5 Reasons Why Some People Mock Side Hustles

Guest Post by Remso Martinez

America’s financial health has been atrocious for a while. I’m not talking about our elected leaders playing loose with taxpayer money or central banks getting freaky with the printing press either.

The average American consumer was living well past their necessities and relying on borrowed money and time well before the COVID-19 lockdowns put the economy into shock therapy.

According to a piece published in April, 2021 by LivingFacts:

  1. “69% of Americans said in 2019 that they have some type of savings account.”
  2. Only 36% of working-age Americans said in 2020 “that their retirement saving was on track.”
  3. “27% of Americans say they worry every or almost every day about paying their bills, as of January 2021.”

The list goes on to cover more depressing details. Luckily, many men and women have decided to take an active role in their finances by venturing into the gig economy to either pay off existing debt, build additional active and passive streams of income, develop new skills to switch careers, or a combination.

A January 2022 article from Smarts.co that pulled from various 2021 financial surveys showed that “two-thirds (67%) of Americans that have a side hustle started it in the last three years, and nearly one-third (31%) started in 2020.”

What this indicates is that under one of the worst periods for the American economy since 2008, Americans found ways to leverage their skills and time to earn money outside of their primary income and without simply getting another part-time job.

There are thousands, perhaps millions of success stories where individuals were able to identify an issue within a specific industry or certain market and fill the gap with a time-saving and cost-effective solution for consumers. From copywriting for clients in the town next door or across the world, to providing services such as building website cheaply or turning a passion such as video editing into a full-on side business, people who are imaginative and dedicated enough to put their unique and specialized skills to work are thriving in today’s world while others are simply trying to get by paycheck to paycheck.

So why the hate from some people? Why does “side hustle” sound like a slur to some people?

The “What if You Fail?” Question

You’ve probably heard someone say this to you at some point in your life about something big, like trying to overcome a fitness goal or starting a business. This isn’t an unfair question at face value; it’s impractical to get into any big decision without at least considering a fallback. 

But when it comes to side hustles, you’re not starting a Fortune 500 or quitting your job immediately. Odds are you’re starting a side hustle which there is an immediate market demand for, isn’t time-consuming and can work with your schedule, and probably has little to no overhead.

They aren’t asking you “what if you fail?” Out of genuine concern, the facts are with you. They just probably can’t comprehend that maybe you found an entrepreneurial way to tap into some cash flow that involves a little bit of dedication and doesn’t demand you report to a boss.

It’s less about failing, it’s more of them being intimidated by your craving for something more than just standard.

Living by the American standard of financial habits is why everyone is in debt and struggling in the first place, you’re just smart enough to not want to continue living that way.

They Gave Up on Their Dreams

People don’t often work just because they love work. They work because they need money. They need money to live and do the things they want. It’s that simple.

Sadly, some people (and maybe you’re personally in this place), get so consumed by their corporate lifestyle and demands from their employer that they give up wanting anything at all.

“That vacation will just have to wait” or “maybe with the next raise I can get a bigger house” or the most common thought for those who have been in the workforce longer, “maybe working past retirement doesn’t have to be so bad.”

Your existence becomes simply satisfying someone else’s goals at the sacrifice of your own.

Starting a side hustle is more than just more work you have to juggle, it is a declaration of you wanting more control over your life.

Just because they gave up wanting something better absolutely does not mean you have to.

Burnout for What?

At some point, “work” became part of the list of other socially unacceptable four-letter words. This idea that work isn’t entirely comfortable and convenient became a nightmare for everyone who was born 15 minutes ago.

A popular op-ed at the New York Times published a while back said that “burnout” and working to excess was a reason to avoid adding a side hustle to your list of responsibilities.

Do you know what is also the cause of burnout? Anything that requires work.

Money only comes to those who have earned it. Earning it requires work. I don’t know about you, but a little bit of burnout in order to pay of your credit card balance today vs a year from now is way more desirable.

Single Income Elitism

I grew up right outside of Washington D.C. where business hours inside the beltway were basically 11:59 pm-12:01 am. The culture was like that movie “American Psycho” where people were constantly chasing more without a real destination in mind. Being ahead of everyone else was simply good enough.

Maybe you’ve experienced this at your workplace or another social environment. We’ve all met that person with the big six-figure salary, big home, big car, wife the with big… personality. That person has it made.

The idea of that person taking on a basic side hustle is alien to him. Obviously, if you need a side hustle, you’re not making enough or you have serious financial problems which require more money, an issue they don’t struggle with.

Those people are the first ones to freak out when they are furloughed or laid off because the government decides they aren’t “essential” employees. At the first sign of real struggle, the portrait of success gets replaced with a mirror showing that the reality you thought they lived isn’t the reality they really live.

Single income employees need a mindset change; it’s like running a business with only one customer. The moment something happens to that customer and the cash stops coming, what happens to you? At least if the guy or gal with the sidle hustle loses one stream of income, they have others already working. 


I don’t have to say much more on this. Jealous people are everywhere, and this lives within everyone. Don’t listen to those who simply can’t stand you trying to do something good for yourself.

Remso W. Martinez (@HeyRemso) is a digital marketer and side hustle coach. He hosts the podcast “On The Run w/ Remso W. Martinez” which is available through the We Are Libertarians Network.

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