A few years ago, Demia Doggette watched fashion bloggers and Instagrammers turn their online personalities into business empires, and she thought she might follow suit.
While working full-time at a PR agency, Doggette, now 32, started her blog, Beautiful Epiphany. She spent over $1,000 to start the business, hoping it would generate revenue to supplement her income.
“I invested in a professional camera and hired someone to create the perfect website,” the Orlando resident says. “I did my homework on the subject of blogging, and I knew I would be the next big thing.”
Doggette isn’t the only one looking for extra work to earn money, as wage growth continues to slow, with hourly wages rising just a tenth of a percent. Workers struggling with student loans and the rising cost of health care, housing and child care are looking for ways to boost the income side of their household balance sheets.
According to CreditLoan.com, two-thirds of secondary scammers say they took a second job to have more spending money, and 56% do so to increase their savings.
The advent of the gig economy and platforms that make it easier to find flexible work outside office hours means that almost a third of workers maintain a side job in addition to their regular job. Yet they are often not a long-term solution. More than 60% of Uber drivers have lasted less than six months on the platform.
“Side hustles always seem like a cool entrepreneurial activity,” says Arne Kalleberg, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who studies labor issues. “It’s part of the PR and the appeal of these platform companies – that you can work and earn whenever you want and be flexible. But that’s not always the case.
Demia Doggette became a fashion blogger to supplement her income, but realized it wasn’t easy.
Allison Johnson by Allison Johnson Photography
Some side hustles are nothing more than pyramid schemes disguised as multi-level marketing schemes that can result in significant financial loss. Even legitimate business ideas can get expensive quickly. One study found that the first year cost of an entrepreneurial hustle was over $16,000.
There is no shortage of stories about people who got out of debt or started a multi-million dollar business while working a 9 to 5 job. For many would-be scammers, however, the reality of working two jobs or more is less glamorous – and often less profitable.
This was the case for Doggette. After about a year of writing and posting daily, the blog still hadn’t gained traction and it hadn’t generated any income. She began to invest less time and money in it. Eventually, she stopped publishing altogether.
If you’re considering trying your hand at a side hustle, here are five myths to keep in mind.
1. Everyone needs a side hustle.
While there are many benefits to bringing in the extra cash, taking on the added responsibility of a side hustle can mean more stress and less personal time. If you’re satisfied with your current job and earn enough money to feel financially secure and don’t harbor entrepreneurial dreams, spending time on a side hustle may just add unnecessary stress to your life. .
“Every hour you spend working is an hour that needs to come from somewhere else in your life, whether it’s sleep, play, or your time with family and friends.” says Alexandrea Ravenelle, author of Hustle and Gig: Fighting to survive in the sharing economy. “
2. Your hustle will solve all your money problems.
Extra income can make it easier for you to reduce student debt or save for a down payment on a house, but secondary scammers often underestimate both how much money they’ll bring in and how much you’ll get. ‘they will spend on expenses to keep. It’s okay. Uber and Lyft drivers, for example, have to pay for gas, additional car maintenance, and ride-sharing insurance. Other gig platforms also have expenses, including application fees and commissions that can lower your rate.
“These platforms are notoriously bad at being transparent about what workers are paid,” Ravenelle says. “It’s not unusual to think that you receive an amount and actually earn much less.”
TaskRabbit, for example, charges a 15% service fee on all work. After factoring in taxes and travel expenses, a gigger may only earn $60 for a job that earns $100.
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3. There will be no impact on your full-time job.
According to CreditLoan.com, one in five scammers admits to working part-time during their main job. Even if your goal is to keep the side hustle entirely separate from your main gig, it can seep through. Whether you occasionally answer emails or text messages or are less attentive because you’re exhausted from overtime, having a side hustle will make you less focused on your current job.
In some cases, your hustle may even endanger your full-time job, so check your employee handbook or ask HR if there are any restrictions on the type of outside work you can do, particularly if it may pose a conflict of interest, Ravenelle advises.
“A car service might not want workers driving for Uber on their own time, or a graphic design company might despise a worker offering discounted services on Fiverr,” she says.
4. Turning your passion into profit is a dream job.
For many people, secondary hustle stems from a hobby they really enjoy. However, once your photography, knitting or baking becomes a business, it can be difficult to sustain the passion. Moreover, you are no longer responsible for the mere production of the product itself. You also now have to do all the other things that go along with the business, such as marketing, accounting, and invoicing, which you might find much less enjoyable.
5. It’s easy to turn a side hustle into a profitable business.
It is certainly possible to start a side hustle that grows into a full-fledged business. But it’s not easy. You will have to put in long hours and prepare for an emotional rollercoaster that might not pay off in the end. According to a Hiscox study, among entrepreneurs who grew their small business from a side gig, one in four say their current business was not born from their first side hustle. One in five small businesses fail the first year, and only about half make it to five years.
Doggette eventually became a successful entrepreneur, but it wasn’t through her blog. Instead, she started her own public relations firm, The Couture Agency, and made it her main focus.
“I’m fulfilled now and making more money working full-time for my own agency,” says Doggette. “I don’t have another hustle. I don’t have time for that.”
To verify How One Couple’s Whiteboard Strategy Helped Them Pay Off $18,000 in Debt in 2 Years via Growing with Acorns + CNBC.
Disclosure: NBCUniversal and Comcast Ventures are investors in tassels.