There are a lot of reasons to create a side hustle.

One that doesn’t get talked about often?

Playing defense to hedge against financial disaster.

Look at everything that happened in 2020. Look at the layoffs at “hot companies” that seemingly happen every week.

Nassim Taleb would call this a black swan event, an event that is so rare, so unpredictable and so catastrophic, that it changes everything in its wake.

There are two things to point out about these types of events.

First, the people generally most affected by a black swan event are the most financially vulnerable: those who were already struggling; those who had all of their eggs in one basket, with one stream of income.

Notice that it wasn’t generally the wealthy that were scrambling during COVID. It was the entry-level person that lost their job and had no experience in the market. It was the single parent that got furloughed while trying to make ends meet.

The second point to make about black swan events is that even though the event itself is unlikely to occur (a global pandemic happens once every 100 years), black swan events happen frequently all over the world.

All you have to do is check the news to see this. Hurricanes and flooding ruin thousands of homes in Louisiana. Annual fires destroy the livelihoods of many Californians. And that’s not to speak about what happens in other parts of the world.

It’s becoming more common that hundreds of employees at a company get on a Zoom call, and the CEO lays them all off.

People wake up in the morning thinking about their to-do lists and hours later were found unemployed and (probably) unprepared.

That’s a fucking black swan.

If it can happen to them, it can happen to you (and me and all of us).

I know folks that got dropped from [insert hot company here] a week before Christmas with no notice. Merry Christmas, I guess.

We know that black swans are going to happen in our lifetime.

We also know that being reliant on one stream of income makes us extremely vulnerable to these events.

This is one main argument for the side hustle: to hedge, to play defense, to have an emergency fund.

Financial writer, Morgan Housel, says that one of the major factors for achieving wealth is longevity, or staying in the game long enough to succeed.

If we’re so vulnerable to one unpredictable event, it’s unlikely that we can stay in the game long enough to succeed.

We can’t achieve our dreams if a random black swan event messes up our finances.

Getting a side hustle, investing, building your network, getting yourself financially educated – these are all potential hedges in the event that the worst-case happens to you.