The Rise of The Side-Hustle Economy
Whether you’re saving up for something big or simply hoping to learn new skills and grow your network, side-hustling is your thing.
What is side-hustling?
You could call it a bit on the side, or a hobby that earns. Yes, the “side hustle” sounds like a funky new dance move, but it is in fact the current buzzword for taking on an additional, part-time job.
A growing trend
Second income streams are where it’s at! Britons are now earning £249mn from what would once be thought of as mere hobbies. After-work passion projects are paying out, and more and more people are jumping on the bandwagon. One in five start-ups began life as a side-hustle. It’s a reflection of our lives becoming more diverse, and people wanting to be more mentally and physically adventurous: our weekends might now include yoga, bread-making, learning a language, sewing our own clothes… and all these things need a teacher. A teacher who is probably doing it as a side-hustle.
Who is it for?
Surprisingly, it’s not just for the cash-strapped. In fact, if you’re really struggling to make ends meet day-to-day, taking on the extra responsibility and initial outlay of a side-hustle may only increase your stress and strain. Instead, you might want to look at trimming your budget and dealing with debt first.
But if you’re a passionate, well-organised person with spare time who wants to build new networks, the side-hustle is your new best friend.
It’s also great for saving for a specific one-off project or event. Many people with a wedding or round-the-world trip coming up will put in a few hours a week at a second job. And of course, anyone who has a special skill, from baking to baby care, may as well capitalize on it.
And personal finance fast-trackers who have made their DIY financial plan and want to rack up 6 months extra earnings for their emergency fund could easily reach their goal quicker by taking on some weekend or evening work.
How to turn your profit into a passion
There’s so much help online. From basic (cheap!) accounting packages - you don’t want to get a nasty surprise from the tax man - like uk.sageone.com to project management apps such as trello.com, the basic structure of your business can be outsourced digitally for mere pennies.
If you want to put in a few hours working for others but aren’t ready to fully launch your own business, consider signing up to taskrabbit.co.uk or peopleperhour.com – these work like the old “small adds” in the local paper, where you will find people advertising for a helper for anything from doing their shopping to help writing a website. Many skilled professionals use these sites.
How can it make a difference to your career?
Top business advisors say that building a network outside your industry is a key factor in keeping you solvent for life. That way, if your main industry tanks or your market share becomes devalued, you have outside contacts to help re-build your wealth. A newspaper journalist never knows when she might find her side-hustle as a dog groomer becoming her main source of income!
Even if you’re in stable employment, it can impress bosses and help with promotion prospects to show that you’re an ingenious, independent person who thinks outside the 9-5 box. Some workers fear that their managers will disapprove of their side-hustle, but in fact the opposite is true: it makes you just the sort of motivated, ambitious self-starter they want leading their business.
Some successful examples
You don’t need to look far for examples of sisters (and brothers) doing it for themselves. Among Vestpod’s friends is the successful TV documentary-maker Jane Fellner, who also runs Loopster – a brilliant business that makes re-selling children’s clothes easy, by collecting them from your home or office and doing all the selling for you. She started it because she saw a gap in the market, fancied a new challenge and realized she had time to make it work.
Patrick Buckley, a successful NYC marketing executive, turned his love of Chinese food into a nice little earner by running foodie tours of Chinatown. He also achieved personal goals of meeting new people, giving back to the community that had fed him so well for many years, getting active outdoors, and… eating more dumplings!
Forbes Magazine recently collated some of the less material ways side-hustlers are making it work, including:
"Creating one-on-one training programs for coaches looking to launch their own business"
“Teaching people how to save and actually earn money from the things they're already buying"
“Creating profiles that get recruiters' attention for people on LinkedIn”, and
“Being a body positivity coach who helps women over 40 love the skin they're in”.
So you see, whatever your interests, however much or little time or commitment you have to give, there’s a way of making the side-hustle work for you. This cool new way of earning perfectly reflects our mission here at Vestpod: achieving financial independence by taking control over your money – and having fun!