There was a time when the stability of a traditional job seemed unbeatable. You punched the clock, paid your dues, then received your pension when it was time. Generations of workers followed this model and seemed to do just fine.
Oh, how times change. According to recent research, nearly 40% of Americans currently have a side hustle. And when it comes to millennials, that number goes up to more than half.
“We can expect growth in side-hustling, possibly even doubling, in the next 10 years, especially if Human Resources in organizations makes side-hustling an element of its toolkit and facilitates outside and internal side hustles as instruments for purpose, rewards, and innovation,” said Professor Bernd Vogel, founding director of the Henley Centre for Leadership, in a recent white paper.
With so many people hustling on the side and looking to potentially grow their operations into a larger business, it’s no wonder that an article from Forbes suggested that the “traditional way of working is dead.”
Modern workers want flexibility and opportunity. They want to control their own destiny. And, surprising as it may be to older generations, they may not consider their boss’s corner office at all enticing. Many want to choose a different route for their careers.
In this new environment, the question then becomes, “What will you do instead?” And for those with side hustles, the proverbial irons are already in the fire. By pouring more attention and effort into these interests, there’s a keen possibility that one or more of the hustles can develop into a small business.
Timing can be crucial for these ventures, and there’s rarely been a better time to build a business than right now. With wireless internet and the proliferation of personal device technology, you can run your business from just about any city you choose. Funding is increasingly accessible, and small business apps allow you to automate tasks to an unprecedented scale.
While these modern advantages are undeniable, it’s important to remember that entrepreneurs have been turning their side hustles into thriving businesses since the Bronze Age. If you want some fairly recent examples, you don’t have to look far. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak may have had jobs at Atari and Hewlett Packard, but they relentlessly hustled their computer-building idea. And Instagram is a juggernaut now, but it started = as a twinkle in the eyes of Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger as they developed it on nights and weekends.
Whether you’re aspiring to create the next Apple or simply want to make your passion into a career, never underestimate the power of a side hustle. It might be just the incubator your next great idea needs to take flight.