July 26, 2022

Three Reasons to Start a Side Hustle

If you’re serious about starting a side hustle to make extra money (or for a different reason), start with this article.

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Three Reasons to Start a Side Hustle

Young guy making a food video

A side hustle is a business you operate outside your normal working hours. Almost six in 10 Canadians took on or considered taking on a side hustle last year, mostly for one of these three reasons: 

  • Making extra money
  • Pursuing an idea
  • Leveraging a talent 

If you’re being motivated by one of these “reasons to act,” keep reading. We’ll make recommendations to ensure a greater chance of success in each case.

Starting a Side Hustle to Make Extra Money 

In this case, you’d want a side hustle that doesn’t cost you very much money, which means it’s going to cost you time. The modern gig economy is the perfect entry point. 

If you have a car, you can drive for Uber. If you have a bike, you can deliver for Uber Eats. If you have a home and somewhere to stay, you can be a host for Airbnb. Some might consider these second jobs (more on that later), but we wouldn’t because in each of these cases you’re your own boss and you can earn as much money as you want. That’s the difference between a side hustle and a second job. 

The downside of this kind of side hustle is that you have to work a lot to make good money (the average Uber driver earns $24.50/h before deductions).

If you already have a full-time job, your hustle won’t leave much time for sleep. 

If you’re looking for a little more value from a side hustle (more money earned for less time spent) consider platforms like TaskRabbit where you can make upwards of $7K/month if you can perform the right kind of tasks. 

If you can perform high-value tasks like plumbing, carpentry, or electrical, you can forge a nice side hustle with companies like The Home Depot who will contract you out for work and give you benefits. 

And, if you have the background, you could provide consulting, accounting, or even legal services as a side hustle (and charge professional fees) through platforms like Upwork.  

Starting a Side Hustle to Pursue an Idea

Seeing a wildly successful idea that you once had but never acted on is proof that your entrepreneurial thinking was on the right track. It also means you’re already more than halfway to improving what’s out there — and the market always has room for a better mousetrap. 

If you’re going to “go for it,” you have to accept that your idea will only succeed if you’re working at it full time, which you can’t do until you get some money. 

So, put most of your side-hustle time towards putting together a strong investor presentation, also called a pitch deck (you can see some great examples here). In short: 

  • Research your market.
  • Figure out how to make your product or deliver your service.
  • Demonstrate the economics of your long-term plan.
  • Be able to describe the problem your idea solves and why it’s worth solving. 

The downside of starting a side hustle to pursue an idea is that you won’t make money at the beginning. But the upside is that your side hustle will become your full-time job if you get it right.

Starting a Side Hustle to Leverage a Talent

What good is a talent if you don’t use it, right? If you were blessed with a voice for radio, maybe your side hustle is voiceover for commercials? If you’re a musical savant, your side hustle could be as the drummer in a wedding band or the singer in a jazz band. If you’re a natural wordsmith, maybe you write white papers for companies? And if you’re a performer, maybe you play Princess Elsa or Batman at kids’ birthday parties? 

And your talent does not have to be something creative. Someone born with natural math skills could have a very nice bookkeeping business. Another person with the gift of gab could more than supplement their income as a real estate agent. And a third with the gift of hyper-organization could start a personal assistant firm and pick up clients all over the world. 

Two keys to making your talent work for you: 

  1. Find a side hustle that lets you do EXACTLY what you’re good at. If yours is fine art, you can sell your artwork on sites like Red Bubble instead of wasting your talent painting houses.  
  2. Realize that customer service is what will separate you from the other talented people out there and will probably lead to more business, especially given that 72% of customers will share a positive experience with at least six other people. 

What side hustles pay the most?

We get this question a lot. It’s impossible to answer because two people pursuing the same side hustle could have drastically different results based on factors ranging from location to personal circumstance. 

What we can say is that the people with side hustles who generally make the most money share a few traits: 

  • They have a clearly identified solution to a clearly present problem being experienced by a clearly identified target audience
  • They leverage technology to capture email addresses, receive quotes and stay top of mind in the right customer categories
  • They move methodically, never taking on too much or jeopardizing their day jobs
  • They never overspend 

A few final points about side hustles

  1. A side hustle isn’t a second job because you’re responsible for the work product (i.e., making the jewelry, writing the article, doing the books, playing the concert) AND the business’s growth (acquiring and retaining customers, building a website, filing taxes, etc.). So those are your second and third jobs right there. If you’re successful, you may wind up taking on “hiring manager” as a fourth job. 
  2. The upside of all the hard work is that you’ll love it. That’s why people pursue a side hustle and why so many turn into lucrative full-time businesses. It’s the work you dream about doing while doing the work that pays the bills. And it’s yours. You call the shots and make the rules.
  3. You should always feel like you’re running TOWARDS your side hustle and not AWAY from your life or job. While the latter will make you look and feel desperate (something everyone you talk to will be able to see on you), the former will motivate you to bring your side hustle to life. 

The bottom line is that you have no shortage of ways to start your side hustle and no shortage of ideas to try for any reason you want. And if you do it right, your side hustle could become your career, your company or, in some cases, your retirement plan.  

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July 26, 2022

Three Reasons to Start a Side Hustle

If you’re serious about starting a side hustle to make extra money (or for a different reason), start with this article.

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