What Is A Side Hustle?

Oooh, “side-hustling”, right?! The super-trendy buzzword that surrounds the limitless earning potential behind building your own business without having to quit your 9-5. More importantly, what is a side hustle?

Side-Hustling: The art of hustling to bring in an income outside of your 9-5 gig.

What’s the goal of side-hustling? Well, for many, it’s to bring in a second stream of income to pay off debt, save for a big purchase, or just upgrade their disposable income and make some lifestyle changes.

For others, it’s a vehicle to drive them towards being financially secure enough to leave their 9-5 gig — either giving them the freedom to return to school, pursue a different career path, or scale their side-hustle(s) into a full-time gig.

The beauty of side-hustles, as largely championed by Chris Guillebeau (The $100 Startup, How To Start A Side-Hustle), is that they can be hacked together relatively inexpensively these days. You don’t need Venture Capital funding or a loan from the bank to get started; all you need is a product/service/experience, some market validation, and a paying customer base.

If you listen to Chris Guillebeau’s podcast “Side-Hustle School”, you’ll hear about all sorts of unconventional side hustle ideas that are not only profitable, but

Nonetheless, here are the top 5 reasons why you should start a side hustle!

Why Should You Start A Side Hustle?

You’re Friends Are Always Telling You How Talented You Are

I mean, we ALL are talented, right?

But, if you have an awesome (and even extremely unique) talent that your friends, families, and even strangers are asking for your help in, it’s a no-brainer.

Often the skills we take most for granted, assuming that the general population can perform them with the same ease and success as ourselves, is where the golden ticket lies.

For example, I have a friend, Laila Khalid, who runs a mindset coaching business that fuses her exceptional project management talents with her undeniably superhero-like business mindset.

She posted a spreadsheet that took her all of around 5-minutes to whip up. She figured that most people were capable of this sort of spreadsheet wizardry, but posted it to a large and active Facebook group.

To her surprise, she received over 250 downloads from that single post alone, and had people messaging her on Facebook right away!


You Have A Great Idea That You Can’t Get Out Of Your Head!

If you’re like me, on any given day you’ll be thinking about numerous different side-hustle ideas that you’d love to pursue.

Some come and go, while others are a little more of a mainstay in your head. For the ideas that you just can get out of your head, they can often be your path to financial freedom.

While many people advise looking for ideas that are already validated (i.e. there are people running successful side-hustles in that niche, so you know people are buying already), but there are a tremendous amount of examples of people creating their own sub-niches.

If you’re looking for inspiration, Chris Guillebeau’s “Side Hustle School” podcast is an awesome inventory of people all around, running unique side-hustles.


You Want To Increase Your Revenue Streams!

Side-hustling is one of the coolest ways to diversify and grow your income streams. The nuance between a side-hustle and start your own full-time business is the expected time commitment.

When you’re side-hustling, it’s implied that you’re working a regular 9-5 or some full-time work arrangement.

When you’re employed, most jobs have a set rate/salary that you’re limited to. You overperform or underperform, and you’re still paid the same…mostly.

For commissioned jobs, obviously you have more control over your earning potential, but again you’re handicapped by the organization’s take away from your earnings.

When you’re building a side-hustle, you’re in control of your earning potential. If you end up doing food tours in your own city and start selling out, well, that’s all yours.

If you start a t-shirt screen printing business and you’re site starts getting flooded with orders, again, it’s all yours.

The point being is that most people have an earning cap in their jobs. While not every side-hustle is a million dollar idea/execution, it’s an opportunity for another income stream.

And, depending on your ability to manage your time, and execute ideas, you can add multiple side-hustles.

In fact, most successful side-hustlers don’t limit themselves to one idea. They understand what works, build a formula, and start using that framework for other ideas they want to bring out.


You Are Tired Of Doing Just One Thing

Hmm, wondering what that term I’ve used above actually is? Well, it was coined by a fellow “multipotentialite”, Emilie Wapnick, to describe someone who has several interests they either want to fuse or pursue simultaneously.

Here’s a TedTalk she gave on the topic a few years back on why we don’t always have one true calling!

I’ll digress, what this means for you is that you’re not content limiting yourself to one career path.

Since most employers aren’t going to jeopardize the success of their organization and allow you to pursue something internally that’s way out of the box, you can always start a side-hustle.

For example, some of my favourite things I want to spend more time on is screen-printing t-shirts, making men’s products (pomade, beard balm, beard oil, etc.), and videography.

However, in my previous roles, if I had asked my boss to take on these as projects, they would have started to question why they hired me. But when I take them on as a side-hustle, I’m in control.

You Want To Explore Your Creative Interests

I’ve always been super proud of my mom and her career success, but something I’ve recently become proud of is her exploring her creative interests.

She runs a successful side-hustle – Muskoka Soap Box – that if she weren’t so in love with her full-time job, she would be able to effectively leave her job to run it full-time.

It’s great because she never planned on turning it into a side-hustle, she just genuinely LOVED cold-process soap-making. She started an Instagram account because my sister and I would always comment on how deliciously close to fudge it looked! Spoiler alert: It’s absolutely NOT edible!

From there, she started getting amazing feedback and even requests from family members, friends, and strangers around Canada for sales.

Despite her reluctance, she asked me to build her a website, devoted an entire room in her house to maintaining stock, and hasn’t looked back since!


In summary, there are legitimately dozens of reasons to start a side-hustle, and the range of successful ideas is so vast these days, that it’s counterproductive to limit yourself to ideas on a list.

It’s a market that somewhat contradicts the approach of only starting a business in an area where other people are succeeding. Side-hustlers are pioneers and many have created their own markets for ideas previously sought out, but not being executed.

If you look hard enough, there are people doing all sorts of creative ventures. From a “cuddling counsellor” to teaching people to screen print, or conducting your own private whiskey tastings, the ideas are only limited by your vision and executing!