My friend’s teenage daughter informed her the other day that she was enrolling in a nail technician class at high school.
The friend, who has been prepping her daughter for a good college education since she was a toddler, was less than thrilled.
“Why are you taking a beauty school class instead of an advanced placement academic class? Wouldn’t that be better for college?”
“MOM,” she said in an exasperated tone that only teenagers do perfectly, “Doing nails is my side hustle to help pay for college. I can do it anytime, in the dorms, and there is a ready market if I need some extra cash.”
My friend went from worry to admiration for the enterprising spirit of her daughter.
We all need a side hustle.
If you are still working in a corporate job, a side hustle is a great way to test and try new business ideas. It can also be part of your backup plan in case you lose your job. Examples of side hustles I have seen from corporate employee clients and friends over the years:
- Web design
- Home organizing
- Writing and editing
- Computer maintenance
- Tax preparation
- Personal training
A good side hustle will have the following characteristics:
- You like it
- You are good at it
- You are very clear who your market is (for example, if you are good with computers, you could offer your services to other homeowners in your neighborhood on your community bulletin board or in a newsletter)
- You can generate a decent amount of quick cash in a short period of time
- It does not require an extensive website or ongoing brand-building efforts like a more substantial small business. But more substantial businesses can and do emerge from side hustles.
- It will not get you thrown in jail (dealing crack, while profitable and possible from your home, is not recommended)
The side hustle does not only apply to corporate employees, it can also be a great backup for small business owners affected by shifting markets or slow sales.