As of mid-2019, 45% of Americans have a side hustle1, and that figure is only continuing to grow. In any economy, side gigs can be a great way to earn extra cash or explore new interests. And especially in these uncertain times, it may also be essential.
How can you take those side-hustle dollars one step further—from using them to make ends meet to turning to them as a key savings resource? The first step to making the most out of your side hustle starts with taking a look at your specific skills and interests.
Capitalize on Your Skillset
While side hustles that makes today's top lists can be great for earning extra money—think driving for Uber and Postmates or selling on eBay—the best side hustles are actually those that don't feel like a hustle at all. The key is to leverage the skillset and passions you already have so you'll be more likely to not only stick with it, but to also make more money at it.
And for millennials, this can also align perfectly with our current virtual landscape. The first generation in history to be truly digital natives, millennials have a broad base of versatile skills that can be easily translated to today's digitally driven marketplace2.
Side hustles like creating virtual chatbots, offering online courses or instructional YouTube videos based on your specific skills—from teaching kids how to perfect their baseball swing to yoga routines to fashion and beauty how-to's—and even reselling curated closets on niche fashion apps can all allow you to dive into your distinct skills and interests. This allows you make it your own, which may mean more chances to earn, faster.
Treat Your Day Job Like an Accelerator
Side gigs can be ideal for more than money. They can also be an easy way to explore your passions—and a recent study showed that more than half of people would like to transition their side hustle to be their main income-generator3. But if you're hoping to turn your side hustle into a real hustle, the key, according to former Google exec and business coach Brook Taylor, is to view your day job as an accelerator—not a venture fund4.
Look at your 9-to-5 as a lab where you can maximize all the opportunities a corporate or full-time setting offer: for career learning, for networking, for gaining a competitive edge. This will help you get in a better position to make the leap to shifting your side gig to a full-time one.
Maximize your Earnings
In order to make your side hustle fully work for you, you'll want to tap into the experience of financial professionals. There are tips and tricks they can share to make sure you leverage your side hustle, from managing cash flow and expenses to retirement planning. A financial professional can also help you take your side hustle to the next level by helping you implement a growth strategy and plan for maximizing your earnings—and turning your side hustle into long-term savings.
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2020-99312 Exp. 4/2022
1 45% of U.S. Workers Have a Side Hustle, Data Shows, The Motley Fool, June 7, 2019
2 10 Lucrative Side Gigs for Millennials Looking to Earn Extra Money, February 25, 2019
3 Americans' hobbies are turning into side jobs, Ladders, July 30, 2019
4 5 Ways to Turn Your Side Hustle into a Real Hustle, Forbes, April 5, 2020