Alexia and Margot de Broglie are the co-founders of Your Juno, a financial education platform commited to the empowerment of women and non-binary people. In an exclusive series for Adolescent, they explore key topics related to money and finance.
During the pandemic, 56% of American millennials took up a side hustle. Perhaps because they already experienced the 2008 financial crisis—the first of three “once in a generation” crises we’ve seen so far—millennials and Gen Zers are pretty savvy when it comes to side hustling, and even more so than previous generations. But savvy or not, factors outside your control can impact you financially, especially for women and nonbinary people.
To combat such gender-based hurdles, launching your own business can be a deeply empowering way to make profits and feel creatively fulfilled. It’s incredibly affirming to start something from scratch and watch it grow before your eyes. Also, diversifying the sources of your income can be a practical approach to building financial security. If, for any reason, one stream of income stops when you aren’t expecting it, it’s good to have others to fall back on.
There are so many things to consider when it comes to launching a side hustle, especially if you already work full-time. Ambition, conscientiousness, and entrepreneurial spirit are just the tip of the iceberg.
Think you’re ready to take the plunge? Here are five things to think about before you dive into side hustling.
Do you have time?
How much of your spare time do you need to give up to work on a project outside your full-time job? A couple of hours after work may seem doable at first, but once you take into account your commute, it can end up eating into your whole evening.
Ronke, a Your Juno community member and the founder of Market Loop, a newsletter that delivers bite-sized business and financial news, says, “I have a full-time and pretty intense job in finance. It can be challenging trying to balance the two as I’m doing [Market Loop] solo and I need a couple of hours each weekday to write it. I manage it by waking up at 5:45 A.M. and have on occasion been up past midnight.”
Make sure you’re realistic about how much spare time you have. Giving yourself time to wind down is as important as the time you give to the project. Really, it’s all about balance. To stay on top of your side hustle, make a calendar to map out your time. Allot certain days to your project and other days to chill. This will help you prevent things from becoming overwhelming.
Is it worth the energy?
What are you getting back from this project? Outside of financial compensation, think about other benefits such as meeting new people, growing your network, learning new skills, and most importantly, uplifting yourself. Just ask yourself: are you enjoying the work that you’re doing?
If the project you’re working on is your own business, what goals are you working toward and when do you hope to reach them? Will your hustle one day replace your full-time job, or is it just a hobby? These are all important things to consider when you’re thinking about how much time to put into your side hustle.
Are you charging for your time as well as your skills?
If you’re freelancing, it’s really important to think about how much you charge. Determining your rates can involve a bit of a negotiation with clients, and our advice is that communication is key. Make sure you’ve agreed on a rate before you start a project. If you’re not sure what to bill, ask friends and fellow freelancers to see what they charge for similar work.
Gemma, a freelance writer with a full-time job in tech, explains, “I’ve made the mistake of starting a project before my rate was agreed in writing. The brand I was freelancing for then asked me to reduce my rates to fit their tight budget, even though I’d already written 10,000 words for them. It spiraled into a massive headache and in the end, I charged way under for the six days I worked to avoid the stress of having to argue.”
Are you putting yourself at risk of burnout?
Is the level of intensity at which you’re working sustainable? Make sure to prioritize your mental health and always keep in mind how your work is impacting it. Apps like Calm and Headspace are great for daily mindfulness. But the best way to manage your well-being is to plan ahead. Make sure you have a holistic view of all your commitments, and make a calendar so you can stay on top of them. Don’t be the sort of person who says “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Sleep while you’re living.
Do you know how much you owe in taxes?
Taxes are arguably the most boring part of side hustles, but they’re extremely important. When you’re earning extra income, you’ll likely owe extra tax. Do your research! We recommend getting all your income and business expenses down on a spreadsheet and updating it throughout the financial year. That way, you can avoid a mad rush gathering everything during tax season.
So is a side hustle worth it? Hannah Martin, co-founder of the sexual wellness project Galentine, puts it perfectly: “Taking a business from an idea to IRL feels incredible. Seeing a growing online community, talking to people at events, and getting real-life orders from real-life people is honestly magic. But I’d be lying if I said it was easy! Even in these early days when we’re still relatively small, a side business takes significant time, energy, and financial commitment. In order to make it work, it needs to become a significant priority in your life.”
Juno is an education-only platform. If you are unclear about anything concerning our services please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that we do not provide any financial planning, accounting, investment advisory or tax advisory or planning advice. If you need financial advice please contact an independent financial advisor. Juno’s content has been prepared exclusively for the informational and educational purposes of our users. Nothing on the Juno platform constitutes an offer to buy or sell or an inducement to buy or sell any security, product, service or investment. The content available on Your Juno does not constitute investment advice nor does Your Juno provide any warranty or guarantee as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability of the information provided for any particular individual purpose. As Your Juno is an education only platform, it is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority nor is its content protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.