The Side Hustle. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but Urban Dictionary defines it as “Sideline that brings in cash; something other than your main job. Maybe playing weekend gigs or life coaching.”
Most of us have one. Whether it’s selling makeup on social media, embroidering monograms on some sort of Lilly Pulitzer bag or, in my case, DJing weddings. “Side-hustle” is a term that is usually attributed to millennials. But sorry, kids, we’ve been on the side-hustle game long before y’all entered the work force. In fact, my parents did it before me. My mom taught aerobics after hours, and my dad had his side work on the weekends as far back as I can remember.
For most of us, it’s the only way we can get by. Sure, we may be able to scrape by on what we make Monday through Friday, but some of us like things like cable and an occasional night out to dinner. God forbid your kids want to play sports! Football? Baseball or softball? You best have a side hustle. And if your daughter wants to cheer, forget about it … you better have two side hustles. By the way, how is cheering more expensive than every other sport?! Nevermind. That’s another column for another day.
If you don’t have a side hustle, it’s not all that bad of an idea to look into. It’s usually something that you enjoy, and who doesn’t like the idea of getting paid to do something they like doing anyway? And you never know when you may need it. The job market can be flaky. I speak from experience: It’s much less stressful to find yourself without a paycheck when you have another way to pick up the slack.
I also have friends whose side hustles became so lucrative that it became their main hustle. A close friend and his wife printed T-shirts to sell on Etsy. They quickly discovered that the orders were coming in faster than they could fill them. Now, he’s quit his regional manager job with a chain of restaurants to focus on the shirts. They even have a storefront now. Another friend, you may remember him as “The Joe Show,” has already left the job that he left Augusta for. Now, he focuses on his music blogs and mentoring young musicians as they try to get their careers started. Even I, for a moment, enjoyed my side hustle as a main hustle. It’s scary, yet liberating.
So, millennial, no, you haven’t introduced some new trend to the world. You just do it a little differently. There’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe you’re selling a weight-loss wrap, hosting makeup tutorials or digging ditches. You’re carrying on a tradition that’s existed for generations.