The Side Hustle Tsunami (JHP Day 24)
Quite a lot of the discussions that I’ve had on this blog so far have related to branding, side projects and the like - it’s been a personal interest of mine in the last year, just to experiment with ways of finding new hobbies that I enjoy, and methods to share them with the people I know.
But I came back to the topic of side hustles today to talk a bit more about the social movement I’ve seen get larger and larger as I’ve gotten older. The entire concept, based around this idea of starting a side hustle to make money separate from a day job, and how so often it’s marketed as this one way ticket to financial success, wealth, or so many other things that people strive to have in their lives.
The 9-5 Exodus
Terms like ‘side hustle’, ‘passive income’ and the like have absolutely blown up in search traffic over the years, as the audience for these topics has grown and they've gotten more attention.
Nowadays, video titles, ad hooks and online course descriptions are filled with them. ‘5 ways to start a side hustle in 2022’, ‘new ways to earn money online’, ‘how to quit your 9-5 in 3 months and make passive income’ - the list is endless, and it’s all based off this idea of creating wealth on the internet that has gotten so popular.
I suppose I write this all just to offer my take on the whole idea - my personal experience with it, and some pitfalls that I’ve seen or been through around the topic that I think it’s important to raise awareness about.
Who’s Riding the Wave?
The main market for side hustle culture from what I’ve seen, tends to be a mix of young people who were raised on the internet, and saw the effects of businesses like these from the consumer end (watching YouTube channels, buying from online stores etc.) - as well as the older audience of regular 9-5 workers, who probably aren’t satisfied with their jobs. Who are enticed by the idea of not having to work again, and fall into this trap that making money online is a quick and easy way to make life better for themselves (as it’s so often advertised).
Nowadays all people are clawing for is attention. YouTube ads, tiktoks, Instagram reels - everyone is beginning to understand the idea of directing traffic and attention to make money on the side, rather than simply creating for fun, like how it used to be in the early days of social media platforms like YouTube.
The result of this is a lot of saturation when it comes to sales pitches (the whole ‘go follow my account’, ‘go look at my store for more’ speeches, etc.).
I think to some extent almost everyone has done or does do this.
Everyone wants to believe a side hustle will get them what they’re after.
But my truth is this:
Providing value to society through one way or another is the only way to make a living - no matter what form it takes. It’s not said in such blunt terms to us when we grow up (at least in the UK). We’re taught that we should decide what we want to be and follow our passion to have an impact - but in reality, giving people something they want or need, is the only way to survive in a community.
Whether you think back to decades ago, where it was farmers, shepherds and merchants selling their goods, or today - where you get millionaires handing out affiliate links so that people can get money from course signups or bought products. Stable jobs - the stereotypical ‘9-5’s - have always existed, and will continue to exist.
Which leads to my other point. Having a side hustle is hard, and it is not a substitute for a 9-5 to begin with. The key word there is ‘side’. People start out with these things intending them to be projects that they pursue in their own time, when they’re not focused on a job or other commitments. And the growth they see from that is a push, and possible indication, that they could pursue it as a main source of income. But that doesn’t mean everyone should leave their jobs to do it.
So whether it's through a stable job, a side project that turns into something bigger, or an aspiring startup business - providing value takes time and effort, and that's the only effective way to get what you want.
On a related note - I've started to get a bit more traction on the cooking content I post, which has been nice to see - I'm excited to continue with it and start making more of the things I enjoy, as well as editing videos afterwards to add effects - something I didn't realise I actually enjoyed doing until now. We'll see where it goes, if people are interested I might pursue making some sort of recipe book for students too!
On the off chance that you've read something on here and loved it, or want to read more, feel free to shoot me a message on my socials:
The feedback helps massively. Thanks!