Cash is Not Why Parents are 2x More Likely to Have a Side Hustle – Interview

Cash is Not Why Parents are 2x More Likely to Have a Side Hustle – Interview

In a recent survey of 2,000 Americans, Zapier (easy automation for small business) unveils that adults with children under the age of 18 are the top hustlers in the gig economy and it’s not directly related to financial gains.

Survey findings include:

  • Parents with children under 18 are 2x as likely to have started their side hustle to test a business idea [24% vs. 10%]
  • Parents with children under 18  are more likely to begin a side hustle to develop new skills/experience [36% vs. 22%]
  • Just like parents with kids 18+, Parent with younger kids say they started a side hustle
    • Create passive income [42% and 49%]
    • Diversify their income [34% and 32%]
    • Save for a specific purchase [24% and 21%]

San Diego mom Rhiannon Menn

is a prime example of this burgeoning trend of parents starting new side hustles for reasons other than money. When the pandemic began, she started a one-woman nonprofit delivering meals to the less fortunate then scaled it to deliver thousands of meals to people in need.

Carly Moulton, manager of Communications at Zapier, was able to share some of her insight below during a recent interview:

Cynthia: Tell us about your new survey!

Carly: “Zapier has many customers who rely on easy automation to run their side hustle, and after hearing their stories, we wanted to learn more about how many Americans have side hustles, and some of the motivations behind starting them. Our survey found one in three Americans—34 percent—have a side hustle. And the trend is only growing — 61.1 million Americans (24 percent) plan to start a side hustle in 2021. Money is a big reason people are starting side hustles, but it’s not the only one. 38% say they started their side hustle to do something they enjoy, 28% do it to develop new skills, and 16% are using their side hustle to test a specific business idea.”

Cynthia: What findings surprised you in the survey?

Carly: “Parents of kids under 18 are almost twice as likely as those who are not (49 percent vs. 28 percent) to say they currently have a side hustle! Interestingly, parents are also more likely to start a side hustle for reasons that aren’t directly financial. Parents are over twice as likely to have started their side hustle to test a business idea and they’re far more likely to start their side hustle to develop new skills/experience.”

Cynthia: Clarify some of the side hustles.  

Carly: “Some pursue a side project to give back to their community like Rhiannon Menn of Lasagna Love. At the beginning of the pandemic, Rhiannon was looking for ways to give back to her community and began making warm meals for families in need. Now, she has over 15,000 volunteers across the country delivering meals to their communities. Others, like Justin Blase, create passive income by completely automating their side hustle. Justin has always been fascinated with automation, so he used Zapier to connect various apps and create an automated print-on-demand service that sells vintage map prints of cities, counties, and states all over the United States. To date, he’s sold over 5,000 prints, without lifting a finger. There is no limit to what a side hustle can be! We have one customer that’s a remote pizza party host and another that does career coaching on the side.”

Cynthia: What impact does this have on our economy?  

Carly: “Many successful companies (including Zapier, which now employs 400 people around the world) start as a side project. With so many people using side hustles to test the waters for a business idea, learn new skills, and diversify income, it’s very possible we’re witnessing the next wave of American entrepreneurs.”

Cynthia: Where can we learn more?  

Much appreciation to Carly and Zapier for this insightful information!


More About Carly
Carly Moulton is the manager of Communications at Zapier, where she leads the team’s external communications efforts. Based in Squamish, BC she began her career in tech seven years ago and has been working remotely for 2 years. In her spare time, you can find her working on her graphic design/illustration skills, reading, or climbing mountains with her dog, Lucy.

*Profile photo courtesy of Carly Moulton


Cynthia Tait

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