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3 Rules: Insights Into How To Get Your Side Hustle Game Right While Still Employed

Moonlighting, side hustle, gig on the side, call it what you may. All the same, it’s one thing employers love to hate. Whenever an employer hires a worker, the understanding is that they have offered a fair wage for what you have to offer.

Poster: 3 rules of the side hustle, featuring street walk with pavement written 'hustle'

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]herefore, any time spent outside work should be for recuperating (recreation and sleep) from the busy day. That has been the thinking: “Eight hours labour, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.” It might have worked in the early 20th century, during the industrial revolution, but a rethink for the demands of the 21st century is long due.

Understanding Rise of The Gig Economy Whose Hallmark is the Side Hustle.

The side hustle has become ubiquitous thanks to the tools availed to man by the third and fourth industrial revolution. The third industrial revolution gave us better ways to organize and utilize information. The fourth industrial revolution is about interfacing technology and man – such that technology acquires humanoid features as is the case with artificial intelligence.

The third industrial revolution lead to the rise of the knowledge economy in the second half the last century. It also lay the bed for the creative economy. Various definitions of these two terms may see activities attributed to either economic system overlap. In this regard, the fourth industrial revolution can be said to unify and potentiate these of range of economic activities.

A look at the working of 21st century behemoths such as You Tube revels products from each economic system at play. On one end is proprietary from the knowledge economy( You Tube brand, website and online Ad serving software). On the other, user-generated content (videos) from the creative economy. To make it all make sense, allowing for consumption of the product, You Tube‘s parent company Alphabet utilizes machine learning/ AI to power You Tube search, video recommendations etc.

Barcelona Star Gerard Pique’s Troubles from his Side Hustle

Given the above, dabbling in a side hustle for the 21st century worker is almost inevitable. A way of life. It’s living in the 21st century. Still, the notion is that a side hustle distracts the employee refuses to go away. It’s an argument possibly informed by the old adage “one cannot serve two masters”.

It’s a dire situation that even the likes of Gerard Pique of Barcelona FC has to contend with. His employers will probe his company and a teammate for producing and publicizing, respectively, a documentary that saw fellow La Liga star Antoine Griezmann announce his decision to snub a move to Barcelona. What to do? I say, moonlight. But first some rules of the side hustle.

1. Don’t Bite The hand That Feeds You

The money from your side hustle might be more tempting than Jezebel. On the surface,  it seem like an in and out, hit and run kind of deal. But it’s only stupid to lend your services to say, a competitor of your employer. The implications could go beyond just getting fired once your boss finds out. It is an issue of professional integrity. It could mutate to corporate espionage and even theft of trade secrets.

My advice, stay away from the shady unless you are prepared to operate in the shadows hence forth. Mind issues surrounding conflict of interest. The money is not worth it as personal finance in the creative economy is large parts dependent on your personal brand. It rests on the image you portray out there and the value of your brand equity. Monies and other forms of remuneration that your receive are just but a measure of what the paying party thinks you as a product is worth.

2. Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

First time moonlighting and it almost naught getting a suitable gig. No one wants a newbie.  And as a rookie, you hardly have the connections needed to make things happen. Moreover, like any business, side hustle success is about repeat customers. You are better off with a small army of steady job suppliers rather than try feed the whole school with a packet of biscuits. First, if you still depend on your day job to pay the bills, the side hustle  may become a jeopardy when your boss picks up a drop in productivity courtesy of energies spent elsewhere.

Secondly, the chances of a shoddy show to customers increases when you have too much side hustle on your plate. Before long, in the eyes of prospective customers, you join the ranks of quacks. Thirdly, just as they advice about drugs, saying No actually rises the value of your stock. It actually affirms your commitment to quality and value for services/goods sold through your side hustle.

3. Don’t Be A Headless Chicken

As much as moonlighting meant side hustle in the old days, groping in the dark is of little benefit. In spite of the irregularity of the gigs, it is still possible to set personal finance goals whilst moonlighting. Equally critical is the need to define your working hours as the age-old tool, time management, still has a role to play.

If the plan is to make your side hustle the main source of income in the near future, it might help to start setting up the necessary structures. Such as registering your business, setting up a website, opening a separate bank account or even acquiring a postal address dedicated to the side hustle. Even in the ill-defined world of the hustle, professionalism still pays.

Finally, tell Your Boss.

I know that sounds crazy but consider this, say for instance you work for an alcoholic drinks manufacturer/ distributor. Your side hustle is to DJ at the pub down the street for a couple of hours every Wednesday night. See where am heading with this? It is worth a shot.

Happy hustling. Till next time..

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