According to the Young Entrepreneur Council, 1 in 3 Millennials, are choosing to supplement their full-time income with a side gig. Recently, a Bankrate.com survey, found over 44 million Americans have some kind of side hustle or job in addition to their primary work. So whether you call it a side hustle, moonlighting, or a side gig, finding a way to increase your income can support your path to financial security.
However, many are still unsure of how to use their time to earn more or use their skills to make money. You might be holding onto some erroneous belief that you simply cannot make substantial amounts of money through side hustles.
And although you probably won’t make a million dollars from side hustles alone it’s can help you simply earn more. The goal really isn’t for you to do a side gig for the rest of your life. A side hustle is something you do on the “side” to earn more money for a specific purpose.
For instance, you want to pay off student loan debt in a few years as opposed to 20 years. Earning an additional $100 a week through a side hustle will give you an additional $400 towards your debt.
Side hustles can be anything from driving people around, delivering packages, completing tasks, or babysitting. It’s true you’re mostly still trading your time for money. The idea is for you to earn money to help you achieve your goals sooner than later.
Now, side hustles can evolve into a side business but I’ll get into that some other time.
I believe everyone can benefit from side hustles to achieve their goals and progress towards financial freedom. But first I need to get you onboard the side hustle train by shifting your mindset.
The following are reasons you think a side hustle isn’t for you:
1. You believe it’s going to take too much time.
You already work 40 hours a week. And if the thought of working more hours makes you sink further into your couch, then close your eyes and take a deep breath. I want you to think about how you’re spending your time. Are you using hours to binge-watch Netflix or scroll through social feeds? The average person spends 2 hours and 23 minutes a day on social media. If you find yourself staring at your phone for 2 hours, I think you’ve just found a few hours a week to work on a side hustle.
A side hustle doesn’t have to be overly complicated. You can spend time on side gigs or invest time in building a business. In reality, the choice is yours to make and you can start making a few dollars with apps or asking connections about chores or tasks you can perform.
Basically, use your time more efficiently.
2. You believe you have nothing to offer.
Everyone has something to offer that is valuable to someone else. I am confident that you have a skill or talent that can be monetized. For example, you’re great at writing or design, consider offering services to others or start an online writing portfolio with a blog. Many people, like myself, make money blogging. You too can be making money with a blog.
Most people underestimate the value of their talents or skills. Having this belief limits your ability to increase your money-making potential. Taken another way, do you find your friends asking you for help with a particular area? Guess what? You’ve just found demand.
Here’s a pro tip: tell your family and friends you’re starting a side hustle to pay off debt, build an emergency fund, or save for a down payment. It might be weird for you to be vulnerable by publicly stating you’re looking for side gigs to make extra cash. But you’ll be surprised by how people need help and willing to pay for it.
3. You’re afraid your boss will find out.
Most jobs don’t require telling your boss that you’re working another job or have a side business. To ease your concerns, check to see if your employer has any restrictions. And if there are restrictions, find out exactly what you’re restricted from doing. Often it may include a non-compete. For example, you’re a technology salesman restricting you from selling similar items even in your free time.
Keep in mind employers may have a policy preventing you from selling personal services to coworkers. Also, don’t use your primary work hours to work on your side hustle. That’s an easy way to lose your primary source of income.
If you want to feel more at ease, review your employee handbook, contract, or speak with your human resource manager. You can speak to your boss about your side hustle which may prompt a discussion on getting a pay raise. Even with a pay raise, you may still want to continue with a side hustle to reach financial security sooner.
4. You keep thinking you need some sort of certification.
Sometimes you may need to register or get a license to offer a service or start a side hustle business. But most side hustles don’t require a certification. A certification can help you enhance your skills by taking the required courses or ease the mind of potential customers. If there is no gap between the skills you have and what is required, don’t delay from making extra money.
For example, driving for a ridesharing company to earn side income requires a driver’s license with a safe driver’s record. You don’t need to have additional certifications. And many side gigs you’ll find on the phroogal financial marketplace don’t require any special certification or schooling.
5. You believe your current job is secure.
I’m not encouraging you to consider leaving your primary job. In fact, having a primary job has many benefits, not limited to health and retirement, that work well with side hustles. The main point is that having multiple income streams will provide you the financial security you want.
But the unfortunate reality is that no job is completely secure. Changes in a company’s financial performance, a merger, a new boss, or the economy can impact your job situation. I’m not writing to spread fear but to encourage you to diversify your income sources.
To support your financial security, consider a side hustle to help you build your emergency fund, get out of debt, or start investing for your retirement.