The average person spends 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Now, that's a lot of work! Needless to say, it is incredibly important to find a career that you love or find some kind of fulfillment within. But that's unfortunately not the case for everyone! According to a study by SME Loans last year, 34% of the UK workforce are unhappy in their current job with 45-54-year-olds feeling the least motivated in their career. Over 50% of the U.S population also expressed unhappiness from their jobs states Forbes.
What we do in our free time needs to matter. It needs to bring us joy, especially if our main source of income isn't. If you can find a hobby that can make a return, well that's even better! A side hustle is a great way to make supplementary earnings away from your main source of income.
Usually beginning as a hobby, side hustles can bring fulfillment into your life as well as earn some extra bit of cash if you're lucky! Of course, just like anything, if you're serious about your side hustle, it can do wonders. Take these famous businesses for example, all of which have far surpassed their own expectations in terms of their revenue takings and popularity.
1. Sara Blakely - Founder of Spanx
Sara Blakely was a door to door salesperson selling fax machines. In an interview with CNN Business, she explains the nightmares she would regularly encounter from people, such as being escorted out of buildings and her business cards being torn apart and thrown in her face. Not cool! She recalls pulling up to the side of the road one-day thinking,
"I'm in the wrong movie. This is not my life. Cut!"
The optimism in Blakely had decided to grab a notebook that night and write down all her strengths. The one thing she was sure of in the strength column was sales. She thought, "Okay, what can I do with that?". She had affirmed the following:
"I want to invent a product that I can sell to millions of people that will make them feel better."
And that product was Spanx! On LinkedIn, Blakely stated that her Spanx Headquarters was operated from her apartment for two years. Blakely inspires us to manifest our ideas and believe in our ideas. In an interview with Stanford Graduate School of Business, she states that she thinks her mindset is the real reason that Spanx exists. Although it is not confirmed how much Blakely made as a Salesperson, in 2012, Blakely was named the youngest self-made female billionaire at age 41 and keeps her net worth at $1 billion as of April 2020.
2. Phil Knight - Founder of Nike
Like Sara Blakely, Phil Knight was also a door to door salesperson but instead sold encyclopedias, which he confesses he did not enjoy nor was he good at. In a speech given at the Standford Graduate School of Business Graduation, Knight describes traveling to Japan during an entrepreneurship class in 1962 in which he met with the owner of Onitsuka Tiger Company. Knight tried to convince the owner for some of the sales rights in the US as he admired their good quality shoe design.
Realising his passion, Knight co-founded the sportswear giant Nike (originally called Blue Ribbon Sports) in 1964 with his old track coach Bill Bowerman. He states that they shook hands on a 50/50 partnership and put in $500 each for 300 pairs of shoes. By the way, Knights half of the money was borrowed from his dad according to an interview with Sportsnet.
Today, Knight is worth $34.7 billion with the Nike brand being valued at approximately $34.8 billion. I suppose he was able to pay his dad back no problem!
To close his speech to the Stanford Business Graduates, he recites a favourite quote which acted as a source of motivation:
"The only time you must not fail is the last time you try."
3. Kevin Plank - Under Armour
Kevin Plank was 24 years old when he founded Under Armour in 1996. He was a special teams captain of the University of Maryland football team when he grew frustrated by the fact that the clothing he and his players were wearing did not absorb sweat well. He refers to his cotton T-shirts being unable to keep him dry and comfortable.
In an interview with CNBC, Plank describes how important it was to source a quality wick moisture material that keeps you cool, not too hot and comfortable. Under Armour began operations in his grandmother's basement with the main source of funding coming from a maxed-out credit card, all with the aim to make the world's greatest undershirt for footballers. From being in a position where he couldn't even scrounger up $2 to building the Under Armour empire, he treats his poorest period of life as a source of power.
In a 2016 interview with CNBC, Plank states 'what people don't know is that for the first 5 years, I made one product'. With an original focus solely on football, he realised that his products would work for almost every sport and so the business grew. Today, Plank has a net worth of $1.2 billion, with Under Armour being valued at $3 billion.
So when you're stuck in a rut about what to do next, and you're job isn't quite cutting it for you - emotionally and mentally - consider starting up a side hustle. Try solving a problem like Plank, he grew a successful business from frustration. Think about what you like to do, what you're good at or even what you can learn. Regardless of whether you plan to earn from your side project, it is still useful to get stuck into some hobbies and other interests outside of work as this can equally reap valuable benefits.
Related Article: Why Hobbies Don’t Need to Make Money to Be Profitable
Let us know if you have a side hustle in the comments below.
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By Tinisha Savage on behalf of Let's Talk Coaching
Opinions expressed by Let's Talk Coaching contributors are their own.
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