If you’ve been around here long, you have probably already figured out we're not very trendy around here.
Sometimes being part of a trend will catch me off guard, like when I wore plaid consistently since the mid-90s, and it recently came back around as fashionable.
But trendy I am not, so why would I be throwing a phrase like “side hustle” around?
What Is A Side Hustle?
First, let’s take a moment to define what side hustle means.
In the most basic terms, a side hustle is a money-making opportunity beyond your normal “day” job. If you’re frugal enough to be here, though, you may already have perceived there is a distinction between a side hustle and something like a side job or a part-time job that you'd need a killer resume to get.
Money making opportunities beyond a person’s day job were historically called things like “side” jobs or “part-time” jobs. In many cases, these types of jobs are not highly skilled jobs, and the wages aren’t great.
It makes sense that part-time jobs might be those sorts of opportunities for a lot of people. For one, it can be hard to fully develop multiple skill sets. It can also be difficult to find employers who only want a few hours of your labor each week and who want to compensate you well.
Why Side Hustles Are Unique
Side hustles are unique, though, because they seem to be more about maximizing your income relative to the additional work you do. By developing and marketing niche skill sets that are in high demand, you can generate significant compensation for your efforts with a minimal commitment of time.
I have a side hustle where I am fortunate to make what comes out to about twice the hourly rate I make for my day job. Part of the reason for the pay differential is the nature of the work.
My side hustle is task-oriented work, rather than work that pays an hourly wage. The more efficiently I am able to complete the task, the better my ultimate hourly rate.
I dedicated quite a bit of time and effort up front to make the work as efficiently as possible. The initial work has helped to maximize the return for my time.
Why You Should Consider a Side Hustle
A good side hustle can provide you with a unique opportunity to maximize the economic return for your time. It can be a great alternative to the hourly toil of the types of part-time jobs that would only slightly increase your income but might severely drain your time and energy.
There are several different ways you can go about finding your niche side hustle. Here are what I consider to be three of the best ones:
Use A Current Skill Set
You might be surprised by the level of demand for a skill set you already have, though you may have to be creative in studying what other similarly positioned people have done to become successful.
Spending some time networking with people with similar skills to your own can help you get a better feel for what opportunities are out there.
Establishing and building relationships with people who have a need for your unique talents is often even more effective.
Develop A New Skill Set
Even if you don’t perceive you have a unique ability to meet someone else’s need, there’s probably something you could learn pretty quickly.
For example, my wife and I have been looking into new flooring recently, and people around here generally charge $2 dollars and $3 dollars a square foot to install it. Installing flooring professionally takes skill, but it is the type of thing you might be able to learn pretty quickly with the right mentoring.
Convert A Hobby Into A Side Hustle
It’s also possible to turn a hobby into an opportunity to make additional income.
Do you like drones? There is a huge demand for the type of work commercially licensed drone pilots can do. In a day on a website like LinkedIn, you might be able to find multiple clients whose businesses you can add value to by getting capturing high-resolution footage of things like land for sale.
In All, Practice Due Diligence
If you plan to turn a hobby into a revenue stream, be Thrifty Enough to do your due diligence in researching and ensuring you meet any applicable government and industry rules and regulations.
You want to conduct any business, even a side hustle, with the sort of integrity and detail that generates repeat customers and positive referrals. And, anyway, the costs of non-compliance can be significant, both financially and otherwise.
A Few Final Things To Consider
I would encourage you to be Thrifty Enough to dedicate some time to consider how you might get the maximum return for your time beyond the work you’re already doing and to be Thrifty Enough to wisely discern which of those types of opportunities seem to be most worth pursuing.
I would also encourage you to be Thrifty Enough not to lose sight of the reasons you’re considering a side hustle in the first place. Side hustles might be able to help you achieve your financial goals more rapidly. But don’t let pursuing them become a time thief. Once your needs have been met and you have enough, be vigilant in remembering how much more valuable and scarce time can be than money.
Here Are Some Questions To Ponder And Discuss Below:
Do you have a side hustle or side hustles?
What are some of the best opportunities you’ve come across?
Is there a new skill you’d like to learn? How could you go about developing, mastering, and marketing it?