Last week, we looked at the things that you’ve learned in your corporate job that you can leverage to build your own business. But why would you want to start a business in the first place? Surely you’re busy enough with your full-time job and the last thing you need is to create more work for yourself? Why jump on the bandwagon and create that oh-so-popular-these-days ‘side hustle’?
In a nutshell, a side hustle is simply “a secondary job that brings in extra cash”. The benefits of that are obvious: it’s the extra cash and, by extension, the diversification of your income, as well as the potential to grow to replace your income entirely. More than ‘just’ a part-time job, though, a side hustle is about creating assets that create an opportunity to earn more passive income, rather than simply trading your time for money.
But then you have all those statistics that people love to share about 9 out of 10 companies failing in their first year; and even if they don’t ‘fail’ as such, there are probably many more that are a whole lot of hard work for not a whole lot of money. Whether or not you make your fortune (tell me how you did it if so!) or become the next Richard Branson (unlikely, but someone will be), however, there are plenty of inherent benefits to starting a side hustle alongside your full-time job.
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Do you fantasise about a world in which you love your job to the point that you jump out of bed in the morning with excitement at the thought of what you’re going to do today? Do you long for more freedom and flexibility in your daily schedule? Do you wish that you were creating something really meaningful, that could make a difference to something that matters?
Here are 8 benefits you’ll get from starting a side hustle, that don’t require you to become Elon Musk:
1. Full ownership and accountability
As a business owner, there’s no one to tell you what to do and no one to blame but yourself. This is scary and uncomfortable when you first start out in your side hustle, since you’re so used to having someone telling you what to do – from your parents to your teachers to your manager. If you can push through that, though, it is hugely motivating and empowering. It will boost your confidence in your own abilities, as well as building your resilience as you (inevitably) fail and you (if you can let go of your ego) get back up and try again.
2. A steeper learning curve
Starting your own business immediately puts you onto a steep learning curve as you try to navigate the complex world of entrepreneurship. This brings you all kinds of new skills and experiences that will challenge you and make you stronger and more capable as a result. There’s a huge amount of growth and development that comes from stepping out of the comfort zone of the job description that you have now and have probably had for a while.
3. Self-awareness and -development
Exploring and working on your own ideas can teach you all sorts of things about yourself and about what you like and don’t like. Aside from the hard skills you’ll learn as you run your own business, you’ll also be investing in your own personal development. In a corporate job, it’s easy to rely on the training programmes that happen to be offered by your employer. As a business owner yourself, you’ll develop much faster and become far more well-rounded in your softer skills and understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses.
4. A sense of purpose
A common feeling that people get when they’ve been in a role for a long time is that they have lost the meaning of their work. Having a side hustle will reinvigorate you with a new sense of purpose and energy as you focus on something you’re really passionate about. When you’re running your own business, you’ll be interacting with clients and customers directly and you have an immediate and tangible impact on everything you touch in the business.
5. New contacts and opportunities
The simple act of researching and talking to people about your idea will put you in touch with new connections and create opportunities that you never could have predicted. The whole experience will also give you a competitive advantage as you stand out from the crowd with your resourcefulness and creativity in starting up on your own. Whatever happens with the business itself, this is bound to set you up for future success in your career.
But why start this business alongside your full-time job? Well, again, regardless of what happens with the business itself, there are benefits to having a side hustle alongside your job – benefits both to your side hustle and to your main job, in fact!
6. Peace of mind
Having the security of a regular income from your day job gives you the freedom to experiment and learn without having the pressure to make a large amount of money right away. Even if you had significant savings that would make you feel comfortable enough to quit your job, you’d soon feel the fear creeping in and that can be absolutely debilitating and, ironically, distract you from making your business a success. Validating your business idea alongside the comfort of your existing job is a far more comfortable way of doing things.
Starting a business while still in your corporate job helps to assure you of your worth on the one hand (thanks to the responsibilities and the respect you have at work), while your regular salary means you won’t be dependent on money coming in through the new business. This gives you the confidence to charge higher prices and a willingness to walk away from a project if necessary. Otherwise, when you have nothing else on, you’ll find yourself feeling compelled to say ‘yes’ to anything that comes your way.
8. Work-life balance
Finally, while it may feel like adding more work to your plate will create additional stress and reduce your free time even more, ironically, it can actually help you achieve that elusive ‘work-life balance’. Now that you have something to ‘get to’ after work, something you’re passionate and excited about, you’ll be better able to set boundaries and make sure that you’re not letting your office job spill into the evenings and weekends.
Are you considering setting up a side hustle alongside your corporate job? Check out my post on how to get your business idea off the ground and other resources on the blog!