Everyone Has a Side Hustle, but Few Take the Credit of Being an Entrepreneur

Photo by  Sidney Copeland

It’s a very interesting concept: everyone has a side hustle, but few take the credit of being an entrepreneur. According to the US Small Business Administration, in 2014 only 2% claim to be self-employed, compared with 7.6 percent for Generation X, and 8.3 percent for Baby Boomers. While many people are both self-employed and “traditionally employed” by another company, people only claim the traditional employment when asked. 

Why Aren’t We Giving Ourselves the Entrepreneurial Credit We Deserve?

Nearly half of full-time independent workers (47%) report making more money working on their own than they would in traditional employment, so why are we claiming traditional employment when asked? Perhaps it’s because the benefits of traditional employment such as medical insurance and vacation time still entice people, or maybe it’s because we’re too scared to claim the entrepreneur role. Independent work creates new income streams and diversifies household financial risk, and many claim to look to towards independent/self-employment to increase financial stability and flexibility. 

Creating your own path and additional form of income is a huge accomplishment, and it needs to be recognized as such. Everyone sees success differently, so important moments will be different and have a different scope for each person. There is no rule or guidebook as to what should be defining or important in your career. Take note of your achievements and be proud of everything you do, including any form of entrepreneurship.

At What Point Do You Recognize the Entrepreneur in Yourself, and What Do You Do About It?

Some people are natural entrepreneurs, while others have to grow into the role. However something as common as having a shop on Etsy or becoming a freelance writer/contributor counts towards self-employment. The moment you take your career into your own hands and create your own stream of income is the moment that you should recognize your entrepreneurial spirit.

"The moment you take your career into your own hands is the moment that you should recognize your entrepreneurial spirit."

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What should you do about it? This is where you need to start exploring your options. There’s no need for an immediate decision, but it is important to figure out what you really want and need from your career. When exploring your options, ask yourself these questions:

If you’re working a traditional day job and are self-employed, is it sustainable for you to do both? 

Does is make you happy doing both? 

Would you like to continue your self-employment long term?

Would you eventually like to be fully self-employed? (i.e. quit your day job?)

If you like doing both or don’t want to be fully self-employed, continue on your path and be proud of your ability to successfully multitask! If you do want to further your self-employment and eventually become 100% independent, perhaps it’s time to create a business plan on how you can transition from partially self-employed to fully self-employed. This business plan should include how you can grow your business, and how much money you need to make to support yourself and feel comfortable with your transition. Once you figure out the point at which you can fully transition, work hard to reach your goal, and put your plan into action!

Millennials Are the Multitasking Generation; Let’s Celebrate It!

The 6.76 million Millennials now working as full-time Independents (up from 1.9 million in 2011) account for 40% of the full-time Independent workforce population. We are the generation known to multitask and take on many different projects/opportunities at once. Why not celebrate this fact? If you are fully self-employed, or partially self-employed, take credit for your hard work and entrepreneurship! Not everyone has the strength or work ethic to take on self-employment, so it’s something that you should be extremely proud of. 

Highlight this on your resume, and find other like-minded individuals that you can discuss opportunities with. One of the best part about being an entrepreneur is surrounding yourself with others who inspire and motivate you. Looking for ways to embrace your entrepreneurship? Find a local conference or networking event. Everyone has a side hustle, but few take the credit of being an entrepreneur. Be one of the few, and proudly celebrate your accomplishments. 

A native San Franciscan, Michele Lando is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and founder of writestylesonline.com. She has a passion for helping others present the best version of themselves, both on paper and in person, and works to polish individuals' application package and personal style. Aiming to help create a perfect personal branding package, Write Styles presents tips to enhance your resume, style, and boost your confidence.