An Ode to The Side Hustle

side hustleJimmy McMillan said it best — “The rent is too damn high!” As the cost of living continues to steadily increase without fail, while salaries stay the same or grow at a much slower rate (while demanding even MORE work for those same pennies), many individuals are looking to sources of additional revenue to supplement their 9-5 salaries.

Yes, we are a generation of champagne taste on beer budgets, but the economy is making it hard to even get that beer…and by beer I mean a quarter water (if you don’t know what that is…we can’t be friends). Whether you are looking to save up a few extra dollars to fund your love for travel, bring in some extra revenue to not have to live check to check or are looking to grow your passion into your full-time job, the benefits of a side hustle are numerous and oftentimes necessary.

Toying with the idea of starting a side job for yourself while maintaining your full-time job or even while you seek employment? Here’s a list of the reasons you should stop thinking and start doing, sooner than later.

1. Get a Low-Risk Test Drive

If you’re looking to start a side hustle just for additional revenue stream, then you really have nothing to lose as most require little to not start-up capital and can bring in revenue soon after.  For those looking to eventually turn this into their full-time career, this is a great way to give it a test run to make sure you love it, make sure it’s able to generate revenue and make sure it’s scalable (able to grow as needed).  You’re able to find all these things out while maintaining the security of a steady paycheck from your regular job, sparing you the common entrepreneur’s dilemma of “how will I pay for [insert bill here]?”

2. Get That Much Closer to Financial Freedom

While some see financial freedom as simply being debt free and others see it as having the income to purchase what they please, almost everyone can agree that one of their main goals is working towards their own version of freedom. A side hustle can provide you with additional revenue that you can either put into paying down a looming debt faster, or towards saving for a personal goal, such as a house or car down payment or even a trip to a dream location. If the always possible tragedy of being laid off becomes your reality, your side hustle cash egg may be what holds you over until you are able to find full time employment again. More money is  never a bad thing, right?

3. Grow Your Brand

A side hustle is a chance to personally display your unique set of skills to the world, or at least to your clients and anyone else who comes across your work. If you’re looking to solely gain additional revenue, a side hustle can help you strengthen your skill set and make yourself even more marketable to future employers, who may be willing to pay an extra premium to have an employee with as strong of a background as yourself. You will be able to show them your ability to work autonomously, prioritize tasks and have an even stronger and personal portfolio of your work. If you’re looking to eventually go out on your own, that same strong portfolio will be your talking point when trying to gain new clients as it provides with you with credibility of previous successes. Either way, you are helping to get your name out there and show others just how capable you are.

Getting up a few hours earlier or staying up a few hours later can mean the difference between a lucrative side gig or staying in your current situation. I recommend everyone give it a try at least once in your lifetime; you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.