The Importance of Having a Side Hustle

Side hustles are the hottest thing since sliced bread. Truth be told, people have been doing them for a while. But it’s only recently that they’ve come into the spotlight.

According to Wikipedia, a side hustle is an “additional job that a person takes in addition to their primary job in order to supplement their income.” Sounds simple enough. But I’ve come to learn that side hustles go far beyond that.

We can agree that the initial thought of doing a side hustle is, for most people, to make some extra money. There might be something you’re saving up for like a new laptop, LV bag, or dream vacation. Or it could just be that the income from your main job doesn’t fully cover the bills. Either way, the initial thought is that we’re looking for that bit of extra income to help out. Our evenings and weekends tend to be freer, so why not make a bit of extra money, rather than watching Netflix.

But trust me when I tell you that soon after you start your side hustle, for me it was blogging, you’ll realize that it’s so much more than the extra bit of money. That there are things you get out of it that have more than just monetary value.

F-You Money — Otherwise Known As OPTIONS

It’s not just money, it’s F-You Money.

I’ll admit, that’s probably not in the English dictionary — it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page (yet). But it is a concept many people have heard of.

F-You Money is an amount of money where, if someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do, you can just tell them F-You. Not literally (or, maybe…), but you can just walk away because you have the money.

If your boss keeps asking you to work 4 hours of overtime every day and it’s your only job, you don’t have a choice but to oblige. You might have kids at home or bills to pay. Either way, if it’s your only source of income, you’re stuck.

But not if you have a side hustle.

When you have your side hustle bringing in extra money, you have F-You money. It’s not about making a huge amount. It’s about making enough from your side hustle to open up your OPTIONS.

You’re bringing in enough money on the side to have the OPTION to walk away from jobs you don’t like. You have the OPTION to choose to take vacations abroad. You have the OPTION of walking away from things that you don’t like because you aren’t tied to the money. It doesn’t have to fully replace your day job, it just has to be enough to support you.

These days, there are plenty of things you can do as a side hustle. You can blog right here on Medium, which has become quite lucrative these days. You can do some labour work like mowing lawns or landscaping which have the bonus of being great exercise. Freelancing and consulting are also great options since you can leverage the skills you’ve learned for your career.

Having the extra source of income as a fallback opens doors. You have the leverage to walk away from anything you don’t like or that doesn’t interest you. You’re the one in the position of power

Opening Your Mind

One of the more underrated aspects of having a side hustle is the learning aspect of it. How it opens your mind to new ideas and possibilities.

When you first get a new job, you’re totally hyper learning. There’s a whole host of new skills you need to pick up in order to do well.

Then over time, that hyper learning slows down. You learn the tricks of the trade and settle into a an easy routine.

That easy routine is death. Falling into it means that learning has slowed down or stopped altogether. You’re no longer pushing yourself and as a result, your personal growth suffers.

When you have a side hustle you’ll never have that problem.

I remember when I first started writing as a side-gig back in 2017. At first, I was just trying to pass the time. I had seen my friend from High School do it and thought it was pretty cool that people all over the world would read his work and send him daily messages. So I decided to give it a shot myself.

What started off as a small hobby quickly turned into a hyper-growth activity. I was writing almost every day — and to be able to write every day I had to continue learning, so I was reading every day too. Reading and constant learning became a staple part of my life out of sheer necessity because it was supporting my side hustle.

Over time, I’ve fallen deep into love with writing, reading, and learning new things every day. It’s my absolute favorite thing in the world when someone can teach me something. The love for learning led me to take my first solo trip abroad to Italy (I’m from Canada), something I’d never done. And now I’m in love with traveling too!

My point is, a side hustle means more than just a bit of extra work and money. It means new learning experiences, new opportunities, and the ability to control your own personal growth. Those experiences will open your mind to endless possibilities — and you may even fall in love with those too.

“Money can buy many things, but nothing more valuable than your freedom.”

― J.L. Collins

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