Sep 3, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Are you a consultant into archery? Or maybe a fintech expert who plays the drums? Whoever you are, whatever you do for work, the 'side hustle' gives you the opportunity to make some extra cash doing what you love, outside of your primary job.

The term, born in the US and making its way around the world, refers to a project about which you are passionate, but that falls outside your primary job. 

That's right -- about half of all side hustles start out as hobbies, and those hobbies turn into money-makers. 

Why now? There's a significant resistance to the idea of a 'job for life' which older generations encouraged. Now, younger generations want jobs they enjoy and recognize they might not get to that right away. Ergo, the side hustle. 

Our technological world makes the side hustle easier, giving people the power to work partially or even entirely from homeThis means that we have the capability to control how we spend our time.

Thinking about that side gig you've always wanted? Let's take a look at some pros and cons.

Benefits of the side hustle 

1. Financial 

Wages are pretty stagnant, despite the rising cost of living. And while you may get a raise every year, it may not keep pace with inflation, or the rising costs of basics like housing and food.

Where does that leave you? Potentially cash-strapped. 

You do not have to be a rocket scientist to make money on a side hustle. You just have to be really good at something outside of work and be willing to put yourself out there.

While you may not match your salary from your primary job, you can make some serious extra cash if you play your cards right.

 2. Creative outlet

We all need one, and you should have one even if it does not make you any extra money. But if it does? Even better.

Keep your 9-5, and let your creativity flow in your side hustle. 

3. Passion-turned-job

Your side hustle may just turn into the job you have always wanted. The internet is full of stories of people who have started businesses on the side, only to see them turn into lucrative primary jobs.

Don't be fooled, though. While these stories may inspire you, a lot of work went into turning that side gig into a full-time career. It takes time to make your initial investment, and while you are saving up to turn your passion into your full-time job, you should hang onto your current job to top up those financial reserves.

Your side hustle may not turn into your full-time job, or maybe you don't even want it to. That's ok. 

Just know that the potential is there if you want it to. 

4. Network

Your network will grow exponentially as you embark on a side hustle. You will talk to a variety of people outside of your usual network, get to know how other industries work, and begin to build that word-of-mouth network that is vital to your success. 

5. Time

You probably have more time than you think. If you are motivated enough, you can make it happen.

You have an eight-hour work day. Maybe you spend an hour at the gym. That is nine hours. If you have a family, you have responsibilities there, too. You do not need 12 hours of sleep.

Do some math. Figure it out. If you want it, you can make time.

What to watch out for:

1. Stress

Having a side hustle may be too stressful -- there might be too many demands on your time. It may also not be worth it, once you factor in costs and taxes associated with your side hustle.

The plain truth is that more work means more stress and more time. It is easy to suffer burn-out when you are juggling too many things.

If your side hustle is too stressful, stop until you can figure out a better way to manage your time.

2. Neglecting your primary job

If you have a highly-paid regular day job, it may not make a lot of sense to devote tons of time and energy to your side-hustle. In fact, devoting too much time to your side hustle may result in less job security at your primary job.

If you have a solid regular job that you enjoy, make sure you don't neglect it if you opt to pursue a side hustle.

Takeaway

Side hustles can be great if you have the time, energy, and financial fortitude to pursue them. Just make sure you are in it for the right reasons and go for it!

Do you have a 'side hustle'? If so, let us know about it in the comments.

Learn more about entrepreneurship.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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