Why do I side hustle?
Is it because I have time on my hands? Umm..definitely not.
Is it because I make a lot of money? No. Although some extra money will be nice once it starts coming in.
Mostly, I love the side hustle just because I get a chance to do something I love without quitting my day job!
I have been blessed to work at the same job for the past 17 years. It’s a good job, and I am thankful.
(Read more here on surviving and thriving in the work place.)
But for the past few years, there has also been a restlessness. An urge to do something else.
Maybe something bigger.
Something that makes more of a difference.
But how? I can’t quit just yet, even if I wanted to. I am still 8 years from retirement. And I have always known that if I retire that early, I will have to do something else.
So why not start that “something else” now, so that when retirement rolls around, my side hustle can become my “real job”.
Why Money Is Part Of The Side Hustle Equation
Don’t get me wrong, I like money just fine. But having lots of money is not my ultimate goal.
It’s what I could do if I had a little more money that motivates me.
- It could make a huge difference in the things my family is able to do. Like going on vacations and spending more time together. Or just being able to go out to eat as a family more often. Or maybe having a special place like a lake lot or even a swimming pool to make memories.
None of these things are necessities. But it would be nice.
- Now, for what’s even more important…
I want to be able to give more.
I meet people all the time who just need a little help.
The help they need most is not financial. They need Jesus.
But meeting physical needs of others is a great way to open the door to show them what they need to meet spiritual needs.
- Having the money to eventually be able to retire will also free up my time so that I can devote more of it to ministering to others.
I would also love to have more flexibility in my schedule.
This summer, I am going on a mission trip to Nicaragua. But I have to take 3 of my 4 personal days for the year to do it, because the trip is scheduled for the week I am supposed to report back to work. (Even though I do get time off during the summer, if something I want to do falls outside that time frame, I am out of luck.)
It would be nice to be able to go on mission trips any time of year!
Money Is An Issue For Me
This is hard to admit. But I am just not good with money.
Some people are not, and I am one of them. God made all of us different, with different skills and abilities. Money management is not my strong point.
I have taken the Dave Ramsey courses. I have tried hard to budget. I really have.
And some of the things I have learned have come in handy.
But I have never entirely figured out the whole money thing. So earning more of it seems to be the answer.
We refinanced our house a few years ago so that we could get a better interest rate with a shorter term, and while that is going to be really great in the long run, it means things are really tight right now, with the higher payment.
Hopefully, side hustling will help to pay off the house even more quickly than planned and free up some money for other things.
Past Experiences With Side Hustling
Speaking of the house reminds me of my first experience with side hustling.
About 13 years ago, I was a single mom, living back home with my parents, and desperate to make a better life for myself and my daughter.
My parents were amazing during this difficult time, and I truly don’t know what I would have done without them.
But it wasn’t an ideal situation for any of us.
I had just left an abusive marriage with not much more than our clothes and several thousand dollars worth of debt and needed a way to get back on my feet.
So I worked my regular job until school was out for the summer, and then I signed on to clean carpets, wax floors and cut grass to make some extra money. (I also sold my car to get out from under the payment and my uncle let me borrow his until I was ready to buy something else. Again, my family is amazing.)
During this time I was careful with my money, and soon I was able to buy some land near my parents.
Before long, I was making plans to build a house.
To save money, I acted as my own general contractor, and also did a lot of the work myself, with the help of my dad and my soon-to-be husband, who came along just in time! This cut costs dramatically and made it possible for me to build when the budget wouldn’t allow for a lock-and-key job.
It wasn’t easy, but what a confidence builder!
Not just in myself, but in God, who allowed these dreams to come true.
Why The Dreams Are Just As Important As The Money
My favorite Disney Princess is Tiana, from “The Princess and the Frog”.
Tiana understood the value of hard work and she sure knew how to side hustle, with two waitressing jobs and dreams of owning a restaurant. She said dreams can come true, but “You gotta make it happen – it all depends on you.”
There’s one thing she left out though. Dreams and hard work will only get you so far.
Dreams without the Lord fall flat.
I truly believe that God has planted these big dreams in my heart, and that He will be with me every step of the way, helping me to achieve my goals.
If it is in His plan.
If not, then I know He has something better for me.
(Read more here on setting goals and chasing dreams with God leading the way.)
What’s My Current Side Hustle?
For now, I work three jobs and get paid for one! (LOL!) Fortunately they’re not all three full time!
School counselor by day, I transition to blogger and brand-new start-up boutique owner by night.
I have always heard that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I never really believed that until recently.
I truly LOVE what I do in writing the blog and the boutique.
The blog gives me a voice, and I hope to be able to inspire others in some way, whether it ever generates any income or not. (Although I hope it will!)
And the boutique…oh, be still my heart. It is addictive. I could work on it night and day.
There are frustrations at times, and aspects of both the blog and the boutique that I don’t especially want to do, but for the most part, it is fun. (The technical stuff is the not-so-fun part, but even with that, I am learning a lot!)
I finally feel like I am doing something I can be passionate about. Especially with the end goal of reaching out to others more.
Success is not guaranteed, but I will never know whether or not I could have made a go of it unless I try.
So I’m game.
How about you?
What Could Your Side Hustle Be?
The possibilities are pretty much endless!
It doesn’t even have to be for the long haul. It can be a short-term thing to cover extra expenses.
Like last year when I side hustled along with my husband to make wood crafts to sell for a mission trip.
He did most of the sawing and nailing together and I did a lot of the sanding and the painting.
We made enough to cover about half the cost of the trip, then with the crafts we had left over, we did a craft fair and made enough to pay off my daughters braces!
So whether you need to make a little extra money or a lot, over a short period of time or for the foreseeable future, there are things you can do as a side hustle.
What are you good at? Passionate about? Are there ways to turn these talents and passions into income? Almost certainly.
I know a guy who cuts grass as his side hustle. A lady who does spray tans. Still another does photography. And my business partner in the boutique does monogramming and vinyl.
There are so many things that could bring in side income.
Think outside the box!
It might take you awhile to figure out what you want to do, and even longer to begin to generate income, but the potential is there!
Get your wheels turning and soon you could be making money doing something you love!