What is a side hustle?
Most wage earners are bored to the tilt. The daily 9 to 5 serves certain personality perfectly, because of the perceived stability that comes with the term. I recall my parents telling me that I might end up as a garbage man or a hawker if I didn’t study hard. In case you are ignorant, there are many hawkers that are earning more than a typical senior manager in a mid sized organization. Now, think about cooking up a new dish or setting up a burger stall as a side hustle.
A side hustle is different from a sidegig. Do bear in mind, there is a fine line that separates both. Most of the time, our own mental power plays a major role in turning a gig into a hustle or even vice versa. Generally speaking, a side hustle empowers you in possibly more ways than you can imagine, whereas a sidegig is something like a part time job. E hailing for instance is a pure gig economy because, you don’t have much control over it. The owner of Uber, Travis Kalanick once said that he will replace all human drivers with automatic cars.
Regardless of the exact definition, I think everyone should start a side hustle. Even if you are a business owner.
1. FOR THE MONEY
65 % of US people aspire or started a side hustle for financial purpose. Although not all of them convert into a full time business, nobody should give it a miss.
Three years fresh out of university, I started dabbling in the stock market. You could read about my insights into the stock market in the link provided. Among the many options, I would call investing in the stock market to be the easiest because, the business is all about capital. Use a part of your savings and make it a point to buy a few stocks for your portfolio. Accumulate a certain number of good company shares and keep them. My shares provided all the capital needed to start my current trading business. You can check out the products in my company’s website.
Another side hustle was my blog. I found this new passion through the CEO of MobileAds.com. He owned a domain name HowToBlog.org and introduced me to the world of blogging. After a short duration where he guided me in developing the blog, I bought it from him. I was naive then. Money was the only motivation when I blogged then. Imagine my excitement when I earned my first dough via my blog’s Google Adsense. A mere $ 0.50. The blog went on to earn $ 100 per month, before an online entrepreneur offered a five figure to buy it from me.
2. DEVELOP OUR BUSINESS ACUMEN
You think you will understand business just being a computer programmer in your company? Even if you are in sales or accounting, it does not make you a complete business person. There is no way that you can learn the full spectrum in business management unless you are in the post of a CEO or MD, where you are bestowed the helicopter view of the whole business operation.
Henry is a good friend of mine. He was an Operation Manager with a real estate company before he decided to call it quits. He took the public certificate in real estate examination to fully immerse in property sales as a sole proprietor before bad times hit. Well, to many, that would be a double whammy, but did my friend fall? Nope, he went for a sidegig in driving for Uber. Gradually, the sidegig became a fulltime gig that even supported the family budget, much more than selling properties.
Now, I have told you before, and I’m going to tell you again. Driving for Uber or other e-hailing company is not a side hustle. Henry ain’t foolish either. In fact, while excelling in the job, he has advised his fellow drivers not to be carried away with the gig job. Just like Amazon, Facebook or previous free blogging platforms, e-hailing companies would change without remorse. Through a customer he knew via Grab (after Uber sold the whole business operation to Grab!), Henry started a company to drive tourist around city, making use of the network of drivers from Grab.
3. TIME IS RUNNING OUT
Most day jobs are nothing but thankless grind. The current economic turbulence, from the onset of the currencies attack in 1997 to the current trade war between China and the US, there are never peace in the corporate domains. Top management has lost interest in their colleagues welfare, but who could blame them? It’s all about taking care of one own’s arse.
Powerful CEOs have no answers to the current market turmoil. Jeff Immelt brought the once powerful GE to it’s knees through a series of fatal acquisitions that spanned for 15 years. Tim Cook’s runaway success in Apple came to an abrupt halt after a domino of unprecedented market shakeup, from China’s retaliation to US goods to the Apple Vs Foxconn patent infringement, brought down the performance of the $ 1 trillion company. Imagine the stress experienced by all the wage earners in these companies.
Keep your worries at bay by starting your long delayed side business. Start with your hobby. If you love gardening, enrich your knowledge on the subject and see what you can do with your small garden plot. Do you know that if you could plant wasabi (yes, the pungent greeny thing that goes with your sushi) in a plot of land, you have hit your gold mine. It doesn’t have to be wasabi or other cash crops.
A neighbor of mine make use of a dozen styrofoam boxes for planting sprouts. I don’t believe for a minute that those sprouts can turn into a full time business, but it does give his family a good side income. In addition, his side hustle will be a great help once he retires in a few years. When your hustle becomes a new money pot, you have less worry when your job runs out of steam.
4. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK
You can never know how your network of friends will play out in your personal and your professional development. As a Food Technologist, I interact with my network of clients, vendors and even competitors on a regular basis. Comes to think about it, all my jobs are results from recommendations through my network of friends within the food industry. Even my current full time business comes from God’s provision through a vendor.
Imagine expanding your network beyond the people within your own professional domain. I side hustle as a business blogger. Therefore, it’s imperative that I mingle with a network of new personalities in SEO, Social Media, business bloggers and online entrepreneurs. No man is an island. In order to sell my blog, I have rekindle my once dormant Twitter account. I used to be quite active in Twitter until when I sold my HowToBlog.org. Everything just came to a standstill. No blog, nothing to talk about.
5. OLD DOG AND NEW TRICKS
Most salaried men (salaried women are much more productive) have an unhealthy lifestyle. We work from 9 to 5, come back for dinner, watch TV then off to bed we go. For God sake, when we are in our 40s, we don’t even have energy for sex.
The CEO of MobileAds.com used to tell me that only losers watch TV at night. Truth be told, after starting this blog, I have more things to keep me occupied. My full time business and this blog. I am mostly preoccupied with the operational side of my business in the food ingredients. There are less cold calls nowadays unless I have some new products. Apart from sales, it’s mostly about receivables, credit control, deliveries and some planning for the coming cold storage ingredients. God takes care of that. Most are routines.
My mind is mostly full of this blog. The first twenty blog posts were easy because I just wrote from experience. After the 30th blogpost, things are less smooth sailing. I run out of ideas quite often. Therefore, in order to keep the blog going, we have to learn. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks? I took courses on content marketing and content strategy to improve on my writing. A business blogger gotta keep himself updated on the latest business trend happening in technology, e-commerce, online business etc. Rest on your laurels and your blog is just as good as dead.
The same thing applies to your baking. If you operate a cake truck on weekends, you better keep coming out with new innovations and varieties. Customers will invariably come back for your flagship ice-cream cake but, some will get sick of it.
What is a side hustle? Answer it only if it is meaningful to you. Therefore, be courageous and start your next side hustle, make the first step and name your business. In this era, you have to treat yourself as a business person even though you are under a salary. You sell your skills and your employer lease it on a monthly basis. Once you see yourself in business, building a side hustle into a business becomes logical.