For many, especially those living in large cities, it isn’t enough to hold down a typical 9-5 job — not with rent and home prices skyrocketing and wages stagnating. No. We need to be hustling with our side hustles as well, just to get by.
So, what exactly is a side hustle?
In the broadest sense, it’s a side-job or side-gig people use to supplement the income they earn from their primary career. It used to be called moonlighting but seems to have been re-branded for the aforementioned 21st century hustlers.
Examples of side hustles
A side hustle can be anything that earns you extra income. From bookkeeping to snowplowing, freelance writing to bartending. You could mow lawns as a side hustle; you could walk dogs. If you have a secondary source of income, you have a side hustle.
Everything you need to know about side hustles
If you’re interested in starting your own side hustle, here are some things you need to know – and some tips for finding the right side hustle to fit your lifestyle and personality.
Follow your passion and use your skills
“Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life
That’s a quote often attributed to the Chinese philosopher Confucius. Of course, that sage advice comes from a time long past (Confucius lived from 551–479 BC). And, while it sounds lovely in theory, its practicality is somewhat obsolete in a capitalistic society where you’re hard pressed to find someone willing to pay you to pursue your passions – at least enough to live off of entirely.
But that’s where side hustles come in.
It’s tiring working a regular job, so any extra work you take on shouldn’t feel like work. At least if you want to pursue it long-term without suffering burn out. So, say you love writing. You could pursue a side-hustle as a freelance writer. Love graphic design? Offer your services to small companies looking to bolster their website. The same goes for web design or any other creative endeavour.
Maybe crafting is your hobby. Set up an Etsy store to offer your goods; they can be anything from jewellery to t-shirts to candles. The possibilities are endless.
Thinking of starting your own small business?
Make sure it’s financially viable
Your side-hustle doesn’t have to make you rich. But you should be making some extra cash to truly make the time and effort worth it. How much you want to earn from your side hustle is entirely up to you.
Before you do embark on your side hustle journey, though, do some research to see what people with similar gigs charge. That’ll give you a sense of what you should be charging for your items or services and forecast your potential earning accordingly.
Get the word out
Once you’ve started your side hustle, make sure to let the world know you’re open for business. Start an Instagram account, snatch up a domain and start blogging, tell your friends, yell from the rooftops.
You’d be amazed how quickly you can earn clients just by having conversations with people. There’s likely a market for whatever you’re offering. And with social media it’s never been easier to reach potential customers. You just need to hit the pavement and get yourself in front of them.
Don’t forget about the taxman
Like any other job, you’ll need to pay taxes on any income you generate. It’s a good idea to speak with a tax specialist to figure out how much you should be setting aside; no one likes to get a hefty bill come tax filing season.
Figure out what you can and can’t write off. Again, speak to a tax specialist to figure out what, exactly, you can claim. Some examples of deductions you can make as a small business owner (because, hey, your side hustle is a business) include; car expenses (if you have to travel), office supplies, a portion of your rent (if you work out of your home), advertising, meals (if you’re taking clients out), and mortgage interest (assuming you own your home and also work out of it).
Just do it
If you’re thinking about starting a side hustle, chances are this isn’t the first article you’ve read on the matter. You could spend countless hours trying to figure out the best way to launch your side business but the most important thing is taking the first step. Just do it.
If you build it they will come.