There are approximately 7.5 trillion ways to talk yourself out of something. For years I talked myself out of starting a side hustle. In my head I’d say:
“I don’t have time.”
“I’m not even sure what I would do.”
“People won’t like/buy whatever I create.”
“I don’t have enough money to get started.”
While each of these excuses seemed perfectly reasonable at the time, that’s precisely what they are, excuses. What I needed was a push to show me all the reasons why I should just bite the bullet and get started hustling. I hope these reasons to start a side hustle can help give you the momentum you need to get going.
Side hustle nation
According to a 2019 survey from Bankrate, nearly 45% of Americans report participating in a side hustle or gig work of some kind. While many are doing it to make ends meet, others are using it as extra savings or disposable income for spending.
Making money is probably the most alluring part of starting a side hustle for many people. There is a lot to be said for diversifying your income streams and not having to rely solely on one source of income. I have read many success stories from people who turned their side hustles into enough income over time that they were able to leave their full-time job.
Don’t get me wrong, making money from your side hustle is never going to be a bad thing. But it’s not the only reason why starting a side hustle is a great thing to do. I’m here to share with you some less tangible, but more compelling reasons why starting a side hustle is a great idea for everyone.
Don’t forget to check out my experiences with various side hustles in my series A Millennial’s Adventures in the Gig Economy.
Make yourself more employable
From my years interviewing potential employees, a fairly common question I’d ask is what people enjoy doing outside of work. A red flag immediately went up if someone’s response was “I don’t know” or “watching movies.” Your side hustle is something you can use in conversation with potential employers that lets them know a few things:
- You’re passionate about things other than your job
- You’re willing to go the extra mile to get what you want
- You’re open to learning new things
- You’re not afraid of failure
Potential employers will be pleased to see that you are a go-getter who shows drive not only in their work-life but personal life, too.
Spend free time more productively
Everyone seems so “busy” these days. Busyness has somehow become a badge of honor and synonymous with productivity. But that’s not always the case. Consider that Americans are spending about 36 hours per week with their televisions. Yes, you can read that one again, 36 HOURS!! Broken down per day, that’s just over five hours of daily TV consumption.
Think about what might happen if you shift just 10 hours of TV watching each week to working on a side hustle. Not only will you reap the mental benefits of less garbage in, but you may also find yourself feeling more productive and fulfilled.
I love this TED talk by productivity expert Laura Vanderkam. She explains that it’s not a lack of time that we suffer from, but a lack of prioritization. If a side hustle you’re passionate about is a priority, you will find the time.
Tap into your creativity
One of the best things about stepping away from the mental restraints of a 9 to 5 is to get your brain thinking about things differently. I have had more creative thoughts in the past few months of working in the gig economy than I have in the past few years in Corporate America. Allowing your brain to think outside the confines of the type of work you generally do can spark numerous new ideas.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to have a creative pursuit. Your side hustle doesn’t need to be artistic at all. By simply opening your mind and flexing different mental muscles, the likelihood of generating new ideas will skyrocket.
Freedom to choose your future path
In addition to the financial freedom that comes with extra income, you’ll also have the freedom to choose if you want to continue down your current path or take a new one in the future. Allowing yourself to step outside of the “everyone must have a 40-hour per week job” mindset brings about a world of possibilities.
Plus, a side hustle that starts in one vertical can very easily transition to another new passion and skillset. You might start with greeting cards and realize that you’d like to move into graphic design. Or you could start as a proofreader and realize your true passion is content writing. These changes are bound to happen. So don’t worry if you jump through 3, 4, or 5 different side hustles before you find one about which you’re genuinely passionate.
Become more well-rounded
A side hustle is generally going to use a skillset not often utilized in your day job. Now granted, if you’re a web developer and you do development work on the side, it probably goes hand in hand. But for people choosing to jump into creative writing, product creation, or coaching, you might be shallow in experience and reaching to develop new skills.
Learning new skills and exploring new industries is a great way to expand your horizons. By selling greeting cards on an Etsy shop, you’ll be flexing your creativity muscles through card design. More than that, you’re also gaining valuable experience in eCommerce, marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, and time management.
No matter which reasons to start a side hustle are the ones that convinced you to do it; the most important thing is that you start. Will Rogers, actor, and entrepreneur, once said: “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” So consider trying to think less and do more. Exude more self-confidence and less self-doubt. Do more to build your skillset and spend less time questioning your abilities. You can do anything you put your mind to, so go out there and do it.
Get going and don’t forget to tell me about the reasons you decided to start a side hustle in the comments.