A side hustle is any activity you do that rewards you with an income besides your regular job. They are exciting, too, as these gigs on the side feel more like a hobby or an interest and less like work.
In this article, we look at how you’ll know when a side hustle can become your business so you can ditch your day job!
Let’s start with why side hustles are popular.
Why A Side Hustle Now?
The short answer to why side hustles are popular today is the ‘pandemic.’
Covid-19 changed our lives, and our attitude to work is different too for many reasons, including the following:
- We realize how fragile life is and need to make the most of it.
- Working long hours for someone else does not guarantee job security.
- Remote working is less stressful than working in the office.
- Standard work hours are not as relevant when you’re working from home.
There is a saying ‘tough times don’t last, tough people do’, and never is this more evident in an economic recession or disaster like a pandemic.
When an event causes economic fallout, spending slows, and cash flow shrinks.
Nothing sharpened the mind more than the need to survive, and if the pandemic has taught us anything new, people are resilient and will innovate to take care of their own. Globally we’re in a recession and there are job losses and the need to increase our income to pay for the higher cost of food, accommodation, fuel, etc.
Can Side Hustles Provide Financial Security?
When you control, your source of income-you’re on your way to financial security. The side hustle is one way to gain confidence and believe in a better future. If not all, a good percentage of your income is controlled by you, not someone else.
With job insecurity and a lot of time spent at home, many workers realize they can take matters into their own hands. This is evident when doing a quick search online. For example, Google search results for ‘side hustles’ include:
- Forbes’ 5 profitable side hustles
- CNBC’s side hustle guide which confirms US business formations were up 42% in 2020 according to US Census Data.
With furloughs and job losses, workers feel more in control of their income with a side hustle, so are there any rules?
There are no complex and fixed rules for side hustles insofar as your activity provides you with extra income from any source. It could be as a social media influencer or freelancing ad hoc.
There are also no limits on how much time you commit to your side hustle. Nor is there any limit on the number of side hustles you can take.
However, all income must be declared and tax paid irrespective of where you reside, so make sure you know the tax payment requirements in your area for all your income.
See this BusinessInsider article on payment of self-employment taxes.
Getting A Side Hustle Underway
Not everyone will know what they can do as a side hustle. If this is you – relax. Avoid getting down on yourself because you don’t know your side hustle.
Remember, the whole journey is about fun and enjoyment. Yes, there is a seriousness to it – i.e. you want your gig to earn an income; however, avoid wasting energy on negativity and self-doubt.
Plant the seed of opportunity in your mind – this is called positive visualization . For example, start daydreaming and think big with your aspirations. If you enjoy writing, imagine yourself as a successful author with award-winning titles. Okay, this may seem like a long way from where you are now; however, this is how you achieve your goals.
It’s easy to get bogged down with the detail, but until you know what motivates you, don’t allow yourself to get caught up with the ‘what’ as in what is your side hustle. Nor do you need to know the ‘how’ as in how you do it? Getting started requires motivation and aspirations. The initial process of visualization is to let your subconscious mind work on what stimulates you.
Have a Plan
Even your side hustle needs a plan and a set of goals. Once you know what you want your side hustle to be, your goals and plan are focused on these tasks to get it operational:
Do a lot of searching online to identify people you can follow who have a side hustle.
Information is power, and you need a lot of it. Successful people like helping budding entrepreneurs, so formulate questions on side hustles and ask relevant experts and people with side hustles a few questions at a time.
Budding business owners have never had it so good with unlimited online resources. Set a goal and stay focused on joining relevant forums, groups and pages where you can find peers and mentors.
Regularly participate in discussions by sharing what you’ve learned. This may seem scary initially, as you probably believe you don’t know anything the members don’t already know. So look for news items and go to blogs like our blog 🙂 And share interesting information on current events that impact side hustles or startups.
In a time forum, group members, or page, followers will reciprocate, and now you have a network of like-minded peers and experts to assist you.
Marketing & Sales
Start with a marketing strategy that is familiar to you, i.e. if you really enjoy Instagram and you’re adding stories and growing your followers – stick with it. For example, see @tuippet on Instagram.
Can you work out what @tuippet’s side hustle is? Snoods.
Marketing will require multiple platforms or strategies to scale your side hustle into a business. Continue to work on the forum or campaigns you enjoy and outsource other marketing initiatives to expert marketers or an Agency. The same recommendation applies to other areas of the ‘business’.
As your side hustle matures, you must drop your day job and focus on it full-time. Your business plan and goals include business activity and areas of the business that will need resources and management, including:
- Website Development & Hosting
- Product Manufacture, Sourcing
- Transport & Logistics
- Customer Support
- Marketing & Sales
- HR & Management
What’s Stopping Your Side Hustle Becoming a Business?
Everything, from fear of the unknown to a lack of self-confidence and belief, probably instils uncertainty. This is where your positive visualization can again be put to good use.
There’s no harm in daydreaming about doing something you love so you can give up your day job and working on something that makes you happy and secure.
Side hustles are exciting as they don’t usually feel more like a hobby or an interest and less like work. They go some way in helping employees feel more financially secure.
Gigs on the side can turn into businesses.
Positive visualization is the starting point for opening your mind to new business opportunities and overcoming fear and a lack of confidence.
With a plan and goals in no time, you’ll be at the helm of your thriving business, looking back and wondering what all the fuss was about.