Side hustle is a term that gets used a lot in our modern gig economy. Uber uses it in their commercials and claim that driving for them is the ultimate side hustle. I get that people need or want a side hustle to make ends meet and provide for their families or to be able to afford a nicer lifestyle. I get it, I like nice things too but I have to make sure that I allocate money made from my day-job to pay for necessary daily expenses and to take care of my family. Who knew kids could be so expensive lol! I am also investing money made from my day job into assets that generate income like my recent rental property purchase. Thereby turning my property purchase into a side hustle (asset) that generates passive income and increases in value over time. This is an important distinction about what a side hustle is. Let’s be smart and create side hustles as multiple sources of passive income so that we can spend time doing the things we love. Or, find a side hustle that is more actively involved if you are truly passionate about it and don’t mind spending the additional hours to generate income. Either way, don’t treat a side hustle like a second or third job to pay the bills.
So why do you need a side hustle? Gone are the days of spending your whole career at one company like an AT&T and having a generous pension waiting at your retirement. We live in a globalized economy where we are competing with candidates and companies worldwide. It’s a cutthroat world and companies have no problem laying off a thousand people at a time if it means their stock prices go up. Bottom line is that we live in an age of economic uncertainty and having a side hustle reduces some of that uncertainty.
A side hustle that generates income can give you peace of mind that you have something to fall back on in case you ever can’t work or get canned. A side hustle can turn into a full time gig if it becomes profitable enough. Money earned from a side hustle can turn into starting another side hustle and generate multiple sources of income (the secret of the rich). Whatever your reason or motivation is, just do it!
I personally like the concept of a side hustle because I enjoy my day job and the benefits package it comes with. It is not uncommon to pay $25,000 a year just on health insurance for your family! No wonder healthcare insurance is such a hot political topic in the US.
According to Chris Guillebeau, who wrote Side Hustle, defines it as:
“A side hustle is not a part-time job. A side hustle is not the gig economy. It is an asset that works for you.”
So how do you know what side hustle is right for you? Chris writes that you need to answer yes to these three questions before picking your side hustle.
1. Is it feasible?
Does this idea motivate you and can you get it started quickly? Does it fit your personality strengths? Does the concept make sense to others? Be able to pitch your side hustle in two sentences.
2. Can it be profitable?
No need for a MBA here, will your side hustle bring in more money than you spend towards it? Run a couple simple calculations to see how much you could potentially make (conservative and aggressive projections)
3. Is it persuasive?
Your idea is persuasive if your customers can’t say no. Find your niche and offer a needed product or service with reliability and better than others.
Once you go through this exercise and narrow down what your side hustle will be, research how you can get it started and how you can become profitable. There are millions of hours on youtube of step by step how-to videos. Go to the library and check out books to read about your topic. Find a podcast that you enjoy and use your daily commute as a time to learn.
Whatever journey you choose, make sure it’s something you would enjoy doing a couple hours a day to help you reach your goals.
Here is a link to Chris Guillebeau’s book Side Hustle if you are interested in learning more