One of the commonest expressions used by many Nigerians, especially the youths, to describe their sources of income is “street hustle”. By this, they mean that they have diverse income sources or work hard and smart to earn their incomes. Street hustle can also be used to describe jobs that involve marketing and sales or businesses that require lots of travelling and running around to meet clients. Hence, a street hustler (commonly known as a hustler) is an entrepreneur or an employee that is resilient and determined to succeed irrespective of the circumstances surrounding the business or job. Hustlers are go-getters.
Street hustling has its pros and cons. It actually comprises commercial activities, where the good, the bad, and the ugly come together and merge seamlessly to form a unique kind of economic sector. The pros of street hustle draw people to it but the cons are the reasons people shy away from the sector irrespective of how lucrative it is. If you are considering trying out street hustling, you may need to find out the advantages and the disadvantages.
Pros of Street Hustle
The good thing about street hustle is that it provides varieties of options for sourcing income. Everything on the street can be converted to money if you know how to. There are no rigid rules on how to live in the street. Wherever you see money, follow it. This feature made this sector attractive to many young people and has become a sustainable source of income for them. Street hustle has actually reduced the rate of unemployment in Nigeria, even though most of the street jobs have not been officially captured by the government.
Another good thing about street hustling is that it opens the door for connecting with the right people. You may not meet the right person that will help you to build your business if you work behind the desk; you have to step out there if you want to be connected. This explains why hustlers are richer and more connected than their counterparts that work behind desks. They are also the ones that have many investments that provide for them at old age. Many hustlers do no regret their career choice even though it comes with its challenges.
Cons of Street Hustling
Street hustling, as good as it is, comes with a number of disadvantages. As mentioned earlier, the sector is informal and so is not controlled by any rules except making money by all means. The absence of regulations in the street makes the sector porous and prone to crime. People may do different illegal businesses in the name of hustling and go scot-free. Some engage in transactions that are risky and uncertain. There are those, whose ideas were stolen by their client. Some work for clients but were not paid. We have also heard of those that were kidnapped, maimed, and/or killed. And then the number of hustlers that were defrauded is one the increase. This is just to show that hustling is not all that rosy.
Street hustling also comes with its own stress. It is not like the regular 9-to-5 work, where your schedules are well laid out. In street hustling, you can leave your house as early as 5 am and return by 1 am because you were pursuing one customer, sales, or contract. You may also leave your home and not return because the customer showed up late at night. Your phone is never off or in silence because you don’t know when the next call that will bring that money will come. So, your phone can wake you up by 3 am and you have to attend to the call no matter how tired you are. Apart from these, a street hustler spends extra time and energy, talking and trying to convince clients. He also visits the police stations severally, trying to collect his money. He may also find himself facing legal issues because of a transaction he engineered. All these and more tell on the health of street hustlers. This means that people with health challenges cannot go into street hustling because their health will crash.
Street hustling is also filled with lots of disappointments and rejections. It is actually not a place for the faint-hearted. People have travelled for miles to meet clients only to come back empty-handed. Some had their offers turned down while others were told that the client has lost interest. There are those that were offered prices below the usual and they have to do the job because they need to survive. However, street hustling has taught people that not all pitches are prospects. Hence, those that survive in the street have understood the power of pitching to many prospects simultaneously and hoping that one works out. Nevertheless, a person that cannot take rejections well cannot survive in the street.
Street hustle is a lucrative sector in the Nigerian economy. It has been in existence for ages and people have been benefiting from it. However, considering the growing population of the country, many more persons are likely to go into the sector. Nevertheless, those considering this option should weigh its pros and cons to be sure they can cope with what comes from the street.