Not everyone will find success through a side hustle. This does not mean you are doomed to a life without financial independence.
Reaching financial independence is a huge achievement, requiring dedication and perseverance. Many writings on the topic focus on the side hustle to increase earnings. While a side hustle can be a great way to add to your earnings, you are not out of luck if you do not have one.
You must focus on increasing your savings rate to reach financial independence, especially if you want to achieve this state early in life.
There are a few ways to improve this rate
- Earn more
- Spend less (I recently wrote an article on this topic)
Today, I will focus on earning more.
Earn More — Side Hustle or No Side Hustle
A side hustle is a popular way to earn more, but it’s not the only way. You can work a traditional 9–5 job and make more money through promotions or role changes. If you enjoy your day job, the extra work required to generate opportunities for more income may be worth the effort. It might even be worth the effort if you don’t love your job.
I started a side hustle 20 years ago, selling diecast cars online. Building an eCommerce website from the ground up, I learned how to market and manage my business’s finances.
I put in tremendous hours between my day job and my website. Although I wasn’t making much money, I loved what I did. The whole process was new, fun, and exciting.
My side hustle lived for three years before I sold the business and ultimately walked away with a financial wash. The fruits of my labor are forever captured at Archive.org.
While this hustle didn’t make tons of money, I was able to take the learnings from my project and apply them to my day job. I turned a failed side hustle into actual earnings in my day job, built on the knowledge I gained.
My career continued to build steam, and my day job’s earnings rose rapidly. The hours spent working were less than when I worked on my side hustle and my day job, but not much. I worked hard in my career, with many sacrifices.
Income from my primary career and my investments are the only meaningful contributions to my financial state. I learned valuable skills from the time I invested in a side hustle, and those skills certainly helped me in my career. However, a side hustle didn’t directly contribute to my earnings.
Many people, including prolific FI influencers, achieved financial independence without income from a side hustle. Two that come to mind are Carl Jenson (1500days.com / milehighfi.com) and Maggie (friendsonfire.org).
There is no single path to Financial Independence
You can build your income through your day job, side hustles, building a business from the ground up, or many other creative ways. If you have the passion and energy for a side hustle, you can produce meaningful income that will benefit your financial journey to freedom.
Not everyone will find success through a side hustle. This does not mean you are doomed to a life without financial independence. You will have to work hard to increase your income in your day job. This effort isn’t likely to be less than the effort to create a side hustle. Either way, you have to work and dedicate yourself to the mission of increasing your income.
Contrary to popular belief, financial success doesn’t happen overnight.
The Journey to Financial Independence Creates Freedom
Join to get the FI for Freedom newsletter. We'll share content that will help you discover Freedom before you hit your FI Number.