If there are two words to describe the 2010s, it would have to be “hustle culture.” There is a sense among all generations that having a “side hustle,” is the way to go. From Instagram posts about burning the midnight oil to edit content to Facebook posts about the benefits of teaching English before work, everyone seems to have two or more jobs.
While this may be a symptom of our workaholic culture, it is telling. In today’s ever-changing economy, individuals realize how important it is to have more than one “hustle.” In fact, according to Forbes, 57 million Americans are a part of the gig economy (as of 2018). So, is it necessary to pile on one more thing to your already busy life? My answer would be yes. Is it challenging? Yes. Is it freeing….emphatically yes.
Here are five reasons why you need a side hustle in 2020, and the potential long-term benefits of doing so.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Most of us were likely of working age during the Great Recession of the mid to late-2000s. It was a time where our economy was dangling off the edge. In 2009, the unemployment rate peaked at nine percent, the highest since the last recession in 1982.
While things have certainly been looking up since then, economists feel that we could be hitting another downslope in the economy sooner rather than later. This information is in no way meant to scare you, but it is intended to ensure you are thinking about the financial security of yourself and your family.
Is it never a bad idea to have another profession or project to lean on if times get tough. Figure out what you are good at, and how you can make money from it and go from there.
You Deserve to Have Options
What happens if you wake up one morning and feel incredibly uninspired by what you are currently doing? Maybe you are tired of the commute, or perhaps you just feel that this is not your calling. What do you do? Having a side hustle that appeals to your interests and passions allows you to have options regarding what you want to do.
Instead of taking months to research new jobs, interview, and hope you get a callback, you can step out on your own sooner rather than later.
Don’t wait until you are frustrated and uninspired regarding your current work situation. Take the steps now to develop a side hustle that you love so you can pivot to the next thing when necessary.
Unleash Your Creativity
Creativity isn’t just about creating beautiful pictures or crafting exceptional wording (however it can totally be this for you). Creativity can be that excellent new way you figured out how to manage your finances or your innovative approach to project management.
Don’t put a box around how you can be creative in your side hustle. Become aware of what satisfies you, and gets you going. Sure, it may feel like work at times, but if it is something that excites you, pursue it.
Side hustles can provide an excellent outlet for you to be in tune with what you were made for. So, while you still may need to go to the 9-to-5 for a steady paycheck, you can use your side hustle to bring some creativity into your life.
Test Out a Full-Scale Business Idea
Not sure if that bakery in your area will work? Well, take some weekends to experiment with your ingredients, offer samples to neighbors, and sign-up for a local farmers market. Side hustles are an excellent way to see if your business idea can work before putting your day job on hold.
You can test the market, develop your brand, and even develop a customer base while you are determining how far you want to go with your side hustle.
If you are wondering if you have a hit or a dud, test out your next idea while you are still at your day job. You never know what is going to resonate. So, start getting to work on your business plan.
Set Up Streams of Passive Income
Now, there are passive and active side hustles. An example of active side hustling would be working as a content writer. On the other hand, a passive side hustle would be writing a book and making money off the sales. It is worth noting that most passive side hustles do require some initial or minimal effort. However, they can run on their own once you get it going, without the need to continually work with it.
So, if you want to have a more toned-down lifestyle that doesn’t always involve “burning the midnight oil,” on the weekends, set up a passive side hustle. You can create an eCourse or book to sell, or become involved with crowdfunded investments. There are a variety of ways to bring in passive income. Just tap into what you can offer or teach others.
If not done with intentionality, hustle culture can do more harm than good. It is possible to work a 9-to-5 job while pulling side jobs on the weekends and feeling miserable and overworked. Side hustles work best when you have a plan in mind. You should have an end goal. Do you want to make a certain amount of money from it to fund your lifestyle? Do you want to make it your primary source of income eventually? Are you going to flesh it into a full-scale business? Whatever it is, make sure you have a purpose for what you are doing on the side.
We all want a more flexible life that allows us to have more financial freedom. So, be sure to consider developing a side hustle that allows you to take advantage of what you are good at. Before you know it, you may be leaving that 9-to-5 to run your own lucrative business.