Say thanks for the lessons learned and step into 2021 with a self-starter mindset. 2020 was a YEAR. If you’ve felt like you’ve lived through 10 lifetimes worth of adversity, you are not alone. In this article, I share 20 reasons why 2021 should be the year of the side hustle.
1. Your Mental Health
The challenges of COVID-19 and social distancing have left in their wake have been difficult for all and life-altering for most. The Center for Disease Control came out with survey results in August of this year showing that in late June 40% of adults in the US reported struggling with mental health issues or substance abuse. Creating a side hustle or passion project in 2021 could serve as an escape from the very real obstacles being faced by women in the workplace and at home. So, don’t feel guilty for taking time to learn embroidery or ghostwrite, you’re doing your mental health a favor.
2. Creative Expression
A lot of us enjoy what we do for a living. But doing the same thing day in and day out can be draining and lead to burn out. Add quarantine, being home 24/7, taking care of kids, or just generally trying to make it through during an unprecedented time and you can find yourself feeling uninspired. Finding a side hustle you enjoy can spark passion back into your routine and life. Get creative! Build a birdhouse or write some poetry. You’d be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel when you allow yourself a creative outlet beyond your work or family life.
3. Businesses Are Innovating
Bernard Marr with Forbes Magazine wrote a really interesting article outlining business trends expected to emerge in 2021. One of them being how businesses were forced to innovate in 2020 to the pandemic and how that will continue beyond this year. He gave the example of “restaurants that pivoted to enable expanded take-out abilities.” Take this as an incentive to think of how businesses are changing around you and find a way to contribute yourself into the mix.
4. Work from Home
Whether you were a stay at home mom, doing the 9-5 grind or away at college, 2020 saw most of us move to working or studying from home (or the dorm.) The joys of remote work will only expand and deepen in the year 2021. If you hate your desk job or need a mental break from being a main caretaker, a side hobby or project can give you the freedom to continue to work from home for good. Becoming your own boss could be the best thing you ever did for yourself.
5. Diversify Yourself with New Skills
Learning new skills is always a plus. Have you been wanting to learn how to cook since going out is not-so-much an option at the moment? Use 2021 to explore Pinterest and enjoy each trial and error on your way to perfecting your mom’s spaghetti recipe or that delicious looking cannoli. Love having beautiful nails but hate not being able to go to the salon? Buy a gel manicure kit on Amazon and foster a little patience for the learning curve. You’ll save money and collect a new skill along the way.
6. Find Community
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is really passionate about something? It’s kind of contagious, isn’t it? Allow yourself time in 2021 to explore what you love and connect with others who share your goals and interests. If there is something you love, no matter how niche, there is guaranteed a community out there waiting for you who love it as well.
7. Three Words: Tax. Write. Offs.
Taxes are not the most exciting topic in the history of the world. In 2021, make taxes work for you by researching possible tax write offs related to your small business. If you devoted time and energy towards your side income the IRS may view you as self-employed and that comes with its own tax write off advantages
8. Finances Are Uncertain
Sadly, the pandemic saw many people out of a job and reliable income. It’s never fun to plan for the worst, but having savings set aside for a sudden emergency and Plan B in place if you find yourself unemployed is smart. Start fostering side incomes separate from your main job in 2021, it will give you a mental break and allow you to create security for yourself in case the worst happens.
9. Higher Salary
Are you an incredible writer? Have you considered resume writing as a side hustle? Really successful resume writers can make upwards of $100+ per resume. Taking on freelance work can add meaningful substance to your portfolio and work experience, adding worth in the eyes of employers. Go ahead, collect that extra money and experience, and don’t be afraid to ask for a higher wage for the higher talent you’re now providing.
10. Extra Money for Investing
The stock market can be intimidating. But that doesn’t mean it has to be. Investment apps like RobinHood and Acorns make investing less mysterious and more attainable. Investing money in stocks can be risky and at the same time very rewarding if done right. 2021 could be the year you see your savings skyrocket with smart investments.
11. Savings for the Shopping
Depop, Etsy, and Poshmark are all virtual marketplaces that are relatively easy to become a part of. Have you been wanting to clear out your closet? Set up a Depop or Poshmark to make some extra cash. Are you really good at painting dogs into Elizabethan Royalty? There’s a niche market on Etsy that will pay well for that. More income means more money for decor, new succulents, or science fiction books on dystopian people who live underground. Whatever floats your boat.
12. The World is Going Virtual
The 2020 pandemic turned the world upside down and inside out. Almost all businesses had to turn virtual in some form or fashion. Even going to the grocery store for bread changed. Turn this to your advantage. Instacart is a virtual grocery delivery service. You can order groceries on the app and have them arrive at your door! Or you can become a grocery shopper for Instacart and get paid to collect and deliver groceries for others. Work smart, not hard.
13. Think Locally
The world is looking a little smaller these days with social distancing. With traveling on hold for many, 2021 could be an amazing opportunity to really look at the area around you. You will probably find places you never knew about before. And if you’ve been wanting to share your artisanal skills, the farmer’s market is a great place to sell homemade or homegrown goods for some extra money.
14. Bring Meaning to Your Life
Finding meaning in the dumpster fire that was 2020 would be hard for even the biggest of optimists. Taking time to cultivate new hobbies or side income in 2021 could be just the push you needed to explore what brings meaning to your life. Out with the old, in with the new and meaningful.
15. Live Life Your Way
Working for yourself has its own challenges, but being your own boss is the dream for a lot of people. Successfully finding a side hustle can put you in the driver’s seat and allow you to set your own schedule. Prioritizing what you love and want has never felt better.
16. New Friends
Stepping out of your comfort zone is scary, but also can be so rewarding. By default, when you enter a realm you’ve never been in before you are going to meet new people. 2020 had a lot of us feeling lonely and disconnected from others. Find a hobby you love and run wild with it. You’ll most likely find new friends in others who share your interests.
17. Eco-Friendly and Sustainable
If you have an Instagram or follow any influencers on Youtube, you will have noticed a huge increase in eco-friendly content and sustainable products being shared and advertised. The pandemic in 2020 really brought the environmental crisis to the forefront and businesses began to see the environment as something that could affect their bottom line. Do you love to blog? If you find yourself with a passion for the environment, consider sharing about sustainable topics that could catch the eye of larger companies, and boom! Side hustle made.
18. Social Media is Exploding
Social Media is not going anywhere. With the pandemic keeping people at home more, many turned to social media to maintain a feeling of being connected even when six feet apart became the norm. 2021 is an amazing time to step into your own with platforms like Youtube, Instagram, or TikTok as a creative outlet. Think outside of the box and make your content individual to you.
When you put the time and energy into creating a social media presence that speaks to people and puts a fire in you, people are going to notice. Oftentimes, successful social media creators are sent gratis, or free products, memberships, etc. to try out and hopefully review or post about. If you love trying out skincare or shopping, but your wallet does not, forming a solid presence on the internet could allow you to do so- for free!
20. Create a Routine for Yourself
Last, but possibly most important, is the fact that creating a side hustle will allow you to form a routine for yourself. To successfully balance work, school, home, and personal life you can create a routine that works for you and the goals you want to achieve in this upcoming year. Making time for all aspects of your life will allow you to feel less stressed and more balanced. And that’s something everyone can say AMEN to.
2020 was a tornado of a year. Your situation is unique to you and your business should be as well. Find what lights your ambition on fire and chase it. You can create a life you love and that may just be the biggest reason to build a side hustle in 2021. Go get ’em, ladies.