1. Income stream diversification
Here’s a story: I had a rather unusual job at the start of my career. I was responsible for a major corporate restructuring exercise at my first employer, which essentially is a euphemism for cost cutting, which again stands for laying off workers. I sat through many exit interviews where we informed the staff about their redundancy, often through no faults of their own.
These can be extremely uncomfortable situations. One interview really glued to my mind and I can still record it vividly. Chris, aged 52, a senior accounting executive who had worked for the company for 25 years at the Swiss office was told about his job loss. He broke down, cried like a baby and begged for us to keep him as he was the sole breadwinner for his family of 6 and the job was his only income source.
I was brought up in the Oriental culture where respect for elderly was the paramount moral compass for an individual and seeing someone more than twice of my age begging 2 feet away left a profound impact in my mind.
From that moment on, I vowed that I would never place myself in a situation where I became 100% dependent on someone else’s agenda.
2. Career fulfilment
I personally find having multiple income streams and being not reliant on my pay cheque as the sole revenue source to be extremely liberating.
When I was solely dependent on my employer as the income stream, every action I took had to be aligned to the interest of my employer (or more specifically my direct manager), which may or may not fit with my agenda. I guess that inner fear of not satisfying the wishes my employers for fear of losing that precious income source made me live my life on someone else’s agenda.
Something magical happened when I started side hustling.
That fear gradually evaporated and was replaced by a greater sense of purpose. Over time I began acting with more clarity at work and strived to push my own agenda through. Then I noticed my self confidence bulging and I became what my boss affectionately termed “ballsy”. Suddenly I was living on my own agenda and began to enjoy my work so much more than before.
3. Added financial security
Of course, my increased career fulfilment would not haven been possible without the additional income provided by my side hustles. I’m at a fortunate position now where our main living expenses (e.g. mortgage, utilities, food and transport) can be fully covered by my non-employment incomes, which means that most of my salary would go into my savings or pensions.
The knowledge that:
- I could sustain our current lifestyle if I became I employed tomorrow
- I could scale up my side hustles quickly into a main hustle
Makes a tremendous difference to my sense of personal financial security and is the cornerstone to my enjoyment of my career.
I side hustle extensively. By diversifying my income stream and create additional active and passive income, I grew more confident and started living on my own agenda, thus found my main gig more fulfilling.