So you want to start a side hustle, eh? You’ve heard all this hype about the gig economy and you want a piece of the action. Now I’m no hypebeast, but I can personally vouch for some of this side-hustle hype.
I’ve been side-hustling as a ghostwriter since May of 2011, which was my Sophomore year in college. I’ve seen many peaks in valleys over these six years as a ghostwriter. I’ve grown this side hustle from generating pocket change in college to generating more income than my main hustle some months.
The purpose of this article is NOT to paint a sunshine-and-rainbows picture of the side hustle. Instead, I want to bust 3 myths regarding the side-hustle in hopes of helping you decide whether the entrepreneurial life is for you.
Myth 1: Anything can be Turned into A Side Hustle
Reality: Some skills and passions are much more monetizable than others
The first side hustle myth is anything can be turned into a side hustle. This is bad advice, but not entirely false. In today’s digital age, it has never been easier to find a niche for virtually anything.
The reality is the more obscure your skill or passion, the harder it will be to turn it into a profitable side hustle. The labor market follows the basic principles of any other type of market – the law of supply and demand reigns supreme.
I help my side-hustler career coaching clients use mind mapping to get a complete picture of their skills and passions, and then help them find a combination that is pragmatic and marketable in the gig economy.
Some skills in high-demand are:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Web Development
- Graphic Design
- Social Media Marketing
- Financial and Tax Accounting
- Project Management
- Community Management
- Mobile App Development
- Photography & Cinematography
Any of these ten skills could easily be turned into a side hustle.
Myth 2: Everyone Should Have a Side Hustle
Reality: Not everyone is cut out for the side hustle, and that’s perfectly okay.
If you read some of the posts on the blogosphere regarding the side hustle, then you’ve probably came across a hypebeast who made it sound like you have to have a side hustle to truly succeed in today’s society.
Now, given that part of what I do is coach people on building a successful side hustle, it would make sense for me to be such a hypebeast. Instead, I want to tell you the reality behind this myth – you may not be cut out for the side hustle.
I don’t mean this in a bad way. It’s perfectly okay to not have a side hustle. You may already be killing it on the traditional career path.
You may also find that working for someone else is liberating or rewarding in some other way. I still keep a traditional job because I found I like the balance between the two. I’ve taken my ghostwriting side-hustle full time for six months back in 2013, and at 23, working from home full time just wasn’t for me.
When working from home full time wasn’t all I had thought it to be, I started to seriously doubt whether I was cut out to make any serious money with my side hustle.
I stopped writing for a few months, but then I picked myself up. I got back into the market and landed a new client. I just couldn’t give up ghostwriting entirely. That’s the moment I knew I was a side-hustler.
Myth 3: The Purpose of Every Side Hustle is to Become the Main Hustle
Reality: The Side Hustle May Never Become a Main Hustle
The goal of your side hustle does not have to be to scale it into a business that allows you to quit your main job. For a lot of people their side hustles are just monetized fun. Their side hustles involve stuff they’d do for free anyways, but they just happened to find a way to make money doing it.
To be honest, I wish I could give you better advice here. After six years I still don’t really know what the end goal is besides generating as much income as possible. I know I have to just be persistent and ride this wave wherever it takes me.
Do you have any questions regarding how to start a side hustle? Let’s talk about them on Twitter! (@BPucino)