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The concept of the side hustle gained huge momentum in 2017 – especially as unemployment and living costs soar.


New York Times best-selling author Chris Guillebeau’s book ‘Side Hustle: Build a Side Business and Make Money Without Quitting Your Day Job’ is flying off the shelves around the world.

With South African growth forecasts for 2018 at 1% at best, there’s little chance of the broader economy lifting incomes across the board in the coming year, so it’s imperative that more of us get Guillebeau’s message and make something happen on the side in order to meet our financial goals.

The good news is that the online world has made starting a side hustle far easier than it ever has been. Effective use of the internet allows anyone, at little or no cost, to accurately test for demand, market their services to a broad audience, target their offerings and get customer feedback. The barriers to entry are low and the demand for all kinds of services is remarkably high.

At Gumtree, we’ve seen South Africans generate substantial extra income from tutoring, renting out properties, selling homemade crafts of all kinds, catering services, transport, handiwork, hobbies like model railways or stamp collecting and many other categories.

Over twelve years we’ve watched an inspiring group of side hustling pioneers – people we call Gumtree-preneurs – build extraordinary spare time businesses right across the country. In many cases, their side hustles have, in time, become so big that they’ve given up their day jobs (although all of them caution that you should only do that after you have built a very robust base for your new business).

We recently asked our Facebook audience to let us know what their “side hustle” is. The stories were inspiring.

Oscar Wyllie survived two years of unemployment by buying and selling electronics on the site. Lamla Princess Gqolodashe was only twenty years old when she started selling household appliances on Gumtree for extra cash – a year later, she employs two staff members and has expanded her business to include party hiring. Ndumiso Masuku buys and sells gaming consoles in Durban.

Some of them have turned their side hustle into big businesses, others use it to fund their holidays.

Side hustling potentially represents an economic revolution in South Africa. It enables everyone who can access the internet to capitalise on their earning potential without also requiring access to a vast amount of capital. In the tough times that lie ahead, few of us can afford not be on the side hustle.

Sources: Claire Cobbledick
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About the Author

Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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