Priyanka has always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Her creative outlook has helped her to boost her income as an accountant with a successful art business, Art By Priyanka - and by renting her car out while she’s not using it.
Priyanka says that earning money - not just from a salary, but by being proactive and seeking out opportunities to boost your income - is a skill that can be learned. Her creativity extends to finding innovative ways to generate income on top of her day job. Priyanka’s art business is now taking off, and she’s selling her work through retail outlets as well as taking private commissions and teaching resin art workshops.
But she has noticed that many of the women she meets aren’t all that confident when it comes to developing a side hustle or second income.
“I meet a lot of women through my art workshops, and I find that they are often fantastic at saving - but they are not thinking so much about how they could increase their earning potential.”
It was actually a friend and fellow entrepreneur who told Priyanka about the possibility of earning by renting out your car.
“A friend of mine had been sharing her car on Car Next Door and told me about it, so I thought - why not try to rent my car out and see how it goes? Even though I don’t drive much, I’m paying all of the ongoing costs of renewing my car’s registration each year, insuring it, and getting it serviced. ”
“I only drive my car a couple of times a week - most of the time I work from home, and if I’m heading into my office in the city, I prefer to take public transport.
I use my car when I’m teaching workshops, delivering my artwork to shops, or heading out to catch up with friends and do a bit of exploring at the weekend.
I wouldn’t want to give my car up altogether, because it gives me the freedom to run my business and live my life the way I want to.”
A car that pays for itself
With her busy day job and growing art business, Priyanka is happy for her Car Next Door earnings to be a low-effort source of passive income. She’s not aiming to make a profit from sharing her car - just to earn enough to cover its standing costs, and maybe a little extra to cover the running costs from her own driving.
“Within the first few months of renting my car out, the income had already paid for a year’s rego, and the earnings will also cover my insurance and other running costs. Now, the money that I used to spend on my car can go into my art business, my savings account, or something else more fun than paying bills!”
Priyanka’s car is used regularly by a family nearby. They discovered Car Next Door after their car was damaged in an accident, and they needed a car while they were looking for a new one. “They are really lovely,” says Priyanka. “They often book my car for weekends away - they’ve said that they like the flexibility of being able to book a local car when they need one.”
Overall, Priyanka says that renting your car out makes sense for someone who doesn’t drive it every day.
“My car is working while I’m working. It’s even making money while I’m on holiday. It’s a pretty good way of earning a side income. Honestly - if your car is doing nothing and just sitting in the garage, you might as well rent it out and get it to pay for itself!”
From a passion project to a business
Priyanka’s wall artwork and homewares are in demand, with new clients commissioning work and her monthly workshops booked out. But she’s quick to say that there’s no such thing as an ‘overnight success’ - there were many hours and years of hard work that went into developing her skills and shaping her talent.
“I’ve always loved to make art - I Iearned mostly by myself, watching and learning from other artists.
“But I think that to succeed at something, you need commitment. If there’s something that you love to do, you still need to really work at it - even when you’re tired, or when you have other things happening in your life - to turn it into something bigger.”
“I would practice and practice, working on my art for hours after work - even when I was exhausted.”
Support and inspiration for women in entrepreneurship
Priyanka says that when she started to promote her artwork online, building up her presence on social media and asking other women in her network to spread the word was a step outside of her comfort zone. It’s something that she would love to inspire others to do.
“I’ve noticed that some really talented women who I meet, with a lot of passion, are still fearful of taking that next step and promoting their skills and their business.”
“I know that it can be pretty scary to take that step! I had to really push myself past all of my own excuses, and get comfortable with being more visible. But I found that there is actually an incredible amount of support out there. People really want to see you succeed, and they are inspired when you do.”
It’s this cycle of inspiration that makes Priyanka really happy. She has drawn inspiration from other artists who are doing what they love and making money from something they’re passionate about - and is in turn able to teach and support emerging artists through her workshops.
“People are inspired by seeing other people’s stories. I would love to think that there are other women out there who could improve their financial situation through hearing about what I’m doing.”