Why Having a Side Hustle Leads to a Passionate Life
Aside hustle is what you do after your nine-to-five, after class is out and homework is done, when the kids are asleep. When most people’s day is over, yours is just getting started. Pinterest growth hacking, Instagram DMing, writing, flipping products on eBay — whatever your fix, you start when others stop. That is the art of the side hustle.
How Hustling Began
There have always been people out there with an insane work ethic: working 100-hour weeks, sleeping less than six hours a day, forgetting to eat out of sheer focus. So why has there been such an emphasis on hustling in the past few years? It morphed from something people did casually into a belief system — a way of life. The side hustle has become, dare we say, sexy.
The internet, social media, and mobile devices have made side hustles far more attainable. The internet has enabled people to set up and run online businesses from their bedrooms. Social media decreased the cost required to interact with hundreds, thousands, or millions of people. Stay-at-home mothers have leveraged it to found multimillion-dollar companies. Mobile devices allow us to always be connected. These technologies changed what we can do, but that alone isn’t the catalyst for the side hustle movement.
Our psychology has changed due to work trends such as the decline of corporate offices and the rise of the gig economy. Because we now work more independently and in a more personalized way, we can make the jump to working for ourselves more easily. One way this tends to manifest itself is known as the side hustle.
The man who has likely played a larger role than anyone else in popularizing hustle as a core value is Gary Vaynerchuk. Check out some of his stuff and you’ll understand why.
While awe-inspiring and inflammatory, Gary is very clear: hustling sucks. Working hard sucks. Not going to the beach, not staying out at bars, not watching Netflix all suck. But you know what sucks more? When you are 85 and filled with regret. Regret that you never started that business. Regret that you didn’t write that novel. Regret that you didn’t finish college.
Jeff Bezos founded Amazon because of his fear of regret.
So start hustling. But be warned: It will not be easy. It will be the hardest thing you ever do.
“A friend of mine has a saying: ‘Starting a company is like eating glass and staring into the abyss.’ ” — Elon Musk
The Purpose of a Side Hustle
Everyone has to work to survive. To have the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clothing, we have to pay for them (duh). That means we need money. Unless you have piles of the stuff lying around, you will need to get a job. But just because you have to get a job doesn’t mean you have to like it. And that is where the side hustle comes in. You need to make ends meet to survive, but you need to follow your passions in order to live.
The goal of a side hustle is twofold:
1. Do something that enables a passionate, fulfilling life.
2. Develop another source of income.
If you’re in a job you don’t like but don’t have any money saved up, it’s hard to leave. But if you have a financial safety net from your side hustle, you can quit and tide yourself over until you get a new job. However, making money from nothing is hard. There will be days, weeks, months, even years when a side hustle will not produce much, if any, wealth. But that is part of the process. Visionaries like Gary Vaynerchuk preach “jab, jab, jab, right hook.”
Provide value up front repeatedly for free. Do you sell Cubs T-shirts? Call the 500 stores in Chicago that sell apparel and ask them to feature your shirts because you believe they will bring value to the stores. Every day while you’re riding the bus, search Instagram for #cubs and DM 100 people who use that hashtag. Tell them that you write articles and host a podcast about the Cubs and you think they might get value from it. Put in the work, and honestly provide value. This builds trust and grows a genuine community. If you are earnest and constantly creating value for people, they are far more likely to buy something from you later on. In time, if a side hustle is successful enough, it could become your full-time hustle. The end goal: You are chasing your dreams and working for yourself.
But what if you love your job and are passionate about it? Awesome. If you can support yourself and you’re happy, that’s what matters most in life.
You have already won.
In your case, a side hustle takes on a slightly different flavor. You can still pursue a financial goal, or you could start hustling in your relationships or your physical health. Is religion important? Practice rigorous spiritual meditation; write about spirituality to share your journey to inner peace with others. Whatever you do, be strategic and intentional with your time away from that dream job. There are just so many ways you can side hustle to build a better life.
Why Hustling Works
Typical work weeks vary depending on the industry, but on average 40 hours a week is pretty standard. That works out to eight hours a day for five days a week, at 24 hours a day and seven days a week. That means the average person is working about 24 percent of the time. Now, there are people who hustle for 100 hours a week. That works out to 14 hours a day for seven days a week. These people are working 60 percent of the time. To highlight this difference, let’s increase the time scale. What takes the average person one year to do, the hustling person will accomplish in five months. If you hustle, in one year you will have done more than twice as much as the average person. Put in the work, and you will see the results.
The Importance of Multiple Incomes
The wealthiest among us have more than one source of income. In fact, Rich Habits author Tom Corley conducted a five-year study and found:
65% of self-made millionaires had three streams of income.
45% of self-made millionaires had four streams of income.
29% of self-made millionaires had five or more streams of income.
There is a reason for this. The wealthy understand the value of diversification. Typical culprits include real estate, stocks, private investing, and a core job. This allows the wealthy to have a safety net. If they lose one or more of their income streams, they will have others to fall back on that will likely be unaffected by whatever caused the loss of income in other areas. The emphasis on having multiple income streams has largely remained with the wealthy. As side hustling gains in popularity, however, this mentality is getting pushed down to more and more people. This is great news.
Side hustling teaches its practitioners the value of time and working for oneself. It doesn’t matter how small the second source of income is. Once you realize that multiple incomes are possible, you realize the new freedoms that you can afford. Hard work and an understanding of personal finances are what enable people to become wealthy. The side hustle is a great educational and financial empowerment tool for poor and lower-middle-class people. It will enable them to take control of their own lives—and many already have, using it to build businesses or even their own personal brand.