Susie Moore is an Australian former Fortune 500 sales director turned business coach and author of What If It Doesn't Work Out? Get weekly tips via her website.
Scared to lose your job in the future? Hate your boss? Want to make more money? Want to create more opportunities in your life? Want to do work that you love on your terms with no glass ceiling?
I've seen the incalculable benefits of people who have done this and there are plenty of practical reasons why it's important to start yesterday.
In 2014, I left a job that had me bouncing between Silicon Valley and New York and paid me US$500,000 (NZ$715,000) in my final year. At age 30 I made the decision to pursue my rapidly growing side business as a business coach and writer.
"Susie, you're nuts!" was frequently heard from family and friends.
But here's the thing. I had been building my business as a side hustle for the 18 months prior to quitting. I just had to take it to the next level.
Here are five reasons why you need to start your side hustle even if you don't know it yet: your job isn't safe anymore!
Markets are crashing, salaries are flat lining, the cost of living is going up and you're being replaced by technology.
The $500,000 I earned was comprised of three things: Base salary (the smallest portion), vesting stock options and bonuses. Suffice it to say, I could have made more, I could have made less or I could have been fired in the years ahead.
And believe me, management was looking for cheaper alternatives.
Don't be left high and dry in the event of a job cut. A side hustle is a critical hedge against uncertainty.
Set up costs can be totally minimal
In my book What If It Does Work Out?, I emphasise the fact that I encourage my clients to look for ways to start making money in their hustle before spending a cent. That's entrepreneurship in its purest sense.
My friend Jason Wachob, the chief executive and founder of mindbodygreen told me that he's a huge believer in boot-strapping.
He said: "You need to learn how to grow without throwing money at growth".
Mindbodygreen is now one of the world's largest health and wellness sites - he and his co-founders started it with around $5,000 in 2007.
It allows you to pursue your true passions
According to a Gallup poll, only 13 per cent of the global workforce are engaged at work. That's pretty depressing. A side hustle is the perfect way to dive into what it is that you are truly passionate about and make money doing it.
Whether it be teaching yoga, creating online courses, teaching a foreign language or starting a shuttle service for the elderly, the options are endless, unlike in your corporate career.
Did you know Spanx was a side hustle? When I interviewed the beautiful founder, Sara Blakely, a couple of years ago she shared how she created the undergarment empire while still having a day job as a fax machine sales person. She quit once Oprah endorsed Spanx as one of her favourite products. Sara is now a billionaire.
What amazing creation lays dormant within you?
You do have time!
One of the biggest, lamest excuses I hear from people is that they "don't have the time" to start a side husle. But everyone has 24 hours in a day.
Khaled Hosseini wrote the best-selling book The Kite Runner while working full time in a hospital. Michael Burry pursued his hobby of financial investing in between shifts at Stanford Hospital as he finished his residency.
He later left medicine to pursue his true passion and made hundreds of millions of dollars correctly calling the subprime mortgage crisis (Christian Bale played him in The Big Short).
Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat Pray Love summed it up perfectly in an interview for Cosmopolitan when she said:
"Sometimes when I hear people say, 'I would love to do this but I don't have time!' Or, 'Well, I have a real job and I would have to quit my job to write a book.' And I'm like, 'you don't have to quit your f**king job to write a book!'"
You tell your boss you're outta there when your hustle makes enough for you to quit
So many of my clients ask me when the right time to quit is after they have been successfully running their side hustle.
While I strongly advise them to consider their individual circumstances, I generally share my rationale when it came to timing. It was when my side hustle matched (or would when I quit and could dedicate more time to it) my base salary. If you are like me, you live within the confines of your base salary.
Bonuses are exactly that, a bonus. But they magically handcuff people. I see so many people whose lifestyle and consumption patterns match their total compensation - this is a trap. So assess your situation.
Are you closer to pursuing your passions than you think?
What do you have to lose? You are keeping your day job. Your rent continues to be paid. Your day job continues to support you in the same way it always has. Your benefits are safe.
But sorry, re-runs of Game of Thrones are not going to get you anywhere. You have work to do. Are you with me?