One in three Americans now makes money independently from a 9-5 paycheck. Why? Because there’s no such thing as job security anymore. And many of us have more to offer than our cubicle positions allow. Plus, in 2017, there’s never been an easier or better time to be an entrepreneur.
As a former side hustler turned full-time entrepreneur (who now coaches side hustlers), the harm caused by not having a side gig grows year by year.
Related: 50 Ideas for a Lucrative Side Hustle
If you’re not side hustlin’ already, here’s what you’re missing out on:
1. Multiple revenue streams
Enough said. The average millionaire has seven. Since transitioning from a full-time sales director at a Fortune 500 company, I now have multiple revenue streams, as an adviser to tech startups, a performance coach to CEOs, a writer, speaker, founder of Side Hustle Academy (a digital course) and more.
How may do you have in your life?
2. A creative outlet
Raise your hand if your job fulfills 100 percent of your desires and satisfies your gifts, skills, talents and passions in full. Didn’t think so!
What would you do if you could express the creativity within? What would fill your hours and bring you joy?
3. Getting started for $ 0
Forget glossy photo shoots and expensive websites. Set-up costs for a side hustle can be truly minimal. In my book What If It Does Work Out?, I state ways that you can start making money before spending a cent. Your pure hustle money (which is not your salary) can then be invested back into your business to keep it escalating to new heights. This is entrepreneurship in its purest sense.
4. Freedom from one boss
In your day job, there’s one person who can ruin your life with a stinging comment or a bad decision: your boss. Not only does your side hustle hedge against economic uncertainty, it helps you manage your stress. One person having an extreme amount of power over you (even if you really like that person) isn’t great.
5. Doing useful stuff with your time
According to Nielsen, the average American watches 35 hours of TV a week. Thirty-five! That’s what I call regret(in flashing lights!) when laying on your death bed one day.
6. More risk not to
Side hustles allow you to achieve a solid proof of concept for your business idea in your own time, sans the risk of taking a full-time leap and losing your income and benefits overnight. You put your toe in the water, then a foot, a leg, your torso — over months. As a side hustler, you generate an income stream that not only boosts your bank balance but also your confidence in being an entrepreneur. It shows you your business idea has legs before you take an unnecessary jump into the unknown. It’s practical. And fun. And empowering.
The bottom line is that you don’t have to work in a corporate job. It’s not safe anyway, despite what the world tells you. Markets are shrinking. And look around you — layoffs happen in droves. There’s much more joy and money to be had if you can handle a little uncertainty. It’s a sad fact that many people would choose misery over uncertainty. But you don’t have to be one of them. Doing work that you truly love, on your terms, with no income cap or glass ceiling, is the best gift you’ll ever give yourself.