Side hustling has surged in popularity in the recent years.
Not only do we commonly hear the terms "gig economy," "project-based," or "freelancer" in conversations, but within our own circles, more and more of our friends, coworkers, and relatives are dipping their toes into this attractive, and seemingly rewarding activity.
In fact, approximately 44 million Americans were reported to have a side hustle as of 2017 and for roughly 70% of side hustlers, their motivations are due to financial reasons such as to pay off student loans, save up for retirement, or earn some extra cash for expenditures.
Personally, I began my own entrepreneurial journey last year by starting a side hustle myself. I had been working as a corporate executive for some time when I started a blog as a creative outlet. I put in the work, learned from a lot of mistakes, and was ultimately able to quit my job to turn my side hustle full-time.
While each person's case is different, side hustling has proven to offer people with other options, more flexibility, and sometimes, even financial freedom.
If you haven't done it yet, here are 9 reasons to start a side hustle now.
01. You can work on something you’ve been curious to try
Are you drawn to photography? Copywriting? Managing social media? Something unrelated to what you're doing at your job right now?
Side hustling covers a wide range of activities that you can look into and of course, make money from. As long as you can tap into some form of demand and market yourself effectively, you can probably monetize this activity in some way.
For example, you might hold a steady job in real estate but you've been curious about or secretly been wanting to dabble in graphic design. You could start as a freelance designer by offering to create logos, branding elements, marketing materials, and websites for small businesses.
Then if this isn't something you want to pursue in the long run, no worries because as a side hustle, it's fairly easy to just stop doing it and try something else you're interested in.
02. You can test a business idea before quitting your job
You might have a great idea for a business venture but you aren't quite sure how to get it up and running yet. Side hustling can help you dip your toes, encourage you to do some research, and set the foundation for building a business on your own terms.
For example, if you're a marketing manager for a brand and you're looking to a start your own marketing agency, maybe you could offer consulting to some clients on the side first before making the leap (provided your side hustle doesn't interfere with your day job, of course). This way, you build your client roster and establish a steady income that can later replace your paycheck.
03. You can Use it to transition to a different field
Do you feel like your current job is not doing it for you anymore or are you feeling compelled to join a different field? Maybe you want to switch to a field that's more flexible so you could travel or start a family, or perhaps you want a job with more structure, stability, and retirement benefits.
Similar to an internship, you can side hustle as a means to gain some experience, network with key people, or find out how things work there first without losing the security that comes with your current job. You'll come out knowing what it takes to succeed in that new area and if it's worth the transition.
04. You can learn and Master a new skill
Maybe you're feeling stagnant in your current job and want to learn a new skill that seems interesting or in demand nowadays. Side hustling can encourage you to not only learn the skill, but to also master it since you'll be asking for money in exchange (as opposed to just doing it as a hobby).
For example, if you're interested in web design, you could learn how to create basic websites first then charge a low fee to simply gain experience and gather testimonials. Once you've gotten good at it and received some amazing client feedback, you can then offer more premium design and branding packages.
05. Your side hustle can be your creative outlet
Ever heard the phrase, "Turn your passion into profits"?
Aside from using side hustles as a way to test the waters and earn extra cash, you could also use it as a creative outlet, something that you enjoy doing for which something others will actually reward you for doing.
I, like many people I know, started a side hustle this way. There are bloggers who write about their home DIY projects, Instagrammers who document their calligraphy and lettering skills, and Youtubers who share graphic design tips.
It's helpful to think of side hustles as a truly unique opportunity to do what you enjoy doing, to express your creativity and personality, and to be compensated for it all at the same time.
06. your side hustle can lead you to new places and help you grow
As you start and build your side hustle, you'll definitely have opportunities to meet new people and gain new experiences, many of which you wouldn't have encountered otherwise.
And as you master new skills, learn from your mistakes, overcome some challenges, and get out of your comfort zone, it's inevitable for you to grow more as a person.
For example, if you're interested in wedding photography, side hustling is a good way to establish connections with wedding planners, event hosts, location managers, dress designers, caterers, etc. before jumping in head first. You might be invited to shoot a location wedding across the country or abroad, or perhaps learn about different wedding cultures and practices. You could even meet up with other wedding photographers, share tips and tricks, and gain some good friends along the way. From there, you could be invited to speak or teach at wedding conferences, consult about your tools and processes, and hire an entire team to help you scale your business. All this will then help you improve your skills in marketing, organizing and planning, and time management. You'll even gain confidence in yourself, become a more savvy business owner, and become a better leader.
07. You can use it to prepare for emergencies
Once you’ve validated your side hustle by actually making money through it, you now have this secret weapon that you can pull out in case of emergencies. Think of it as a cushion, back-up plan, or safety net.
In case you’re let go from your job, experience a health-related problem, or encounter some other sudden money-related crisis, you can rest easy knowing that you’re prepared to cover the added expenses (provided you didn't spend all your side hustle earnings immediately of course).
08. You can diversify your income and get more financial stability
Apart from the creative and novel benefits, side hustling has the potential to make you more financially stable. As long as you're wise about how you use your additional income, you'll no longer have to have all your eggs in one basket and you can stop relying on a single revenue source (aka your paycheck).
If you have debt, you can pay it faster and if you're planning on buying something significant (such as a house or car), you'll have more options. You could even use the money to make more investments and take some financial risks.
Then of course, there's also financial freedom — the point in which you've successfully turned your side hustle into a full-fledged business and you're earning profits consistently (and perhaps exponentially), all for something you built and grew yourself.
While some people earn an extra couple of hundred dollars every month, there are a few who've proven that it's possible to make seven or eight figures. It's no secret, therefore, that quitting your job and pursuing what you love full-time is what a lot of people hope to get out of starting a side hustle and turning it into a business.
09. You can earn passive income
Starting a side hustle now doesn't mean you'll have to keep doing it forever. For many people, they work on something on the side for a few months or years, set up systems and automations, and continue earning from it long after. This means that apart from financial stability, a side hustle can serve as a foundation for you to gain financial freedom.
One example is to create a niche site wherein you focus on a single topic that attracts a specific group of people. You can write in-depth and evergreen blog posts and share helpful resources for them then once you've set up lucrative revenue streams (such as ads, sponsorships, eBooks, or eCourses) with rock-solid sales funnels, you can then step back and continue earning from it. You can continue to be hands-on with this to scale it even more or simply monitor it every once in a while to make sure everything still runs smoothly.
Starting a side hustle is a relatively low-risk option that can lead you to something different, something more, or something better. If you find that you can spare some time and energy, and have the willingness to try new things, then side hustling can prove to be a worthwhile pursuit or, at the very least, a valuable learning experience.
Share in the comments below: Do you currently have a side hustle? Or are you planning on starting one soon? Which of these nine reasons do you resonate with?