The side hustle is no longer a rare or secretive affair. There are plenty of reasons to start one and no, "side hustle" doesn't just mean "second job." A side hustle might be the way you discover your one true passion in life or it might mean performing odd jobs and renting an extra room. Everyone's side hustle looks different.

Anyone can start a side hustle - the question is, should you? Here are four ways to tell if you're ready for a side hustle:

1. You're bored. 

Sometimes the day job doesn't cut it. You might have a perfectly stable and reasonable day job. But you most likely have dozens of skills that you don't even get to use. A side hustle can keep you motivated and engaged as you put those latent talents to work. Investing your energy in something new may even help your day job seem more appealing since it won't be the only kind of work you do.

2. You have financial reasons.

Who doesn't want to to make a little more cash? Maybe you'd like to start tackling that debt seriously. Or maybe you're sick of living from paycheck-to-paycheck. Or that Netflix price hike has you rethinking your spending choices. Whatever the reason, there's no shame looking for ways to earn a little extra and today there are almost countless ways to do so. The fact is financial security isn't going to come working for someone else.  

3. You have a profitable hobby.

If you can start a business from a hobby you already love, why wouldn't you? Consider your hobbies, interests, and existing skills. Do people pay for these services? If so, you might be in luck. Browse online and especially on websites related to your potential niche. Aspiring craft entrepreneurs might look at Etsy, while marketing enthusiasts can read stories from the likes of Neil Patel and Ann Handley.

4. You have the time. 

Let's face it: if your day job eats up all of your time and leaves you utterly exhausted at the end of the week, you probably shouldn't start a side hustle. But if you have the free time and are willing to give it up, a side hustle might be a perfectly reasonable choice. Just make sure you keep a balance and don't go AWOL in your relationships.

Are you ready to start a side hustle? Are you ready for the challenge? 

Published on: Oct 27, 2017
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.