Thinking about setting up a side hustle? A little business that you run in your spare time around your standard 9-5 job? It’s something you–and everyone for that matter– should consider doing (and let’s be honest, it’s pretty much a millennial requirement these days). There are so many benefits to having this project to work on at your own pace, here are just a few reasons why.
There’s something for everyone
It doesn’t matter what your interests, passions or skills are– there really is a side hustle out there for everyone. Love to write? You could start a blog, write articles freelance or become a proofreader. Have a craft or hobby that you enjoy? You could sell your homemade jewelry, candles and soaps on sites like Etsy. If the end product is something you can’t easily sell online (such as baking or gardening) you could sell your homemade cakes or homegrown plants in your local area. Facebook Marketplace is a great place to advertise for these kinds of things. Musicians, artists, designers, computer buffs– there’s a niche for everyone.
Even if you don’t feel you have any special skills, you could always buy and sell for a profit and create your own little home business. Choose an area you’re interested in (it could be anything from pet accessories to baby clothes) and buy from a wholesaler. You could then open your own online store and become a one-stop-shop for this niche. The internet is now so accessible, so selling your services and goods online (or just advertising online) is so easy. If you want to earn extra money then it’s perfectly possible to do so, even if it’s just as a second income to your regular job.
It’s a way to build skills outside of your day job
Many of us fall into a rut when it comes to work. We go to the workplace, do our job and come home. In most cases, it involves doing the same kinds of things day-in, day-out. While it makes us excellent at our job, it does mean that we’re not building lots of new skills. Over time we can feel like we’re not being challenged and can become bored and feel discontent. It’s not always easy to switch jobs or get a promotion, so doing something else on the side can be a great way to go.
A side hustle teaches you all kinds of skills; most people will need to network, liaise with clients, do their own taxes and run a website at the very least. It can push you out of your comfort zone and force you to learn things that are beyond the scope of what you do on a daily basis. With this being said, it doesn’t have to be daunting and you don’t have to do it all alone or know everything. You always have the option to outsource areas you’re not comfortable with, from IT support companies to marketing agencies– this frees up your time to work on the areas of your venture you do enjoy. You could use the skills you learn to turn your side hustle into a fully fledged full- time business and quit your day job; or you could add the skills you learn onto your CV and use them to gain a better job.
At the very least, learning new things is great for mental health and keeps you productive. Running your own side hustle is great for self-development, on top of everything else it teaches you about yourself. What you do like and what you don’t, what you’re like as a boss and where your strengths and weaknesses lie. It could reveal things about yourself you never knew, and might even put you on a new employment path if you realise that you’re not working in an area that plays to your passions.
It’s an additional stream of income
One of the main reasons most people start up a side hustle is to earn extra money. It’s a great way to do so since most side hustles can be done right from your own home, there’s no need to take an extra part time job where your hours are contracted. It’s flexible, there’s no commute time and for the most part you can pick it up whenever you have the time. As long as you’re meeting client or customer deadlines then you’re good, but it’s up to you which jobs you choose to take on.
An extra stream of income is always nice, it’s an easy way to save money or pay down debts, but it can also be a lifesaver if you lose your job. If you have an accident and can no longer work, get made redundant or your health prevents you from going to a standard workplace every day then you already have an established stream of income in place. This could prevent you from falling behind with money while you look for something new, or you could use it as a starting point and build it into a business that earns you a full time income. Having that fallback option there is always worthwhile regardless of your situation. Even if your job seems safe, no one really knows what’s around the corner. Even if it’s through choice, such as choosing to have a baby, having a side hustle that you can do from home means you can earn money right up until the baby arrives. And once they’re born, you have a flexible way to earn cash without having to go back to a traditional workplace. This is something you can do which will make life easier if your wages are suddenly stopped for any reason.
It allows you to be creative
Many of us are creative as kids– we paint, we sing, we draw and we craft. But as adults, especially when we enter a formal workplace environment our creativity becomes stifled. Letting that loose again is always good, and a side hustle most definitely enables you to do that. When you’re in a structured work environment you have to play by the rules, and do the tasks that are set out for you to do. But when you run your own side business, you’re the boss and you really can have fun with it. You can try new things and genuinely enjoy the journey.
Creativity is linked to reduced stress and anxiety, and feelings of pride when you create something that you’re working on. It can also give you transferrable skills that benefit you elsewhere in your life, such as problem solving and ‘thinking outside the box.’ Creativity enables us to express ourselves and become more self aware which are great to work on from a mental health perspective. People who have been working in a role for a long time can often feel that they have lost the meaning of their work. Having a side hustle will reinvigorate you with a new sense of purpose and energy as you focus on something you’re really passionate about.
What have you got to lose?
When it comes to running a side hustle, you really have very little to lose. These things are often cheap to get started, and if you’re already earning a wage from a standard job then you’re not dependent on the money. This can actually allow you to take risks to push and grow your venture, which may well turn out to be the right choices! When you have the the security of a regular income from your day job, it gives you the freedom to experiment and learn without having the pressure to make a large amount of money right away. Take freelance writing for example, all you really need is a computer and an internet connection, you can sign up to a freelancing site and start earning money right away. If you’re going to monetize a hobby, you’ll already have equipment and materials to get started, you don’t even need a website if you’re selling through online marketplaces like Etsy. Buying and selling items will require a purchase of stock, but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Make a small order at first and see what sells. Even if you don’t make a ton of money right away, you set yourself on a path to learning and more opportunities might present themselves along the way. You might realize your initial idea wasn’t the most successful but you can build on that knowledge once you’ve worked out what would sell better.
Lots of people start a side business for a bit of fun, but find that the money and skills they earn from it make it one of the best decisions they’ve ever made. If you’re still on the fence, just go for it!
Do you have your own side hustle? What sort of venture have you set up?
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