American workers are taking full advantage of the side-hustle boom, with seemingly endless opportunities to make extra cash.
Ride-hailing companies Uber (UBER) and Lyft are often marketed as being built for entrepreneurs, but according to “100 Side Hustles” author Chris Guillebeau, that’s not exactly the case.
“If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft, you have the benefit of your own schedule, but that’s the only benefit you have. They control every other element,” he added.
Platform Fiverr, which went public on Thursday above its initial public offering price, is specifically geared towards side hustles.
Guillebeau explained that making a significant amount of money using platforms like this is very possible — and in some cases may be more lucrative than ride-sharing.
“If you’re creative enough, they have lots of little up-sales and things,” he said. “And then if you can take customers or clients from Fiverr, Upwork, all these other networks, eventually to become your own customers, then you can do it that way.”
The gig economy’s pluses, minuses
Nearly half of millennials turn to gig economy to earn more cash, according to a new Bankrate.com survey.
The data found that 48% of millennial workers surveyed earn an extra income on the side. That compares with 28% of Baby Boomers and 38% of Generation-Xers.
Because of accumulated debt and other outlying factors, Guillebeau said that “people are turning to these types of projects because there’s so much opportunity, there’s so many possibilities, there’s so much potential.”
Yet Guillebeau pointed out the gig economy’s comes with downsides, telling Yahoo Finance that people don’t get that much security from it. Uber and Lyft have been hammered for how their drivers work long hours with relatively low pay and without benefits.
The author explained, however, that there are trade-offs when it comes to working part-time gigs with flexible schedules.
“First of all, even with unemployment relatively low, people understand that they can’t trust their security to any corporation, organization, whatever it is,” he said, suggesting individuals had to do what was right for themselves.
“Nobody’s going to look out for you the way you look out for yourself,” Guillebeau added.
McKenzie DeGroot is a producer at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @degrootmckenzie