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There was a time when simply having a job meant job security. You knew that as long as you turned up to work everyday and did what was expected of you, you would have a job and a pay check as long as you wanted it. Sadly, those days are over. Job security in any industry is no longer guaranteed. We’ve recently all experienced unprecedented times brought upon us by Covid-19. Particularly when it comes to employment. Jobs and industries that we thought were stable, were eliminated overnight and without warning. What Corona virus has highlighted to us is no industry or job is safe. It’s been devastating to many individuals and families right around the world. Having no reliable income has highlighted why now more than ever, we need other sources of income.

According to the International Labor Organisation, full or partial lockdown has affected almost 2.7 billion workers, or four in five of the world’s workforce. Industry sectors that have been hit the hardest are retail and wholesale (482 million workers), manufacturing (463 million), food and accommodation (144 million) and business services and administration (157 million).

What happens when job security is suddenly taken from you? What do you do?

On the other hand, the cost of living is increasing, debt is higher than it’s ever been and your salary increase just isn’t cutting it. The Covid pandemic has shown us that having an additional source of income adds more security to your income. Security that also comes in the form of, peace of mind. Money stress is one of the highest forms of stress out there in the world. Being able to reduce that stress is something we’re all keen to do. Starting a side hustle is exactly the way to reduce stress and increase your financial independence. It also reduces your reliance on one main source of income. Now, more than ever, it’s time you took control of your income.

Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

What is a side hustle?

According to Chris Guillebeau, “A side hustle is not a part-time job. A side hustle is not the gig economy. It is an asset that works for you.” Chris is an American author, blogger and speaker. He has written the books, The Art of Non-Conformity, The $100 Startup, The Happiness of Pursuit, Born for This and Side Hustle: From idea to income in 27 days.

Chris also adds a side hustle is not your primary source of income. It’s not meant to replace your full-time job and it’s also recommended that it is different from your main occupation. The reason being is it’s good to utilise different skills and more importantly you want to ensure that you don’t become bored by doing the same thing.

Having a side hustle isn’t a new thing. According to a new study commissioned by GoDaddy, one in ten Australians have a side hustle making an average of $24,000 a year. An astonishing 44 million Americans have a side hustle, according to Bankrate.com.

Why have a side hustle?

More income means more options. More options equals freedom and freedom means living a life on your terms. You are no longer reliant on your employer as your main source of income. You are able to create security for you and your family. The extra income can go towards paying bills, paying off debt, saving up for larger items such as a car or house or putting extra money towards your retirement. The extra income can really increase the quality of your life and is yours to do whatever it is you like.

Photo by Austin Schmid on Unsplash

What work do I perform in my side hustle?

A side hustle can be many things but as Chris talks about in his book, Side Hustle – From Idea to Income in 27 days, side hustles fall into three categories. These are selling a product (your own or someone else’s), selling a service or being a middle person in some way. Examples of selling a product could be an ebook, online course or craft through an Etsy shop. A service example could include selling coaching, tutoring or social media management. The third option of being a middle person, could involve buying products cheaply and reselling them on eBay.

Examples of side hustles – starting a blog, transcription work with companies such as Rev, coaching, reselling on eBay, developing and selling an online course, driving for Uber or a dog minding business. With the increase in working from home, there are so many opportunities for side hustles. Ideas are everywhere, there is really no limit to what your side hustle could be. Check out this post by Nick Loper which is loaded with ideas for you side hustle.

How do I start a side hustle?

Keep in mind a side hustle has low start-ups costs. After all, you are starting this to make money.

  • Why do you want to start a side hustle?

Getting crystal clear on your purpose provides a bigger why. As you set about establishing your side hustle, knowing your ‘why’ will help to keep you focused and clear on the bigger picture. It also helps to keep you from getting bogged down in the day to day. Put simply, your ‘why’ is your vision.

  • What skills do I have?

When thinking about what side hustle to start, it’s important to think about what skills you have. What are you passionate about? What things are you interested in? It’s important to not just copy and do something because you see other people doing them. You need to be true to yourself. When you force yourself to do something, it becomes a struggle and you’ll find it hard to stick with it.

  • Develop a timeline

An important part of building a side hustle is to set a timeline for yourself with each step along the way. By doing this, your mind focuses and you start to take action to move you closer to your achievement. Regardless of whether you offer a service or have a product to sell, get clear on what you want to achieve and by when.

Another great resource for starting your side hustle is Nick Loper’s website http://www.sidehustlenation.com. Nick is a former nine to fiver who escaped the corporate grind and built a very successful side hustle business. He also has a podcast which is a fantastic resource to increase your knowledge and hear inspiring side hustle stories.

Like anything, you’ll need to take action, massive amounts of action. You’ll also need to be disciplined and motivated to keep going even if you encounter some challenges. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, but it will be worth it. Just think about what it would mean to you and your family to have another source of income. It’s difficult to put a price on freedom, particularly financial freedom. What does financial freedom mean to you? What would an extra $2,000, $3,000, $5,000 or more each month do for your current situation? It’s up to you. The only thing that is stopping you, is yourself. If you’re still unsure, here’s a quote to inspire you on your side hustle journey.

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” – Earl Nightingale

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