Why everyone should have at least one side hustle

June 23

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What is a side hustle

A side hustle is any type of employment that is undertaken in addition to your full-time job. A side hustle is usually performed either freelance or piecework, providing you with a supplemental income. Side hustles are often things that you are passionate about, unlike your typical day job that you are working in order to make ends meet. Sometimes, side hustles can be unprofitable and don't earn any money. But we choose to spend time on them, simply because the accomplishment brings us joy.

But isn't that similar to a part-time job?

A side hustle is different from a part-time job. A part-time job by definition, entails that someone else (your employer) is calling most of the shots (e.g. how long you need to work, how much you'll be paid, etc.). A side hustle gives you the freedom of choice, deciding how much you want to work and earn.

How a side hustle works

You work on your side hustle outside of your full-time job, and for most people, the work tends to happen during evenings, on weekends, or during holidays. It's a sacrifice but in return, you receive an additional stream of income that allows you the flexibility of completing the work outside of the traditional 9-to-5 hours.

You can choose to start your own company to bill the side hustle, or you can complete the work on a freelance, contract or on-demand basis for a company. 

Side hustles are a great way to explore passions, test ideas, and grow a solid customer base so that should you decide to quit your full-time job (or your full-time job quits on you) later on, you will feel secured, knowing you have a stable side hustle income source backing you up.

Apart from income, there are many other reasons to have a side hustle.

You love your job but will your job always love you back?

When I started working, there was a popular quote that I strongly believed in.

“Do what you love, and you'll never work another day in your life”

As I worked longer and longer, I had mixed feelings in my belief.

You may love your job and worked hard in it. You may even stay in your job for many years.

When a crisis hits your company, particularly an economic one, no one can confidently say that their job is secured and their income would not be affected. In the current pandemic, many people lost their jobs regardless of seniority and rank due to the lockdown and business closures.

Having a side hustle could potentially creates more financial security than your full-time job because you decide how much work you want to accept and you can negotiate how much you want to be paid for your work.

Your unfulfilled passion is fuel for side hustles

We don't always get to work in full-time jobs that we love and are passionate about. We don't necessarily wake up in the morning excited about the work that we are tasked to do for the day.

If the above resonates with you, I imagine you are feeling empty and unfulfilled inside of you, even after a long day of work. That's because you have no avenue to exercise your passion. A little bit of that passion dies each day, unfulfilled.

You are not alone.

And I believe having a side hustle is a solution.

Every week, you spend a few hours of your time on a side hustle that allows you to complete a piece of work that you are passionate about. Because it makes you happy, you will look forward and treasure those few hours each week.

It benefits your full-time job as well. You now have something that you look forward to and you will work harder to complete your tasks at work so that you can continue to work on your side hustle.

Turn your day job into a side hustle to help small businesses grow

If you are great at what you do in your full-time job and have become an expert in your field, you may not need a side hustle to earn additional income. I imagine you would be highly appreciated by your superiors and have a great trajectory up the corporate ladder.

Money is not an issue, but with great power comes great responsibility.

There are many small businesses that are in need for people with your expertise but they cannot afford full-time hires of your calibre because of the obvious cost issues.

This is a gap that you can easily fill.

You can create a side hustle based on your expertise that replicate what you're doing at work for these small businesses and earn some money while these small businesses can grow bigger and faster, thanks to you.

Improve your work performance with a side hustle

Let's assume that if you are great at your job and your superiors love and trust you so much that you are almost certain that you'll be next in line for a promotion.

You're making so much money doing what you're great at that there's no reason to consider a side hustle right?

Wrong!

No matter how good you are at your job and how supportive your superiors are, you won't always get to do what you want and try new things in your role. Maybe it's because what you wanted to do does not align with the business's objectives or it may not fit the organisation's culture. Or maybe you need other business teams to collaborate but they aren't interested to work together.

Setting up a side hustle to experiment with new ideas will remove all the limitation and red tapes that is holding you back. That's the growth hacker mindset that is treasured by modern businesses.

Create a minimum viable product (MVP) with your idea and launch it in weeks to test the market's response. If it works, reiterate and improve your product. Even if it doesn't work, you'd learn something with each failure that will enable you to achieve success in future.

Achieving small successes with your MVP will help you justify your idea and convince your superiors to give it a shot. With more budget and support, you will be able to produce an even better product, achieving even greater success. Accomplishments like these are the differentiator between you and your peers, and will propel you higher up the corporate ladder.

Are you pursuing a side hustle now?

I'm using my digital marketing knowledge to create a few side hustles right now. Even this website is a side hustle (a low cost one) because it allows me to experiment new digital marketing ideas.

If you are pursuing a side hustle now, I'd love to hear about it.

Share it with me in the comment section below.

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About the author 

Mickey J

Mickey is your typical white-collar Singaporean who works regular hours in a job with a strong passion on personal finance. He writes mostly about personal finance, investing, insurance and retirement planning. He also embraces the Financial Independence and Retire Early movement (FIRE), tweaking the FIRE concept to his lifestyle.

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