6 Reasons Why You Need a Side Gig

Ryan and Alex Duo Life started as a side gig. Ryan began working on our beginnings back in 2014 after working a full day as an engineer. Putting in around 30-minutes of work a day yielded about $7,000 earnings during the first year. We decided to take the plunge and go full-time four years later.

Even if we never transitioned our side hustle to a full-time job, we have learned incredible amounts and built new skills for ourselves in the process. Here are six reasons why you need a side gig.

6 reasons why you need a side gig

1. Wages are Falling

While working my engineering job at a Fortune 1000, multi-billion dollar company, my boss told our team that we’d be lucky to get a 2% raise. Well, guess what? The average annual US inflation rate between 2010 and 2017 was 1.7%. I was barely breaking even as an engineer.

For hourly wage earners, the future is even dimmer. A study by the United States Department of Labor shows that wages are falling for hourly workers when adjusted for inflation.

So, how are we doing now? Since we turned our side gig into a full-time job, we have grown our month-to-month earnings by 400%. We have a lot more control over our income since we are paid based on our performance. 

2. Control Your Own Fate

According to The Economist, over half of the world’s millionaires own their own business. Millionaires are in control of both their financial fate and time. Starting with a side hustle is an excellent way to test the waters for your entrepreneurial ideas.

Also, controlling your own time can’t be underrated. Not only does it increase the quality of our lives through flexibility and spontaneity, but we also we have the freedom to make our own choices. Therefore, you can do things when they make sense – not just when bureaucracy tells you to. That is a critical piece of our work hard, play hard formula.

As self-help guru Tim Ferris points out in his book, The 4-Hour Work Week, freeing up time and location makes your money worth 3-10 times more valuable.

 3. Security

Another reason why you need a side gig is this millionaire fact: 65% of self-made millionaires have three or more income streams. Since diversifying investment portfolios is good practice, why does no one talk about diversifying income streams? Having multiple income streams doesn’t mean you need to own five businesses. Instead, think of ways to leverage your current talents in numerous ways.

Ideally, you want to create passive sources of income (such as publishing one online course but continuing to earn off of it for years). Typically, we are talking about your primary job, side gig, investment portfolio, and asset-derived income – the most substantial contributors as business interests.

Having added sources of income provides security in case anything unexpected happens to your primary job or for unforeseen expenses. At the very least, you need a side hustle for a plan B.

4. The Passion

A side hustle is an opportunity to do what you already love. You may already be doing the work. Sharing with your friends how you’ve lost weight with a new mindset on how to fuel your body? Posting on Instagram all of the healthy recipes you’re cooking up in the kitchen? Gifting homemade scented candles around the holidays?

There are many avenues to make this your side gig. For example, you can market your unique skills through affiliate marketing, online craft websites like Etsy, direct sales, or forming partnerships as an influencer on Instagram. With other “gig economy” options like Uber or Turo (a new favorite tool of ours), it is easier than ever to start.

According to the Henley Centre for Leadership in the UK, 25% of adults are already side hustling. Do you want to be stuck in a job you don’t love? Our side hustle has allowed us to pursue what we love and slow down time.

5. Become an Expert

Starting your side gig, and turning a passion into a business, pushes you to become better. You’ll do research, self-experimentation, and become more creative. For us, simply putting these blog posts together helps us polish our ideas and find new ways to express ourselves.

Over the last six months, we have built our website, grown an email list, studied marketing, managed and integrated social media platforms, and created our business accounting budget.

None of this would have happened if we hadn’t started our side gig. Since the beginning, feels like we’ve graduated and have a real-world MBA. Thankfully, we’ve had a lot of support from our business mentors, important influencers in our field, our goal achieving to-do lists, and paid online courses.

6. The Potential

You need a side hustle, and you never know what could happen until you start. We highly recommend watching the movie, Rise of the Entrepreneur, produced by personal development author, Eric Worre (free streaming typically found on Youtube.)

Even if it seems impossible, allow yourself to dream and envision how you and your family could live if you had total financial, location, or time freedom.

additional reading

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Day Job – Tony Robbins

“Researchers found that those who kept their day job while starting a company were 33% less likely to fail than the ones who went all in.”

Half Of Millennials Have A ‘Side Hustle’ – NY Post

“One in two millennials has a “side hustle” in a bid to boost their cash or chase a long-held passion, new research reveals.”

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