Do You Have a Side Hustle?

by Laura on September 8, 2010

I have a really hard time only working one job. My interests are just too diverse to be limited by one type of employment.

When I worked in banking, I also pierced ears at Claire’s (saving to backpack in Europe). When I worked for a broker, I also was a singing hostess at a local Italian restaurant (saving to buy my first place). And now that I work in construction, I also teach voice lessons and blog (paying off grad school loans).

I don’t seem to be able to survive without a side hustle- a part time gig that helps bring in some extra money.

Celebrities know the value of this. Jennifer Lopez does movies and music but also has a successful perfume. Justin Timberlake makes movies and music, but also owns a record label, fashion label and two restaurants. Donald Trump has real estate, a university and a television show. By diversifying they eliminate their need to depend on any one thing.

And a side hustle is a great comfort in a down economy. If you lose the big 40 hour a week job, the back up is there to keep food on the table and the lights on.

So for those of you who think a side hustle is sounding kind of nice right now, what exactly should you be looking for? Here was my list of criteria:

1. It needs to be a topic you are interested in. One of my majors in college was Music. So I always like my side hustles to have something to do with music, particularly singing if I can. Look for something you enjoy.

2. You need to good at it. If I was tone deaf, a side hustle doing music might be a poor choice. So make sure people actually think you are good at what you are trying to do.

3. It’s legal. I will leave that one alone.

4. You know who will pay you for it. A side hustle can be working for someone else- guaranteed check and guaranteed hours with less worry. If you want to try to start a business yourself, make sure there is a market for it.

5. No big investment up front. Don’t look at spending a bunch of money to make money. If you decide to wait tables there is nothing wrong with buying some comfortable shoes and a white shirt, but don’t go crazy.

Sound like a lot of work? Let’s look at some of the benefits:

1. More income. Always a good thing right? Pay down some debt or bump up your savings account.

2. New Job Skills. Always wanted to see what it was like to work the counter at the YMCA? That’s a great side hustle! Love sports? Call about being a referee or umpire for your local recreational league! Always wondered if you could be the guy yelling “Popcorn, peanuts!” at the local baseball game? Now is your chance to check it out! Some side hustles turn into full time jobs!

3. You get to do something you love. Don’t get me wrong- there are some nights where my voice students drive me insane. But 99% of the time, I feel myself relax as soon as I walk in the studio. I get to concentrate on doing something I love with creative people I enjoy being around. And when someone finally gets the Italian diction right or figures out how to draw a treble clef, it’s all worth it! Find a rewarding hustle.

So if these benefits sound good to you, make a list of possible side hustles. If you are just sitting home at night doing nothing, this could open you up to a whole new world!

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