Respect the (Side) Hustle

Respect the (Side) Hustle

The newsletter to fuel — and thrill — your mind. Read for deep dives into the unmissable ideas and topics shaping our world. It’s Christmas time, and that means lots of people are looking for ways to earn a little extra cash for the holidays. And yet there is a subtle joy to the side hustle that often gets missed. Sure, gold is at the end of this rainbow, and who couldn’t use some more dough in their pockets? But while cash is king, the true aim of gig life is something more intoxicating: freedom. Clocking in and clocking out, overbearing bosses and corporate cultures, just making ends meet rather than making it to the end … instead of defaulting to traditional work, people are creating lives that work for them, and in doing so, earning that one commodity you can never get back: time. Whether you are looking to replace your current income or merely add to it, today’s Daily Dose will focus on the anatomy of the side hustle, so that you can better understand where it came from, where it’s going and how it could transform your life. 1 – The OG Meaning

The word “hustle” comes from the Dutch husselen , meaning “to shake,” but in English it shifted from “the act of jostling” to “a job” and, finally, “a swindle” — the latter meaning used almost exclusively in African American newspapers for decades beginning in the 1920s. Why Does This Matter? Because of that old axe about history, and those not knowing it being doomed to repeat it. More Americans are involved in dubious network marketing schemes than all online gigs combined … whether they realize it or not. The lesson? Don’t gig in over your head.

It wasn’t until the 1950s that the side modifier came in, and again, we have the editors of Black outlets to thank. The term was used relatively evenly for both legitimate jobs and scams. The late ‘90s and early 2000s hip-hop scene blew open the divides between Black culture and mainstream American music. Everyone from Notorious B.I.G. (From “Everyday Struggle”: I’m living everyday like a hustle) to Snoop Dogg (“Hustle & Ball”) and Ice Cube (“Supreme Hustle” ) brought the hustle into the mainstream … to the point where Rick Ross became a massive star overnight with a 2005 debut single in which he declared, “Everyday I’m Hustlin.’” 4 – Recession Evolution

While hustling was mostly associated with drug-dealing and other illicit dealings under its hip-hop resurgence, the Great Recession of 2008 popularized the term as out-of-work Americans looked for other ways to make ends meet … giving birth to the “side hustles” that we know today. 1 – The Sharing Economy

Everything is for sale. With Uber and Lyft, where our commutes become a rideshare, or, with Postmates and Grubhub, a meal delivery service. Using TaskRabbit and Handy, you can sell your cleaning services or handyman skills, and on Lugg, your muscle becomes a hot commodity. Meanwhile, your spare bedroom becomes a hotel room on Airbnb, and even your spare garage or attic space is worth a buck with Neighbor, an app that rents out your extra storage space. The point? Nearly everything you own, or can do, can be commoditized … for better or for worse. Thought Experiment: Could the crowd-fueled economy replace corporation-driven capitalism ?

2 – Strange Ways to Get Paid

Look, we don’t judge the hustle, and certainly don’t suggest looking a gift horse in the mouth. Still, some side hustles just seem odd. Even small-time, micro-influencers are making tens of thousands filming themselves “ unboxing ” products (in particular, subscription box services) on YouTube. Fake luxury shoppers in Paris have been paid hundreds to wait in lines for black-market employers, who then resell hard-to-get merchandise at double or triple the market value (snagging a rare Birkin bag has outperformed the S&P 500 the past 35 years). A litany of odd ways to make a buck: manufacturing doll clothes, fixing fountain pens, impersonating celebrities and orchestrating fireworks shows, to name just a few. Ask Yourself: What outside-the-box skills, hobbies or interests do you have? Take two minutes right now to type out whatever comes to mind. Is there a niche that could use your unique abilities? An audience that may want to follow your curiosity online, perhaps on YouTube or Twitch? Could your services find a customer base on Fiverr, Upwork or Etsy?

3 – Saving Money Equals Making Money

Whether […]

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