Money. We are always looking for a way to make more, right? A side hustle is a way to do just that!
Side Hustle: (sahyd-huhs uhl)
A job or occupation that brings in extra money beyond one’s regular job and main source of income.
If you’ve been in the business world long enough, you know it’s not your grandfather’s job market anymore. There are very few people sticking it out with a single company, putting in 40 years of 8-hour days and retiring with a gold watch.
According to a chart by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the younger you are, the greater the number of jobs you will hold in your lifetime. Side hustles offer you a means to juggle more than one of those career moves at the same time.
Why Get a Side Hustle?
Cold, Hard Cash
This may be obvious because making extra money is on nearly everyone’s list, whether you own a small business or work for somebody else, but the reasons for it range from gaining a little security to making a huge purchase. The value of your talents will determine the amount of side money you can bring in, but don’t forget the cumulative impact that even a small income can have on your budget.
Many of the biggest companies began as side hustles, says an article in the Business Insider. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx was selling fax machines door-to-door when she launched her company. Yankee Candle was a teenager’s side hustle when founder Michael Kittredge melted crayons to make a gift for his mom.
You can pick up side gigs to pay off student debt and gain some peace of mind, or use the funds to purchase anything imaginable. Some of the most common uses for side hustle income include:
- Home improvement
- Programs for your kids
- Vehicle upgrade
- Beauty enhancement
Establish Your Own Company
Extra money means you can follow your dreams and expand your goals as you go. A side hustle is a great way to see if your idea has legs to stand on. Maybe you envision this to be your full-time gig one day and you need to test the waters first. Don’t give up your day job and you can maintain some security while you set the stage for the future.
This is exactly how I started my business in Santa Clarita. Ask Amanda Consulting began as a side hustle. Once I saw I was getting busier and busier, I took the jump and quit my full-time job to go all in, so my side hustle became my main hustle.
According to Entrepreneur Magazine, a side hustle is “a way to make some extra cash that allows you flexibility to pursue what you’re most interested in.”
Whether you love woodworking, travel, or ballet, nearly every avocation costs money to fully engage in it. A side hustle can help pay for your favorite hobby, or even better – your favorite hobby can pay you when it becomes a side hustle.
Perhaps you’re already working in your field of choice. For instance, if you work on a dock but long to sail, you can use your contacts to access a boat and give harbor tours on the side. Or if you’re a fashion fan who’s always worked retail, you can leverage your experience to go on Market Week buying trips or work weekends to purchase amazing clothes (which you can then wear to work!).
Whatever you find captivating, doing what you love, being good at it, and making money through it is the side hustle trifecta.
Choosing a Side Hustle
There’s a growing list of options when looking into side hustles, and some are already established, so you just need to jump in and sign on. If you’re more entrepreneurial, however, you have two choices. You can create a business model with an original idea or offer the same services as an established business, but develop a small business model that’s convenient for you.
For instance, anyone can deliver food for a huge grocery chain or a restaurant, but instead you can create your own business with a bespoke delivery service where you offer to shop at a variety of local sources.
The list of side hustle ideas includes numerous options that have proven to be profitable, including:
Local buying and reselling
E-commerce such as Etsy
Starting a blog
Social media manager
There are certain skills you need to access to maintain a profitable side hustle: You need to be self-motivating. You need to have patience. You need to be willing to learn something new. You need to be okay with failure. Expand on each one of these and accept that not all side hustles work out.
Benefits of a Side Hustle
Aside from the obvious (making money), when you begin the side hustle experience you’ll find some added benefits.
Expand your network – The more you do, the more people you meet. For instance, if you work as a virtual assistant you create a connection with people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.
Increase your skillset – After working at your side hustle your abilities will only grow. Most people are pretty green their first day on the job but get faster and more skillful with time.
Achieve financial goals quicker – For people whose jobs don’t offer overtime pay or routine pay raises, a side hustle is a fast track for extra cash.
Build your personal brand – Whether you’re a small business in Santa Clarita or a billionaire’s blockbuster organization, you need a brand for your company.
Achieve other unrelated goals – Some of the benefits are unrelated to money. For instance, you can do deliveries on your bike and get some exercise while working on your side hustle.
Get Started with your Side Hustle
If you’re sold on the idea of launching your first side hustle but don’t know where to start, ask yourself these questions:
- What are my interests?
By narrowing down your ideas you can home in on the big one. Strip away every constraint. If money was no object, if you could ignore the opinions of your parents/partners/friends, what would you spend your time doing?
- Are there any conflicts of interest with my current job?
Your side hustle won’t be sustainable if you’re constantly locking horns with your boss or cutting corners on things like sleep.
- How much extra time a week do I have?
A demanding day job makes it more challenging to get started on your side hustle. Determine what you can cut out if your calendar is already full.
- Will I need to invest money?
Financial support is, of course, an essential ingredient in any small business development. There are few side hustles that have no cost involved, but some are less expensive than others. Assess whether or not you have the capital to give it a go.
If you remember doing “The Hustle” at your last dance party you know there are moves to the side and several steps forward, but some moves take you backwards too. By keeping in mind there will probably be some setbacks and your first idea may not make you rich, you’ll never know until you fill your dance card and get out there. If you need advice, you can always Ask Amanda!