YES. YES. YES. And YES.
If you do not have a family business, a home-based business, a bricks and mortar business, or a start-up, you should do a side gig.
If you are in a corporate managerial role, a downtown job, a service industry gig, an industrial job, a minimum wage gig, a part-time job, or engage in part-time contractor work, you should do a side gig.
If your company tells you how to think about social or economic issues or mocks your beliefs, you should do a side gig.
The side gig has positive benefits:
Don’t say you have no time.
My grandfathers were immigrants who fled a country in favor of religious and political freedom, independence, and opportunity. It goes without saying that they came with no money. There were no fancy government immigration programs either. Help came only from the parish.
One was a grain farmer in the days before crop insurance and supply management.
He also ran a general store in a small farm town. He risked it all. I remember vividly how he scraped and scrimped to make it go. He got hailed out one time and had to auction everything to move to a different area to start over. I remember the story of how he and others hooked up tractors to haul a little country church to their town of 150 people so they could have Mass.
My other grandfather risked it all too. He offered rental housing to fellow immigrants by buying a bad-rap hotel east of downtown to convert into nice family apartments. He employed good, down and out people for odd jobs and building renovations, upgrades, and regular maintenance.
He looked after the needs of young families and shell-shocked “old boys” who lost everything in war. I remember how he ingeniously cut costs by running a cold-water intake pipe through the chimney as a boiler-water pre-heater.
My grandmothers helped with all of this and had their own side gigs too.
One did laundry for families. The other cleaned houses. Both had huge gardens. Both did canning and preserving. One had chickens and made goose feather quilts to sell and use. The other did sewing for pennies. I could say a lot more.
They taught me how to plant, hill, weed, and dig potatoes. Ha ha. I hated it. Now I know why they did it. I’m ashamed to say I didn’t appreciate it then.
They taught my parents to do the same. My mother was a music teacher and church organist for 40 years. My dad was a partner in the family rental housing business. I could go on about their side-gigs to help with family costs.
My forebears thought of St. Joseph as an independent contractor. They believed the Blessed Virgin Mary had side gigs. They knew Jesus worked in a family business.
Let’s create a wave of side-gigs!
God bless you, your family, and your works. You can be Catholic and successful in business. Believe it.
Henry Kutarna, The Catholic CEO
P.S. The St. Joseph Workshop will help you run your side gig or main business more efficiently. The workshop is every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at noon central US time. If you can't make it, you will get the recording.
The St. Joseph Workshop is pay-what-you-want. If you can't pay anything, no problem. If you can pay something, I would appreciate it. My main goal, however, is just to help Catholic business owners so we can create a Catholic economy.