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Side Hustle: Good or Bad Idea?

Post Series: Utility Warehouse

Once upon a time, a side hustle or side job was a rarity. However, the lure of earning more money in your spare time has enticed many people to join.

Whilst having a side hustle does pose plenty of benefits, there are some drawbacks too. I wanted to provide you with a valuable piece of writing from the perspective of somebody who successfully turned their side hustle into a full-time job. This is by no means an excuse to show off, rather a perspective.

The Different Types of Side Hustle

When it comes to side hustle ideas, there are two main paths you can take: One I prefer to call the ‘side gig’. This often consists of offering freelance services in an effort to build a client base. As an example, you may be a graphic designer offering logo designing services or a writer who wants to start a blog writing service and each ‘gig’ would be an individual job. This path is especially favoured by younger generations looking to break into a particular industry and has created what has become known as the ‘gig economy’.

You rely upon these individual jobs coming in to build your reputation and client base. Effectively, you’re starting your own side business and going it alone rather than working under a company umbrella. It is tough, as work and hours are not guaranteed. I have never personally joined the gig economy, so I won’t be covering this topic.

The other path is a side hustle or, as I prefer to call it, ‘side job’. I had been working in the finance industry (you can read more about my story here) when I started my side job with Utility Warehouse. It is an ongoing role of helping people to save money on their utility bills and potentially earn extra money by becoming a distributor themselves, rather than a gig-by-gig arrangement.

As somebody who works a side hustle rather than a side gig, I will be focusing more on what I actually know about, rather than speculating wildly. However, after much research, I will say that a great side hustle is one that generates a consistent income. Sometimes it can be tough when working in the gig economy to actually find work consistently, especially as more people start their own side businesses and the market becomes increasingly saturated.

If you would like to read something informative about side gigs rather than side jobs, I really enjoyed this article by John Hayes: Got a Side Gig?

The Good Side

To be frank with you, I believe the employment landscape is changing and these methods of generating income will be the future for people. However, in the present, I will look at and discuss what I’ve found to be the top benefits of working a great side hustle.

Side Income and Financial Stability

Image representing financial stability created through a side hustleSomething that is often synonymous with a side hustle is the extra income you can generate to support yourself and your family. Regardless of whether you’re looking for your side job to replace your day job, Utility Warehouse offers it’s distributors a chance to generate a passive, residual income.

For some, it’s a supplement to their existing income or even their pension (yes, I work with people of all ages in my distributor network). For others, including myself, it generated financial stability and a passive income that allowed me to effectively ‘retire’ at age 38.

This has happened because with Utility Warehouse you are paid commission through a percentage of your customer’s energy bills and several other means. This differs from many other side hustles, such as Herbalife, which doesn’t produce a similar residual income stream. Instead, you and your team need to continuously sell a product to generate more income.

Relationship Building

We are humans. We are social creatures and with a little bit of guidance, almost anybody can interact successfully with other people and even enjoy it!

What makes Utility Warehouse great for building relationships and socialising with people is the way you can build your network. It’s simple utility services, which we all have and need in our lives, so people are willing to talk to you about it.

New distributors are encouraged to start by talking with parents or close friends first, wherever possible. If you’re telling somebody you’d like to help them save money on their utility bills and maybe even have their own side income, chances are they probably will be interested in hearing what you have to say.

After that, you then ask if they know anybody who would be interested in saving and possibly making some money. They’ll introduce you to their closest friends and this puts you in front of brand new people. Luckily, because you have a mutual friend, you have that common ground to make things less awkward. Suddenly, you’re meeting new people on a regular basis and will make new friends as you go along.

Whilst this can seem a little daunting at first, it becomes natural and enjoyable very quickly. But some people aren’t keen to speak to friends or family first, and would rather just jump straight into networking and meeting new people – By all means, please go ahead if you have the confidence!

Flexibility

Have you ever promised your family that you’ll be spending time with them or taking them out on a particular day? Only for the office to call and demand that you come in due to some kind of ‘emergency’?

Luckily, with the right side hustle, you won’t ever have to worry about this again. One of the biggest reasons as to why I chose Utility Warehouse for my side job was because I’m a big family man. I wanted to be able to spend more time with those who mattered most to me, rather than suffering through the daily rat race and commuter lifestyle.

What Utility Warehouse offered me was the chance to work whenever I wanted to. Obviously, the more hours I put in, the more passive income I could generate, but I always have the option to prioritise. Sure enough, my family are always my top priority and I’ll schedule my meetings around my family life. Not the other way around.

On top of that, there are no deadlines to worry about, and if something goes wrong with a customer’s energy supply, they have access to a UK-based call centre. As a result, I can honestly tell you with absolute sincerity that I am a happy man.

The Bad Side

With everything, the bad comes with the good. What really matters sometimes is what you make of the side hustle and the actions you take to create situations for yourself. This is only my personal opinion, but I did want to give an honest overview of side jobs in order to allow you to make an informed decision.

Don’t forget that as a Utility Warehouse Distributor, I also sign up others to be distributors. This means I have seen the negative sides appear for people and have helped others avoid these factors.

All Work and No Play

A typewriting reading 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy'I’ve already mentioned the flexibility to work your own hours as a positive, but with that can come greed. If you are already working a hard 9-5 job, you can feel drained in the evenings and not particularly feel like speaking to people about their energy bills. That’s completely understandable and the key here is to strike up a healthy balance.

Some are so driven to generate an income fast and sign up as many customers as possible that they will spend every waking hour thinking about work. This is not sustainable and you will eventually suffer from burnout. Being wise about your side hustle is important, as an enthusiastic distributor will be able to sign up more customers in fewer hours than a burned out distributor putting in every hour possible.

It is always important to take care of yourself and that in itself can be difficult enough in our daily lives without a side job. It’s a matter of prioritising your time and energy.

The Wrong Mindset

During my research for this article, I stumbled upon this article from Holly Johnson explaining why a side hustle might be the last thing you need. She tells the story of a friend who wanted a side hustle in order to generate an extra income, as she was struggling financially.

However, as Holly dug a little deeper, she started to realise that this friend actually needed some training on budgeting rather than a side income. This friend was overspending and the basic conclusion of this article is that you can’t correct overspending through a side hustle. Instead, you need to get to grips with some basic budgeting in order to get your spending under control.

The Bottom Line: Be Wise

The most important question you can ask when considering a side hustle is a simple one: ‘Is this right for me?’

If you’re not so sure, think about what underlying issues you might be trying to remedy with a side hustle. The only way you can solve an issue is to go right back to the source and solve that. Don’t just try to cover it up with a side job, as that will only provide temporary relief.

On the other hand, if you are looking to develop a side job that generates a necessary or very helpful income or just improves your life in some way, then please get in contact with me. I would love to provide guidance or support on your side hustle journey. As a Utility Warehouse Distributor, I can help you get started and on the way to a strong, passive income if you believe that is the right path for you.

Simply head over to my contact page to get in touch and we can chat!

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