5 Reasons You Should Always Have a Side Hustle (Regardless of Your Financial Situation)

Entrepreneurship is an ever-growing field, partially thanks to the rise of the side hustle. 

As you likely already know, a side hustle is a colloquial term for a small business or professional venture that you undertake “on the side” – as in you do it in your free time and not as a part of your day job. 

Side hustles differ from creating a start-up business in a few ways. For one, there is no expectation that you will – or should – immediately quit your job upon starting a side hustle. It is meant to be on the side, although it may grow and become a viable full-time career.

The right side hustle for you can vary dramatically, depending on your particular interests and skills. If you are interested in horticulture, for example, you might create a floristry side hustle. If, on the other hand, you always want to be a cartoonist, you can begin a webcomic as a side hustle – or could compile comic books to sell to interested publishers.

There are literally hundreds of different side hustle ideas out there!

There are many benefits of having an active side hustle, regardless of your financial or career circumstances. Here are a few reasons why it’s worth your time.

1. A Side Hustle Can Give You Hope

Let’s face it. Work isn’t always fun, life isn’t always easy, and sometimes, things don’t work out the way we would like them to. If you can relate to these frustrations, it’s worth realizing the significant benefits of having a side hustle. It can give you hope when times are tough, work is unfulfilling, and a better future seems difficult to envision.

Every side hustle you engage in is the equivalent of buying a career lottery ticket. But it’s better than a lottery ticket, really, because with a side hustle, your hard work will influence your outcomes. On the other hand, a lottery ticket is just a pure, distant chance.

In any case, the point is that each side hustle will open the door to new possibilities. You may have plenty of failed business ventures to your name before you find one that you can make successful. (Many entrepreneurs do!)

But the possibility is always that a side hustle will allow you to “make it big.” And even if you don’t, you might make “something,” which is better than nothing.

Side hustles keep life interesting. They keep the possibility alive that you will find a better avenue to walk down in your professional life and make this journey much more enjoyable.

2. A Side Hustle Makes Your More Resilient 

While a side hustle can make you more resilient by giving you more hope for your professional life, it can also make you more resilient in other areas of your life. Because you care about your side hustle, it represents something meaningful, uplifting, and engaging. It helps offset the daily irritations and mundanity you might experience.

We often find it difficult – if not impossible – to stay on an upbeat and productive track when we are experiencing a sense of unfulfillment, dread, and anxiety about how we live our life.

It’s challenging to weather the storms that life throws at you and to keep pushing on through the daily grind if it all seems like it’s for nothing. When you have a good side hustle to preoccupy yourself with, however, you will have something to focus on, be motivated by, and treat as worthwhile.

Apart from simply making you feel better and increasing the chances that you might make an independent income, running a side hustle can actually make you more resilient. That will increase your “staying power” and make it more likely that you will succeed in whichever endeavors you apply yourself to. It will also mean that your confidence and social relationships will likely benefit.

Related: What Are the Best Side Hustles for You? These 15 Questions Will Help You Decide

3. A Side Hustle Teaches You Valuable Skills

Side hustles don’t just increase your hope and your odds of succeeding at that particular endeavor. They also have a cumulative effect in that they help to teach you valuable in-demand skills, which compound over time.

For example, suppose you decided to create a side hustle with an online business model. You might know very little (if anything) about e-commerce, WordPress website design, and blogging at the outset. After dedicating your time and energy to building and refining your online business, you will gain a significant understanding of all these areas.

Any side hustle you engage in should have the potential for you to learn interesting and useful skills and deepen your professional prospects – even if the business itself doesn’t become successful.

4. A Side Hustle Teaches You Time Management

Pursuing a side hustle requires you to be disciplined and organized with your time. After all, if you’re working a day job, have a social life, and are simultaneously trying to run a little venture on the side, you’ll often find yourself strapped for time.

A quote by Warren Buffett states that the “difference between successful people and really successful people, is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

One of the direct implications of this quote, and many other similar ones from the ultra-successful, is that time management is crucial for success. 

The degree of success in your life is closely related to how disciplined you are with time management. Of course, this applies to side hustles and conventional work, but it also applies to hobbies, personal goals, maintaining social obligations, etc.

5. A Side Hustle Allows You To Be an Entrepreneur on a Tight Budget

The traditional image of the “entrepreneur” that we all have in mind involves someone in a suit, with a lot of venture capital to throw around, embarking on an ambitious business project that features enterprising new technologies and big deals with big players in the industry, and so on.

By contrast, a side hustle is typically the kind of entrepreneurial venture that all the rest of us can manage, even on a tight budget.

One of the beauties of a side hustle is that it can be started small and expanded incrementally over time. What’s more, many of the most popular side hustles – such as affiliate marketing, freelance writing, or graphic design – have little to no start-up costs.

If you dream of creating a successful company that pays all the bills and allows you to utilize and learn new skills, you don’t have to start at the top. You can start small and grow from there.

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Amanda Kay, the founder of My Life, I Guess, provides valuable career advice and support for anyone striving to make a living and, more importantly, make a life. Whether it's navigating job searches, learning new skills, overcoming unemployment, or dealing with debt, My Life, I Guess has been a go-to resource for career guidance and financial stability since 2013. Amanda's expertise and relatable approach have been featured in trusted publications such as MSN, Credit.com, Yahoo! Finance, the Ladders and Fairygodboss.

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