One such term is side-hustle.
In mainstream terms, a side-hustle refers to a way to, well, hustle and earn money in some way beyond your primary job (or business).
No matter how you refer to it, there are strong reasons why those of us who work for ourselves need to consider reasons why a side-hustle (or several) could help you to get on the road to financial security.
You Can Use Your Existing Entrepreneur Hustle Skills
It’s inevitable that you’ll develop your tangible and intangible skill sets as you grow in your entrepreneurship. For example, you’ve hopefully educated yourself on marketing basics.
You’ve learned basic communication skills. You’ve learned a thing or two about identifying niches and industries to focus on.
You’ve probably learned a lot more, and all of these new skill sets (on top of your existing skill sets) will allow you to side hustle your way into unlimited income streams.
Think of it: You’ve voluntarily placed untold amounts of time and effort into learning how to provide business services for your clients. Why not carve out some time to use your skills to diversify yourself?
You’ll Diversify Your Revenue Generating Platforms
Whether you’re a lone freelancer, or whether you’re an agency boss, chances are good that you market a primary service, and this is the service that generates anywhere from 80%-100% of your revenue.
The problem with this model is you’re setting yourself up for a financial crash. Even if you sold a recession-proof (or rejection-proof) commodity, it’s not wise to count on one revenue stream for the long haul.
Real-Life Example: Even McDonald’s Understands The Power Of The Side-Hustle
Love them or hate them, McDonald’s is the king of all fast-food endeavors. They’re a global brand that has spread the American custom of enjoying a hamburger, soda and fries with family or friends, around the world.
At first blush, you might believe that McDonald’s generates revenue by selling burgers. After all, burgers are the brand’s crown-jewel product, right?
But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll quickly realize that McDonald’s uses their restaurants (and the strength of their brand) as a platform that allows them to delve into plenty of other revenue-generate side-hustles.
For example, what do you notice at many locations when you step on McDonald’s property? If you’re in my city, then you’ll notice a RedBox dvd rental kiosk.
No, RedBox isn’t owned by McDonald’s (anymore), but the corporation absolutely still generates revenue in leasing fees just by allowing the kiosk to sit on their property.
McDonald’s employees aren’t responsible for maintaining the kiosks-that job belongs to RedBox contractors, yet McDonald’s still gets a cut of the almost-guaranteed dvd revenue.
McDonald’s also has a side-hustle deal with the publishers of U.S.A. Today, allowing the restaurant to offer their (primarily) morning breakfast crowd a newspaper to go with their morning coffee.
Have you ever had a birthday party at the restaurant, or do you know of a child (perhaps your child) who’s had a McDonald’s birthday party?
If so, then you’ve participated in yet another revenue stream (side-hustle) that McDonald’s has enjoyed for years.
And, beyond hamburgers, the restaurant has moved into other food and beverage spaces such as smoothies, gourmet coffees, artisan iced tea drinks, coffee cakes, Cinnabon-style cinnamon rolls, and of course, there’s the branded partnerships that come with promoting toy prizes inside of their kids’s meal bundles.
So, if a gigantic, international fast-food brand understands the need to create diversified revenue streams, then it suits you to do the same, right?
You’ll Increase Your Independence
Speaking of not counting on any one revenue stream, the opposite of this is creating financial independence for yourself, especially as a service provider.
Let’s be real for a moment:
Raise your hand if you’ve ever took on a project or a client who didn’t sit well with you, and your gut told you not to move forward with it, or them.
Chances are, you took on the ill-fated project or client anyway because you needed the money, plain and simple. But at the end of the day, the project or the client drove you crazy, made you experience anguish, sadness, fury, or confusion.
Worst still, your self-esteem or your self-respect sunk a little deeper because dealing with the bad client/project simply for money made you realize just how broke and financially dependent you are.
Wouldn’t it be nice to honor yourself by turning away projects or clients who are clearly a bad fit? Wouldn’t it be great to not have to experience the stress that comes with financial highs and lows?
You can do just that when you have a nice reservoir of revenue created from a variety of smaller income streams! You won’t have to constantly live to die another day or month, wondering how long you can hang in there with your accounts payable.
And best of all, you won’t have to tolerate projects or clients you despise!
You’ll Be Prepared For The Future
How long do you plan on being in business? A small percentage of freelancers/entrepreneurs can solidly answer this question and back up their answers with hard facts.
But if you’re like most, then you’re learning as you go along. The truth is, you might not have a plan for an end date because you can’t afford to stop operating!
You never know what opportunities might arise in your future. Without financial planning, you’ll remain on the hamster wheel of operating your business one invoice at a time! Then, you’ll miss out on opportunities to move into new industries, new spaces, new partnerships, or even, a new lifestyle.
On the other hand, multiple revenue streams allow you to create a war chest that in turn allows you to consider future plans. That might include expanding your business, creating an entirely new business, creating a partnership, or closing down shop altogether.
You Can Turn Set-Aside Hobbies Into Cash
We’ve all been encouraged to pursue hobbies. They make us more creative and interesting people. If we’re lucky, then we can engage in a hobby that we feel passionate about.
But in today’s technological climate, there’s absolutely no reason why anyone with a computer and internet access can’t monetize their hobbies. If you’re going to do your thing for free, then why not earn money doing the same thing?
Whether it’s your rare or precious metal coin collection, whether it’s your arts and crafts, whether it’s your baked goods, etc., there are plenty of platforms that allow you to create revenue streams doing what you love.
2 More Bonus Reasons For Hustling
If all of these weren’t enough reasons to get you thinking of side-hustling for money, then consider the fact that you’ll also increase your transferable skills, and you could increase your professional network.
Then, when you’ve created the ability to expose yourself to new clients and business partners, you’ll create more opportunities to beat your competition by sending out polished, professional proposals.