Being an entrepreneur is not easy. Tough challenges lie ahead. Whether you have a day job that you would someday want to quit or you are struggling to maintain your startup, it is difficult to stay financially afloat.
Perhaps you have heard about the term “side hustle” from one of your friends or someone else. What is it exactly and should you try it?
What is a Side Hustle and Why is It a Thing in 2019?
A side hustle is one of the emerging ways that many individuals turn to so they can earn extra cash. The concept is not entirely new. We have all heard about people who have a day job but are maintaining their own businesses.
Eventually, they quit their job and tend to their venture full-time. Others decide to keep their day job but they would still find a side hustle. There are many definitions to this term but one thing is for sure: a side hustle should work for you.
For several people, a side hustle is mainly a part-time job or a gig. However, it is an asset and it should be treated as one. When you work extra hours at the coffeehouse or the factory, it is not a side hustle. Even starting an Uber venture or something similar cannot be considered a side hustle.
The problem with these endeavors is that someone else can end them with gig economy businesses folding overnight. Uber’s Travis Kalanick once mentioned he had plans about replacing drivers with cars that can operate on their own.
The purpose here is to become financially independent. Therefore, working part-time or within the gig economy is not the essence of a side hustle. The key is to find one that works for you and no one else could pull the plug but you.
It should be emphasized that side hustles are not designed to be a person’s primary income. They are meant to add to your stability, not subtract from it.
There is no need to quit your day job. The Hartford survey shows that about 57 million Americans have a side business in 2018. This number will keep growing not only in the country but in other parts of the world.
The not-so-surprising finding based on the survey was that finances were the top reason why Americans choose to have a side hustle. It did not matter what the age of the entrepreneur may be. About two-thirds of the participants said that they wanted to reach their financial goals.
The others stated that they use their side hustles to change their lifestyle or to modify their routine in general. The rest of the respondents wish to pursue their passion, such as fashion or travel.
The term was coined in the 1950s but the concept of using supplemental or freelance work has been around for centuries. Today, they have become a necessity for many individuals. These people believe that their wages are not enough as the cost of living continues to rise.
Trading Economics noted that the inflation rate of the US has risen to 1.9% (March 2019) from 1.5% (February 2019). The increase in financial requirements the past few years has prompted people to look for various avenues to top up their main salary. This way, they will have a better quality of life.
This year, there is no difference. A side hustle is simply a method for individuals to make extra money, usually from out of their hobbies and interests.
Awesome Side Hustle Examples You Can Try Today
The unfortunate thing about side hustles is that they are not always as straightforward as applying for a job. Some specific roles have legal requirements, including the dreaded tax. Additionally, it is not easy to make the venture a success.
However, the good thing about a side hustle is it has sparked creativity out of people. Plenty of options are now available. Best of all, side hustles bring in money while giving the flexibility to still work on your regular job.
Here are some side hustle suggestions:
Create a Boutique Out of Your Closet
If you have a lot of clothes, shoes, or other items that you no longer wear, you can put them to good use. Instead of throwing them away or leaving them in your closet, you can sell them online.
A related option is to create a platform where other people can buy and sell their items. A good example here is Tradesy, which began as a peer-to-peer site where women can purchase and sell used wedding dresses. Today, the website expanded to all types of clothing and has received over a million in investments with 650,000+ members.
If you plan to do the same technique, Tradesy’s owner, Tracy DiNunzio, advises presenting great photos of the items for sale. Pricing should also be fair, giving suggestions without imposing them on the sellers.
Provide an Expert Travel Guide
For those who love to travel, this side hustle option will work wonders. Give your readers unique tours of certain cities, including their food, art, and people.
An example here is Jamie Wong who created Vayable, which started as a blog. Wong kept her day job at The Daily Show. Later on, Vayable has become a network where visitors can get extensive city guides, complete with pictures and tours.
Rent Your Extra Room on Airbnb
You can also opt to rent your whole house. If you need fast cash, this method will work excellently in providing you additional income. You can get paid within 24 hours after your guest checks in. Some people even commit to renting out their homes on Airbnb as their primary income.
Become a Social Media Manager for Small Businesses
Although you can get terminated and your work depends on another person, group, or company, this side hustle is quite lucrative. With the huge growth of social media platforms and usage within the past five years, it is easy to see why many individuals take advantage of this tactic.
You may need to contact various local businesses and make an offer for your services. You can create a contract and get rewarded for your efforts monthly. The job is to post on social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It surely is one of the simplest and fastest ways to make money.
Take Care of Pets While the Owners are Away
This side hustle is one of the best choices for pet lovers. If you have traveled with your dog, you know how costly it is to keep your pet in a kennel while you travel. Your pet will not appreciate the experience as well, which can give you a headache for days or even weeks.
You do not want such a thing to happen to other pet owners, which is why this side hustle idea works great. You can start with a few pet sitters first and set up a site. Make sure to include photos of how and where the dogs will stay, along with those who will take care of them.
A good example here is DogVacay, a site that Aaron Hirchshhorn created while maintaining a day job. Today, the company serves multiple cities, including Dallas, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Denver.
Aside from the five side hustle options above, here are more examples to consider:
For talented artists, selling artwork, either printed ones or digital, can earn a steady stream of income.
Target parents and families by renting out car seats, strollers, and other gear. These items are typically helpful for travelers.
Upload your artwork to online art services or apps and have it printed on smartphone cases. You can get paid every time people purchase the case.
Create a tutorial on YouTube or other platforms. Some of the best topics include how to use smart devices and languages. You can even create an online course series, which will allow you to earn a passive income even as you sleep.
Rent out your car through a carshare service, such as Turo. You only need to list your vehicle online and specify the duration that you are willing to rent it out. Just like with renting out your home or other items, list your car at a low price. Once you get good reviews, you can raise the cost a little.
If you plan to move to another country, you can document your journey. It is an easy and convenient way to make money out of a small investment.
Launch a wine label, which is much easier than you think. You can find companies that offer certain varietals and they will bottle the wine for you.
As you can see, there are plenty of choices and they seem endless with new ideas popping up each day. If you cannot decide on which side hustle option to try, you need to first assess your own skill set. Evaluate what you are good at, as well as your hobbies and interests.
The Actual Side Hustle Benefits: Testimonials from Other People
A Bankrate study showed that there are about 37% of American adults with a side hustle and most of them enjoy the attractive pay out of it. Fool.com states that those with a side business get almost $700 monthly. It is no wonder that many people are turning to it in addition to their day jobs.
Here are some of the proven benefits of a side hustle based on the experience of successful entrepreneurs:
You Feel Empowered
According to the creator of Side Hustle Nation, Nick Loper, side hustles do help increase a person’s earning potential. It is often the biggest motivating factor for those who choose to venture outside of their regular jobs.
Nick has interviewed numerous people who have tried their luck in side hustling. He had guests who earned $30,000 annually from his day job transitioning to $30,000 daily as a freelance photographer.
Plenty of opportunities to earn are waiting. However, what most people do not realize is that having different sources of income allow them to become self-reliant.
You Can Help Yourself Out of Debt
If you have debts, you may have tried to look for ways to pay them off. Sometimes, even those with a day job can find it difficult to make both ends meet. Debts are among the top reasons why people turn to a side hustle.
Gerald Zingraf had student loans worth $85,000. He works as a product manager in Arlington, Virginia. Zingraf has confessed that he makes good money out of his day job. However, it was not helping him pay off his debt.
Just like everyone else, he had several financial goals, including becoming financially independent when he reaches 35. He could not attain those objectives unless he looked for another way to supplement his income.
His solution was to start not just one company but three. From 2015 to 2017, he had two online sites where he sells office supplies and another where baby products are sold. The other company has a subscription box service intended for couples.
Within three years, Zingraf fully paid off his student loans. This YouTube video showcases how Zingraf turned himself into a millionaire.
Use Side Hustle Earnings to Build Wealth Faster
If you do not have debts, you are lucky. You can use your extra time to build your wealth with the help of an appropriate side hustle.
Without a doubt, you want to be wealthy. You can work on the side to boost your savings, so you will not have money problems when emergencies arise. You can also utilize the money you get out of your extra job to max out your investment accounts.
If you simply rely on your primary job, you may not achieve your financial goals. These days, additional help is always needed and welcomed. With a side hustle, you can create wealth out of your venture.
Several successful side hustlers have already experienced this benefit. Take Holly Johnson for instance who sells her writing skills online. The mother of two started as a part-time content writer where she earned $30,000 along with her nine to five job.
It was a thriving business for her so she quit her job to write 40 hours weekly, allowing her to spend more time with her kids as well. In just a few years, she was able to earn over $200,000 annually in writing alone.
You Get to Do the Job You Love
While some people may disagree, most individuals who have a side hustle get to choose the work that they have always wanted to try.
If you have been curious about side hustling for some time now, you may have searched online some success stories about this earning method. Most of the people you may have read about share that they started their side hustle because they were passionate about a certain hobby.
Eventually, it turned into a job, which may have become their main income generator. It is indeed a wonderful opportunity. You know there is nothing better than earning money out of something you enjoy doing.
It is what happened to Chenell Tull who founded Hustle to Startup. She was an SEO specialist and also an expert on Google Ads. She realized that she wanted to quit her day job when her stepfather asked for her help to maximize his online presence.
At that time, she was able to share her story with her networking group. Soon enough, clients contacted her. She started working with at least three people on the side, which gave her enough income to create a more serious venture.
Aside from the benefits listed above, there are other reasons why a side hustle has become alluring to many people. Here are some more of them that will encourage you to try one as soon as possible:
There are several opportunities for everyone. The side hustle opportunities are endless. You can seek different ideas from people, including those who have already succeeded in their venture. You can even create one for yourself. The decision is all up to you and it is one of the best reasons why you should have a side hustle today. Regardless of your goal, you can get exciting chances to earn, especially with numerous jobs waiting for hobbyists and enthusiasts.
You can show your skills. You can pitch a project to your current company or you can work with a new one. Whichever you choose, you can showcase your abilities to other people. You can even forge relationships and you can meet individuals you would not have met if you only work at your present job. Other companies will want to hire you with your skill set or you can even build your own firm.
You can reduce the risks involved with being an entrepreneur. There will always be a level of uncertainty with trying your own venture. You can succeed but there is also a huge chance that you will fail. With a side hustle, you do not have to quit your day job unless you know that you can fully depend on your side hustle earnings.
With all the benefits of starting a side hustle, it is no wonder that more than 30% of Americans turn to this method. The one great advantage though is that you are taking steps to control your future. When you do not have to rely on another company or a boss to give you your monthly salary, you know that a side hustle is the best decision you can ever make.
Precautions to Take to Mitigate Side Hustle Risks
With side hustles becoming extremely popular, you may be among those who want to join the trend. The Market Watch statistics have shown that over six times the number of workers with multiple jobs have a side hustle in the US alone.
Also, the process has slightly changed over the years. Numerous opportunities are around, which is why it normally takes a few hours to have a side business.
However, it is a different story to have a side hustle that pays off. You want it to be fulfilling, not just personally but professionally as well. Many people quit their day jobs only to find that their side hustle let them down.
You do not want to experience the same story, which is why here are the precautions to take to achieve success without hurting yourself financially:
Do Not Take Your Full-Time Job for Granted
Because of the fun people get out of their side hustle, they forget about their main job. It may be tempting to leave but it is definitely scary and you should not risk it. You may think you are stealthy but your coworkers and your boss will eventually notice.
Instead of having an extra income, you end up losing your main source of income. It is not something you want. Your goal should be to become great at your side hustle and your full-time job as well.
Taking on Debt to Start a Side Hustle is Not a Good Idea
Firms take years to make money. Many startups fail because they do not profit. An even bigger problem is that they could not pay back their investment. Instead of taking out a loan to fund your side hustle, start one that you can pay through your savings.
Even better, there are side jobs that you do not even have to pay for. For instance, if you are an artist or a writer, you already have the tools needed to start a service.
Have a Real Purpose
Several side hustlers fail because they simply use the business as an excuse to purchase something. For instance, if your hobby is metalworking and you have always wanted to buy a larger forge. The keyword is “want” and it is a huge mistake for many beginners in side hustling.
Your goal should not be about impressing other people, which is why you want to start a car rental business where you purchase a new car. You do not need a bigger workshop so you can buy more pieces of woodworking equipment.
There is nothing wrong with buying things that you want. However, you should not use your side hustle as an excuse for such a decision.
Only Buy New Items That Your Customers Can See or Touch
You can have an expansive office with a lot of amenities. However, your buyers will not see what it looks like. Before you spend money, ask yourself whether or not the customer will truly benefit from it. If the item will not affect the people you serve, you should not purchase it.
Side Hustle Research and Facts
When you start a side hustle, nothing is guaranteed. However, there are some facts proven by research and even science that will help you succeed in your chosen venture.
One thing you have to know is that there are side hustles that do not work. No matter how good you are or how much time you spend on it, all your efforts will not pay off. A notorious example here is taking online surveys that promise to pay anywhere from $5 to $35 for every survey.
In truth, this research from the Student Loan Hero reported that the average payment is only $1 to $2 per hour. You can already see it is a complete waste of time and effort. Plus, companies will not pay you right away unless you reach a minimum required payout, which is usually around $30.
On the other hand, some of the most lucrative side hustle jobs include taking accounting jobs for companies. About 70% of firms outsource their tax documentation, according to the Wasp Barcode Technologies survey.
The amount you can earn will depend on the side hustle you have. Different studies show various numbers. According to this Motley Fool article, you can earn at least $1,000 monthly on certain jobs, such as:
Developing websites: You can create and maintain sites for other companies. Some developers command $50 per hour for their services. Therefore, side hustling for 20 hours in a month can give them $1,000 or more.
Designing: Those who know their way around Photoshop, InDesign, and other pieces of software can create graphics that other companies will pay for. You can charge $75 for every hour you spend working. If you put in 14 hours of effort monthly, you can hit the $1,000 mark easily.
Tutoring: Some teachers get paid $85 per hour for their tutoring services. However, if you are not a licensed educator, you can still get $40 or more.
Serving: Working at a high-end restaurant can get you $1,000 monthly in tips alone.
Other jobs that pay well include SEO or content writing, freelance photography and videography, and working as a personal trainer.
People choose to have a side hustle for financial reasons. However, many are learning that the job market is changing, which is why they look for ways to support their resources to prepare for the future.