## The Rise of Side Hustles: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Growing Your Own
![man works on side hustle during evening](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/man-works-on-side-hustle-during-evening-on-his-laptop.jpg?id=49445021&width=1245&height=700&coordinates=0%2C0%2C0%2C802)
More than [5 million businesses](https://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/?programCode=BFS&startYear=2022&endYear=2022&categories%5b%5d=TOTAL&dataType=BA_BA&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1&NotAdjusted=1&errorData=0#table-results) were started in 2022, according to newly released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, bringing the total number of small businesses in America to [33,185,550](https://advocacy.sba.gov/2023/03/07/frequently-asked-questions-about-small-business-2023/#:~:text=There%20are%2033%2C185%2C550%20small%20businesses,net%20jobs%20created%20since%201995.) as of March 2023, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy.
However, not all of those businesses are full-time. In its [Small Business Insights Survey](https://getindex.com/resources/small-business-insights-survey/) taken this spring, Index by Pinger reports that of the 60% of adults who own a small business and/or work a side hustle, 76% are also employed by another company, meaning they’re all side hustlers.
Side hustles were once considered a way to make “fun money.” But no longer. Side hustles are serious undertakings. In the *Small Business Insights Survey*, 61% say their businesses and/or side hustles are their primary source of income.
So, just how many side hustles are there? According to recent data from Bankrate, 39% of all working Americans (about 65 million people) have side hustles, 33% of whom say they need the money from their side hustle to cover their regular living expenses. Plus, 25% work a side hustle to save money, and 12% need it to repay debt.
## Who are the side hustlers?
Bankrate notes that while operating side hustles is more popular among younger Americans, all generations are participating in the trend:
– Baby boomers—24%
– Gen X—40%
– Gen Z—53%
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, more men (43%) than women (35%) are earning money on the side. Bankrate says side hustlers earn an average of $810 a month, though this varies by generation:
– Millennials—$1,022 a month
– Gen Z—$753 a month
– Gen X—$670 a month
– Baby boomers—$646 a month
## Why start a side hustle?
![man works on side hustle at coffee shop for extra money](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/man-works-on-side-hustle-at-coffee-shop-for-extra-money.jpg?id=48564308&width=1200&height=600&coordinates=0%2C1618%2C0%2C3286)
While money is obviously a big motivator when deciding to start a side hustle, it’s not the top one. A recent research report from [Digital Ocean](https://www.digitalocean.com/currents/may-2023) shows that the desire to earn supplemental income motivates only 18% of side hustlers. Instead, people primarily start side hustles to pursue a passion (44%) and achieve professional independence (41%).
Side hustlers surveyed by [Side Hustle Nation](https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-statistics/#sources) reported their motivations to start were:
– More personal freedom—39%
– Extra income to save, spend, or invest—27%
– Extra money to make ends meet—12%
– Pay off debt faster—6%
– A creative outlet—6%
– “It felt like a calling”—5%
## Biggest challenges for starting a side hustle
Side Hustle Nation subscribers report their biggest challenges are:
– Having the time
– Coming up with the “right” idea
– Money/startup funds
– Lack of skills
## Ideas for starting a side hustle
![Man working side hustle for Uber Eats](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/man-working-side-hustle-for-uber-eats.jpg?id=49445046&width=1200&height=600&coordinates=0%2C249%2C0%2C407)
There is no shortage of ideas for side hustles. According to Side Hustle Nation, the most popular side hustles are:
– Online business, including blogging, podcasting, online courses, and affiliate marketing
– Freelancing and consulting
– [E-commerce](https://www.allbusiness.com/4-fundamental-truths-about-starting-your-own-e-commerce-business-102694-1.html), including selling on Amazon, eBay, and Etsy, and operating your own online store
– Investing, including real estate, crypto, stocks, and buying businesses
– Offering local services, such as cleaning, knife sharpening, notary services, pet waste removal, and more
– Software and apps
– Gig jobs, such as delivery services or driving for Lyft or Uber
However, the best side hustle for you depends on your skills, interests, needs, and time commitment.
## Advice for side hustlers
Starting a side hustle is just like [starting a business](https://www.allbusiness.com/starting-a-business-complete-guide-entrepreneurs-117513-1.html). You should:
– Conduct market research. Find out if there’s demand for your product or service. While you don’t need to create a formal business plan, be sure to cover the basics, such as outlining your goals, identifying your target audience and competitors, and making financial projections.
– Sharpen your time management skills. You are balancing your side hustle with your regular job and your personal life. Invest in technology that allows you to be more efficient and productive and better manage your time.
– Create a website. Customers won’t know how or where to find you without a web presence. Use social media to build your brand and connect with consumers and other business owners.
Business owners and side hustlers in the *Small Business Insights Survey* offered the following advice:
– “Expect to make mistakes.”
– “Fake it till you make it.”
– “Trust your gut.”
– “Trust no one.”
– “Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.”
– And my favorite—“Always bring donuts.”
## Taking a side hustle to the next level
For some, side hustles are a temporary solution. But others have long-term plans for their side hustles. Digital Ocean’s survey shows side hustlers want to:
– Grow it into a business with a few employees—29%
– Keep it small, but make it their full-time job—26%
– Keep it as a side hustle—22%
– Scale to get venture funding—17%
– Sell to another company—10%
– Go public—5%
Whatever your goals, don’t give up. Building a successful side hustle takes time, effort, and flexibility.