Your 'Side Hustle'
The 'new and improved' second job
I started my 'first business' with a mate back when we were 15 years old. We lived in the same street and figured we had a bit of spare time to earn a few dollars, so we came up with the ever innovative business named Scott & Trent's Lawn Mowing Services. Straight to the computer we went to do up our pricing and flyers and as soon as they were printed, off we went on our pushies and delivered them to the neighbourhood letterboxes.
Almost straight away we received a phone call. Someone wanted us to mow their lawn! 'How easy is business?!' we thought to ourselves. So we organised a time for the coming weekend and began dreaming about how we were going to each spend our $15 ($15 for mowing, $15 for edges). The beauty of being young and naive is you have no shame or recognition of silly assumptions. We used our respective parents mowers and whipper snippers and advised them that we needed them to get us more fuel. Never once contemplating the concept of the costs, or the wear and tear of this to our parents. We even had some clients who let us use their equipment (and fuel!).
Fortunately we continued to pick up clients and odd jobs and we had a thriving little weekend racket. Of course as Summer hit, we soon learnt the true value of a dollar. Neighbours moved on and weekends became important social events so we began to let our business peter out.
The experience provided me with such great memories and life lessons that I have continued to carry on in my career to this day.
Back then we just called it a job. Nowadays it goes by the catchy phrase 'Side Hustle' and it's surprising that more people don't do it.
Your Side Hustle (P.S. I hate buzzwords, but let's just roll with this one) is as much about earning a few extra dollary-doo's as it is about getting a taste for the entrepreneurial life (aka working for yourself, being self employed). It is also an exceptional way to work on a subject/past-time that you are passionate about and doesn't need to make huge financial sense. As long as it's not a financial drain, of course.
Some examples of Side Hustles that I'm aware of include: Freelancing (graphic design, IT work, computer programming), having an online shop (like mine www.brightsocks.com. au), getting actual employment on a casual/temporary basis, or even putting in a little more effort on your hobbies and heading along to the local markets. Whatever it may be, it's about putting your spare time to work for you and making a few dollars doing something you love (or are great at). Another noble activity is volunteering. Definitely a great candidate for your Side Hustle.
What I love most about the Side Hustle concept is that it is 'sexing' up the idea of how you spend your own time, or of having a second job. Having a second job isn't for everyone. For some it's because of financial necessity. For others, they value their future over TV shows, their nights out or perhaps shopping time. It's only for those people who have an appreciation for the concept that life isn't meant to be easy and if you want nice things, you need to get off your backside and #makeithappen.
Here are my ideas and reasons for why you should consider a Side Hustle:
- You get to work on something you love!
- You can dip your toe in the self-employed waters, relatively risk free. It's a kind of 'Try before you Buy' scenario (I see so many businesses fail because they jumped in the deep end with no proof of concept)
- You will meet other amazing like-minded people and expand your network
- You will gain an appreciation of other local small businesses' trials and tribulations
- You might discover you have a highly desirable (i.e. valuable) set of skills that earn you great money!
So get out there and give it a go! What do you have to risk?(Originally published DUO Magazine September 2017)