Whether it’s a stall at a local market selling hand knitted beanies for dogs, running an online store via Amazon selling rainbow coloured shoelaces, or designing the occasional band logo on 99 designs, I believe EVERYONE should have a Side Hustle.
We’re here after all to find ways for you to gain choice in your life – that’s what Financial Autonomy is all about. And if it’s choice that you want, there are few greater enablers than a Side Hustle.
So in today’s post, we’re going to explore the reasons why I believe everyone should have a Side Hustle in their life.
I’ve come up with 6 reasons why I believe we should all have a Side Hustle. I’m sure there’s many more, but hopefully these ones will give you the kick along needed to start something of your own.
1. The learning
As I mentioned at the top, a Side Hustle can take all sorts of forms, and the one that’s right for you needs to align with your personal interests and skills. But let’s take as an example a simple online store. Maybe you sell through Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, or whatever makes sense for you.
Hopefully it’s successful and you get the financial rewards that you are seeking. But there is so much more to be gained than just the financial benefits. You have to think about marketing. Will you promote on social media, or Google? Will you embark on a paid advertising strategy, or go for organic word of mouth? If it’s social media, which platform will you focus on, how will you source the images, and on and on. You’ll learn a tonne just working through that.
But of course if you’re running an online store there’s a lot more than just the marketing. Where will you source your product? How will you get it to customers? And how will you determine your price?
You’ve got book-keeping, tax, and all sorts.
Now I’m not trying to put you off here – far from it. You’ll be starting on a small scale, and because it’s not your full time source of income, you can take things at a pace that works for you. But I’m sure you can get a sense of just how many different things you’ll learn as a result of your Side Hustle adventure.
So how will that help you? Well imagine if you’re in a meeting at your day job a few months from now and a manager is bemoaning the fact that targets aren’t being met. Perhaps someone throws out an idea of a new approach, which meets with no enthusiasm within the room. But you pipe up and say something like, “I think that’s worth giving a shot. I could run a small campaign on Facebook to that target market, allocate $10 a day for 3 weeks, and we could see if there’s any interest”. Your colleagues all rock back in their set like a bomb just went off in the middle of the room, and you’re ranking on the internal totem pole just moved up several places in management’s eyes.
I could stop just here, because I believe the learning gained from giving a Side Hustle a crack is reason enough that everyone should have a Side Hustle. But I won’t stop here.
Resilience is something we consider a lot when developing financial autonomy strategies for our clients. Life isn’t always chocolates and roses. Unexpected things happen, and often you wished they didn’t.
One of the biggest set-backs many of us could face is losing our job. But if you have been working away on a little Side Hustle, perhaps this set-back actually provides an opportunity to see where this little side project can go. Instead of spending 5 hours a week, now you can spend 40 or 50.
Maybe the business develops into something to replace your former wages. Or perhaps it gets to a size where it’s sellable, as happened with Sharon in episode 41.
Maybe, with what you’ve learned in your side hustle, you can apply for jobs that previously you would have dismissed because you lacked the pre-requisite knowledge or skills.
I know of someone who worked in the automotive industry and of course got made redundant. Now his skills from that old job weren’t especially useful once he’d left, and for the few jobs that could use those skills, there were hundreds of potential candidates to compete against.
But he’d always had an interest in automation, and whilst still working had done a course on security systems and the technical aspects behind these systems. When he left the car industry, it took him no time at all to get the necessary licenses and start working under someone installing sophisticated security systems. Now in this example his Side Hustle hadn’t developed into a money making proposition at the time he lost his job, but the mere fact that he was learning new skills meant that his resilience in a time of adversity was enormously enhanced.
3. The compounding effect of some extra cash
Albert Einstein apparently said “compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it… he who doesn’t, pays it”.
Let’s say you’ve got a $300,000 mortgage. And with the current repayments that you’re making, you’re on-track to have it repaid in a little under 19 years.
If your Side Hustle could generate enough so that you could increase your loan repayments by just $200 per month – only $200!, $50 dollars per week! , you’d cut 2 and a half years of your loan term and save almost $22,000 in interest.
If you’re Side Hustle enabled you to put an extra $500 a month into your loan, your loan is repaid 5 years quicker, and about $44,000 is saved in interest.
So your small little Side Hustle that only throws off $6,000 a year could save you $44,000 in interest – have I convinced you yet?
But wait, there’s more.
4. Expand your network
This podcast is my Side Hustle. I can’t quite recall how I came across it now, but I stumbled into a meet-up group of Melbourne podcasters, and through that I’ve gotten to know several people who I never would have met otherwise. Most interestingly, they’re from totally different walks of life.
The astute podcast listeners amongst you will have noticed that a little while back the disclaimer item that we play in each episode changed a little. The original version was recorded by my wife in our wardrobe – really high-tech stuff! The newer version though is by a friend I meet through the meet-up group who produces the Dating Upside Down podcast. She’s got all the gear and so could help out and give the newer version much better audio quality.
Expanding your network can have all sorts of benefits, from new job opportunities, friendships, and support.
5. More options
As mentioned at the beginning, we’re pursuing Financial Autonomy to gain choice. Closely linked to choice is having options, and a Side Hustle helps deliver you options. If you’ve got a commercially viable Side Hustle up and running you become empowered.
Current boss treating you poorly? Perhaps your Side Hustle gives you the financial safety net to wave him goodbye.
Full time hours not letting you be the parent that you want to be? Maybe your Side Hustle provides the extra income to make it viable to cut back to part time hours.
Bored in your current job and want to try something different? As already touched on, your Side Hustle could help facilitate your career change in all sorts of ways.
So yet another reason why everyone should have a Side Hustle is that it gives you so many options.
And my final reason why everyone, and especially you, should have a Side Hustle is…
6. Extra cash helps
Now I know, money doesn’t buy happiness, and we only need to look at the recent apparent breakdown of Jamie Packer, one of the richest Australian’s there is, to confirm that. But a lack of money certainly causes its own stresses and limitations, and this is where your Side Hustle might come to the rescue.
If there are 2 people, both facing the prospect of losing their job, and one has a Side Hustle earning $2,000 a month and the other doesn’t, which do you think is likely to be less stressed?
The school holidays are coming up. Your neighbour and her kids are staying home, but your Side Hustle has paid for a week interstate to see the sights. Lots of smiles all around.
Or maybe part of the way that you find time for your Side Hustle is that you pay someone else to clean your house – maybe that’s their Side Hustle even!
In summary, most of us could find some good uses for a little extra cash.
Well, there you have it, my 6 reasons why I believe everyone should have a Side Hustle – I hope I’ve convinced you.
If you’re interested in this topic, be sure to grab our 50 Side Hustle Opportunities for Australians free download.
No doubt you have many other great reasons why you’ve started your Side Hustle, or maybe you’re stuck on something that’s keeping you from making a start – jump on the Financial Autonomy Facebook page and let me know your thoughts.
Resources & Links
- Podcast Version
- From feeling trapped to living the life of her dreams – how Sharon Gourlay blogged her way to financial autonomy
- 50 Side Hustle Opportunities for Australians
- Dating Upside Down