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Sunset Cruise | Photo provided by Jacqueline Biollo

Side Hustle | Jacqueline Biollo, MBA, ICD.D

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My son came to me the other day and shared that he was having car troubles and that his vehicle would need a trip to the mechanic. This trip would come with an expensive price tag. Although sometimes we can choose to take a (wanted) trip, like perhaps to the mountains for some rest and relaxation, other trips are needed, and others still are urgent.
And so, the conversation ensued about how my son might pay for this ‘trip’ to the auto mechanics and how he would finance the invoice cost (parts, labour, etc.). It was decided he’d likely have to get a side hustle to pay for his expenses.

Informally, a side hustle is something additional you take on to supplement your income. It is called so because side gigs have traditionally been known as a part-time opportunity that someone does energetically, which is not their primary source of income. Instead, they do it on the ‘side’, often hoping to get ahead financially.

Side hustles vary from opportunities to experience, location to training, short-term to long-term gigs, etc. Some have found combining their skills and interests to be financially rewarding, as well as a time management technique. For example, an exercise enthusiast might become a dog walker on the side; a marketer might take on clients and manage their social media accounts; a hospitality server might moonlight as a bartender.

As my son considered his options, the reality of the pros was more glaringly apparent than the cons. More money would mean less prolonged debt or faster realization of needs, wants, and desires. However, depending on the side hustle, the cons could include costly start-up costs (ex., purchasing supplies, inventory, safety equipment, or clothing), time management, or the lack of time to do other things (laundry, meal prep, recreational activities, etc.), the stress of learning something new and the pressure to be effective and efficient, the anxiety of meeting new people, dealing with customer service matters. The list goes on.

Over the years, I’ve tried my hand at numerous side hustles with varied results. From selling toys from a catalog to other moms when I had infant children, thinking we would all benefit from the experience, but instead being left with an inventory of expensive toys that the kids didn’t play with anyhow to music and voice lessons to an elite clientele where I travelled to and from their homes, and although fairly compensated, I was left unfulfilled by the mismatch of time and energy I spent in the vehicle and preparing for lessons versus the time I spent teaching students to love and appreciate playing an instrument, including their voice.

Regardless of your full-time occupation or any side hustle you might be considering, educate yourself on the tax implications. You must report your side hustle income and pay any associated taxes, but as with any business, you may be able to deduct some business expenses to offset your taxes. In Canada, for more information, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency.html.
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Jacqueline Biollo lets opportunity lead the way to her side hustles. For example, she rarely says no when presented with an opportunity to learn something new, dust off an old skill, expand her network, or reconnect with old acquaintances. Although this can also cause stress and anxiety when you take on too much and might result in you not doing something well, an honest examination of your abilities and priorities should help you make the right decisions and realize a successful outcome.

Photo by EnHance Photography|

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