Why is everyone talking about side hustles?
Do you remember, back in 2017, when you’d never heard the term side hustle? When people having more than one income stream, or even just an supplemental type of work on top of a primary salary, was just another, often millennial, career set-up? Well, not any more. Thanks to a few writers from across the pond, revisiting a term that was used to allude to the scam part of the word hustle earlier in the century, and the portfolio career crowd making it relevant again, it’s well and truly in our oratory.
We spoke to New York Times best-selling author of The $100 Startup and new book Side Hustle Chris Guillebeau to find out what the hype is about…
WHAT IS A SIDE HUSTLE?
A side hustle is an income-generating project that you work on apart from your main job.
Note what it is NOT:
– another part-time job
– driving for Uber or otherwise participating in the “gig economy”
– anything that just requires you to work harder without getting ahead
The whole point of starting a side hustle is to help you create more freedom and options for your life.
TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE THE RISE IN INTEREST?
Two words: opportunity and necessity.
Necessity: more and more people understand how important it is to achieve self-reliance. They realise they can’t depend on a corporation or any employer to look out for them. And even if they love their job, they understand things change and we live in a time of uncertainty. If you’re earning money in more than one way, you have more control over your life — even if you love your job.
Opportunity: never before has there been so much possibility. Thanks to technology, we are instantly connected with millions of people worldwide. Thanks to ecommerce, millions of people are comfortable making online transactions. Smart side hustlers are putting these two advances together and offering something, like a product or service, for sale.
They aren’t necessarily capital-E “Entrepreneurs”; many of them just want to make some extra money. They use the skills they already have to create a project that can earn money for them, potentially while they sleep.
HOW SHOULD ONE CHOOSE WHAT TO PURSUE?
Here’s a first step: don’t follow your passion, follow your skills.
Chances are you’ll be passionate about something you’re good at. Make a list of everything you know how to do. Everyone’s an expert at something. On my daily podcast, I’ve told stories of people making money in all sorts of wild and crazy ways. If you aren’t sure what you’re good at, think about the questions people often ask you. Then, ask your friends to contribute to the list.
Odds are, there’s a side hustle lurking somewhere in that list. But, of course, you need to keep going and get it off the page.
WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
Most people have a business idea of some kind, but that doesn’t help much as consumers don’t buy ideas, they buy products and services. As soon as possible, start thinking less about ideas and more about offers: what exactly will someone receive when purchasing your product or service? And how will they pay for it?
A good offer has three characteristics: promise, pitch, and price. A well-crafted offer can be put together starting from zero in less than 30 days. And, in the same time period, you can test it in a real-world environment to see how prospects respond. Best of all, you can do this without spending any money.
IS IT A FEASIBLE GOAL FOR EVERYONE?
Everyone who wants it — yes. You have to bring your own motivation. But if you’re motivated and willing to learn, and willing to take action, then there’s nothing stopping you. Everything I teach is meant to be practical and applied.
Read more about potential side hustles and how to make yours happen in Side Hustle, which is out on 10th January.