By Lauren Berger, MSW, RSW
The side hustle is really having a moment these days. You’re probably noticing that some of your friends have an extra gig or passion project apart from their nine-to-five. You may be looking at your friends and thinking, “how do you have energy for this?!”, but many side hustlers find that the extra to-dos actually energize them. What are the benefits of a side hustle and could it be right for you? Read on, and I’ll break down the benefits of having a side hustle in this edition of Lauren’s Top Tips.
1. It’s fun!
Newsflash: Work can be fun and energizing. Before you call “fake news” on me, hear me out. Many people find their work draining for different reasons: their colleagues are annoying, their boss is demanding, the deadlines induce pressure, or the work itself is mindboggling. The side hustle gig is typically still work, but instead of finding that it is another thing to do in an already hectic day, many find that it is an escape. You can focus on something that you really enjoy and feel passionate about, but can give it more attention than you give a regular hobby. It’s easier to justify time spent on the hustle as it typically embodies a business, perhaps earning you some money and engaging others in your project. You may find that this is the “work” that really gets you jumping out of bed in the morning.
2. You make new friends.
Having a little somethin’-somethin’ on the side is great for your social life. Like everything else these days, engagement on social media is typically part of the package in order to promote yourself. This usually lends itself to connection with like-minded people. The support and enjoyment from having this network is a great confidence and energy boost. Having great friendships has the potential to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. You may even find that you’re more likely to venture out of your comfort zone and meet up with your new buds. What a bonus!
3. See ya, time wasters!
Being busy with your passion project means you will likely cut down on time wasters. When you have some free time, you can now dedicate it to something meaningful rather than falling down a scrolling rabbit hole or watching another Netflix series. You can still spend your free time doing something you enjoy, but feel a great satisfaction in knowing you’ve accomplished something.
4. Feel secure.
Another plus of the side hustle is that it is on the side, meaning you get to maintain the security of your day job. But these projects often lead to financial gain, so you’re really winning in the earning department! Whether you’re starting a YouTube channel, selling your baked goods, or photographing events, you may find it really gives you a bang for your buck! Besides the extra moolah, you may find that having this positive focus on your passion project gives you renewed tolerance and happiness at your day job. When you realize that you are not just your job, and that you are in fact made up of many other interests, you can view your job as what you do and not who you are – this is a very freeing concept that releases the mental shackles that often come along with a day job.
5. Take Your Time.
Does this all sound great, but you have no idea where to begin? Don’t fret; time is on your side. As the side hustle is an “extra”, the only deadlines are those that you impose on yourself. Of course, it is important to set some goals for yourself so that you don’t let your project fall by the wayside, but you can have a more relaxed timeline when you need to. Some people also find it takes time to discover what they want to do. Experiment! Take note of what others are doing… or what no one is doing yet. The key to the best side hustles is enjoyment. Find what you love, and start there.
Engaging in a passion project has tons of potential to give you some great extras – friends, fun, a creative outlet, and money are all at the top of the list. Have fun discovering all the perks, and enjoy all the benefits it has to offer. Hustle on, friends!
**Disclaimer: The advice in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the diagnosis/treatment of a licensed medical or mental health professional.**
Lauren Berger is a Registered Social Worker Psychotherapist providing counselling and psychotherapy at IHI. Check her out at www.laurenberger.ca, drop her a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter: @LaurenBergerMSW, or sneak a peek at her Instagram: laurenberger_msw.