45% of People Have a Side-Gig: What’s Yours?

A side gig or side hustle is considered an alternative way to earn additional income, outside your primary job. This is not a part-time job. It is available to you when you want to work the side gig. It’s not mandatory that you show up and work…you do it because you want to.

Side gigs have been around forever. The main difference today is that technology advances are making side gigs more robust, easier to engage with and more lucrative. Technology is enabling Customer Acquisition — the toughest aspect of any business.

Side Gigs from 20 Years Ago

- Waiting tables, bar-tending, babysitting, cutting lawns, delivering papers, taking pictures, event planning

Side Gigs from 10 Years Ago

- Blogging, setting up an Amazon store, digital photography and editing, podcasting, accounting services, consulting services

Side Gigs Today

- Uber / Lyft, Grubhub / DoorDash, Airbnb, Wag (dog walking), Fiverr

Side Gigs now have brands names — billion dollar brand names. They were categories of products and services before for micro-entrepreneurs. Today, side gigs are global enterprises under brand umbrellas.

In addition to the extra income, the top reasons why people enjoy working a side gig are: Flexibility, Freedom, Personal Fulfillment.


According to a 2017 Bankrate study, 44 million Americans have a side hustle.

The median income for millennials with a side hustle was $200 a month.

Meanwhile, The Hustle found that the average side-hustler spends 11 hours per week on their secondary work, and earns $12,609 per year — an average of about $25 per hour.

The same study reported that while only half of respondents “loved” their primary job, 76% loved their side hustle.

And the percentage of Americans working freelance is expected to grow from 7% in 1995 to 43% in 2020.

In 2018, the Direct Selling Association reported over 16.5 Million in the US were involved in direct selling (MLM), generating over $35.4 Billion in retail sales.


Side gigs can be categorized in many ways, however for purposes of this discussion, I’ll categorize them in Services and Products. In both categories, technology improvements have encouraged more side gig engagement.


The side gig Services category falls into brands such as Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Grubhub, DoorDash, etc. Here, the technology platform assigns the customer to the person providing the side gig service. When some wants a ride home from the airport, they open their Uber or Lyft app and request a car. The side gig driver accepts the ride and picks up the passenger. You know how it goes from there.

In the Services space, customers are paired with side gig providers. This has major advantages for both parties since customer acquisition is the one the hardest and most expensive aspects of business development.


The side gig Products category is different however. Here, the representative or Brand Ambassador refers customers to the brand and the brand pays them a commission on the products sold. Sales commissions can vary from 8%-30%, depending on the brand, total amount of products sold, etc.

The Product side gig opportunities range from blogging, to affiliate marketing, to social media / influencer marketing, to peer to peer marketing. Many times, the number of followers (specifically, the engagement of those followers) helps drive sales and thus commissions. Content creation and authenticity are critical to gaining and engaging followers. Here, the brand ambassador or rep acquires the customer for the brand and gets paid a sales commission for their efforts.


In the Peer to Peer model, both Products and Services have been successfully been sold. When referring to Peer to Peer, I’m lumping in affiliate marketing, influencer marketing, multi-level marketing (MLM), direct selling, social selling, network marketing, etc. Basically, selling products and services to friends, family and followers.

However, the elements of the models are very different. Affiliate / Influencer marketing typically is one person focused — one person selling. Compensation plans are direct to the brand or through an agency and they are typically simple. Sell products and earn a percentage of those sales.

Whereas, MLM, direct selling and networking marketing are community focused — one person selling, recruiting and building a team of sellers and recruiters. Compensation plans are extremely complex, which triggers stigma of pyramid schemes in many.

Here’s a link to the full article: https://www.vitalibis.com/bewell/re-inventing-the-side-gig.html

Vitalibis is a socially conscious CBD wellness brand. Our full spectrum, terpene rich oils lead the industry in safety, quality and taste. Education over hype.