More people than ever are harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit and finding ways to make extra money on the side doing the things they love.
Side hustles have seen an astronomical rise in recent years and some experts anticipate that popularity growing even more in this post-Covid climate.
A Google search brings up dozens of pages containing lists of the easiest, most popular or lucrative side hustles that promise to make you money fast.
Some of the suggestions include becoming a virtual assistant, domain reselling, driving for Uber, managing social media for small businesses and participating in marketing research groups.
But for many locals, their side hustles were born from personal hobbies or skills they developed until they became profitable.
Professor Susan Watson, interim dean of the University of Auckland Business School, said side hustles were becoming more popular because they were more possible.
"People are monetising things they never thought they could before. Having a small business on the side is more possible now, there are more contract-type jobs out there such as Uber and Airbnb.
"It's easy to think of side hustles as a Millennial thing but when you look at Uber and Airbnb for example, you can see it's across the board."
Watson said there were benefits to having a side hustle beyond making some extra money.
"That would be the primary goal for most people I would think but it also allows you to develop skill sets around running a small business and it can give people more flexibility around how and when they work.
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"For some people, they have abandoned their main job and their income is made up of multiple side hustles."
However, people had to be aware they were still required to pay tax on any additional income they received, she said.
"The law still applies and if you earn over a certain threshold you would be required to register for GST.
"Post-Covid we've seen the benefit of declaring all income sources as it has allowed people to access help like the wage subsidy. You can't claim that kind of support if you haven't declared your additional income."
Never before have we seen a generation so driven by the entrepreneurial spirit.
According to The Purpose Business' NZ Shapers Report, a third of Kiwi Millennials - people born between 1984 and 2000 - had a side hustle in 2019.
The Purpose Business co-founder Jacqueline Farman said the report findings regarding side hustles were expected.
"There is more uncertainty around future employment so many are hedging their bets and building something up on the side.
"Many side hustles start out as hobbies and then the idea spreads until it gets to the point where it becomes self-sustaining.
"Never before have we seen a generation so driven by the entrepreneurial spirit. They are not only thinking about starting businesses but some have two or three businesses by the time they've reached their 20s.
"There is also much more of a focus on people following their true passions, rather than getting stuck in the daily grind."
However, Farman said the rise in popularity of side hustles was not limited to the Millennial generation.
"I think the opportunities digital business has opened up is available to everyone. People across all generations recognise that the idea of having a career for life is gone. There is that understanding people need to constantly grow and develop their skills to remain relevant."
Farman said setting up a business had become relatively easy in this digital age.
"You can easily reach a sizeable market online and particularly after Covid-19, people's attitudes towards working have changed dramatically.
"People have been working from home and that will continue for many in some capacity. Then the nativity around digital makes it easier to scale your business and reach a wide customer base.
"I anticipate side hustles are here to stay. There is more of a focus on supporting our local community and ensuring everyone is thriving, and the ability to build an online business based on an idea is far more accessible to everyone.
"I suspect we will see side hustles explode post-Covid."
Existing skills open door for new business venture
Forty hours a week, Alex Hardy works as a production co-ordinator for a Mount Maunganui-based fashion label.
The rest of her time she spends designing, creating and growing her own line of specialty active wear.
"It all started when I moved to Invercargill and I saw a Facebook ad for pole fitness. I thought that would be a great way to meet new people and do some exercise so I went along."
Hardy loved the sport with its embracing and friendly community and it wasn't long before she saw a business opportunity arise.
"I have a background in fashion design and when I saw the costumes I thought, 'I could make that' and it grew from there.
"I started by making custom-made garments for people in competitions. Then when I moved to Tauranga I wanted to carry it on because it was a creative outlet for me."
Hardy launched her brand Pole Bunny in September last year and dedicates a couple of evenings a week and at least one weekend day to it.
"It satisfies that creative need or passion being able to make something pretty and sparkly that women can wear and feel confident in.
"Then the sense of having something you built yourself can be really empowering.
"There are a few New Zealand companies who make similar garments but when I started out, there were only international brands and I thought that was a shame and wanted to change that."
Hardy said she was putting more effort into growing the business post-Covid.
"I've gone to a lot of seminars held by the Chamber of Commerce where you can listen to other small business owners and connect with people who are in the same boat or are willing to help.
"A lot of work and time is involved and you need to be able to invest in the business when you're starting out but with supportive people around you, anything is possible."
Baker side hustling until passion turns into fulltime gig
Bay woman Laura Blair has always had a passion for food so creating occasion cakes and other sweet treats was an obvious choice when she was looking for a side hustle.
Now, she hopes to turn her side hustle into a fulltime job.
"I did a bachelors in culinary arts then went on to work in the hospitality sector. I'm not really sure when I made the decision but one day I decided I wanted to be a caker.
"I'd like to be a caker fulltime but until then I'll have it as a side hustle so I can work out whether or not it is feasible and whether I can do this."
Blair started marketing her business Koru Cakery in November last year and has been working to build her brand.
"It hasn't been very long but I've found it really good. I've been surprised by the amount of support I've been getting, it's really cool."
And despite launching right before Covid-19 reached New Zealand shores, Blair said she hadn't been slowed down.
"I took that time to work on the non-baking side of the business, things like the website, social media, taking photos. I had all the free time in the world to build my brand so it was actually pretty helpful.
"It has been busier than I thought. I was expecting it to be a really slow process because that's what everyone told me so in my head, that's what I was prepared for but it has been all-go from the beginning."
Blair works part-time at a cafe in Mount Maunganui and the rest of her time is spent thinking about or making cakes.
"It's often the end of the week that I'm doing the physical side of making the cakes because people typically want celebration cakes for events on the weekend.
"The rest of the time I'm thinking about new products I could introduce or looking at ways to grow, scrolling through the cake pages on Instagram.
"It's definitely the passion side of things that drives me. I'm more concerned with providing a quality product. I could easily make the things I make a lot cheaper and make a bigger profit but I'm more about the quality of product."
She said anyone wanting to start a side hustle had to be willing to learn and adapt to survive.
"I think when you're setting out you have to know what your intention is. For me, I want to make it a fulltime gig but if you do a bit of macramé on the side for a bit of extra cash, why not give it a go."
Blair said there had been challenges but she was living her dream.
"The baking side is easy to me, it's the social media marketing that I've found the hardest part. Getting your name out there, I'm not a big social media person so that's something I need to work on.
"It all still feels like a bit of a dream. This is what I want to be doing but the fact I'm out here doing it and people believe I can go further is quite cool."
Furry fandom sparks business idea
Kristina Wensor has been using her creative skills in her own time to fill a demand in a niche market.
"I am part of a group of people who like to draw characters and animals with human traits and I like to make the costumes of those characters that people have made up.
"There's a definite market for it here and in the States. There's a few other people who make them and I thought 'I'm pretty good at making costumes, I'll give it a go'."
Wensor sells her costumes through her Facebook page, Green Dog Art, and has introduced custom designs.
"A lot of time and effort goes into making each costume. It's a lot of YouTubing, figuring out how to sculpt foam, cut properly.
"The cost to make each costume varies, I get a good deal on foam from a friend but I import the fabric from the States because it is better quality than what you can get here so that can cost a bit.
"I have just started to make custom costumes, I used to make one for myself and then sell it on but now people are giving me their drawings to create.
"I am making a zebra at the moment but the creations can be anything - canines, dragons, cats, hybrids, anything really.
"I knew the demand was out there so it's about finding the right price."
Wensor said she usually dedicated about four or five hours a night to the side hustle.
"I've been doing it a couple years on and off but I've only just started to get it going professionally. At the moment I don't really charge for labour because I want to get my name out there, but when you set your price higher and people are still willing to buy then you can make some money."
She said getting enjoyment out of her side hustle was the primary goal, any money she made was an added bonus.
"I find it calming sitting down and sewing, being able to bring a character to life in full costumised glory based on somebody's drawing is really satisfying."
Businesswoman turns hobbies into money makers
The adage "If you love what you do, you'll never have to work a day in your life" couldn't ring more true for Bridget Serafimidis.
The Bay of Plenty businesswoman runs her own catering company but also has three side hustles born out of the things she loves to do.
"My catering company mainly does weddings so it's really only six months a year. My main side hustle is Lifestyle Tribe with Juice Plus. With that I work as a whole food, nutritional support. That includes providing clean, healthy, family-friendly recipes and talking to people about how they can change their lifestyle.
"I started working for Juice Plus because I was looking for an online programme for myself and just fell in love with the products and programme. I was telling everyone about it so they said 'why don't you start working with us' so I fell into that accidentally.
"My other side hustle is working as an instructor a couple of days a week at Float Fitness, which is anti-gravity fitness.
"Again, I was going there because I liked it and then one of the instructors said, 'why don't you become an instructor?' I had to do an intensive course to be able to teach classes but I figured why not?"
And as if she wasn't already busy enough, Serafimidis is also training a horse at the moment and occasionally teaches her friends.
"I used to be a showjumper when I was younger. I absolutely love it, I never feel like I'm working when I'm with the horses."
Serafimidis said she was at a stage in her life where she wanted her passion to become her income.
"If you can do that it doesn't feel like work."
She said passion was the key to making a side hustle grow but any venture required hard work and self-motivation.
"I think you have to be passionate about it. If you're doing it alongside a fulltime job, if you're not passionate about it, you're not going to put in those extra hours after work to build it up.
"During Covid my company couldn't do anything, we lost all our weddings, everything came to a standstill, but Juice Plus was considered an essential item so we were shipping the whole time. It made me realise how important it is to have multiple streams of income.
"A side hustle has the potential to replace your full income but it's something that does have to start off on the side and will require extra time while you're doing something else.
"If you don't have that drive and self-motivation it's not going to work because you will likely be working more hours than you're paid for in the beginning.
Tips for making a successful side hustle
1. Work out what your talent or passion is.
2. Identify where in the market your product sits and identify how to make your offering different.
3. Dedicate time to doing it. Particularly if it's content-based, you want to saturate the space to optimise exposure.
4. Focus on what you're passionate about, not just making money.
5. Spend a bit of money in your set-up so your product looks and feels professional from the outset.