Monday, May 12, 2008

Getting Ahead: Turn Your Hobby Into A Side Hustle

When I meet people my age (mid-twenties or younger) that are in the working world and they tell me they don't have side hustles, I have to refrain myself from asking why not? Unless you have a particularly demanding and/or stressful day job or young children to tend to, I believe it can only help young professionals to turn skills you already possess into a side hustle. Many of us have skills or hobbies that can easily translate into a side hustle. Are you really good at doing hair, have excellent editing skills, capable of selling someone anything, excellent at explaining math concepts, or some other useful talent you get enjoyment from doing? Turn this talent into another source of income. With a little bit of self promotion, its possible.

I was inspired to write this post after reading Moneymonk's recent advise on how to get ahead financially . I definitely agree that multiple streams of income are vital ways of building wealth. A side hustle can do more than just put an extra few dollars in your pocket, a side hustle can also:
  1. Help you build relationships. Although I do enjoy my day-job, I sit at a desk for eight hours a day...I've been working for two years and I still am adjusting to the grueling hours of a 9-5. I enjoy being able to ineract with people (and actually walk around) on my customer service-based side hustle. I get the opportunity to talk with and meet people from many walks of life between the clients I serve and my co-workers.
  2. Give you an alternate stream of income outside of your day-job. I can't tell you how many unexpected bills have gotten paid with my side hustle money over the past year. I know that part of that is my not planning so well for unexpected expenses and as a result, I now have (a small but growing) emergency fund. In the future, I plan to save/invest my side hustle money.

  3. Develop skills that could help your career. I hope to one day have some sort of business of my own and the customer-service skills I have developed at my side-hustle can potentially help me in my future business endeavors.

  4. Help you to save/invest money for the future. My side hustle gives me an extra cushion of money to save/invest for short and long term goals. Because of my side-hustle, this year I was able to start investing some money every month in a mutual fund. I hope to start investing more money in the future.

  5. Pay down debt faster. My side hustle money allows me to throw more money at debt when I plan carefully. I hope to cut down the time it will take to pay off student loans and credit card debt as a result of this extra money.

Don't fret If you're not feeling so entrepreneurial, you can always work for someone else to do your side-hustle. For instance, my side hustle is working at a mid-priced clothing store. Note: I would only suggest a retail side hustle for those who can avoid the temptation of spending money at your place of employment. I learned this the hard way...I am currenly looking into other side-hustle alternatives (such as blogging) that have the potential of being more lucrative than my current one.