The attractions of the side hustle: Why not to give up on your day job

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The idea of the side hustle is currently all the range: rather than pursuing a new business as a full-time endeavor, keep your existing job and pursue other activities on the side. Setting up a part-time ‘gig’ is one way of getting into entrepreneurship, without needing to give up on the stability of a full-time job. It is particularly attractive to those that want to go it alone as a solo-entrepreneur. This article explores some of the benefits associated with setting up a business in addition to a regular 9-5 job.

Advantages of the side hustle

Allows you to pursue your interest while maintain a key source of income

One of the big attractions for the side-hustle is that it allows you to pursue an area that you have a passion for, while maintaining your regular income. Indeed, this side hustle may never be intended as a profit making endeavor – your Etsy store need not necessarily make substantial money. It can supplement your existing earnings, while allowing you to be creative –allowing you to build up skills in your real passion that you may be able to convert into a full time opportunity at some later point.

Avoids the need to take on external finance

Another benefit of the side hustle is that it becomes a lot easier to finance the company yourself. One of the difficulties with starting a business full-time is that not only do you have many outgoings associated with material or equipment, but you also lose your regular source of income. This often puts entrepreneurs in potentially unfruitful search of raising capital – potentially spending as much time and mental energy searching for investors as is being devoted to growing the firm.

By maintaining a consistent source of income you remove the financial burden of not only having outgoings before you have a consistent cash flow while simultaneously having to support yourself. Indeed, there may be long term benefits of not taking on external finance, including retaining control of your business and the ability to quickly make decisions and adapt.

Reduces the risk of perusing your venture

The risk of starting a venture is also substantially reduced if it is not your primary source of income. For many it is a risky prospect to forgo a well-paying job on the possibility to making money through a startup. It is not uncommon for startups to fail, and if you have given up a well-paying career, you have to deal with not only the time and financial resources lost in the process, but also the potential of no longer being able to easily return to your prior career path.

Starting the business on the side allows you to test it out. To make the small steps, and evaluate the market opportunity before either deciding to go full time all-in on the startup, concentrate back on your day job, or to continue the business as a side-hustle longer timer.

This fact that you are not going all in on the startup can also make it easier to deal with the possibility that things will not go as planned.

Build up slowly over time

By removing financial pressure and the some element of risk associated with your business, you are also able to grow more slowly than you may otherwise need to. While everyone wants their firm to be successful, quick growth also had disadvantages.

By being able to grow the firm at a slightly slower pace can allow you to give greater considerations to decisions. Without the pressure of having to grow quickly, you can potentially give greater consideration to specific business decisions – or time to develop your skills before gradually launching.

Final thoughts: The drawbacks of the one foot in, one foot out approach to starting a business

The side-gig is not for everyone, and it may be particularly suited to the small ‘craft’ businesses rather than firms that inherently need to employ a large number of people. While it is possible to work on a side project in the evenings, living off your salary and security of your primary employment, if you have significant capital costs, this may not be a viable option.

However, even in businesses where it may ultimately not make sense to run the company as a side-project, there may still be opportunities for pursuing the project while maintaining a primary job. While it may restrict your ability to make needed investments, there may be value in developing the business plan for your company on the side, allowing you to in some ways validate whether there is really a market opportunity that you would be able to take advantage of to justify leaving your primary job.

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