“Always have a Side Hustle!”
Have you heard that advice? Popularized by cash-strapped tech-savvy millennials with mountains of student debt, a Side Hustle basically means side activities that augment your main source of income.
I have a trip coming up to New Orleans in October. I was looking into producing and hosting a Side Hustle - a Video Day Event for businesswomen in NOLA the day before my meeting. The goals were
(A Video Day Event is where women can access studio-quality professional video as easily as they book a manicure. We set a pop-up video studio, have a pro crew and makeup artist, and women book appts to create high quality video footage at a fraction of the price they would have to pay to set it up on their own).
I had recently met a New Orleans-based female entrepreneur and we were talking about a co-sponsor / rev share arrangement.
About 2 weeks into the planning, there I was frowning at my computer. I realized that the time and expense involved in setting up the Video Event was going to undermine the main goal, which was to pay for my trip.
My potential co-sponsor is working full time, has a baby and hubby, and as if that weren’t enough, she also has her own Side Hustle that she is working to transition into her main job. She didn't really have time to work on this project too. She was Side Hustled out. : D
Finally, when Hurricane Harvey came to visit the region, it was inappropriate and pointless to try to market the event in the coming weeks, so I called it off.
The whole experience made me take a closer look at the easy advice “Always have a side hustle”.
So how does this work?
Also referred to as multiple streams of income, Side Hustles can help you
We used to call this "working a second job" or "pulling double shifts". Side Hustle sounds much cooler, I suppose.
The term has some roots in the internet economy, as many of the "gigs" you can pick up are accessed through apps that allow you to easily connect with others that need services - like dog walking, pet sitting, errands, babysitting, or freelancing. Uber, Ebay, Wag, AirBnB, and Fiverr are some examples of web based companies that enable side hustles.
A Side Hustle can benefit your retirement goals* , too, in a couple of ways -
Unfortunately, the extra work can also have you Side Hustling straight into exhaustion and burn-out land if you aren’t careful.
The more nuanced insight around Side Hustles is that they are a combination of:
You can put up a one page website or Facebook page and I promise you, no one but your mom and best friend will visit it unless you market it aggressively. Learning online marketing is its own (and unpaid, at least at first) Side Hustle.
That is why the apps that help Side Hustlers find customers so are popular - they make it easier for us to find each other. Uber, Etsy, Fiverr Ebay and Flexjobs are all examples.
Here are some suggestions.
Here is a brief sampling of some Side Hustles:
Sell your time and expertise
Loan out your assets
*caveat - I am not a tax or legal professional, I’m not giving implicit or explicit financial or tax advice, so check and see what the tax implications are, if any, for bartering or the effect of extra income on your bottom line for April 15. But then you knew that already, right?
This post is part of our Payday Fridays series, where we take a fresh look at money from the midlife perspective. If you want to receive a weekly recap of this and other inspiring, practical info, please sign up on the form at the right.
Check out Side Hustle Nation for ideas and inspiration, its geared at early career earners but it has lots of resources and a fun podcast.