Having a side-hustle seems to be the new ‘in’ thing and is defined as: a way to make extra money doing something you’re *really* interested in.
Emma Gannon‘s new book The Multi-Hyphen Method made me realise that I’ve actually been a multi-hyphener with side-hustles on the go for my entire career, without ever having a catchphrase to define it!
Side-hustling your way to happiness is perfect for people like me who feel like they don’t really ‘fit’ anywhere properly (and perhaps never have), so finally decide to stop trying to shoehorn themselves into the wrong fit and create their own made-to-measure version of happiness instead.
A quick bit of context: until this year I was a full time teacher and had been for a long time. I taught English and English Literature to 11-16 years olds as a Secondary teacher, then every subject to 8-11 years olds as a Primary teacher. Alongside teaching I was a GCSE examiner and a tutor for Looked After Children too. Now, instead of feeling like a directionless whirligig, I’m deliberately owning the multi-hyphen label and embracing my never suppressed desire to side-hustle my way to happiness!
Here’s how I created my own made-to-measure version of side-hustle happiness in a four step planned process:
- Decided to leave teaching but continued doing my already-in-place side-hustle of being an examiner, which means repeat freelance work every June. It’s very intensive but well paid. My earnings from this extra income stream will provide an interim financial cushion & I’ll continue to save money in various other ways to off-set the initial pay decrease, as I’ll be detailing in a future blog post! Ruth Makes Money is a brilliant resource for learning all about multiple income streams.
- Methodically researched, applied for and was successful in getting a part-time corporate writing job, then negotiated work from home days (fewer commutes/wasted lunch breaks/office environment distractions etc.) to maximise my side-hustle time.
- Carefully analysed my skills/personality/obsessions and researched my freelance/small business ideas to the nth degree before committing to and launching my new business side-hustle: Penning and Planning.
- Considered further possibilities of additional side-hustles which complement my new business and allow for growth opportunities e.g. tutoring, which I am already qualified to do and really enjoy, or perhaps even learning a brand new skill to completely diversify! I am absolutely prepared to be reflective and resourceful and to keep an open mind!
Obviously these are my personal examples but the scaffolded process is transferable to any side-hustle dream. It’s not the easy (or safe!) option! It takes courage, planning, an inherent belief in yourself and sheer determination to really go for what you want and make it happen.
I am already certain that my made-to-measure version of side-hustle happiness is, finally, the right fit for me!
What side-hustle dreams are right for you? Are you already living them? I’d love to know!