What Is A Side Hustle And How Can It Work For You?

What is a Side Hustle?The term “side hustle” has been getting very popular lately, but there are a lot of people who haven’t heard of it or know what it’s all about. So what is a side hustle and how can it work for you?

Let’s check it out and see if it can help build your early retirement!

Definition Of A Side Hustle

There are many definitions of a side hustle, but here’s how I define it: Something you do to make extra money on the side that is independent of your regular job and dependent upon how much you hustle. Working extra hours at work or getting a part-time job somewhere is not a side hustle.

HustleSide hustles are opportunities created by you that you have control over as far as when and how you work them. Here’s an example of the difference:

Say that you love to write and love reading books. So to earn some extra cash you get a part-time job at a book store. This is not a side hustle because the book store is in charge of how many hours you work, when you have to be there, how much money you make, and they can discontinue your job at any time if they don’t need you anymore. No matter how much effort you are willing want to put into it, you are limited to whatever opportunity that the book store is willing to give you.

But if you take your love of books and writing and create eBooks that you start selling online, that is a side hustle! You are in control of how many eBooks you write, what platform you sell them on, what topics you write about, what you sell them for, and what they look like. In other words, how much you hustle is the determining factor in whether or not you make money and how much.

Benefits Of A Side Hustle vs A Part Time Job

Now you might be thinking, “But with a part-time job, you will be getting paid regularly and know how much you’re going to make, so isn’t that better?” If that income and security is something you need now, then yes, getting a part-time job may be the best choice for you.

But there are benefits to a side hustle that you should consider if you are looking for more than just immediate income:

  • You can work as little or as much as you want to, which makes fitting it into a schedule with your regular job much easier. I worked as a rural postal carrier sub when I started my online business as a side hustle. I was only guaranteed 1 day a week on my job and was on call 5 other days. It worked well with my family obligations, but was almost impossible trying to find a part-time job that could arrange hours around this type of schedule. So to make more income, I worked my online business whenever I wasn’t being called in to the post office.
  • Your income is only limited to the time and effort you are willing to put in. In my example of selling eBooks, the more books you write, the quality of them, and the more experienced youWorks with a family schedule get at selling them are all ways you are in total control of how much money you can make.
  • You can fit your side hustle into your family schedule much easier than with getting a part-time job. Don’t want to miss any soccer games, need to schedule appointments, or want to drive to the beach for the day with the kids? Instead of trying to fit all of your family activities around a part-time job, many side hustles can be worked around your family life!
  • You can choose to do something that you are passionate about. Most of the time, part-time jobs that revolve around things you are passionate about or enjoy a great deal are few and far between. So you settle for whatever fits your schedule and pay the best, no matter how much you like the work. But you can choose a side hustle that fits with what you really enjoy doing and create opportunities in areas you are passionate about.
  • Typically, a side hustle usually doesn’t have a lot of upfront costs to start. You can start small and build up from there.  Many of them are services that you can perform, which can require very little capital many times.

Side hustles also have some cons to go along with the pros, so here are a few that you’ll want to think about:

  • Some side hustles take a little while to get going before making any substantial amount of money. A friend of mine worked part-time when her children were young, but she wanted to make more money. She had some bookkeeping experience, but would’ve had to pay expensiveHard Work daycare costs if she got a regular bookkeeping job. So she started finding opportunities to do bookkeeping from home for some small businesses in her area. She started with one company, but it took her about 2 years before building this side hustle up enough to bring in substantial income. However, once it took off, she was making a full time income from home working about 20 hours per week–so her patience and hard work paid off!
  • You’ll need to sacrifice some, if not a lot, of your free time. Starting a side hustle will take time and commitment, sometimes more than what you thought. But the reward of financial stability and independence is well worth it when you achieve success!

Where Do I Find Opportunities?

Finding TreasuresSo where do you find ideas and opportunities to start a side hustle? First you want to turn to the things you love to do or are passionate about. For example, do you love to find hidden treasures at flea markets and garage sales? You could clean them up or repurpose them and sell them on EBay!

For more great ideas, there’s a couple of my posts that might be helpful:

20 Money Making Crafts You Can Do!

19 Ideas For A Home Based Business

The Side Hustle That Works For Me

I knew that the side hustle I needed would have to be a home based business using my computer. I wanted something that would focus on things I love and that I could do even after retirement. So I chose blogging and affiliate marketing and am enjoying every minute of it. It didn’t make money right away, but the effort was worth it!

==>==>  See how I started my side hustle and make money online  <==<==


How about you? Are you thinking of starting a side hustle? Let us know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!


I'm Janelle, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother of 5 angels (most of the time)! I started BuildYourEarlyRetirement.com as a way to show how anyone can become financially independent and retire early. As I build out this site, I hope you'll comment and share your experiences as well. Good luck in all your endeavors, and may your success start now!

16 Replies to “What Is A Side Hustle And How Can It Work For You?”

  1. Great post ! Creating a side hustle certainly takes time and effort but since you are doing something you truly enjoy it’s more play than work. Of course you have to have time to put into it and the patience to nurture it as it grows but the rewards can be huge as you begin making money while having fun and following what you are passionate about.

    1. You are so right!  When I started my blogs and affiliate marketing, the aspect I loved the most was being able to write about things that I was passionate about.  Although it takes time and effort, I can always find ways to reinvigorate myself into the business because of how much I love the topics!

  2. Hi there, Janelle. I’m already working online and always looking for a side hustle to make some extra money from. Can you suggest any good Affiliate Programs I can promote on my websites?
    Love the idea of your Side Hustle post because working for a Boss in regular work is hard enough. Taking on a second job in the same circumstance is very exhausting and not really sustainable for the long haul.
    Thanks, Jeff.

    1. The affiliate programs you will want to choose will be related to your niche.  Here’s 2 ways that I find affiliate programs:

      1.  Do a Google search with your niche followed by a plus sign and the words “affiliate program.  For example, if your niche is gardening, you would search for “gardening + affiliate programs” in Google, and you will find programs to check out.

      2.  Search through one or more of the affiliate networks available, such as ShareASale, Clickbank, or CJ Affiliate.  You will be able to find a whole array of affiliate programs that should relate well to whatever niche you have chosen.

      I hope this helps and good luck with your online business, Jeff!

  3. Hey Janelle! This is such a well-written post. I also do believe that a side hustle is a great way to nurture your passion and make some money with it. Of course, it can be a bit difficult especially towards the beginning. But, with patience and satisfactory rewards, it is much better than a part-time job.

    1. I totally agree!  If someone needs extra money right now, getting a part time job may be the answer for them.  But if they have the ability to take the time to develop a side hustle, they have the chance to make long-term, consistent money with better benefits for their family life.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  4. Very interesting post. Never heard of a side hustle before. But you gave a very accurate description, especially the part about earnings. Many people think that they can get rich in a side hustle. Thanks for the good information. I guess I’m in a side hustle doing affiliate marketing. Thanks, Deanna

    1. Affiliate marketing is a great side hustle!  Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your affiliate marketing business!

  5. Hi Janelle, how are you?

    I loved your Article about HUSTLE. I did not know the concept and definition. 

    So, question: Would my online affiliate marketing website be considered a hustle?

    I love the idea that we can do what we have passion for and work as much we want, when and where we what to work and still making money.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    You rock. Cheers to you success,


    1. I’m doing great, thanks!

      Your affiliate marketing website would definitely be considered a side hustle.  You are in control of everything, you don’t answer to anyone else, and your success depends entirely on you.

      Good luck with your online business, and I wish you great success with it!

  6. Dear Janelle,

    Thanks a lot for the informative post on Side Hustle. I got new helpful insights via your post.

    I really had a different perspective on side hustle and your definition is an eye-opener. Great definition on Side Hustle – Turning our passion into Profits! Amazing! I really enjoyed reading your post.

    In this demanding and growing economy… Multiple source of Income is a must and that too it will be great to earn from what we love to do.

    Your recommendation is the same program which helped me to become a full-time blogger working from the comfort of my home. Thanks for guiding people towards a genuine program.

    Wishing you great success!


    1. Before I heard of the phrase “side hustle”, a hustle had always been what someone did to take advantage of someone else!  So I was intrigued the first time I heard about people doing side hustles to make extra money.

      So glad to hear you are a success as a full-time blogger, and I appreciate you taking the time to visit my site.  Any time you’d like to stop by and share your experiences, you’re more than welcome!

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