Psychologists and philosophers have long debated true altruism.
They argue that as human beings, we’re pretty crappy at being truly selfless (don’t worry, other animals suck at it too).
But regardless of reason, doing nice things for others doesn’t just give us helpers high.
People are using their free time to achieve all kinds of greater good. Good that uplifts them, their communities, & the world.
The evidence speaks for itself:
Lyn is a 60-year-old receptionist from Australia that spends her free time knitting sweaters for penguins affected by oil spills. So far, she has made over 300.
Can you get good will greater than that?
Plenty of Side Hustles aren’t done for the money - or at least, they don’t start out that way. And they definitely don’t just impact the people doing them.
Driven by skills, passion or a wrong that needs right-ing, these hustles are a vehicle for some serious positive impact – some, on a micro level, others more macro.
Chilli Con Carner
Just one of many brilliant examples of using a side hustle to uplift and support a community is Ben, aka Loyle Carner.
Full time musician, part time hustler – Ben spends his down time running Chilli Con Carner, a cooking school helping young people with ADHD to channel their energy into learning a new skill.
“Often you hear kids with ADHD talk in terms of what they can’t do, but there’s lots of things they can do. As my old teacher used to say: you shouldn’t judge a fish by how it can climb a wall”.
As if Varaidzo’s four main hustles weren’t enough – author, artist, essayist & editor - she spends her spare time on a side hustle dedicated to tracing important Black British figures from the pre-Windrush era.
Having discovered just how unattainable information about these figures were outside of academia, she took to Instagram to share their histories, educating people along the way.
“My hope is that Black British Figures will work as a jumping off point for curious minds, an accessible point to learn about these undersung figures”.
@D.F.T.E is a Bristol based artist using their creative prowess for good, spreading messages of hope, positivity and compassion in unexpected places.
Akin to Banksy in their anonymity, who knows what their main hustle is… but their dedication to donating any profits to charity suggests the focus is good vibes over cash prize.
There are examples a plenty, many testaments to the fact that the side hustle is not simply driven by money, nor does it have to overtake the day job to feel like success.
Whether it be supporting communities, pioneering social change, or simply spreading the love, for many, feeling like you’ve made a positive impact, making your mark big or small, is enough.
So, to the philosophers who question motivations, we say, who cares?
How can big brands compete? Maybe a better question is should they be trying? Can appreciating, praising, supporting grass-root efforts to make the world a better place be equally, if not more impactful, than faux attempts at greater brand purpose?