# The Rise of Side Hustles: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Growing Your Own Business
![Woman works on side hustle at home](https://www.allbusiness.com/media-library/woman-works-on-side-hustle-at-home.jpg?id=48564202&width=1200&height=600&coordinates=0%2C654%2C0%2C329)
According to newly released statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 5 million businesses were started in 2022, bringing the total number of small businesses in America to 33,185,550 as of March 2023, according to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy[^1^][^2^]. However, not all of those businesses are full-time. In fact, according to the Small Business Insights Survey by Index by Pinger, 76% of adults who own a small business and/or work a side hustle are also employed by another company, meaning they’re all side hustlers[^3^].
Side hustles were once considered a way to make “fun money,” but they have now become serious undertakings. In the Small Business Insights Survey, 61% of respondents say their businesses and/or side hustles are their primary source of income[^4^].
## The Growing Popularity of Side Hustles
Just how many side hustles are there? Recent data from Bankrate shows that 39% of all working Americans (about 65 million people) have side hustles, with 33% of them needing the money from their side hustle to cover their regular living expenses. Additionally, 25% work a side hustle to save money, and 12% need it to repay debt[^5^].
## 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 make up 24% of side hustlers, Gen X 40%, millennials 50%, and Gen Z 53%[^6^].
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, more men (43%) than women (35%) are earning money on the side. On average, side hustlers earn $810 a month, though this amount varies by generation. Millennials earn an average of $1,022 a month, followed by Gen Z at $753 a month, Gen X at $670 a month, and baby boomers at $646 a month[^6^].
## Why Start a Side Hustle?
While money is obviously a big motivator when deciding to start a side hustle, it’s not the top one. According to a recent research report from Digital Ocean, 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%)[^7^].
Additional motivations reported by side hustlers include more personal freedom, extra income to save, spend, or invest, making ends meet, paying off debt faster, having a creative outlet, and feeling called to do something[^7^].
## Ideas for Starting a Side Hustle
There is no shortage of ideas for side hustles. According to a survey from Side Hustle Nation, some of the most popular side hustles include:
– Online business, including blogging, podcasting, online courses, and affiliate marketing
– Freelancing and consulting
– E-commerce, 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[^8^]
However, the best side hustle for you depends on your skills, interests, needs, and time commitment.
## Overcoming Challenges and Building a Successful Side Hustle
Side Hustle Nation subscribers report various challenges when starting a side hustle, including growth/marketing, time management, coming up with the right idea, mindset/motivation, administrative/legal/tech aspects, focus/organization, money/startup funds, and lack of skills[^9^].
To overcome these challenges and build a successful side hustle, consider the following advice from business owners and side hustlers:
– 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.
– Always bring donuts.[^9^]
## Taking Your Side Hustle to the Next Level
For some, side hustles are temporary solutions, but others have long-term plans for their side hustles. Digital Ocean’s survey shows that side hustlers want to grow their side hustle into a full-fledged business, keep it small but make it their full-time job, keep it as a side hustle, scale it to get venture funding, sell it to another company, or even go public[^10^]. Whatever your goals may be, building a successful side hustle takes time, effort, and flexibility.
Starting and growing a side hustle is much like starting a business[^11^]. It requires conducting market research, sharpening time management skills, creating a web presence, and taking advice from experienced side hustlers. With determination and the right mindset, you can turn your side hustle into a thriving business and achieve the financial independence and professional fulfillment you desire.
[^1^]: [U.S. Census Bureau](https://www.census.gov/econ/currentdata/?programCode=BFS&startYear=2022&endYear=2022&categories%5b%5d=TOTAL&dataType=BA_BA&geoLevel=US&adjusted=1¬Adjusted=1&errorData=0#table-results)
[^2^]: [Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy](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.)
[^3^]: [Small Business Insights Survey](https://getindex.com/resources/small-business-insights-survey/)
[^4^]: [Small Business Insights Survey](https://getindex.com/resources/small-business-insights-survey/)
[^7^]: [Digital Ocean](https://www.digitalocean.com/currents/may-2023)
[^8^]: [Side Hustle Nation](https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-statistics/#sources)
[^9^]: [Side Hustle Nation](https://www.sidehustlenation.com/side-hustle-statistics/#sources)
[^10^]: [Digital Ocean](https://www.digitalocean.com/currents/may-2023)
[^11^]: [Starting a Business: A Complete Guide for Entrepreneurs](https://www.allbusiness.com/starting-a-business-complete-guide-entrepreneurs-117513-1.html)