The side hustle era isn’t just a way to earn extra cash — for many, it’s become a new way of life.
Recent data shows that roughly 45% of all workers have some form of side gig. The trend is particularly popular among Millennials, with nearly one in two relying on this practice to boost their earnings.
A short history lesson
The term ‘side hustle’ dates back to the 1950s, where it described the option to make money from a passion or hobby. That definition is still mostly true today, though it’s significantly expanded to include seemingly infinite ways to earn extra money thanks to the Gig Economy.
No matter how you define the side hustle era, one thing remains clear: it’s trending hot and shows no sign of slowing. The circumstances and effects of 2020 and the virus have added fuel to a growth in the side hustle as has never been seen before. The need for extra income or even a full-time job has created a new breed of social entrepreneurs. A person who relies on their digital social network to start and grow an income.
Why Do People Love Side Hustles?
For many people, side hustles provide much-needed income. But for others, starting a side gig is the first step toward something bigger, better, and yes, more profitable. Research done before the effect of COVID19 has shown that many workers are still living paycheck to paycheck. Nearly three out of ten people with a side gig are using the funds to help cover regular living expenses, a result attributed to flat wages and a rising cost of living. Some call it a “shadow of the earlier financial crisis,” where unemployment reached new heights during the 2009 financial crisis — and many are still trying to recover financially from the fallout. This downward trend will only have grown after 2020 and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of your current financial situation, the side hustle economy is helping budding entrepreneurs get their feet wet in business ownership. It’s opened the doors for thousands of people to follow their dreams of starting a business and becoming their own boss. A recent investment into small businesses (moms and pops) by Amazon in America, has shown the potential a giant like them (Amazon) see in the growth of the side hustle community.
Side hustlers rely on their secondary roles to gain valuable experience at low cost and low risk, all while building their resume in the process. They use their side gig as a test to see if they have what it takes to turn their passion into a full-time revenue stream while retaining the security of a steady paycheck.
And with the growth of eCommerce in South Africa as can be seen everywhere in news and statistics daily, this trend is on the up. And let us be honest, the best time to jump on board is now!
Ok, I'm interested to start a side hustle today!
Whoa there cowboy. We love the enthusiasm but don't jump the imaginary horse yet! Our blog series about Starting a side hustle is designed to show you the what and how of this process. Each part of our blog series is designed to take you on a trip through the thought process of starting a side hustle. We want you to look at it holistically. Get all the information in front of you. Then we'll encourage you to get yourself a stallion and jump on that horse!
But first. let's get this blog series of to a start.
Part 1: Why should you start a Side Hustle?
Diversify your income
We all love a full-time job and a steady income, but a lot of people are side hustling with the intention of turning it into a full-time job eventually. In fact, some of the biggest businesses you know started off being a side hustle! Starting your business on the side before quitting your job is a great way to allow you to grow slowly and stay financially stable until you’re making enough money to make the leap.
Regardless of whether you want to turn your side hustle into a full-time job, having an extra source of income is great! Whether you’re paying off debt, saving for a trip, or just trying to build up your savings account, the extra income always helps!
Having an outlet for your
We all have something that makes us happy. With so many people in the world, there are so many different things but share our love of these things with many people out there. We all know that only a few people actually love their work, but we all love our hobbies. Stuff we choose to do in our "off-time". We only do them because they interest us. They bring joy to our week. The secret is you are only one of a few thousand if not hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who shares the same love for the hobby you have. Starting a side hustle is focused on this. Turning your favorite pastime into an avenue to generate a second income, or even better turn it into a fully-fledged income and business.
Learn more and more
So, you already love doing something. Starting a side hustle will make you spend even more time on this "love" of yours. This will help you learn more of this interest of yours. This turns out will make you love doing it even more! It's a beautiful circle effect where your actions boost your enthusiasm. In the world of Simon Sinek, this is WHY you do it!
Make a career change
We all see those people out there that have their own business. The stories are that they just sit back, have late breakfasts and lunches every day, and don't have to work much! Well, let me be the first to tell you this is utter nonsense. People that have their own business and especially successful ones, spend all the time of their day caring for their business. Now that sounds horrible to work from 6 in the morning till 12 at night. Isn't a 9-5 easier? From the outside, it might look like it, but for every entrepreneur and small business owner out there, they will tell you they won't have it any other way!
Why is this? Because their business is built around things they love. The stuff they did after their 9-5 ended. They don't mind learning more and engaging with other people that also love these things, because it brings them joy. A side hustle is the first step to being in a "job" where you get to do full-time work that brings you joy. Isn't this worth taking the leap alone?
The reality is a side hustle is the first step to becoming financially independent from your 9-5. But it is important that you look in the mirror and ask yourself why you would want to start a side hustle. It will not be moonshine and roses. It will take hard work, tough times mixed with the most incredible highs and emotions that you can imagine. If you can deal with this, and with the added bonus that in that path lies a ending where you get to do daily, and hourly what makes you happy and gives you joy, well then...a side hustle might just be for you!
In part 2 we will look at a step-by-step list of what you need to do to start a side hustle. This is more nitty-gritty and will help you establish a base from where to start.
Don't forget to share this with your friends and family, you never know who might need this!