These jobs from home require hard work and determination, but can pay off big time

The social media clips are enticing and the salaries sound good. But one management expert says hustle is the key to successful secondary hustle.

SAN ANTONIO — Work from home, or WFH, has exploded during the pandemic. People have started working from home permanently or as a side hustle by redefining their priorities in life and rediscovering themselves.

“We certainly see TikTok and Instagram, for example, really growing with the number of influencers,” Dr. Teresa Harrison said. “And a lot of that was due to COVID-19 and everyone being home and maybe trying to capitalize on a hobby that they had.”

Harrison, associate professor of management at the University of the Incarnate Word, is co-director of the Beckendorf Family Center of Innovation and Global Entrepreneurship.

She said working from home is like real-world jobs; it always takes determination, hard work, opportunity and sometimes a bit of luck.

“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It actually takes work,” she said.

Harrison teaches a graduate-level entrepreneurship course where students build businesses online. They use the KANU platform to sell products to students across the country.

Students are jostling from home and in the classroom as individuals and as group startups.

“In this class, we create the opportunities based on the problem they identify,” she said.

Harrison students work on the details of security, digital convenience, mental health, and even hygiene products.

“I can probably say our product is new to the market. We have a very competitive industry,” said Kaila Ramos.

Ramos is part of a group working on a unique personal hygiene item that KENS 5 has agreed not to reveal while they work on the prototype. Seniors Rhea Miles and Ashlin Koster are in the squad with Ramos.

“It’s a challenge, but it’s also an opportunity for us to get our foot in the door,” Koster said.

Students learn fundamental lessons to help them sell and those that will run into difficulties.

“The idea is that there’s no get-rich-quick scheme,” Harrison said. “When we call it secondary hustle, there’s a hustle part to it. You’re going to have to do the work.”

Students know of job offers that promise competitive and often attractive salaries to work from the comfort of their own home. Social media feeds are filled with people pointing to jobs filling their wallets.

Online ads where, for example, a chat manager could earn over $40,000 per year. Other positions offer flexible hours with no experience required for opportunities paying $30 to $50 per hour.

Some posts point to even more lucrative positions with insurance companies and nursing, all from home. The ad even names companies like CVS and Amazon.

“If it doesn’t seem legit, if you can’t find any reviews, then you probably don’t want to do business with this company,” Harrison said.

The management professor said to do your homework on messages.

Arthur Wildberger has a background in social media, and the 27-year-old takes advantage of that to sell cars.

“I paid 12 different people on it,” Wildberger said.

He works at R&L Certified Autogroup in San Antonio, where an existing company incentive gives him the power to pay people to work for them.

“After I walked in the first person and said, hey, I saw you on a TikTok or I saw one of your Facebook reels — that was really reassuring to keep me creating content.”

Wildberger pays $200 for every referral that turns into a car sale.

“A girl took advantage of it,” he said. “She did it four times in one month. So we wrote her a check for $800, took care of her rent and a car bill.”

Harrison said influencers find opportunities but work hard to create business-pleasing content.

“We see people doing things like being a brand ambassador or getting endorsements, and those things are great,” she said. “You have to be able to create the content. You have to have the products that you sell.”

For those who want to work from home or enjoy a side hustle, she asks, “What are your talents? What are you good at?” And can you monetize anything?

Olivia Gonzales did. The UIW senior lives in Pearsall and sells Gonza Ranchera Salsa on the side. She won the class competition for best individual hustler.

“I’m a big salsa champion,” Gonzales said.

For bloggers, influencers, and content creators interested in some vacation cash, Amazon has shared its Amazon Associates program.

Influencers can even get their showcase in the Amazon Influencer Program.

To begin qualifying for the influencer program, Amazon evaluates each applicant.

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