118. The Side Hustle Generation
Is it me or does everybody have a side hustle these days?
Keep in mind, I’m writing about side hustles through my newsletter, which is my side hustle. Which reminds me of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer created a coffee table book about coffee tables and the book turned into a coffee table.
Even Kramer had a side hustle way back there in the 90s.
I’ve done a little bit of research over the past couple of weeks and, as life would have it, the growth in side hustles is an honest-to-God real thing. It’s not just a trendy saying.
And the growth ain’t just because of COVID.
Listen up for a minute.
The Side Hustle, Defined
Having a side hustle is pretty much the same as saying that you’re a “part-time entrepreneur.” Essentially, you’re doing something on your own, repeatedly, to try and make money.
A side-hustle could be selling product on Amazon, driving Uber or playing professional poker. It could be opening up an Etsy store, investing in real estate or a cat sitter. The options are somewhat limitless.
The Side Hustle Generation
So how popular is the side hustle? Well, as I said, I did some research.
FACT: Each generation since the Boomers has become more prone to entrepreneurial hustles than their previous generation.
Here are the generations:
Millennials are meaningfully more entrepreneurial than their older Gen X and Boomer brethren ever were.
But Millennials are not the primary working generation now. Don’t forget about Gen Z. Oh, how could we possibly forget about Gen Z, the little so-and-so’s.
Well, you could put me on a horse and call me Tonto if there wasn’t a study released around the same time as the above that analyzed the side hustling-ness of Gen Z-ers.
In early 2020, Nielsen revealed that Gen Z is the most entrepreneurial generation in modern history.
Again, this came out pre-COVID, when people still had jobs.
They found that, in 2019, an amazing 54% of Gen Z-ers indicated they wanted to start their own company. This is a generation that wants to be in control, debt-free, and have a purposeful life. They actually want to care for the planet. I’m serious - it’s true!
(Editors note: I shoulda been a Gen Z-er)
So, yes, the side hustle is definitely becoming more prevalent with the Millennials doing more side hustling than their parents and grandparents….and then Gen Z blowing them away in their side hustle attitude.
Gen Z is officially the side hustle generation.
Officially by me, that is. As much official as I’m allowed to be without the proper credentials.
The Hustlers Spirit
In 2019, 54% of Americans reported having a side hustle at some point, with $8,794 in average annual income from that side hustle.
But, alas, nothing boosts entrepreneurialism like a complete economic shutdown. Let me introduce you to 2020.
When people lose their jobs, they have to become creative in finding new ways to make money.
When people begin working remotely, they tend to find extra time to pursue new challenges.
After a year of COVID, 62% of Gen Z-ers indicated they have started—or intend to start—their own business.
Etsy the super e-store for the craft-loving side hustlers, increased revenue by over 100% in 2020. I repeat, they doubled revenue in one year! Up to $1.7 billion (with a b) from $800m. Why? A 62% increase in the number of Etsy shops in one year. In other words, 1.7m new side hustles launched on Etsy alone in 2020.
The popularity of podcasts and newsletters skyrocketed. There are now over 2 million podcasts in existence, and growing rapidly. Creating new media is a hugely popular side hustle. (And just maybe you’ll hear one from me in the near future).
Its OK To Hustle
One of the biggest changes in our culture is the acceptance of the side hustle. A decade or two ago, if you had a job, that was your primary focus and nothing else was allowed, at least as the company paying your salary was concerned.
But now, with the greater ability to create passive income, the ability to conduct work in off hours (hello Internets), and the greater appreciation for a balanced life, the side hustle can be done while still prioritizing your primary job and the work that must be done in that job.
It’s ok to side hustle, it’s ok to do what makes you happy (and makes you money) as long as you don’t bite the hand that feeds.
Hustle away. The door is open, just walk on through.
“The best time to do anything was yesterday. Today is the second-best. Start now."
- Shama Hyder
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