Thinking About a “Side Hustle?” Why Not?

As clichés go, here’s an oldie but a goodie: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Full disclosure: I have no idea where it came from or how it got started, even though I’ve used it often enough. Certainly keeping all your dairy products in one container is simply not a good idea, especially when traversing rough and/or unknown terrain. And of course the cliche applies not only to physical “stuff,” but to other aspects of life, including money.

It’s All About Diversification

One-basket investing: If all you own is General Motors stock, and a major auto-safety recall is announced for that brand, you’re going to lose a carload of money when the stock plummets. It may only be for a short time, yet maybe not. People who invested all their savings in companies like Enron know better.

It’s all about diversification, right? Spreading around your investments to different industries and companies is simply a smart financial decision. If GM tanks, your Apple stock probably won’t be affected. Safety in diversity; risk management.

Fast-forward to 2017, and apply the egg-basket analogy to the way you “earn a living.” If your stock portfolio works best when it’s fully diversified… why do you have zero diversification in the income department? Why is your personal income limited to just one (financial) basket? Zero income-diversity leaves us vulnerable to all kinds of trouble.

It’s a story played out almost every night on TV news. The ongoing parade of stories on downsizing, outsourcing or layoffs…pick your euphemism. They all mean the same thing. People who had jobs yesterday don’t today.

News flash to absolutely no one: Today, the facts of financial life are uncertainty and change. Any company that finds a cheaper way to build a widget – even if it comes at the cost of jobs – will make that decision 100 percent of the time. In a Hulk-sized understatement, one blogger recently wrote, “Employment changes are unavoidable.”

In a world filled with scary facts and statistics, this one jumped off the virtual page at me: A study from Oxford University (Street cred? You bet!) says up to 47 percent of all jobs could be automated in the next 20 years.

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100% "Spare-Time, Work-From-Home!"

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Scary Statistics (and More)

In an interview with the online magazine Salon, one guru said:

“Technology has always been destroying jobs, and it’s always been creating jobs, and it’s been roughly a wash for the last 200 years. But starting in the 1990s the employment to population ration really started plummeting and it’s now fallen off a cliff and not getting back up. We think that it should be the focus of policymakers right now to figure out how to address that.”

As Homer Simpson would say, “Well, DUH!” It’s not just “policymakers” that need to figure it out…it’s the rest of us, too. After all, policymakers (whoever they are) probably enjoy better job security than us civilians. (And yet, the idea of a “policymaker” being replaced by a machine is a vision that fills me with warm, fuzzy joy…)

Please note: I am not here to spill gloom and doom all over your relationship with your job, or whatever way you earn an income. Not at all. I’m simply sharing the powerful idea of not putting all your employment eggs in one basket. The idea has been around a long time, yet now it’s getting a lot more media attention and publicity.

The reason is simple: it’s a great way to keep yourself (more) financially safe and secure. Years ago, it was called “moonlighting” (No, not the old detective show with Bruce Willis. Cool, yes, but not what I’m talking about.) Today it’s called having a “side hustle.”

Side Hustle: “… simply a way to earn extra income, apart from your “day job.” (Tip ‘o the hat to SideHustleNation.com) While most have a main, regular source of income, a side hustle is exactly what it sounds like…something you do “on the side” to bring in extra cash.

Financial “gurus” have been talking about having “multiple streams of income” for years. A 2010 article from US News and World Report titled “10 Reasons to Have Multiple Streams of Income” listed (among others):

  • Being able to afford future expenses, especially things like college tuition for kids, and higher costs for medical care, prescriptions and more.
  • Paying cash for purchases. What a great idea, especially after recent news about data loss and hacking at one of the biggest credit-reporting agencies. Credit cards are helpful and necessary for most people, yet paying cash can be a very good thing.
  • Pay down debt. Most people (especially us credit-happy Americans) have way too much debt, and live paycheck-to-paycheck. “Getting ahead” on bills and debts is virtually unknown. Having an additional source of income is a great way to pay down / pay off debt.
  • Build a separate fund for special expenses. When was the last time you and your family had a really fun, not-worrying-about-money vacation? An additional source of income can build an account for all kinds of special purposes.
  • Have greater control over your income…and your future. To me, this is the biggest, most important aspect of having an additional stream of income. When was the last time you got a raise at work? How much interest are you earning on your bank accounts? I’m guessing the answers to both questions would be embarrassing, right? Don’t worry…you’re not alone!

Multiple streams of income provide the ability to give yourself a raise any time you want. Is there extra work involved? Of course. Yet another powerful aspect of the side hustle is that you get to create your side hustle in exactly the way you want. We’ll talk more about that creation and implementation process in future posts.

Right now, I’m simply putting the idea on the table. Personally, I’ve taken the idea off the furniture, and I’m putting it to work. More on that in future posts, too.

How about you? Have you created a side hustle of your own? Are you thinking about it? And if you’re “thinking,” what’s keeping you from making the leap? Share your thought, ideas, questions and concerns in the comments below.

Speaking of future posts, let me invite you to add your name and e-mail info in the box below. That way, you’ll stay up to speed on the latest posts here on the blog, as well as video and other releases.  

Check Out This Great Side-Hustle:
100% "Spare-Time, Work-From-Home!"

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