People’s expectations of work and career are dramatically changing within our rapidly shifting economy. One persistent trend is the number of people who work more than one job to make a living. According to the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5% of US workers hold multiple jobs. For some workers, it is simply a matter of cobbling together enough income from multiple sources to carve out a living. But for others, starting a side business while working full time, is making more and more sense for a variety of reasons.
Here are the top 5 reasons from my perspective as a financial advisor, as the current owner of a side business and finally in terms of connecting with your bigger “why” in life.
Reason #1 – Diversifying Your Income Makes Good Financial Sense
When talking about diversification, most of us in the financial services industry limit our discussion to your investment portfolio. We know that it makes sense to not pull all your “investment eggs in one basket” by spreading your money out across many different types of asset classes including stocks, bonds and hard assets like real estate and commodities.
However, we don’t spend nearly enough time discussing the notion of also not putting all of your “income eggs in one basket” given today’s uncertain job market. While down from a post-recession high in 2010, a full 13% of US workers feel that it is “very” or “fairly” likely they will be laid off in the next 12 months.
This may not be a big deal if you’re in a two-earner household. However, if you’re on your own or have a spouse staying at home to care for children, diversifying your income makes great financial sense to protect your long-term finances.
Reason #2 – Start-Up Costs Can be Very Low
Starting up a business does not need to be expensive. If Chris Guillebeau can write a best-selling book, The $100 Startup, you simply don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to get started with your new venture.
Looking for a jump start on some low-cost ideas for a new business? Here are 101 of the best gathered by Ryan Robinson.
Reason #3 – You are Not Alone
As noted above, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5% of US workers report that they hold multiple jobs. However, other research suggests this percentage may be much higher. A review of tax return data shows a significant increase in the number of workers who report 1099 Miscellaneous Income, but do not check the box when asked if they are a multiple job holder.
Given this trend, your full time employer will likely be OK with your side-hustle as long as you aren’t competing directly with your employer and you do it on your own time.
Reason #4 – It’s Easier Than Ever to Start
I have started Rowan Financial as a side business, which probably wouldn’t have been nearly as possible 10-20 years ago. Here’s what’s changed over the last decade or two to pave the way to your future entrepreneurial success:
You can have a huge presence on a small budget via a well-designed website and an active social media presence. Targeted advertising via Google AdWords or Facebook Ads can also be highly effective way to reach your ideal clients quickly.
Need to make stuff happen on your business while you’re busy working in your 9-to-5? A well-qualified virtual assistant can rip through your to do lists while you’re working your day job. I currently work with two different VA’s that help me with newsletters, article publishing, scheduling social media posts and client care.
Need to squeeze out productivity during lunch hour and breaks at work and want to avoid using your employer’s computers and phones? (which you should!) You now have more computing power in your phone than many companies had 25 years ago.
Looking for a road map on how to get started? Kimberly Palmer’s book, The Economy of You: Discover Your Inner Entrepreneur and Recession-Proof Your Life, is one of my favorite resources if you’re early on in this process.
Reason #5 – Connect with Your Bigger “Why”
Last but far from least, use a side business to connect with your bigger “why” or purpose in life. My “why” for Rowan Financial is “Creating financial futures for my clients that are even brighter than their past or their present.”
Helping my clients create brighter futures with their personal finances unlocks so many doors and opportunities for each of them in life whether that be the ability to open their own business, send a child to college, create lasting family memories through vacations and shared experiences or retire early and pursue more fulfilling part time work.
What are you passionate about? If it’s not your day job, think about the kind of side business that will have you jumping out of bed ready to take on the next challenge!