Imagine yourself on a sunny beach halfway across the world. You’re sipping a piña colada (or any drink of your choice). You’re living your life to the fullest — all while earning money doing what you love.
Glorious, isn’t it?
Well….starting a side hustle might not immediately make this dream a reality. But it can give you a head start.
With its widespread popularity these days, starting a side hustle is no longer this crazy idea you read about online. There are real humans, some of whom you probably already know, who are increasing their income through their side hustle. Some have managed to convert those side hustles into a full-time career and business.
Need further convincing?
Here are five reasons why you should absolutely start a side hustle now:
If there was one thing that you could do 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, non-stop (of course with some time out to do things like eating, working out, etc), with burning intensity and never get tired of it — what would it be?
As a kid, you are told that the road to success is — go to school and get good grades so you can get a good job. That process was supposed to make you financially free. The problem? Nobody (schools or parents) ever taught you how to find work that you really enjoy doing.
Your side hustle can be and should be a way for you to discover and work on things that you’re passionate about — and make money while doing so.
Starting your own side hustle is the perfect way to get creative. To see how useful your passion is to other people, how it helps them solve their problems. And how much they are willing to pay you for the work you’re passionate about.
Once you discover that, you can quit your (soul-sucking) job. You can build your passion into a business that adds value to other people’s lives and/or business.
A side hustle isn’t always something for those who are bored with their current jobs. For example, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs has a side-hustle as a DJ in fun venues around the world. Like many others, despite a grueling schedule, he uses his free time (evenings and weekends) to his passion!
A wise man once said: “Any problem money can’t solve, more money can solve it”.
Just kidding, although there might be some truth hidden in that statement. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to make a little extra coin. I mean… you wouldn’t mind making a little extra cash, would you?
There’s a lot you can do with that extra cash — clearing your student loan debts, for example. Having a debt comes with stress and anxiety that can have adverse psychological effects on you. Extra cash can help pay off your debts.
No crazy debts? Already living okay? Then treat yourself to guilty indulgences. Maybe buy some high-quality clothes. Or travel to your dream destination.
No matter how you spend the cash you’ll earn by starting a side hustle, you’ll be obeying a fundamental principle of wealth creation: you’ll have multiple streams of income.
Aha! One of my favorite f-words.
Working at a regular 9-to-5 corporate job comes with restrictions that can make work feel like a prison. With your side hustle, however, you can choose to work whenever you want, however you want, with whomever you want — as long as you meet any deadlines if required.
So if you prefer working at night from 10 pm to 3 am, great. If you prefer working from the comfort of your home (which many of us are used to now), awesome. If you also feel like traveling halfway across the world, you’re at liberty to do so and still work from there.
Should you decide to turn your side hustle into your full-time job, of course, remember that with freedom comes responsibility. Initially, you’ll have to work a lot harder and make more sacrifices so you can get and retain clients. However, eventually, you’ll start reaping the benefits.
If at this point you don’t know how to pursue your side hustle, that’s okay! You don’t need to know everything about starting your side hustle. In fact, in the beginning, nobody knows.
When you’re an employee, your tasks and obligations usually fall within a narrow range of operations. But starting your own side hustle affords you the opportunity to grow, both professionally and personally. You’ll be expanding your skill sets while increasing your capacity to successfully plan and execute projects.
You’ll get to learn things like customer acquisition, customer retention, and project management. And if you don’t already know how to sell? You’ll definitely learn. After all, if you can’t sell, you can forget about your side hustle becoming your primary source of income.
If you refer to your side hustle as your real-world MBA — you won’t be wrong. Because in a way it is.
This is your side hustle. Get as crazy-creative as you want! In the end, this source of income should serve as a medium to bring your burning creative ideas to life.
You’ll be building everything from scratch. From choosing your brand colors to the tone of your brand’s voice and everything in between. You’ll have 100% control, ownership, and creative license to do as you please. So get those creative juices flowing, and have fun!
Most people reading this will still come up with excuses. They’ll blame things like lack of time, money, required skill, etc. Or maybe they’ll never figure out why they can’t start. But you’re not one of them, are you?
My advice to you: Get out there. Find the things you love doing. See how you can add value for others through your work and passion.
And then get paid for doing what you love!
Nissar Ahamed is the Founder & CEO of CareerMetis.com, a publication dedicated to helping job seekers and freelancers with actionable advice and resources. He is also the host of The Career Insider Podcast.