If you have a skill or passion that's not being used to its full potential, it may be time to consider using this to supplement your salary with a side gig.
What is a Side Gig?
A side-gig or side-hustle is something you do in addition to your regular job. It's a way of creating another stream of income, eventually taking this full time (if you wish to).
It's not a fancy way of labeling a 2nd job, side gigging is totally different. Back in the days people were moonlighting to make ends meet, side gigging is creating something for yourself and growing this into a business with an end goal of more income and more time. It's taking something like a hobby or interest and finding a way of making an income from it. With e-commerce sites today such as Etsy , eBay, and Fiverr it can be really simple to start up with very little capital (my start up costs were £ 0!)
How to find your gig?
What are you good at? What do you enjoy? This could be something that you may have never thought of before but it can be something simple. If you are fluent in another language, you can teach it, my partner has a side gig as an interpreter. If you love making or customizing your own clothes, sell them online – there could be a market out there for you. It can start from just helping somebody out, such as walking a friend's dog. There are lots of start up companies right now where you get paid to pet sit or house sit.
There was just an article I read today, a 15 year old pupil has built a £ 50,000 tuck shop business! It started with him selling sweets and drinks to his fellow pupils from the boy's toilet in his school, and now has expanded to other schools in his area. You can even start with something linked to what you currently do. If you're a PA and good with correcting grammar and writing, there are people out there who will pay for your skills. I know someone who makes a good extra income by editing blogs and online posts in English for Chinese writers.
“Look around and you'll see side-hustlers everywhere turning their knowledge and abilities into profitable businesses.”
Alexis Grant – writer
Do the research
Look into what similar gigs are offering and which platform you then want to start using to get your gig out there. Etsy is good for Arts and Crafts and personalized items. Fiverr and Elance if you're offering a service. Speak to people, whether that be people you know who are doing it or people online. There are plenty of places to look, a simple Google search will list the information you need. You just need a willingness to do it. When I started out, I wasn't certain what I wanted to do, just that I wanted to start doing something that I enjoyed and had the potential to go full time. I experimented with a few things and that's what has got me to where I am now.
It's not a job
There are no set times like a 9-5, therefore you have to be disciplined. You have to set time aside to work on your side gig if you want to make it successful. However if you enjoy what you're doing, it should be something you look forward to spending time on. I don't see my side gig as work, I enjoy the time I spend on it. I see it as a creative outflow of energy.
The side gig is becoming ever more popular and appealing. Millennials in particular are embracing more flexible ways of working. It's a natural evolution of the workforce in a changing economy, and with the power of social media, you can take your business global. The technology is now available with apps such as Evernote (your faithful organization tool) makes it so much easier today to do business. Unlike a job, you work at your own pace, there are many others working a similar side gig to myself and are now earning a full time income and more with it. They have chosen to put in the time to get them to where they are, I am working at a pace that fits in with my lifestyle. The beauty is you choose.
Some like a balance between their side gig and their day job and enjoy the variety. Others intend to go full time with their gig. The point is choice and flexibility. We no longer live in a time where you work for one company all your life, and in return you are offered job security and a guarantee the company will look after you when you retire. The government have already stated there is not enough in the pension pot for the huge number of baby boomers about to hit retirement age. Would you rather just wait and see what happens, hoping things will be OK or would you rather know you will be OK. Side gigging is the step in the right direction. It helps you become in control of your finances and your time. Have a gig, start hustling!