WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE A SIDE HUSTLE (+ HOW TO GET STARTED)
Was there ever a time when the side hustle wasn't a thing?
From Grace Hopper and Estée Lauder to current celebrities like Shay Mitchell and Emma Watson, side hustles seem as commonplace as Starbucks in New York City.
Side hustles are created for infinite reasons, mainly as an opportunity for extra income and time to work on a passion project.
motleyb is my side hustle (surprise!). I also write stories and design websites and graphics outside of my bill-payer.
As you can see, side hustles come in all shapes and sizes. You might already have one, or two, or three, and haven't realized it. You may be wondering if you should pursue another interest.
My answer? Go for it. Side hustles are an acceptable side piece.
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WHAT'S A SIDE HUSTLE?
Right: so what's a side hustle?
It's any idea or passion you pursue outside of your main job. Many, if not most, are designed to bring in extra income immediately, but I don't think they have to. To me a side hustle's a side hustle, whether you're raking in dough immediately or pursuing it for the pleasure of the work, and the reward of the revenue later.
Want some more examples? Head over to Side Hustle Nation's 99 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today.
WHY YOU NEED A SIDE HUSTLE
I touched on them briefly already, but here's a more in-depth look at why you should consider a side hustle:
Also known as a passion project: a side hustle gives you the opportunity to pursue something you might not have the opportunity to in your current job. I find that a lot of my friends (and myself included) started with an idea of what we wanted to do with our lives, but ended up in careers that don't exactly fit the bill.
There's all kinds of reasons why this happens, but a side hustle can help you realize those dreams.
extra source of income + job security
Side hustles provide the opportunity to bring in a little extra income. I think we could all use some extra cash, but some specific reasons could be bills, savings, travel and vacation money, saving to start your own business, and more.
A side hustle is also a form of job security. If, for some unfortunate reason, you happened to lose your job, you'll at east have some source of income while you search for your next main gig. Even better, if you've been working on your side hustle for long enough, you may find that you don't need another job at all.
opportunity to scale
A side hustle gives you full control over your work and how far you want to take it. If you'd prefer to just keep it as a part-time hobby, that's great. If you want to turn your side hustle into something bigger, eventually scaling it into your own business, that's great, too.
A side hustle gives you the freedom to direct the scope and scale of your work. You've got the power, baby.
A side hustle give you the opportunity to meet people who are interested in the topics or fields that you love. This could be as simple as taking a class to develop the skills needed for your side hustle or joining an online community.
Reaching out and connecting with those who are also working in your fields is necessary to creating a network of mentors and colleagues that will support, inspire you and help your succeed, no matter what plans you have for your side hustle.
HOW DO I PICK a SIDE HUSTLE?
What do you want to do? What puts a smile on your face and fire in your blood (too dramatic?). What do you wish you had more time to do? Do that.
That's the romantic answer. If you need extra money now, you could also just take a job wherever the cash is available. However, I'm a firm believer that the art of the side hustle lies in the intersection of damn-I'm-broke and passion project.
You could also not do it for money (immediately): for those of us that are financially secure, a side hustle could be a comfortable extracurricular you build into a full-time gig.
One book that's great on talking further about this is The Big Life by Ann Shoket. She breaks it down.
Here are some popular options for creative side hustles:
Start your own etsy shop
Do you love arts and crafts? An Etsy shop might be a good idea for you: sell your artistic goods through your online market. This is a great place to start to build revenue, customers and connections if you're looking to expand your shop to its own boutique.
How to get started: Create your online shop and get selling! Etsy has a great guide here.
become a graphic/web designer
Skilled with photoshop and other design software? Like building websites? A graphic or web designer is the perfect way to combine your creative streak with the in-demand market of technology.
How to get started: Platforms to get good on include Squarespace and Wordpress. Create your own website to showcase your work. You might have to create for free for your first few gigs to build your portfolio. Read more here for web design, and here for graphic design.
Freelance writing is a great way to be a creative wordsmith while working at home (although sometimes clients might ask you to work in an office). Freelancing means you'll have variety in your work because you'll finish projects for different clients, and you'll set your own flexible schedule (as long as you meet your client's deadline).
How to get started: Read this for a more in-depth look at becoming a freelance writer.
start a blog
This goes hand-in-hand with freelance writing. While you don't have to write for other clients or publications, a successful blog usually means that clients will reach out to you for work, usually in the form of branded posts, guests posts, and more (this is where a good amount of your money could come from). You can also make money through affiliate link networks.
A blog is a wonderful side hustle because it can be about anything and everything you're interested in. If you're passionate and have a vast amount of knowledge about a topic, a blog can be a great way to make money while having fun.
How to get started: Here's an excellent guide on starting and making money with a blog.
Become a photographer
I have several friends who have turned their photography hobby into a full-time business. So can you. Now, I'm a sucky photographer, so I can't give you any personal details, but if you've got a great eye and marketing skills, you can make income from taking photographs.
How to get started: Read this guide on freelance photography.
BUT I DON'T WANT TO WORK ANYMORE!
Agreed - not for something I don't like. If you're going to work, wouldn't you rather put in the sweat and tears for the months/years you'll need to make something big, beautiful and all your own? Wouldn't the satisfaction of quitting your day job be so much sweeter when you know you're going to be your own boss?
No? Okay, then...this is awkward. Maybe don't read the rest of this post.
HOW DO I START A SIDE HUSTLE?
You just do. No, seriously. When I decided to start this blog, I just did. When I wanted to write a book, I just started typing.
Research what you're interested in, especially if you have a specific product or goal in mind. Even if it's just an inkling of an idea, experiment with what interests you to see if you can find something you can pursue part or full-time.
Want more help? Here's three basic questions to get started.
1. Out of all my interests, what do I feel the most passionate about?
2. If I could stop working and do anything right now, what would that be? Could that be a potential side hustle?
3. What kind of commitment am I willing and able to put into a side hustle? How does this narrow my choices?
Want even more help?
If you want an in-depth guide on choosing a side hustle, I've got just the thing. Like a Boss is an online interactive four-page workbook to help you determine your best course of action (you can print this workbook out as well).
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