Side hustles – they used to be called “writing a novel” or “working a second job” – but now they’re seen as the quickest road to entrepreneurship. Global insurer Hiscox surveyed 400 small business owners whose businesses began as side hustles to examine the evolution of side-gigger to entrepreneur.
At the beginning of their side-hustling journey, respondents said they worked about 20 hours per week on their side job while they were still employed in a full-time job. In 30% of the cases, their side gig was in an industry totally different than the one in which they were working.
Keep your head down
Where do people find the time to side hustle? The vast majority (76%) said on the weekends.
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However, the respondents didn’t boast about their big dreams or reveal their plans to the people they saw every day – 50% said they hadn’t told their coworkers about their plans to make their side hustle into a full-time business.
Some people just can’t stop hustling: 49% of respondents have started a new side hustle since turning a new one into a business. And others are serial side hustlers: 56% have had two or more side hustlers over their career.
Side gig to career, by the numbers
It took about 19 months – a little over a year and a half – for respondents to quit their day job and go full-time with their side hustle. On average, business owners felt they needed to make $43,862 at their side hustle before they could make the jump. (Over half, 54%, said they felt they needed to earn more than $30,000 from their side hustle before making the jump).
Once working for themselves, they battened down the hatches: three-quarters paid themselves $50,000 or less the first year, and 42% paid themselves less than $25,000. They went it alone for a while, taking about seven months until they hired their first employee.
On average, it took three full years before the entrepreneur was able to earn what they made at the full-time job they left.
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