According to a study by the Henley Business School, a third of all working South Africans have a second job, or “side gig”, to boost their incomes.
The rise of the side hustle in South Africa has been phenomenal. However, is this a financial solution for most of us – or just a fast road to burnout?
What is a side hustle?
A side hustle is an extra job, typically in a different field to your main job.
For many, it’s a skill, hobby or passion that’s monetised for extra cash.
For example, Laetitia works in the HR industry but has a knack for braiding hair. Friends, family and her social media followers take notice and are willing to pay for her services.
Now, on weekends and after hours, she runs a mobile hair salon to supplement her income.
Others may fix electronic circuits, bake, service cars, accept graphic design or writing jobs, house-sit or any number of other things, to make money after hours.
Why have a side hustle?
Although an extra income is the main driver for side hustling, it’s not just about the money.
According to the Henley Business School report, South Africans decide to start side hustles for a number of reasons, including:
- pursuing a passion as a viable career path
- pursuing a business idea
- looking for a new career challenge
- looking for a new career path.
The reasons differ with age. Younger South Africans mostly start side hustles for income-related reasons; older people are generally pursuing a business idea.
Why hustlers have an upper hand
More often than not, a side hustle is a passion that becomes profitable.
This business model can have several advantages, such as:
- increased self-awareness and self-development
- confidence in one’s abilities to be successful
- finding purpose
- a creative outlet
- personal and professional growth.
Often, a side hustle is an entrepreneurial endeavour, without the risk involved in giving up your main source of income.
Job security, too, is becoming a tricky issue. As artificial intelligence and automation make many jobs redundant, having a back-up plan is an excellent safety net.
The trouble with side hustles
Having a side hustle might seem like a good financial plan. However, it has obvious downsides.
A side hustle requires a lot of time, energy and effort, on top of a full-time job.
Working a full 9-to-5 job is taxing on its own. Running a side business too can be utterly exhausting.
When all your time is spent working, something you were once passionate about can become just another job.
This can quickly lead to burnout.
Signs of side-hustle burnout
Burnout can be tricky to diagnose. Anyone working long hours will have times of feeling tired and defeated.
With burnout, however, these feels don’t just go away after you’ve had a little time out.
Some of the signs that you might be headed for side-hustle burnout:
- loss of interest in the side hustle
- physical and emotional exhaustion
- feelings of a lack of accomplishment
- increased cynicism and detachment
- mood swings
- physiological factors, such as anxiety, insomnia or loss of appetite.
A side hustle should be something you want to do. If you’re feeling burned out, reevaluate your hustle.
Remind yourself why you started it and what it means to you. Remember: your health is the most important thing you have. Don’t push yourself too far.
What we offer at The Workspace
At The Workspace, you can run your business in a supportive environment. We offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, with everything you’re likely to need already set up.
We also offer virtual offices. These are perfectly suited to the needs of entrepreneurs with side hustles in South Africa.
With a virtual office, you don’t have to be there in person. You’ll have a dedicated phone number for clients, and a professional receptionist will answer calls using the name of your side business.
All our clients have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services. For more information or to arrange a tour of one of our branches, call us on 087 059 7777 or contact us online.