When I talk to my friends and family about my side hustles, I always get the same reaction. “Why not just use your free time to relax and take it easy?”
I’m the type of person that gets bored easily and needs to be doing something productive with my time. Trust me, I know how to relax and I do spend time watching TV, traveling, reading books and enjoying life.
But there’s a difference between consciously enjoying life and just sitting around being lazy. That’s what I try to avoid – being lazy and wasting time!
Time is a precious commodity and once you’ve lost it, you can never get it back. So, instead of squandering my time, I channel my efforts into a few hobbies and advancing my freelancing career.
My side gigs don’t even feel like work, because I’m choosing projects and jobs I’m passionate about. I view it as getting paid to do work I love, instead of working to get paid.
That’s why I believe everyone should have a side job or freelance gig. It gives you the opportunity to express yourself (and your finances) in a whole different way than what a traditional job provides.
Reason 1: It opens up new career paths
I wouldn’t have discovered my love of social media and interacting with other people online, if I hadn’t started freelance writing and blogging. And come to find out, I do have a bit of a knack for social media and marketing, or at least, that’s what people pay me for.
I also found, that for the most part I’m a writer – I love to write, to express my thoughts and feelings. I’ve never been good at expressing myself through my actions or words, and I’m not a very touchy-feely person.
But writing has enabled me to open up to you and to the world on a whole different level. Starting a writing gig on the side, not only changed my views, it’s changed my career path.
Two years ago, I was planning to become a tax expert and had already worked for H&R Block as a tax professional for 3 years. I was spending a lot of time working and studying to become either an Enrolled Agent or CPA. But my new freelancing career took off, and now here I am – and I’m happier than ever!
Reason 2: Helps you reach benchmark financial goals
Of course one of the biggest benefits to having a side job is the extra money. And while money isn’t the only motivating factor, it was actually the main force behind my strategy to become debt free.
Because after all, you can only cut back your lifestyle so much – until you need to make more money. Along with accomplishing financial goals like becoming debt free, comes a sense of security.
In case of job loss, medical emergency or other life obligations, having a cushion of savings or no debt payments, can really reduce the stress in times of financial woes. I’m not suggesting you get a side job just for the extra money, but the monetary benefits are definitely a plus.
Reason 3: You spend more time doing what you love
Once all your bills are paid and money is put away in your savings and retirement accounts, anything left over can go towards other things you’re passionate about – like traveling, spending time with friends, learning to dance or whatever your heart desires.
This was one of the inspiring reasons I increased my income and became debt free. Now, I already have 3 new traveling opportunities lined up through the summer, and I’m planning to take time off for other fun activities (like spending the day with my nieces and nephews at a water park).
Without the extra money, time and freedom that these freelance gigs offer, I wouldn’t be able to work hard and play hard!
Reason 4: It’s an escape from the boring daily routine
Most of us spend our lives getting a good education, finding a well paying job and putting in hours and hours of work for a company we hate. Thankfully, I’ve always worked for companies I liked, around people I enjoyed.
Maybe I’m blessed or maybe I created my own luck. But if you’re one of those people who doesn’t have this luxury, having a side hustle can be the perfect escape from the monotonous 9 – 5 grind.
Working at a place you don’t like can quickly drain your energy, your creativity and your passion for life. But having an outlet on the side will help reignite your fire and with it, might give you a better sense of purpose.
What’s holding you back from starting a side job or freelance business? Fear? Lack of time? No energy or inspiration?
Photo Credit: Saad Faruque