With the explosion of the gig economy, the opportunities to earn extra cash beyond a 9-to-5 job are endless. As a result, side hustles are becoming increasingly more common among the working class, especially among millennials — despite their income.
According to a recent Bankrate report, more than 50% of millennials have a side hustle. And while some are supplementing their full-time income to cover ordinary expenses, others are simply making some "fun money" doing something they love, like restoring old furniture, caring for animals or coaching their favorite sport.
The best part: Side hustlers earn, on average, $686 a month. That comes out to more than $8,200 a year, says the personal finance website.
The most popular side gigs, reveals the study, are home repair and landscaping, followed by online sales, crafts and child care. But fitness is also a huge draw.
Take Madelaine O'Connell, a 29-year-old vice president at Goldman Sachs in New York City. On any given day, she works 12 hours; some days she doesn't get home before 11 p.m. And while her lifestyle is not one that could ordinarily accommodate a second job — and she doesn't necessarily need the additional income — she is passionate about dance and working out: At age 3, O'Connell started competitive dancing in jazz, tap and ballet. She continued on that track at Boston College, where she was a member of the dance ensemble team and also taught group fitness classes in kickboxing, total body sculpt and pilates.
But soon after graduation her lifestyle completely changed, when O'Connell was hired as an investment banker at Citibank before moving to Goldman two years later. Long days at the office didn't leave much time to pursue her own interests.
So when Obé Fitness — a new digital streaming platform broadcast from a studio set in Brooklyn and taught by notable New York -based trainers — launched in March 2018, O'Connell jumped on the opportunity to apply as a fitness instructor.
Pronounced "obey," the acronym stands for "our body electric." Founders Mark Mullett and Ashley Mills started the company with the vision of recreating the famous workout videos starring Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons in the '80s. Formerly Hollywood agents, Mullett and Mills wanted to build a community experience for their online platform. They currently have 17 full-time employees and 25 fitness instructors that work part-time. Obé Fitness offers its clients unlimited access to 14 live classes a day and more than 1000 on-demand classes — all for $27 a month.
The digital streaming platform, O'Connell told CNBC, provides her the chance to do something she loves outside the workplace while also expanding her earning power. The Goldman Sachs/fitness instructor usually starts her day at 4:45 a.m. or 5:45 a.m.
"My alarm goes off and I jump out of bed, wash my face, change my clothes and get into a cab by 5 a.m. or 6 a.m. I live in Hudson Yards, so luckily I get to Obé within 20 to 25 minutes, since there's no traffic that time of day. I teach for an hour, then shower and get ready for the workday and get to the office around 8 or 9, depending on what time I teach," she said.
Because classes last approximately 28 minutes, O'Connell teaches two — Sweat, a follow-along dance cardio, and Define, a toning and sculpting muscle class — before heading over to begin her day job, overseeing origination and distribution of debt for one of the world's top investment banks.
When asked how she makes time for both Goldman Sachs and her side hustle at Obé, she says, "We make time for what's important to us. Fitness and wellness has always been an integral part of my life, so I make it a priority."
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