professional support


28th January, 2020

Earning or learning: Choosing a side hustle with purpose

Whether you’re in it for love, money or experience, your motivation for taking on a side hustle will likely influence your chances of success.

Now more than ever, a person’s career isn’t likely to follow a well-defined path.

In decades gone by, previous generations could expect to have one or two employers in their lifetime – today that would be considered a rarity in either Australia or New Zealand.

In fact, according to HILDA survey data from the Department of Employment, if Australia’s school leavers start work at 18 and retire by 75, they’ll have had around 17 different employers and four changes of career over their lifetime.

Here are some other facts and stats to consider (from the Australian Bureau of Statistics):

Combine these trends with contemporary workplace concepts like flexible and remote working, the introduction of a four-day work week and more, and we start to see just how much the nature of employment is changing in the modern world.

The rise of the ‘side hustle’

Whether it’s to supplement income, or to build a skillset in a new field, taking on an additional job can be a rewarding experience.

And rather than looking for additional employers, many people are looking to their own entrepreneurial nous to generate a second or third income stream.

Enter the side hustle.

The term hustle has long been associated with effort, doing work or doing a job. With the increasing importance of supplementary incomes, it was inevitable that a term like ‘side hustle’ would eventually be coined to describe this style of work.

And to show how quickly this concept has taken off, you only need look at Google Trends data for the term over the past five years – in 2016 it was still a very niche term, then, in 2017, it begins to skyrocket.

Have you considered starting a side hustle?

For Victoria Devine, founder and financial advisor at Zella, starting a side hustle was a natural progression towards starting her own business, at which she’s been successful – twice.

That’s because Devine is also the host of popular financial literacy podcast, She’s On The Money.

And while she’s in the business of helping people better understand their finances, it wasn’t making money that enticed her to get started.

READ: Turning your side hustle into the main game

Having completed an honours degree in Organisational Psychology, Devine found work as a culture and engagement consultant, but found she kept coming back to a growing obsession with finance.

“At the time, I was completing my MBA and absolutely loved the finance units,” said Devine.

“Speaking to people on a daily basis about workplace stress also made me aware of the impact financial stress was having on everyone, and finance felt like something I should learn more about.”

In this, Devine’s intuition was to use her career to help people – a motivation many find more rewarding than simply doing something for money, and that’s something that can be applied when deciding whether to take on a side hustle or not.

“From there, I fell in love with the impact good financial literacy could have on people.

“Once I completed my Diploma of Financial Planning, I started working as a financial advisor.”

Time management: Critical to side-hustle success

Devine’s business, Zella, began around 2014 and occupied her time for four years before she began considering a side hustle.

Financial advisory was all good and well, but Devine realised she could add more value if she could help improve people’s financial literacy – and that’s how She’s On The Money came to be, initially as a Facebook group, and now as a popular podcast series.

“Our aim with the Facebook group was to create a safe space for women to freely discuss money, ask general questions and learn more about financial literacy,” said Devine.

And having an existing business was not only a valuable experience when starting another project, it also gave Devine additional flexibility as she was able to choose how much time she invested into her main business versus her new one.

But juggling two gigs at the same time is never going to be easy.

“Managing time and competing priorities has been the biggest challenge we’ve faced as a business.

“Because the She’s on the Money business grew organically from a platform we created to initially share content with people who attended workshops Zella ran (my original business) – it was never my intention to create another standalone company.

“While I’m so grateful that’s what’s happened, it’s been a steep learning curve of ensuring everything keeps moving.

“I made sure that I had all the numbers behind me, money saved, a brilliant support network and the motivation to put the work in before I made the leap – I didn’t have the luxury of just quitting my job one day and making it work.”

Today, She’s On The Money has grown into a thriving business and community of more than 45,000 women who are passionate about changing their financial futures.

The podcast has been downloaded more than 900,000 times since its release.

If Devine’s story can teach us anything about side hustling success, perhaps it’s to focus on doing the things we’re truly passionate about and are central to our unique skills and perspective.

It doesn’t have to be complicated, but it is – after all – still work.

The She’s On The Money podcast episode on side hustles lands 29 January, 2020 in partnership with MYOB. Download that episode and more here.