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Not too many years ago, the term side hustle cast dark shadows across the faces of many “older generation” employers. These Boomer and GenX business owners often saw anyone under the age of 40, specifically Millennials with multiple job moves and various part time jobs, as potentially uncommitted employees lacking a sense of loyalty. Who are these Millenials?

They were born between the early 1980s and early 2000s (these dates vary). They outnumber both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers individually. These Millennials are an increasingly influential force and are making their mark on a rapidly changing economy.

Millennials and the side hustle.

Before they called it a side hustle, for the sake of respectability Millennials often referred to their second job as freelancing or a side gig. Leading edge Millennials forged on with second jobs and worked hard. As loyal employees they looked to their employers for inspiration and empowerment. They also wanted to make the world a better place and implement social change while still living the lifestyle they enjoyed. Second jobs ultimately became a necessity just to make ends meet and they embraced innovations offered by the gig economy.

Millennials rebranded themselves as Generation 1099 and branded the side hustle.

The legitimization and branding of the side hustle had begun. A new millennialism emerged as younger Millennial employees and side hustle business owners began writing their own rules.

“We are Generation 1099. By our side hustles, ye shall know us. It’s true, the 2008 crisis forced plenty of people to look for additional sources of income…but the desire to earn more money on the side predates the crisis. Millennials didn’t invent the second job, they just branded it.” June, 2016

These youngest Millennials brought to the workplace the insight and knowledge they had learned from older Millennials. They looked at themselves as being responsible for their own inspiration and empowerment. They realized they could control their necessities and viewed the side hustle as the highway to extra money to enjoy the good things in life. The side hustle had also become the path to finding their true calling. In other words, side hustles provided them with the extras in life while they worked hard to find the right side hustle which could become their main hustle.

How has the side hustle changed and where is it really going?

Whether fad or forever, this Millennial tsunami continues its surge over society and is profoundly changing views and outlooks. The first Millennials began confusing older employers when they joined the workforce in the late 1990s; and as late as last year most everyone still had opinions and questions all over the board:


Generation X and Baby Boomer leaders view Millennials that hop from job to job every other year as having a lack of commitment and/or loyalty…[and are] just looking for companies to provide them with inspiration and empowerment.  March 2014

What happens when a generation raised with a “you can be whatever you want to be” ethos meets the worst job market in years? June, 2016

Overall, workers who have a side hustle are more passionate about their day jobs (39 percent) than their side hustles (36 percent). And 71 percent of workers with a side hustle do not want to turn their side gig into their day job and 76 percent don’t plan to own their own business in the future. October, 2016

What’s happening right now?


Comments about the so-called pampered, self-indulgent Millennials continue to both defy preconceived ideas and recently evolving trends. The following comments from a just released study seem to indicate that nobody, not even Millennials, know exactly what Millennials will end up doing. What is true, however, is that everybody needs to be paying attention:

“It kind of annoys me when people say millennials are lazy because I’m a millennial and I’m obviously not lazy. I care about making money. I am pretty shameless about it.”

“A side hustle is having another source of income to be able to sustain the lifestyle that you want to live…use your main hustle in order to finance your side hustle, so your side hustle can become your main hustle.”

“We are all trying to find a balance between spending responsibly on necessities and things that we need and spending on things that enrich our lives and make us happier.”

Millennials are a generation born into technology and always looking for a way to turn their free time into money. These days, finding side hustles can be easy and you never know when a side hustle can turn into a real career.

What else are Millennials doing?

Millennials are paying attention to their money and their finances. They’re combining technology and money and they want their money to work for them. Millennials are also a rapidly expanding segment of our client base.

What’s the bottom line?

We establish and maintain a personal and business relationship with our clients. We know that Your BUSINESS Is Your Life, and Your LIFE Is Your Business, and we take both seriously.

Schedule an appointment now. We’ll talk about your business.

Contact Melanie Radcliff CPA, Inc, at

Call 479.478.6831

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