My friend J$ (no, that’s not his real name) taught me about the importance of a side hustle. What, you may ask, is a side hustle?
A side hustle is the stuff you do in addition to your real job to make extra money.
J$ says everyone should always have a side hustle. A side hustle can help you:
- Save more money
- Pay down debt faster
- Diversify your income
- Protect yourself from job loss or changes in the market
- Keep learning new tasks
- Expand your network
All good things, right?
About six years ago, I started getting paid to write a few things for people on the Internet. I worked full time during the day, but I’d spend some of my nights, weekends (and lunch hours or slow work days) on my freelance writing jobs. It was more productive than watching TV and it gave my family extra money for fun things that we wouldn’t normally have budgeted for - like traveling.
Then, about 19 months ago, my side hustle became my main gig. I’ve been working exclusively as a freelance writer ever since. It’s been a dream come true and I still can’t believe sometimes that my real job is something that started out as a hobby.
But what about having a side hustle?
When my part time work turned into my full time income, I didn’t take the time to seek out another revenue stream - and I’ve suffered the consequences. When the freelance flow turned into a trickle while my family and I traveled, I didn’t have anything extra to dip into. I was anxious and started really stressing about money for the first time in a long time. Fortunately, I was able to turn things around and get my writing career back on track, but I haven’t forgotten what that worry felt like.
It’s time to find a new side hustle.
Do you have a side hustle? I’d love to hear what “odd jobs” you do to make extra money.