Whether I was studying in University or working full-time, I’ve always had a side hustle on the go. In University I was selling Football jerseys online and while working the 9-5 I was creating unique experiences for young professionals. For me, my side-hustles have always started as a creative outlet and a way to learn about something new.
From extra spending money to the opportunity to build new skills – side hustles just make sense. Everyone working in the 9 to 5 should have or consider starting their own side hustle. Yes, a side hustle is like a second job, but if you pick a good side hustle, it won’t feel like work and will have no impact on your 9 to 5. Sure, eventually, your side hustle might become your main hustle but that’s life.
When you’re thinking about starting a side-hustle, think about something you already enjoy doing or have an interest in. From there, think about whether or not this is a side hustle that can last for years to come. Not only should it be something that your customers will find value in but also something you will enjoy doing six months from now.
For me, my side hustle was what helped me make the decision to finally hang up the cleats for good. It allowed me to achieve many goals before I thought I would and opened my eyes to the true possibilities of entrepreneurship. Looking back, here are a few key reasons why a side hustle would be beneficial:
One: More Money in Your Pocket
I’ll be the first person to tell you that money isn’t everything. In fact, I’m a believer that the most important thing in life is happiness which is directly related to the number of experiences we have along the way. That said, I won’t say money doesn’t matter because in some ways money can buy happiness.
Need money to get a few extra courses? Need to make more money so you can get out of debt? Need to pay for an engagement ring or new home? Save money for a dream vacation? At the end of the day, when the 9 to 5 isn’t doing the trick, a side hustle can be a great accelerator to moving you closer to your goals.
Financial freedom is definitely something that we all strive to achieve. The idea of not having to worry about how much a meal will cost or how far back a trip will set you back is a key benefit to financial freedom. When you’re running your own small, side business or doing freelance work, you have the ability to generate extra cash to build savings and a little bit of wiggle room to do what you really want.
Two: Build Skills that Help You Level Up
A formal education can teach you tons and tons about theory and the importance of a variety of different subjects. That said, education can only take you so far. At the end of the day, you need to eventually stop thinking about things and start doing things to truly become an expert.
When I think about the power of a side hustle and the amount of learning that is associated with it, I think of a famous quote from Jim Rohn. He once said that a formal education can make you a living but self education can make you a fortune (tweet this idea). The truth in this quote as it relates to side hustles is the fact that when you’re working for yourself, you are forced to learn. As an entrepreneur you’re required to wear multiple hats and as such, learn a variety of new things.
One of the most exciting parts of running your own business is the adrenaline rush associated with the risks. You’re constantly making decisions and that allows you to learn new things on a regular basis. When you build a business you start to develop a wide variety of different skills. These will ultimately go with you from one endeavour to the next allowing you to have an understanding in things like marketing, finance, networking and organizational planning.
The skills you develop as a part of your side hustle can also help start a new career. Someone who has always had a passion for writing but spends their 9 to 5 pushing paper at a Finance firm can use their writing to get a job as an editor or columnist. A business analyst who wants to be an event planner, can start their own side business and turn that into something more down the road.
Three: Gives You a “Fall-Back” Plan if things turn for the Worst
The economy isn’t exactly reliable and business today isn’t what it once was. While the generations before mine may have had the liberty of working with the same employer for 20+ years, that sense of security just doesn’t exist in todays market.
For many who’ve been laid off or let go from work unexpectedly, the worst part is having to start all over. But what if you had a side gig that could keep you going until you found another full-time job?
Your side hustle can allow you to test your business ideas and build clients without the stress of having to earn a lot of money in a short time. Those clients and business lessons can then provide you with a ready-made gig should times get hard and you find yourself suddenly free of your day job. In fact, some people have found that their side gigs became so lucrative that they didn’t need their day jobs anyway.
Four: Do Work that You’re Passionate About
We go to school and learn how to craft a great resume, we learn how to answer interview questions correctly and we even learn how to be a good colleague. Through all this, one thing we’re never taught is how to find work that you actually enjoy doing (tweet this idea). A side hustle can be and should be built on passion. It should act as a creative outlet or an avenue for you to get closer to your dreams.
Finding your passion isn’t an easy road. Our lives are filled with obstacles, noise and distractions telling us what we should and shouldn’t be doing. Society tells us to become a zombie from 9 to 5 doing what we need to do to put food on the table and have fun living once the clock hits five. It’s so easy to get caught up in the rat race but if you’re itching to find your passion, it’s time to make some changes and make it a priority.
The ideal side hustle is one that you enjoy doing. It could start off as nothing more than a passion project and evolve into a money maker or it can be something you’re interested in but not quite sure how interested. Ideally, your side hustle will bring you more happiness than grief along the way. It should be something you can wake up excited to do and not something you see as simply another means to an end.