Side Hustles.  They’re everywhere, practiced by seemingly everyone.

This video (and another that will follow soon) explain that side hustles – and the reasons for them – vary widely.  I picked this TEDx video as a “jumping off” point, defining the side hustle, and the ‘whys and wherefore’s” of side gigs.

Yes, side hustles are often about the money.  Yet they’re often about so much more than just money.  They’re about doing what you love.  They’re about learning, growing, building and achieving.  They’re about balance and (self-) determining how we live and work.

I think the side hustle has been part of “the American Way” since the Pilgrims got here.  I’d classify a lot of part-time jobs as side-hustles.  The baseball park vendor who makes good coin while enjoying the ball park and the game.  The baby-sitter, the pet-sitter, the part-time elder care-giver, the student who teaches music…

My Dad, a self-employed construction contractor for fifty years, always suggested to me, “Use your brain, not your back  But learn a trade so you always have something to fall back on.”   He was a quintessential horse-trader with side hustles galore.

This from the YouTube introduction of the video: This is the side hustle revolution | The Way We Work, a TED series:

“Past generations found a company to work for and then stayed there for decades. But today, we rarely stay in the same job (let alone on the same career path) and we don’t rely on a single income stream. The tools and resources are out there for us to do our own thing, and more of us are going with the entrepreneurial spirit — even if it’s on the side of a traditional job. Podcaster and marketer Nicaila Matthews Okome helps survey the scene.

“The Way We Work is a TED original video series where leaders and thinkers offer practical wisdom and insight into how we can adapt and thrive amid changing workplace conventions. (Made possible with the support of Dropbox)”

Stay tuned for more of “The Way We Work” TED Talks.

Wisconsin Side Hustles

I helped make ends meet while in college by doing tax returns for people.  After a course in Econ 304 or 404, Money & Banking, tax returns made some sense to me, and I could confidently deliver value on basic returns.  My daughter-in-law, enjoys catering events with her mom and her auntie while bringing home some bacon, and sometimes great leftovers.  My daughter works hard and has fun at State Fair while making bank, listening to live music and seeing friends, family and other fairgoers who stop by to enjoy themselves – and tip well – to boot.

Wisconsin is great for side hustles.  Thinking locally, snow plowing comes to mind.   Micro-brewing, too.  Door County folks offer firewood for sale at roadside self-help stacks in their front yards. How many contribute cherries and maple syrup to destination retail locations?

Wisconsin Business Owners Side Hustles

Wisconsin Business Owners – our Members – are great for side hustles.  I’ve seen groups form from within our group, when several speakers, already friends, combined their skills to deliver even greater value together, while continuing to deliver excellent values to their clients in their own niches.

I met one of my newest clients online through our Wisconsin Business Owners Meetup group, then in person at a Wisconsin Business Owners event.  He’s got the consummate side hustle, a whole second business based on his skills and interests.  His education and experience at his primary job are quite advanced.  He’s engaged by huge multinational corporations on a project basis.  Yet, when his “day job” isn’t a hundred percent busy, he devotes time to developing his side hustle.  He simply never wants to be in the position of having to rely on a huge client or two for his bread and butter.  Self-determination is his key.

The “Side Hustle” for many of us amounts to figuring out how to deliver the best in all facets of our main hustle. We learn, we network and we share in a relaxed yet professional environment.

Our group Organizers are very much about delivering a greater value to Wisconsin Business Owners than the sum of our individual parts. Plus, our Organizers are “servant leaders” … people who derive pleasure from simply helping others.  And we all like to learn.

So, even if you’re “just” doing a side hustle, join us!  Network with people who are all about learning in a professional, yet personal, learning environment.