If you’re like me at some point in your financial journey you’ve searched how to make money or make money online or any other variation and been met with a ton of websites giving you advice as to what side hustles you can do to earn an extra income, many of which probably regurgitating the same stuff.
I’ll start by saying that I don’t see anything wrong showing people how to make money with a side hustle, depending on what they are they can help pay off debt give you some money towards that well deserved holiday or allow you to build an emergency fund for those rainy days, though some might not be long-term.
Why don’t I like the use of side hustle?
Everyone that you speak to nowadays has a side hustle, the term for me is like someone scraping their nails against a blackboard, but will use it for the purpose of this post.
Someone in business that has fingers in many pies wouldn’t say that they have many side hustles, would they?
They would naturally state that they are an entrepreneur without hesitation.
For me, a side hustle when done right is just a business on a small scale that has the potential to become your main source of income if you really want it to be.
It might only be terminology, but I think that the way that you term something affect whether it turns out to be a success or not.
When I started my first online business alongside my 9 to 5, I considered it just that, a part-time business, not a side hustle. It might not have worked out, but every day I treated it like a full-time business and would spend countless hours working on it.
Why are more people choosing to have a side project alongside their day jobs?
I’m in going to state the obvious here but the primary reason has to be financial.
Who in their right might would think that it would be a good idea to get up early in the morning to commute to a day job, take everything that comes with that job, then come home manage family life and then spend carrying out a “side hustle” to earn some more money?
Maybe if more people were paid what they are worth, then there wouldn’t be as many people with side hustles out there.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that there are plenty of people out there that carry out their side hustle as a creative outlet or a way of sharing a skill with other like-minded people and then there are those that want to dip their toes into the world of business but still have the “security” of a full-time job.
The advantages of a side hustle
While earning an extra income is probably the main motivator for starting a side hustle, you can also benefit from a number of other benefits too.
Doing something that you actually enjoy
If you’ve started your side hustle as a creative outlet you are doing something that you enjoy and never feels like work.
Improve your skills and may help your career prospects
Employers are always saying that there is a skills shortage, maybe your side hustle isn’t going to change that but if it is something that you might be able to add to your CV then there is no harm in shouting from the hills that you have a skill albeit one that isn’t formed in a conventional commercial environment.
Improve your network
Linkedin is popular for a reason, it allows people to increase people’s network and as a result, increases the likelihood of landing opportunities that they might otherwise not have had.
The disadvantages of a side hustle
Can impact your work life balance
There is no getting away from it, having a side hustle or a few side hustles is going to potentially affect family life. If successful you are going to be bringing in more money into the household, but at what cost?
How do you choose the side hustle for you?
Review your skills
Just because it’s a side hustle doesn’t mean that you can go into it without knowing what your current skill set is.
Consider what you enjoy
You are going to potentially be doing this for a long time, depending on your reasons for starting out, so you are going to have to find something that you enjoy.
Consider the long term
If you’re seeking instant results may be a side hustle isn’t for you, they still require a lot of work and if you’re selling something you have to factor in the competition that you’re up against.
How are you going to differentiate yourself from the many others doing the same as you?
Even though it’s a side hustle I think it important that you consider it a mini business and as such you should have some idea how to run a business and if you don’t find out. There are a lot of free resources on the internet particularly aimed at those wanting to start a business.
Will it make money
If you choose a side hustle without doing the necessary research you are going to run the risk of burning out before you’ve even begun.
You have to know there is a market for it and anyone starting a business should know that if there isn’t a market then there isn’t any money to be made.
Be honest with yourself
If you’re going to run a side hustle, it’s important that you’re honest with yourself and set yourself realistic expectations.
Being creative or being a people person and having the gift of the gab isn’t enough, you will soon be found out if you’re lacking those soft skills that are essential for any business or side hustle to survive over a long term.
What about the tax implications
The idea of earning an extra income is fantastic but don’t let the dream have any bearing on reality.
If you’re making money, the tax man is certainly going to want to know about it.
There is no getting away from it either, so don’t think that just because your side hustle might be cash in hand they won’t find out
Know what your responsibilities are in relation to tax, otherwise, face the penalties.
What are some common side hustle ideas?
I won’t go into detail with the ideas below as there are plenty of other websites doing that.
So below are few that I think have the potential to make real money if you’re prepared to put in some work, I’m not just pocket change from filling out a survey now and again either.
- Sell your unwanted items
- Write a book/Ebook
- Driving (Taxi services)
- Baking (make sure you know what is required from you from a health and hygiene perspective)
- Computer repairs
- Resume/CV writing services
- Personal Training
- Do something that you enjoy
- Do something that you know about.
- Don’t expect instant results
- Think of it as a small business and treat it as one too
- Don’t be afraid to fail, if it does dust yourself off and do something else
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