What’s the Deal with Side Hustles?

Yahoo! Finance reports that nearly half of all Americans have side hustles. That’s a whopping 50%.

Some people have side hustles just to stay afloat (driving Uber to be able to pay all their bills, for example). Some people have side hustles as a way to enjoy their favorite hobbies (selling custom birdhouses to neighbors, for example). Some people have side hustles to allow them to indulge their entrepreneurial inkling while maintaining steady income elsewhere (building a business model to one day take full-time). Into which category do you fall?

Since you’re reading about Artrepreneurship, I might guess that you fall into the last category; you’re developing your creative business on the side of your main source of income. Cool. Sometimes, this is the best way to develop your creative business. Starting your creative business as a side hustle gives you the flexibility to: test out your business idea, understand if your predicted target market is truly your target market, and build a strong foundation on which to launch your creative business full-time. Of course, maintaining other sources income while you do these things as always a plus and can reduce your amount of artrepreneurial stress.

However, your ability to reap the benefits of this kind of side hustle often depends on the type of creative business you are developing. Some businesses require massive amounts of funding at the start, or intense pieces of hardware or software that are needed to make the business possible. If this is the case, starting the business as a side hustle can be tough. You might be able to prep your business plan and even find funding as a “side hustle,” but once the “doors open,” you’ll need to be completely dedicated to your business.

CHALLENGE: After working through your creative business model, think of your creative business in stages. What will you need to accomplish in each stage in order to move on to the next? At what stage will your creative business require your full attention? Answering these questions will help you understand if starting your business as a side hustle is the best strategy.

Many businesses work well as side hustles in the beginning. For example, maybe your just selling your yourself and your skills and can start with one new client a week or even a month. In this situation, you can test out your business model and start to build a brand and customer base before turning your scalable business model into a full blown business. Taking the time to learn about your creative business and the market it will operate in will become invaluable in the future.

Side hustles also appear in another form; they can often morph into supplemental income after taking your business full-time. Just like side hustles that are used to supplement income made from your day job, you might need a side hustle to supplement the income you receive from your creative business, especially within the first year. In this situation, it can be hard to say which is the side hustle: your creative business or your other forms of income? It depends, and often doesn’t matter. Learn how to balance your commitments in a way that gives you the freedom to develop your creative business while forgoing financial stress. And understand the importance of learning and building a foundation that will last.

Are you working on your creative business as a side hustle? Want to read more about how to transition out of the side hustle lifestyle? Let me know in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow Artrepreneurship – where ‘art’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ meet to get content delivered straight to your inbox!

Peace, Kayla