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How I started (and failed) 6 side hustles and why that matters

  • Austin Chan
  • |
  • Jan 8, 2021
How I started (and failed) 6 side hustles and why that matters

It all started with fidget spinners. The craze was taking over the world, and suddenly everyone wanted one. For once, I was ahead of the curve, and bulk ordered three hundred to resell. I was successful, and that was when my love for side hustles officially began. In four short years, I have started and failed the following: a podcast about teenagers, a phone reduction course, a t-shirt brand, a course on the education system, a social media startup, and a platform for online writing. For me, it was never about the money, but rather the experimentation and seeing how far I could push myself to learn about various topics. That’s why my love for side hustles has yet to diminish; I’m still the same giddy grade nine student with the exact same ambitions.

It’s all about providing value and helping other people

To most, the idea of a side hustle has been entirely skewed. Words bubble up, such as ‘time-consuming’ or ‘wasteful’, which is far from the truth. Believe it or not, side hustles give a sense of freedom, time, and resourcefulness instead of detracting it. It is a chance to build something from scratch, entrepreneur or not; you solve a problem and get paid for it. There isn’t a formula for starting a successful side hustle; it usually begins with “scratching your own itch” and solving your own problem. In most cases, a problem you face is the same for millions worldwide; that’s where side hustles come from. You get paid for the magnitude of the problem you are solving, and scaling means solving more problems for more people all across the globe. It starts with an hour a week.

The destination is worthless without the journey

Learning the tricks of the trade and scaling the side hustle in your free time opens up a whole new world of possibility. Instead of waiting for life to give you opportunities, you find what you are good at and start from there. The journey may start off long, but the benefits reap plentifully. Despite failing six side hustles, they have provided lessons in all facets of life that I would not have learned otherwise. For some, these passion projects become their primary career, and for the rest, they become lessons for which no dollar amount could ever pay.

An opportunity for self-discovery and growth

Side hustles are the future. Skill acquisition and problem-solving are always going to be some of the most coveted assets as an individual; side hustles are a perfect way to strengthen that muscle. There seems to be an endless list of benefits towards starting a side hustle and very few negatives. To that, its importance continues to grow as we move towards a highly adaptive future, one where the barrier to entry has been brought down significantly. Even if everything fails, the lessons of running one will serve you for the rest of your life.