In 2010, I started a side project outside of work, because my job sucked my soul to the size of a raisin. My side project back then was a blog, back when blogging was still something you did purely for fun and only your mum read it. A few years later, I started earning extra income from it, and I started to realise that earning money on the side felt really good.
Fast-forward to now and so many of the skills I learned outside of my then-job (basic coding, analytics, pitching, design) are very relevant for my self-employed life, and there's no way I would have learned them at my 9-5.
There are so many stats out there to suggest that a side project is a good idea; GoDaddy research says a huge percentage of people with side projects earn an extra £500-£5,000 a year, which is obviously great. But it’s also important to realise that the benefits of a side project go way beyond the additional money — having creative side projects can also lead to mental self-care, making new friends and learning new skills. In a world where literally none of us can answer the question "Where do you see yourself in five years' time?", side projects can give us a new layer of confidence and direction.