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What exactly is a #sidehustle

Abigail Diaz


“The dream is free.

The hustle is sold separate."



- Unknown

In the last few years the term #sidehustle has taken a life of its own. What once was a term used to make a little extra cash on the side, is now a prevalent  topic in many industries. From podcasts, books, to blogs, vlogs and even merchandise, this term is growing into helping people generate strong profitable businesses. 

So what exactly is it? If you google the term, a slew of websites pop up from books on how to start a side hustle, to articles on ideas for your first side hustle. However, the most basic definition of what a side hustle is; something that brings in cash other than your main job. If you were to ask me when I started side hustling, it was probably around the age of 16. My first real job was at 15 working in a coffee shop. All the money I made went straight to my mom and so I never really saw any of it or spent it myself. So my mom and I essentially made a deal. Whatever extra cash I would make I could use that for myself. So the babysitting and cleaning peoples’ houses was the start of my side hustle. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had three homes I would clean weekly to pay for my first trip to Europe, in addition to my coffee shop job. I just knew at a young age I loved to work and I loved being able to pay for what I wanted. 

1. In college I worked as a Red Bull wiiings girl where I met my best friend Chandni pictured. 2. Working alongside my friend Danielle, who happened to be a single mom and going to school. 3. Even when I had professional career, I would work events to help promote the product I was selling. 4. Pictured is Ahrif, business partner and friend, Claire, and me at a Better Together speaking event hosted by Kit & Ace. 

So how do you know you have what it takes to start a side hustle? First be honest with yourself if you even want to work the extra hours. If you love your free time and weekends then the answer is probably no, which is totally okay.  The side hustle lifestyle is not for everyone. But, if you are at a place where you want to make extra cash and you have the drive to do it, then you should probably do it. The beautiful thing about a side hustle is, that you have the flexibility to do it on your own terms. 

Pictures 1-3: Pictured are a few shots from the first Aces of Taste. We rented out our friends Air BnB & worked along side Chef Mike Potowski from Benjy's. It was a very hectic day, but that dinner sparked a level of self confidence I never knew I had. Pictures 4-6: A little over a year later, we partnered with Sugar & Cloth to host our first blogger / influencer pop-up dinner. The level of execution and our partnerships were growing as we had hoped. 

How do I decide what side hustle I want to do? Are you good at something, do you have a passion for something or do you have experience in a certain area that’s a good start. In college I was the side hustle queen. I had two main jobs, in the morning I would work at a high-end retail store, go to school during the day and at night go work for Red Bull as a wiiings girl. I repeated this for two years and never took a break. But during the holidays and weekends I would coach summer league, private swimming lessons, bartend events and work at the school. I would take advantage of any opportunity if I could make some money. 

When do you decide if your side hustle could be something more? If you are at a point that you may want to leave the security of your job, then this is the time to assess if your side hustle is something you want to dive into for a long period of time. Most of the time, when people decide to start a side hustle, it is in a field or hobby they love. This makes the transition even easier, especially when the money is matching your professional income. But you have to remember to plan, I can not stress this enough. 

1. My first cotton candy machine was purchased from Amazon from China, the level of excitement was a little unreal. 2. Before I launched Lush Puff I tested it out with close friends. Pictured is me at Myth & Symbol, where I made cotton candy on a fold up table and an hour later, the machine over heated & I had a mini breakdown. 3. My first social media client was a nail salon, I created a vision board for her first nail shoot. 4. When you can't afford models, you volunteer to be one, hence the start of my hand model career. 

Finally, remember to have fun. The part I love about a good side hustle are the people I get to meet. Many of my opportunities have been based on engaging with others and someone remembers to tell someone about me. My expectations are set low in the beginning and I take it as a learning process. This is a marathon not a sprint and no one gets it right the first time. Trust me, I have a slew of stories about that. However, I am like a sponge and I am always learning and trying to get better. That should always be one of your goals, to do better the next time. 

The beautiful thing about living in a time like this is that #sidehustle is a term people are embracing and there are so many opportunities out there to start somewhere. Freelance writing, photography, blogging, fitness, dog walking, being an uber driver etc. The list goes on and on. The opportunities are endless, you literally just have to start somewhere. I would encourage you to try it if you are curious, you never know where it could take you.