Ever since I was a kid I've always worked more than one job at a time. Some of my extra jobs were fun little ways to earn a few dollars--like mystery shopping. Others were a way to gain valuable experience that I wasn't getting in my day job--like teaching college classes as an adjunct instructor.

But in 2006, I found myself in need of a serious side hustle. My husband passed away unexpectedly and he was the main breadwinner in the family.

I had a solid career as a psychotherapist but it wasn't exactly lucrative. I didn't want to live paycheck to paycheck and I didn't want to have to sell my house.

So I began writing. And over the course of 7 years, my writing side hustle turned into a new career that earned 10 times more than my day job.

How I Launched Writing Side Hustle

I could only work as a therapist for so many hours each day. And even if I could work 60 hours a week as a therapist, it'd be a recipe for burnout and I wouldn't be able to be effective helping other people.

But writing was something I could do in my spare time. Whether it was in the evenings, on the weekends, or during my lunch break, I could earn money as long as I had access to a computer and an internet connection.

I could also write as little or as much as I wanted. On a good week, I'd churn out articles at lightning pace. But then, if I wanted a week or two off, I could take a break from writing. It seemed like the perfect way to supplement my income.

At first, I wrote for low paying content mills that required no particular expertise. The focus was on quantity over quality so I could spit out articles as fast as my fingers could fly.

Within a few months, I landed higher paying gigs that focused on issues like relationships, mental health, and parenting. Since those were all issues I dealt with in my therapy office on a daily basis, the content flowed easily.

After about a year, I got hired for a few part-time freelancing jobs. They required me to publish regular content, but they paid higher rates and provided more financial security.

One Article Changed Everything

About seven years after I began writing, I wrote an article that changed everything. It was called 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do.

Unlike many of the articles I wrote--which often revolved around specific SEO strategies that targeted keywords--this one was from the heart. It was actually a letter to myself during one of the toughest times in my life.

I only published it online because I thought it might help someone else too. I never imagined that those 600 words would change my life.

But that article went viral. My list was reprinted in publications like Forbes, Business Insider, and Success Magazine and more than 50 million people read it.

As that article made its way around the web, it attracted the attention of a literary agent who encouraged me to write a book. Within a month, I had a signed contract with one of the biggest publishers in the world.

Thirteen months later, my book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do, hit the shelves. It became an international bestseller that is being translated into 27 languages.

Becoming a traditionally published author led to even more opportunities--like speaking engagements and online courses. It also opened the door for me to write another book, 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don't Do.

Launch Your Own Side Hustle

You never know what doors might open when you launch a side hustle. Like me, you might find a small side hustle might change the entire course of your life.

Whether you're looking for a few extra dollars or you want to pursue a new dream, launch a side hustle. Starting a blog, creating a podcast, selling products online, or offering a new service could lead to bigger opportunities than you ever imagined.