Side hustle means making money alongside your main employment or income. This is a relatively new term as I remember it being called “side line” back in the day. Hustle suggests the following – hurry, press ahead, pursue something energetically. So, I guess the term side hustle came about to inject a fresher and younger vibe to it.
Ganito kami noon
During our time, there was a significant preference for stability and joining long-standing, stable companies with clear career paths. We would stay for many years building a career in one or just a few companies in our entire professional life. We grew up answering the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And most of the time, we end up doing just that, or something related to it.
These days, I’ve read new parenting literature that discourages that kind of upbringing – i.e. answering the question, let’s say it in Filipino this time, “Paglaki mo, anong gusto mong maging?” Why? Because they think that it might limit the child’s options when he actually grows up and joins the work force. As far as this parent is concerned, I think it’s pretty safe to allow your young kids to imagine themselves doing certain professions. Allow them express what they fancy at the moment. I remember our sons coming home declaring what they will be when they grow up, depending on what inspired them during the day. Here are some of their “ambitions” back then expressed enthusiastically. “I want to be a carpenter!” “I will be a teacher!” “I want to become a firefighter!” Even if some well-meaning relatives would tell them, “You want to be a carpenter? Why not an architect instead?” or “Teacher? Are you sure?” or “Will you earn as a firefighter?” we just allowed them to express what inspired them at the moment. We asked what made them interested in those professions instead of lecturing them on the economic aspect of their choices. Ironically, that’s part high FQ parenting.
Paano kayo ngayon?
These days, employees are excited to join start-ups that fulfill their passion. They are also characterized as job hoppers staying in a job for just a couple of years or even months. I have stopped complaining about this propensity to job hop among the younger employees. It could be part of evolution; however, please don’t overdo the “It’s not fulfilling my passion anymore” argument.
The reality is we don’t exactly know what we want to be when we grow up. We would never know unless we try things out. And that’s where side hustling can help.
Because everyone needs to finance one’s standard of living, our stable main job should be treated as a gift. If you are currently enjoying your stable job that stuck with you despite the pandemic, treat it as a double gift worth your devotion. Make yourself worthy of your employment and you’re set to reap the rewards.
On the other hand, if you feel that something is still missing, or you are still itching to do something on top of your day job, then it might be a great time to do side hustle. Find out what you are fond of doing and where you are good at, that the world needs from you, making the people you serve willing to pay. This is what the Japanese call Ikigai. I’ve written about this and discussed it in shows several times. (Click links to read/watch some of them – 1 2 3 4 5.
Side hustle guidelines
Here are some guidelines on how to you can earn from your side hustle:
- Find your Ikigai.
- Be prudent in spending for equipment you use in your side hustle.
- Allocate your time for your side hustle efficiently. Never allow your main job to suffer because of your side hustle.
- Charge for value. Yes, there may be times when you give your service for free, or as a gift, in order to gain exposure, but pricing your service or product well is key to a successful side hustle. Unlike cost-plus pricing, value-based pricing focuses on the customer’s perceived value or benefit of your product or service. Of course, when starting out, you offer discounts as your way of giving value to the trust that is given to you. But don’t forget to make that discount salient – i.e. state your value amount then deduct the discount you are giving.
- Your side hustle should not be in conflict with your main job. If you work as an engineer in an engineering firm, it is conflict of interest to offer that same service as your side hustle. Check your company’s policies so you don’t get in trouble.
- Use the earning capacity of your side hustle to purchase something out of your usual budget. This will motivate you to hustle well.
- The advantage of a side hustle is you get to expose yourself to other possibilities. Just make sure that you don’t lose focus in developing your strengths and skills.
- While some side hustles can ultimately bring you successful businesses, it’s also possible that some won’t. But that’s okay. Use them to enhance your current job. For example, you love to sing and you’ve done some gigs here and there, but you’re sticking it out with your job for whatever reason. That’s fine because you know what? You can still use that side hustle to enhance your main job. When an employee is great at something else, he is usually more interesting. At the same time, continuing with your side hustle may actually enhance your performance in your main job as you now have a regular way of expressing your other creative side.
In the end, earning from your side hustle is not just limited to monetary terms. As shown in the example in number 8, you may actually become better at your main job because of your side gigs. And most of all, when you grow old, you will never have that regret of not having tried your other possibilities.
Join us on Thursday live on Kumu and Facebook (FQ Mom and Knowledge Channel) as we talk to our guest Samantha Sy about her experience of doing side hustle while keeping her day job.
1. I will be at the Jewels Conference on July 16 talking about personal finances.
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