What is a Side Hustle?

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What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is simply a way to earn extra income, apart from your “day job.” There are dozens of examples, which we’ll cover in full detail soon.

Today, it’s all about the common characteristics of a side hustle.

Mindset

When you think of the word “hustle,” what comes to mind?

I’ve found it has two very different connotations:

One positive — “He’s not the biggest guy on the court but he sure shows a lot of hustle!

And one negative — “I got hustled by that used car salesman!”

In the context of a side hustle, it’s universally positive. The type of hustle I’m talking about is:

  • Getting more done with less

  • A “finisher’s” attitude

  • For the love of the game

NOT:

  • Ripping people off

  • Easy money

  • Mind-numbing work

The first step to building a successful side hustle is to get the mindset right. Without the optimistic, can-do, make-something-happen attitude, it’s really difficult to find the positive energy required to build the business.

If you’re the down-on-your-luck, woe-is-me victim of life, I’ll be 100% honest: this whole side hustle thing probably isn’t going to work out for you.

It starts with attitude.

The good news is attitude is free, and it’s equal-opportunity; everyone has access to the side hustle mindset.

Whether you think you can, or think you can’t… you’re right.

–Henry Ford

Investment

A side hustle should be a low-risk project, meaning it shouldn’t take a lot of start-up capital. Like Chris Guillebeau discusses in The $100 Startup, there are a ton of rewarding lifestyle businesses that got off the ground without breaking the bank.

I started the business that eventually became ShoeSniper.com with just $5 — because that’s what it cost to open a Google AdWords account at the time. (And I think it’s free now!)

Instead of investing a lot of money, the largest side hustle investment is typically the hustler’s time.

Time

Side hustles are part-time endeavors people use to build new skill-sets, supplement their income, or just to experiment with some new business idea.

Initially, a side hustle should take up no more than 20 hours a week of your time. Of course if the business really takes off you’re welcome to adjust the hours accordingly, but for starters it’s important to keep the time investment to a minimum.

The idea is to take some knowledge or skill you have and leverage it into a small but viable business.

If it feels like work, don’t do it. Side hustles should be fun!

And no matter how busy you are, I’m sure you could scrape up an extra hour or two a day if you really had to.

“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24 hour days.” –Zig Ziglar

Of the limitless side hustle opportunities, I want to focus on time-leveraged ventures.

In the beginning, it’s 100% OK to take on a part-time job, freelancing gig, or other “by-the-hour”-types of work, but in the long-run the goal should be to leverage your time so that one hour of work can result in many hours worth of income. That’s what I mean by time-leveraged.

Trading hours for dollars can be a good way to get started, to learn new skills or break into a new industry, but it’s not a long-term path to financial freedom.  After all, you only have so many hours in the day.

Income

Side hustles are NOT get-rich-quick schemes, but can be quite lucrative.

Imagine if you could bring in an extra $500 or $1000 a month in your spare time, doing something you love. That would be awesome right?

That’s what this site is all about.

It won’t happen overnight, so align your expectations accordingly, but it is absolutely feasible to be earning a significant side income after a few months or a year. Regular people make it happen all the time, and so can you.

Rewards

Besides the extra income potential that gets everyone excited initially, having a side hustle can be rewarding in other ways as well.

For instance, it can give you a chance to pursue professional goals outside of work, challenge yourself in a new arena, and flex your entrepreneurial muscles (maybe for the first time!).

Filling your days with meaningful work is a path to happiness. If your day job doesn’t get you excited anymore (or it never did), a side hustle is the perfect outlet to explore and experiment with something that will.

The Hustle

To make a side hustle work, it takes real work. That’s why it’s called a hustle, because it’s not for lazy people.

(Although if you set it up right, an initial time investment can pay off for months or years down the road without much ongoing work.)

But if you’re not ready to put in the hours at the beginning, or if you’re happy with your job, or if you make enough money already, a side hustle probably isn’t for you. And that’s totally fine.

The best side hustlers have a hunger for something more, and use their hustles a means to get there.

Are you ready to hustle?

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