Putting all of your eggs in one basket to leave your job and start your own business is not a risk that everyone can take. Regardless of how opportunity-rich the economy is, such a move hides serious threats. Even if your business plan is bullet-proof, it always takes at least a few years until you can reap the results of a successful strategy.
This is why a lot of people choose to focus on creating a side hustle or side gig. But can side hustles be reliable? Can they be a lifeboat in stormy seas? A lot of people ask me this question, and it’s time I answered it.
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is an extra occupation that offers an additional source of income. Being separate from your regular job, they’re a great way to test your abilities to earn money independently and grow a brand or business. Side hustles could be anything from selling clothes online, selling low-content books on self-publishing platforms, selling crafts, freelancing, and more. In most cases, side hustles or side gigs originate from a hobby or interest and turn into a part-time job that can generate extra money.
In a nutshell, side hustles can be extremely beneficial for your financial stability and peace of mind.
How a side gig can be advantageous in the current economy
It’s no secret that the world economy in 2022 has been in crisis mode since day one. With the influences of the COVID-19 pandemic and instability in global politics, prices are soaring, and so is inflation.
People and businesses around the world are grappling with all-time high prices of fuel. The U.S. average for a gallon of gas reached a new record, exceeding $6. Prices of electricity, food, property, and other fundamentals are also towering. As a result, people are forced to explore other avenues for generating extra income. Traditional jobs, in most cases, prove insufficient in meeting all of the financial needs of a typical American family.
Thankfully, the digitized environment that we currently live in offers a world of opportunities. There are a myriad of online side hustles that can help generate higher income and achieve stability.
And so, I’d wager that side gigs are not only advantageous, they’re necessary.
How popular is it to have a side hustle?
The side gig industry in the U.S. is flourishing. In 2022, the U.S. side gig industry is worth more than $2.58 trillion. A substantial portion of Americans are transforming their hobbies or interests into money-making opportunities. Around 45% of working Americans rely on a side hustle for extra money in 2022. Around 30% of them admit that they count on income generated via their side gig to cover basic expenses.
The popularity of side gigs is no surprise. They offer a flexible way to enjoy a higher income and empower people to be in control of their time while making money. For example, more than 30% of side hustlers reveal that they only spend between five and ten hours per week working on their side gig. This is a small portion of their time, which allows them to have enough spare hours for leisure activities.
The trend is that side hustles will become even more popular in the future. Forecasts suggest that more than 80% of Americans will have a side gig by 2027. This could be a result of the evolution of more online solutions and platforms, the preference for a flexible and balanced lifestyle, and of course – the money-making opportunities. With the cost of living constantly on the rise, the majority of people (more than 60%) believe that the current generation is in need of a side gig for financial stability. Why? Because most primary jobs are not capable of covering fundamental expenses, let alone providing a comfortable lifestyle.
Can a side hustle be a reliable source of income?
When talking about side gigs as a rescue alternative, it’s essential to consider what the profit-making potential is. Although it’s hard to pinpoint what you could make specifically, it’s worth analyzing research data. The amount of money you could generate from a side hustle depends on numerous factors. For example, the market you tap into will make a huge difference in your profit. The level of experience you have will also influence your success. Things like the market size, consumer behavior, budget, and marketing efforts are also not to be neglected. Of course, how much time you spend growing your side business will also be key.
If we look at statistics, we can see that 15% of people in the U.S. earn more than $1,500 a month from their side gig. A small portion, only 3%, earn more than $5,000 on a monthly basis. Nearly 40% of people with a side hustle earn between $100 and $500 per month. On average, the standard side hustler makes around $900 per month.
If we had to sum up, the majority of people admit that their side gig income makes around 20% of their total earnings. Although this figure may not be dramatic, it’s certainly financial support that can help cover the basic costs of living.
Popular side gig markets
As noted earlier, the number of earnings you’ll be able to land from your side hustle heavily relies on the industry that you choose to enter. The most popular side hustle industries include online freelancing and social media, online shops, selling crafts and designs, software and IT, and market research. However, there are myriad other opportunities to explore. When analyzing statistics, it becomes clear that online-related side gigs prevail in the current landscape. That’s anything but unexpected, considering the digital boom.
And so, it’s only natural that I plug in my own side hustle, which turned into a large business over the years. I started doing merch and book marketing on Amazon more than a decade ago. As time passed, I realized that the whole thing could be automated, even much so with the introduction of Amazon KDP and Merch by Amazon. This is how Book Bolt and Merch Informer were born. Sale Samurai followed suit, as the successful business model expanded into new platforms, like Etsy.
That’s the briefest way to describe my story, but it does serve to show how a side hustle can be transformed into a profitable full-time job.
I’m not going to convince you to go into print-on-demand, but if you want to learn more about it, check my other blog posts here, or visit the official websites of my gigs:
It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in starting a side hustle to pay your basic expenses or in hopes to save some extra money, The reality is that more and more people are actively exploring this opportunity and managing to earn a decent amount of extra income. In a volatile economy and a world full of insecurity, a side gig can make a real difference, offering stability and confidence.