Side hustle has historically been used to create additional income. Today, side hustle has evolved to serve more purposes: mitigation of risk, diversification of your skills and, higher intellectual satisfaction by creating a greater impact.
It has been and still is natural for many people to have more than one occupation. The modern version of this shows itself among other forms, in part-time Über drivers across the globe. These are hard-working individuals who amend their income providing services to others outside their regular working hours.
But the concept of a side hustle has been significantly evolving over the last decade. Although creating additional income and managing risk of unemployment due to eventual redundancies or bankruptcy of employers has still been a significant driver for many to pursue a second occupation, but there are other reasons which explain the cause and the impact such a big shift in this space.
Commercialization of Internet enabled many people first in the United States, followed by other counties, to be able to create side businesses also from their homes. This enabled more people who were not able to spend their time outside home on a second occupation, to also think about starting a side hustle. But there was a problem.
Designing a business online, creating a website and a webshop for it, demanded among other things, software programming knowledge. This resulted in a smaller portion of the people who were willing to start a side business to move to this space, learning skills they did not have before. In US in particular, there were also cultural motivations such as entrepreneurial spirit of the country and the less generous unemployment benefits. Some of the people who entered this space became serial entrepreneurs, some stayed active, but with a small side hustle and others failed and left this space.
Development of the Internet and increased maturity and ease of use of software solutions resulted in reduced threshold to enter this space. Low-code and later no-code software enabled more people to start their own webshops, online training websites, personal and business coaching activities, or other types of businesses, providing a wide range of products and services who were in the past only possible to be acquired from small or larger companies.
Today, there are three groups benefiting from the World of Online Businesses. First, large companies who have learned (some extremely late), that they cannot anymore only rely on their brick-and-mortar businesses for customer interactions. Second, agile entrepreneurs who became serial entrepreneurs building one successful online business after the other, and third, people with “Portfolio Careers” who have managed to build a Side Business, next to their main occupation. The reason the third group do choose to create a side business are the same: additional income, mitigating risk, acquiring new skills, and creating higher intellectual satisfaction.
Internet and the drag-and-drop (or no-code) online solutions and the business models they enable have enabled many to enter this space, shaping a second occupation through a side business, entering the world of “portfolio career.” But this group remains a very small percentage of the society. But why is that?
There are two simple reasons in my opinion: Financial and Business illiteracy, and Internet illiteracy.
Financial and Business illiteracy is a pandemic. Millions of people do not know enough about personal or small business finances and all the possibilities they may have to create small businesses enabled by today’s technology. This illiteracy is suppressed (and not cured) by generous unemployment benefits in wealthier countries, and acceptance of poverty as destiny in some others.
Internet illiteracy is due to ignorance. People still believe that websites are built by software engineers and webshops are designed by smart people who have been mastering both IT engineering and Marketing. That is absolutely wrong.
Today, off-the-shelf solutions run majority of the small and large businesses, including the ones of solo entrepreneurs. Millions of people who can read and write do not know that today, building components of an online business, is more like putting Lego pieces together, than creating a house from scratch. There are great online solutions upon which you can build all your solopreneurship business having zero programming skills.
Building online business models, the software needed to run such businesses and to bring the customers to visit your online business, are all something almost anyone can learn. That is why, I have written the book “Build An Online Business In 24 Hours.”
Should you wish to learn more about this subject, you can get my book here.
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Building an online business is a journey. But it does not need to be long and painful. Building an Online Business or Transforming an existing one Digitally, should not become a sophisticated paper exercise. Creating value for the customers and other stakeholders should remain as the aim of any business process including the Digital Transformation. This is more so for smaller businesses.
My book ‘Build An Online Business in 24 Hours’, aims to inspire and show a roadmap to bring your existing or future business online in a short period of time.
To learn more about some of the subjects on this page, and to find out a roadmap to build an online business in 24 hours, read my book.