Most of us would love (or need) to make some extra money every month, preferably while we do something we enjoy and are good at. Young people just beginning their careers oftentimes need extra money to pay the bills, whereas others just like to use their talents and make some money on the side. Of course, some people start a side gig with the ultimate goal of becoming solely self-employed. Regardless of the reason, a 2017 survey conducted by Bankrate found that about 44 million U.S. adults had some sort of side hustle to bring in some extra cash.
The Internet and the growing world of freelancing have played huge roles in making side hustles a prime opportunity. Sure, there are a lot of “fake” websites promising that we can make an extra $1,000 a month if we just pay for a program and follow a few “simple steps,” but making extra money through a legitimate side hustle can give us the ability to do more and worry less about money.
Cecilia Meis of Success referenced the coined term “YouEconomy,” which refers to the increasing amount of side work that will “become a way for full-time employees to stretch their creative muscles, test new products or fund annual vacations without sacrificing the security of traditional employment.” Workers who have tapped into the YouEconomy report having more freedom and control over their lives as well as more control over their money and flexibility in their work.
Side hustles, however, require effort. Being an Uber driver requires you to log into the app and actually get out on the road. Freelance writing or developing means you will have to search hard for legitimate gigs and regularly deliver solid work to maintain close relationships with top clients. If you’re great at music and want to teach an instrument on the side, you have to make an effort to find students and prep for your lessons.
Fortunately, there are plenty of different side hustles to choose from, and you can even make your own based on your skills. It is important to pick something you love when choosing what to do as your side hustle because burnout sets in quickly otherwise. Of course, maintaining a side gig doesn’t mean people don’t value their “real” 9 to 5 jobs; instead, Meis notes that “the side gig can bolster their career resume rather than detract from it.”
Discipline is crucial for a side hustle, but if it’s done right, the benefits can be very rewarding. Meis states you have to “be ruthless with your schedule” and minimize procrastination, as it is “negativity in disguise.” It is also important to find a balance and not take on too much at once, as maintaining your 9 to 5 as well as a thriving side hustle can take a toll on your health.
There is no shame in being afraid of your new venture, especially at the beginning when your supplementary income is trickling in slowly and you still have no idea if your side hustle is even going to work out for you. Another article from Success referenced a Twitter poll that found that 20% of respondents report not trying to “go solo” because they fear failure, whereas another 20% fear uncertainty. Therefore, you’re not alone.
Overall, your side hustle could either be a nice addition to your 9 to 5 employment or it may take you into an entirely different industry as a self-employed entrepreneur. The YouEconomy has opened people of all ages to different opportunities and many people have been able to find their true passion through it, so it might be worth a try despite the possible setbacks that could come along the way.
According to Meis, “the key to success is to understand your motivations, your strengths, and where you want to see it go.”
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