Oh side hustle, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
My greatest goal in life is to leave this world a better place than I found it. And one of the ways I think I can help do that is by giving people permission to do things they enjoy and take control of their life and then empowering them to do so.
Now, don't get me wrong, you do NOT need my permission to do pretty much anything. However, sometimes I think people need to hear that they have permission to enjoy their lives and to take control of them. I know it sounds silly, but I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to that feel they are indebted to their current employer, their significant other, their children, their student loans, their mortgage, their daycare payments, their in-laws, etc.
You are only indebted if you choose to be.
Part of this is a shift in mindset, which we'll cover in another post, but the other part is embracing the number one philosophy behind buffets: options. Options mean that you have a choice. And life is the world's greatest buffet! As a human being, you are free to make your own choices. Sometimes it's just difficult to see what options might truly exist because it requires a little creativity, which comes more naturally to some than others. But when you have the freedom of choice and options to choose from, there's a whole lot of room to start creating a life that you truly love to live.
And I'm a firm believer that the path of the side hustle is a great one to embrace. And this is where my manifesto to the side hustle begins.
There is an opportunity cost to every choice you make. Whenever you choose A, you're missing the opportunity to do B. But that's choice. When you choose to embrace a side hustle, you're making the decision to sacrifice time and energy to make money.
But isn't that what we sacrifice when we have full-time jobs too? And part-time jobs?
So isn't a side-hustle just another way to make money?
Yes and no. It's even better than that.
It's another way to make money doing something that you either love or you're just flipping great at, and most of the time side hustles address BOTH!
And the beauty is, you don't have to interview for a side hustle. You don't have to ask permission to take a day off of a side hustle. You don't have to deal with a micromanaging boss at a side hustle. You're your own boss, you set your own schedule and you do pretty much whatever you want whenever you want. I created the Work From Home Playbook to share everything I've learned in getting started and running successful companies for the last six years while working from wherever I please in hopes of helping you do the same thing!
Why do you think businesses like AirBnb and Uber have skyrocketed? Not only are they solving a fundamental human problem of cheaper housing when you travel and on-demand travel, but they allow people to make a little side cash. And for some people, they do it full time, which just goes to show that a solid side hustle always has the potential to turn into a full-time opportunity if you want it to.
We live in a society that demands convenience and a better work/life blend. You can have that too if you decide you want it.
Let's illustrate via storytime.
1. Meet Amanda, a 28-year-old business strategist who works at a local bank.
She finished her MBA about a year ago and really enjoys volunteering at a local non-profit dedicated to helping startups with business plans. She has helped her parents with miscellaneous ad hoc needs over the last few years in their family business, which has broadened her scope of the full range of knowledge it takes to run a business. While she's happy working at the bank, it's not her dream job. It pays well, but it's strictly a 9-5, and she can leave her work at work, which is more than she can say for a lot of her friends.
But what does Amanda really want? Amanda wants to make a little extra cash to help pay off her student loans faster and maybe take a trip to Europe this year.
What if Amanda used her years of experience helping her family in their business, her MBA, and her strong financial background to help local small businesses manage their financials and plan for their future as a small business strategy consultant? If she worked an extra 5 hours a week at $80/hour, she'd make an extra $1,600 per month. That's $19,200 in a year. That's a pretty nice boost on student loan payments and as fancy of a European vacation as you could ever ask for!
She could make more money, pay down her debt, reduce her financial stress, increase her overall satisfaction in helping others, AND still take a nice little vaca when it's all said and done. And guess what? If it takes off, in a year or two, maybe it could turn into a 30-40 hour a week business and she could do part of that work while traveling the world. The possibilities are endless.
Invest in yourself and create opportunities to live your best life!
2. Meet Mo, a 34-year-old graphic designer who works at a mid-sized ad agency in town.
She gets paid well, her coworkers are fine, she has to work some late nights, but she's kind of sick of the work she's doing because she doesn't find it all that fulfilling. Mo gets her health insurance through her husband and she just had a baby and is returning from maternity leave in about a month. She's already feeling a little iffy about returning to work full time. She makes a comfortable salary at $84,000 per year, but daycare fees will be close to $1,800 a month for an infant full time, almost $22,000 a year -- 26% of her annual salary!
So what does Mo really want? Mo wants to work 20-25 hours a week, have her mom watch the baby one day a week and have daycare take care of the baby one day a week. If daycare costs were only $500 a month and she could still make $3,500 a month (half of her original salary), their finances would be just fine.
Well, guess what? If Mo were to start poking around to see if she could drum up some freelance work and charge $50/hour, she only needs to work 70 hours a month (17.5 hours a week) to make $3,500! And if she were to work the 25 hours a week she wants to work, she could make $5,000, 71% of her original salary, working 62% (or less) than she was before!
She could make as much as she needs/wants to AND have the time to spend with her baby while working LESS.
Take control of your life and live up to the happiness potential you set for yourself!
3. Meet Sharon, a 63-year-old accountant who is retiring in the next six months.
Sharon has had a great career. She's worked for over 42 years and she's a damn good accountant. But if she never sees another number again, it'd be too soon. Her true love is photography, but she's been so busy raising her three kids, watching her two grandchildren grow up, navigating a recent messy divorce, and being a reliable member of her Tuesday night bowling league that she hasn't had the time to dedicate as much time to photography as she'd like. But she's been dabbling in it for the last decade or so. She likes working and is a little worried about retirement because she likes to stay busy.
So what does Sharon really want? Sharon wants to enjoy retirement but still have a purpose. She really wants to dive into photography and loves newborn and family portrait photoshoots. She wants to have an excuse to socialize and add value to people's lives. But she also really wants to spend more time with her grandkids and continue seeing her girlfriends as much as possible.
What if Sharon were to set up an LLC and start a photography business? Even if she only did two or three shoots a month, those would be dedicated opportunities to engage with new families. She could make a little extra cash and she could use the money she makes from photo shoots to continue to invest in her equipment and continuing education, reducing her potential taxes. Now, not only is she investing in herself, having the time of her life learning new photography techniques and lenses, she's adding value to people's lives and socializing with new people as clients as classmates! She still has plenty of time every week for her grandchildren, children, and besties, and she's truly starting to live her best life by doing more of what she really loves!
Investing in yourself is the greatest investment you can make!
So as you can see, there are all kinds of opportunities that exist when you dive inside and ask yourself what you really want. Don't sit there an expect your 9-5 to pay you 100% of all the money you'd ever want to make while having the best coworkers a gal could ask, a flexible work schedule, meaningful work, and benefits. That's crazy. Your career is whatever you want it to be and life is short. Spend your time in ways that add the greatest value to your life.
Check out the Work From Home Playbook and for a mere $99, you'll be able to soak up years of entrepreneurship expertise and experience so you don't make the same mistakes I did! Get it girl!
Kiley Executive Coach & Consultant
Kiley Peters is a serial entrepreneur, national speaker, executive coach, and small business consultant. Having personally counseled over 100 small and medium-sized businesses on operations, business development, digital marketing, and consumer behavior analysis over the last 17 years Kiley is incredibly passionate about serving small business owners. She is the Founder and CEO of Brainchild Studios, a research and business strategy partner for small businesses and mid-market executives, and also created the Work From Home Playbook, a series of online courses guiding aspiring entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a virtual business. With these experiences in her back pocket, she understands the challenges and struggles small business owners encounter.more posts by Kiley →