A side hustle is part-time work. The term seems to be pretty popular with personal finance bloggers, and I can see the appeal. It defines itself very well: you do it on the side, and it requires a little more hustle. Think about a coach telling his team to hustle. They can do more, and he knows it. Well, I know that you can do more, so here are my top three reasons for you to have a side hustle.
If you feel trapped by your full-time job, you can get stuck in the mindset of your life happening to you. You get home and feel powerless and wonder how you will ever get out of your current slump. By finding a side hustle, you are proactively changing your situation. As a contractor, you make the terms of the work, you choose your clients, and your time and effort determine results. Can you feel how empowering that is? Your side hustle might be babysitting, writing SEO articles or mowing your neighbor's lawn. You determine what it is. That's some freedom.
2. You can find out how much money your time is worth
Have you ever ripped out old carpet from an office building? I have. I charged $15 per hour. At the time, I was a student, and my on-campus job was $7 per hour. Doing a side hustle showed me I didn't need to accept my current reality as a permanent reality. Getting into side-hustles is a new world for most people, but it also means new opportunities.
If you aren't interested in financial news, you might have missed the news of an interest economic problem. Although the employment rates in many countries have recovered since the 2008 recession, the average pay for workers has remained flat. That's not a good thing for those workers. Economic recovery means that inflation has pushed on even though wages and salaries haven't. That means people are getting paid relatively less for the same amount of work. Most of us can't change that with our main employer, but the clever ones get side hustles.
Most of us were told we could do whatever we wanted when we grew up. The problem is we grew up in classrooms and didn't get to work full time until we were grown up. There's a difference between daydreaming your way out of a cubicle and finding out just how much people will pay for your paintings. Because you are doing this on the side, your side hustle allows you to explore career options. Your normal job is (hopefully) paying for the basics. People and companies will pay for you to get better at carpentry, music composition, writing and any other skill out there. They are more eager to do so when you are a part-timer on contract work.
All of this is empowering and will give you some breathing room as you pull in some more funds. But I don't think the focus should be the money. The focus should be that it's your choice what you do for your side hustle. I've had many a colleague leave cubicle purgatory to pursue a career in something they didn't know they loved until after they had tried doing it on the side. Now, with all this power in your hands, go out there and hustle.