Side hustle

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Side hustle is a term that has come into popular use fairly recently, though it may be a little older than you think. We will examine the definition of the expression side hustle, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A side hustle is a side business, it is work that someone performs in addition to his full time job in the evenings and on weekends in order to earn extra income. A side hustle may be anything that a consumer is willing to pay for, such as a ride-hailing job, dog walking and pet sitting, taking or administering surveys, participating in focus groups, babysitting, investing, selling items on eBay or Craigslist, mystery shopping, blogging, designing or maintaining websites, crafting, tutoring or other tasks. Any endeavor that earns one extra money on the side such as renting a room in one’s house on a permanent or temporary basis may be considered a side hustle. The main reason people engage in side hustles is to earn extra money to supplement a main paycheck, though a side hustle is a good choice for a stay-at-home mom or someone who is enjoying an active retirement. A side hustle may be a good way to start on the road to entrepreneurship, trying out a savvy business idea on the marketplace, working from home in one’s spare time to see if one’s idea fills a niche and is lucrative. While for most people a side hustle is a way to make extra cash, for some people it is a method of getting paid to enjoy their passion or hobby. Some people such as a graduate with a large student loan or a person with large consumer debt bills may make money on the side in order to wipe out that debt more quickly. While a side hustle is only done part of the time, it is not considered a part time job. Freelancing is not considered a side hustle unless it is one’s secondary job, a full-time freelancer is a skilled position. A few people do not have a main job, and make a living by putting together a number of side hustles. These side jobs are also called gigs, and are what make up the gig economy. The expression side hustle was first used in 1950, which makes the term much older than many realize. The term became popular during and after the last recession, when traditional jobs disappeared and enterprising people had to make ends meet. Today, with the rising cost of groceries, debt, especially student debt, and the tenuousness of the traditional day job, a record number of people make money online, earn extra cash in their spare time, and engage in a side hustle. The term side hustle is currently usually rendered as an open compound word, though some dictionaries list it with a hyphen, as in side-hustle. The word is a combination of the word side meaning not the main thing, and hustle meaning hurry, press ahead, to pursue something energetically. Side hustle is used as a noun and a verb, related terms are side hustles, side hustled, side hustling, side hustler.


This figure was based on a survey of 1,000 Americans 25 years or older — 500 of whom have a side hustle in addition to their full-time job and 500 of whom rely on their side hustle as their main source of income. (Business Insider)

“My motivation to set up my own side hustle was to grow something that I was passionate about and, crucially, in control of.” (Forbes Magazine)

But Craig has a robust side hustle, too: he is the in-game announcer for the Atlanta United and will be behind the mic December 8 during the MLS Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium between the United and Portland Timbers. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)