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“You don’t have a career, you have a life.” — Cheryl Strayed

A side hustle is a business that generates real cash, as you run it in your free time. It gives you the flexibility to pursue the career of your dreams. It’s a chance to add freelance work in art, travel, fashion, or whatever you’re passionate about while maintaining your nine-to-five paycheck. It is the magical door that opens you up to major opportunities and freedom in a very short period of time. So how can one, in fact, be good for your career?

1. You add more strings to your bow. Ever feel boxed in at work? You’re not alone! My side hustle, while I worked as a sales director for a Fortune 500 company, was life coaching. I’d read over 550 personal development books and was a natural adviser — especially when it came to topics like confidence, negotiating, and connecting to your purpose. After over a decade in sales (which in large part I loved), I knew I was ready for something different. My side hustle added the spice to my life that I craved. It even made me better at my day job, because coaching techniques are very relevant and powerful in every field. The same goes for most skills!

2. You stand out! Once I started publishing articles to attract clients and shared the pieces on social media, many of my peers sought advice on how to launch a new project of their own. Having a side gig is increasingly commonplace and acceptable, especially if you’re a hard-working employee and your hustle isn’t a conflict of interest. It also just makes you more interesting!

3. There’s less pressure on your day job. Your side hustle will give you a stronger negotiating position with your boss. As it’s your own business, your income isn’t capped, and there’s no glass ceiling to contend with. If your employer knows that your side gig is giving you that solid income stream, then power in your work relationship can over time shift to you. This makes it much easier to ask for what you want — remote working hours, extra vacation, raises, etc. Hustle on!

4. It boosts your confidence. Improving in one area of your life always improves other areas too. There are no isolated life skills or experiences we go through that do not help us in our future endeavors. Taking responsibility for your work, your income, and your hours brings you tremendous self-reliance. It astounds me how many people feel their corporate skill set — or any experience they have from years of working — is not transferable to a side business. A lot of what you know from your professional life can be used in other valuable ways.

5. You create opportunities. If there’s some reason you don’t like your job, a side hustle gives you options. It’s your gateway to entrepreneurship. Spanx was a side hustle — now it’s a billion-dollar business. Side gigs are unlimited in their potential. Plus, the majority of millionaires have multiple revenue streams, and the economy in 2017 teaches us that there is no safety (or fun!) in a single paycheck anymore. A side hustle is the practical route to a corporate exit, the way to fulfill a lifelong dream, and the chance to make the impact you came onto this planet to have. It’s your ticket to more wealth, creativity, freedom, security, influence, and joy.

What side hustle could turn your dormant dreams into a richer reality? Tell me your ideas below!

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