 10% to 15% of them, can earn $6,000 to $7,000 a month, reports Time. TaskRabbit also offers different perks from insurance groups they’ve aligned themselves with, so you can be rest assured knowing that you have a reliable safety net to fall into in case something bad happens.
How to Get Started as a Tasker
- Head over to the official website and register with the company.
- Download the TaskRabbit Android app.
- Accept your first gig and get to work.
Earning potential: $25 to $150 per hour
The gig economy is still in its infancy, but there are already many fantastic opportunities how you can make a substantial amount of money while being your own boss and doing the things you love. The sooner you embrace them, the easier it will be to establish yourself in this new and exciting era.