From Iceland — Side Hustle Of The Issue: The Full-Time Hustler

Side Hustle Of The Issue: The Full-Time Hustler

Published July 4, 2023

Side Hustle Of The Issue: The Full-Time Hustler
Photo by
Art Bicnick

How does he do it all?!

Whatever you do, Laurent Somers will make you feel you’re not productive enough. By day, he works a regular job, but when the sun sets, he transforms into a taxi driver, a tour guide, or one of his many other ventures. Does Laurent have extra hours in a day? Is he a time management guru? We tried to find out.

Laurent Somers, 51, an IT administrator at an Icelandic food producer

I have many side hustles! Taxi driving for City Taxi, guiding, bus driving, tech support and being a landlord. I also used to teach and translate. It all started from being half Belgian and knowing French when there was considerable demand for French (and English) speaking guides. That recently led me to get my taxi and bus licenses to work as a driver guide and a bus driver.

The art of hustling

Though my side hustles are not entirely driven by financial aspects, I do take into consideration the remuneration for each individual one. I like variety, too, as it helps keep things interesting. My motto is “work smarter, not harder.” What could be smarter than a side hustle that feels like work AND leisure at the same time? 

First and foremost, I make sure that my hustles don’t interfere with my day job, where I am one of three IT admins. It also helps that these are quite different from my day job. They don’t involve the same mental concentration. It’s more fun than playing golf.

I dedicate time to my physical fitness and then use my spare time at my discretion to work on side hustles. I don’t need to do any of these side hustles, I am well off without them, so it’s not a drag on my mind, and I never feel like I have to do them. I do them because I enjoy them.

I also rent out part of my home, which is a separate apartment. Tip: Pension funds are the friendliest when it comes to financing such arrangements.

Thriving in variety

Northern lights guiding is seasonal, while other hustles, like guiding in general and taxi driving, are less so, so they go well together. I can focus my time where it is needed. 

I get to meet many people and share my love of Iceland and its nature. That’s what makes it so appealing to me to work as a guide. The only bad thing that comes to mind is last January’s freezing temperatures when I was outside looking for Northern Lights. Fortunately, over 99% of my taxi rides have been pleasant.

Hustle like a pro

Subject knowledge, language and people skills can get you into guiding, even if you don’t have a license. For taxi driving, you can either go all-in or start working in another taxi driver’s car, with the revenue being split. You’ll first need the B/Far license on your driver’s license, which includes a course with theoretical and practical components. Then, on top of that, the “harkarar” license to qualify to drive for another taxi driver. And finally, a third license designated for taxi drivers with their own taxis. Although the law changed last April, you still need to pass these courses.

An irregular side hustle, where you’re stand-by if your employer needs an extra pair of hands, can also be mutually beneficial – there’s no firm commitment on your side, but an opportunity for the employer to call in an extra when someone is suddenly sick or there is a surge in the workload.

Find a side hustle that you enjoy. It’ll be less like work and more like leisure. 

Money hacks

I have two saving hacks in Reykjavík: year-round swimming pool passes and always double-checking prices at the store checkout.

Want to share how you’re making ends meet? Email us at grapevine@grapevine.is with the subject line “Side Hustle.” We’ll happily keep your identity anonymous.


Follow along with the Side Hustle series right here.

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