Side hustles are trending. The idea of having a side hustle has become more and more popular and is the subject of every 2nd or 3rd meme on Instagram. You can start a side hustle in almost anything and it’s the best way I know to earn some extra income and kick more goals sooner.
The term is fairly new, but the idea is not. People have been earning money on the side for decades, but there are now endless possibilities and you can do it cheaply and quickly and all from the comfort of your own home.
Side hustle side-note – Tread carefully with the idea of hustle. It’s often sold by business coaches as the secret to success. Hustle in the wrong direction or the wrong moment can lead to wasted activity. Beware of the trap of “being busy”. Hustle is about working your butt off to make things happen and get shit done. Just make sure this is the outcome.
Side hustle is different. Take the term hustle and apply it to something on the side. It’s more than just your hobby or favourite pastime. By definition a side hustle applies to someone who already has a full time occupation from nine to five. Their side hustle is something started completely separate, often driven more by interests and passions, and it’s usually to help you generate additional income.
The side hustle is definitely not all fun and games, but it can be highly rewarding, just be prepared to work.
“The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there” – Vince Lombardi
Someone embarking on a side hustle may find themselves disengaged and can’t see a long term future in their current role. The side hustle is a way of starting and testing something that can then turn into something much bigger and more aligned to who you are.
Alternatively, you may be fully engaged in your current role, but have more to give. A side hustle is a way of incorporating additional interests into the work you do. I started Sufficient Fundz as a side hustle. It just so happens that the SF movement goes hand-in-hand with the work that I do at Sufficient Funds, and they’re growing together.
So why side hustle? (the benefits)
The most obvious reason is to generate extra cash.
Who doesn’t want this?
Payday might not come on day one so remain patient and be prepared for it to be a long term goal.
Think of all the things you can do with the extra income. Quite a few of my financial planning clients have side hustles. They’re using these side hustles to create a myriad of extra benefits:
- early retirement
- become debt free
- fund more travel
- give more away to causes that are important to them
There are all sorts of things that a side hustle can do for you and income is one of them.
Do what you love
You only live once. It’s so important that you find something you love doing.
If your job is not purposeful, meaningful or fulfilling, you need to drop everything and make new plans.
A side hustle allows you to create the life that you dream of. Base it on your interests, your passions or your desire for freedom. Either way, it will turn your method of making income into something that also makes you very happy.
Remove yourself from the trenches
If you’re stuck in the rut of mind-numbing full-time employment, a side hustle could be your ticket to a new life and a new way of generating income.
You may want to embark on a brand new profession and a side hustle could be a way to test your interests out before making the leap.
Learn new skills
Since starting Sufficient Fundz I’ve learnt how to write regular articles, web design, some coding, a lot more about social media, email marketing, the list goes on!
If you have under-utilised skills in your current role, a side hustle is the perfect avenue to let loose and get creative.
Leave your comfort zone and push your limits
The side hustle is going to push you out of your comfort zone.
Everything from learning new skills, squeezing extra hours out of your day, juggling full-time work, family and fun times, to being a newbie in your field, will rock your foundations.
This is awesome! Embrace the discomfort; personal growth is where the magic happens.
A side hustle done well can lead to the freedom you’ve always dreamt of. Technology allows us to work from anywhere, and it’s something we’ve used to create a remote-work environment at Sufficient Funds.
Think about your ideal location and make it work. Fellow entrepreneur and financial adviser, Sarah Riegelhuth, is an Aussie who now splits her time between Bali and New York – read about her company’s remote move here.
If this is a goal of yours you now have the ability to create the life you want.
Be self employed
This is one of the most common goals of all of my Sufficient Funds clients.
Starting a business is hard but a side hustle is a perfect way of testing it out and alleviating one of the main issues a new business owner has, personal cash flow.
Unless you have significant cash saved, don’t do the kamikaze jump from the safety net of a full time job. Wait until you’ve created something else that is well on it’s way to replacing your income.
Finding Your Side Hustle
So how do you know which hustle to pursue? There are a million ways you can earn income on the side. My friend Eric Rosenberg has a put together a massive list here to get you started.
This is your most valuable asset. You need to identify how much of this precious resource you can spare. Outside of your main income stream, how many hours do you have spare? What else needs to fit in that time? Just cover the essentials – sleeping, eating, exercising, socialising.
This is a good opportunity to critically evaluate the areas you waste time and could be utilising to earn more e.g. TV, video games. I’m not saying don’t do these things, just don’t complain if three hours a day on the couch is the reason you don’t have the life you want.
Work out how much you can squeeze and use this to determine whether your ideas are feasible.
Interests and hobbies
Your passions are always a good place to start. If the work is interesting it will be far more fulfilling.
Leave no stone unturned! Think about the sports you play, your hobbies, what you do on the weekend. What are your extracurricular activities?
What do you already do that could be turned into an income?
If you have a passion for one particular topic, start a blog or create a podcast!
Experience and talents
Look creatively at your resume. What else do you do that could be turned into a side hustle?
Think about your other hidden talents. Where you could create a product or service that becomes a new way of generating income.
Can you monetize it?
If your chosen path isn’t earning you an income it’s not a side hustle, it’s a hobby. This is ok but you don’t need our help with your hobbies.
It’s great to find something you’re passionate about and good at, but you need to identify exactly how that idea can be turned into an income. You need a business model. Draft all of the ways you could be paid and be heavily critical of these options. Talk to your mentors and seek guidance where necessary (ONLY from those who’ve done it before).
Look at what other people have done in a similar space and how they have turned it into a business. For more ideas, check out Budgets are Sexy’s 70+ ways to make money on the side.
Don’t let your side hustle become a burden
We all need down time. Can you walk away from your side hustle for at least short periods of time without it blowing up? When we went to Kauai recently, our email subscribers still got their fix of Sufficient Sundays because we’d planned our articles and emails ahead.
If one of the goals for your side hustle is to create freedom and location-independence, then being a full time Uber driver might not cut it.
No matter what you choose to pursue as a side hustle, the important part is the hustle itself. Be fearless in its pursuit. Live it, breathe it, keep at it and stay focused.
“If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to meet it” – Jonathan Winters
If you have any other tips, let us know in the comments!