Side Hustles 101: Find Your Purpose Through An After Hours Project

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Chances are, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard the term side hustle or another form of the phrase describing a side job or hobby that brings in extra cash. But what does a side hustle truly entail? And what kind of side hustle can you start? Let’s unpack it.

What is a side hustle?

The conversation around side hustles has recently gained traction, largely due to social media and the ability to not only independently advertise but also to connect with others who share common interests. According to entrepreneur.com, a side hustle is defined as a way to make extra money while pursuing your passions without having to quit your daytime responsibilities, whether that’s class, a full-time job, etc.

But why invest your time in a side hustle?

A side hustle can be a glorious creative outlet, an escape from the everyday routine. It can nourish a skill set that you already use in your main occupation or invest in a passion you’ve set to the side.

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A side hustle can allow you to fulfill your interests at a very deep level, whether or not it has anything to do with your main occupation. Let’s say that maybe you always had an interest in calligraphy, but don’t think that you could solely support yourself on a career doing it. So you took a 9-5 job, which you may love, but you hunger to express yourself through artistic penmanship. A side hustle involving calligraphy, such as writing wedding invitations, can allow you not only to earn extra cash, but keep your passion alive.

The side hustle cash

Let’s face it, life is expensive! Even if you budget carefully, there is still the possibility of unforeseen expenses. And that unexpected expense doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Maybe it’s not a flat tire, but your favorite artist announcing a tour or the opportunity for a girls’ trip comes up. Having a couple extra bucks lying around can mean the difference between living paycheck to paycheck, and having stress-relieving breathing room.

The return on investment in a side hustle doesn’t have to be monetary, however. A side hustle can provide nourishment for your mind and soul. It can enrich your career and move you towards your long-term goals. The important factor is to pinpoint where your heart and priorities lie. How can your side hustle best serve you? Your side hustle can naturally feature all three of these benefits, but keeping your sights set on one in particular will maintain your focus and help to organize your gameplan.

So what constitutes a side hustle?

Think back to your passions. What is something you’ve always enjoyed doing no matter whether or not it ended in a paycheck? I’m a big believer in the fact that you should genuinely enjoy your side hustle, whether or not you intend to earn an income from it.

That isn’t to say that having one will always be sunshine and butterflies. But if your side hustle is causing more worry than release, you may need to recalculate.

A side hustle can be a journey in learning and developing your passions. Did you always want to learn how to sew? Maybe you could turn it into a lucrative side hustle. Do you adore yoga classes? You could teach classes in your off hours. Have a knack for social media? You could manage small businesses’ social media accounts.  Were you really good at English in high school and still enjoy cracking open a classic novel? Consider tutoring as a side hustle. Do you have dietary restrictions that aren’t fulfilled by the cuisine in your community? Vegan baking could be viable!

Do you have to do it alone?

A side hustle doesn’t always have to be a solitary sport. Many of my side hustles over the years have included the help of others, or joining a team to advance a common goal. This is a really good approach when you’re like me and do not have extra time to build a structure for your side hustle. It doesn’t lessen your outlet, but takes some of the potential burden off your shoulders.

The important takeaway is that a side hustle should be an experience, a point of growth, a journey and a way to develop your soul in a way that the routine of everyday may not afford. Bear in mind that the side hustle should elevate your life, not cause added stress and expectations.

 

Have you ever had a side hustle before or are you pursuing one currently? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

 

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