For many unhappy employees, the idea of quitting their job and embarking on an entrepreneurial journey is an exciting one. Yet finding the courage and resources to take the leap can be hard to come by, especially when finances are already tight. A solution for budding entrepreneurs in this predicament comes in the form of what is known as a side hustle.
A side hustle is essentially any form of self-employment which runs parallel with a full-time job. Usually the side hustle work is carried out in the evenings and weekends. It differs from a ‘part-time job’ in the sense the hustle is not dependent on another employer. Rather, the work is self-generated.
Examples of side hustle work include freelancing, tutoring, coaching, pet services, making/selling handicrafts, and affiliate marketing. With the benefits of the internet, a side hustle business can be created and cultivated completely online, from home and while on the go.
The benefits of a side hustle for potential entrepreneurs
Today, 43 percent of full-time workers in the US earn extra money on the side. For many people, the earnings from a side hustle help top up their disposable income kitty while for others, it’s the only way to save some money for the future.
For frustrated employees desperate to leave their traditional employment behind, a side hustle is also an essential first step into self-employment. It provides a number of key benefits that all bring that dream of lucrative entrepreneurship that extra step closer.
These benefits include the ability to:
- Earn extra money
The core benefit of a side hustle is the generation of extra money. This can be used to facilitate the creation of a new business over time and to strengthen a safety cushion of savings for when you decide to quit your job.
While many side hustle businesses – including the myriad of freelancing opportunities – often need little startup investment, it can take time to reach sizeable income goals. Many powerful branding and marketing strategies also require some initial spending.
- Reduce money anxiety
The earnings from a side hustle can go a long way to alleviating monetary worries. Anxiety about money can negatively impact creativity and decision making when it comes to growing a business. Even just a little extra cash can help you pay bills and save money while developing your project on the side.
- Explore passions and potential business routes
You might desperately want to quit your work but if you’re not completely sure what you want to do instead, there can be a lot of frustration. A side hustle allows you to explore your passions and test potential business ideas, without the desperate need for them to succeed.
You still have your day job if things flop. And when a side project does take off, and it becomes both financially and emotionally lucrative, then you’ll be on firmer ground when it comes to making big and decisive career decisions.
- Experience being your own boss
Working as an employee and working for yourself as your own boss are two completely different worlds. As a solopreneur or startup founder, every decision is yours to make and success and failure rest on your choices.
A side hustle allows you to experience what it’s like to run your own business. It gives you insights into every task and procedure you’ll need to complete, from writing and sending your own invoices to bookkeeping, time management, project management, negotiating, and self-marketing.
Being your own boss can be a dream but it suits some personalities more than others.
- Develop new social circles and opportunities
To be successful as an entrepreneur or freelancer means building a network of peers and partners. No person is an island when it comes to self-employment. Whether it’s networking with other freelancers, sourcing delegation partners, marketing to prospects, or attending conferences, you’ll open yourself up to completely new networks of people.
And this can be hugely beneficial. Other people can introduce you to new opportunities, new ideas, new concepts, and new possibilities when it comes to side hustles, and ultimately, full self-employment.
- Build a backup plan if made redundant
For many of the 43 percent of side hustlers in full-time employment, their side project is a backup plan. Redundancy can come suddenly, illness can appear out of the blue, life events can take the rug from under our feet within a few weeks.
A side project which earns money provides an alternative if things go terribly wrong. It can then be grown or multiplied, if needs must, and developed into something bigger. Having a business that’s already established and ticking over is easier to further monetize and modify than something that exists just in the imagination.
Is a side hustle right for you?
Whether you have dreams of leaving office life behind or simply want an extra source of income, cultivating a side hustle is a great way to go about it. With all the benefits presented above, the only drawback is in finding the time and energy to devote to its development and growth.
Evenings, weekends, holidays, and vacations are moments you might prefer to spend with loved ones (especially if you have kids). But if money is tight and you’re desperate to leave your 9-to-5 job, then putting a little time into a side hustle can potentially pay dividends, and relatively quickly as well.
If you have a true passion for your side hustle business, then there’s every chance it will succeed, with the right planning and time investment.