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Episode 323: The Gig Economy and Side Hustles

December 6, 2023



The Gig Economy and Side Hustles
with Special Guest Matthew Waldroup

In this episode of Centric FCU’s Live Better Podcast, join host Kelli Green and special guest Matthew Waldroup, Centric’s SVP of Business Services, as they explore the gig economy and side hustles. Discover the transformative force of the gig economy, the lifeline side hustles provide for financial flexibility, and gain insights into popular side hustles in 2023. From balancing full-time work to turning hobbies into profitable ventures, this episode equips you with valuable strategies for financial success. Subscribe, share, and review to support the Live Better Podcast. Centric FCU is your partner in navigating the world of side hustles—thank you for tuning in!


Kelli: (00:00)
Welcome to another episode of the Live Better Podcast, proudly presented by Centric Federal Credit Union. I’m your host, Kelli Green, Senior Vice President of Marketing here at Centric. Today, we are delivering into a subject that’s increasingly relevant in our rapidly changing world, the gig economy and side hustles. The gig economy isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a transformative force in the way we work, earn and live side hustles have become more than just a trend. They’re a lifeline for many individuals seeking financial flexibility and opportunities. As always, our mission is to equip you with the information and strategies you need to improve your financial well-being. So, whether you’ve been a loyal listener or you’re joining us for the very first time prepared to explore the gig economy, its impact on our community, and most importantly, how you can seize the opportunities it offers to enhance your financial journey. Let’s get started. So, I wanna welcome all of our listeners to another episode of Live Better Podcast Today. Today we are joined by Matt Waldroup, who is our Senior Vice President of Business Services. He’s here to talk about the pros and cons of side hustles. And before we get started, I wanna know, Matt, would you tell our listeners just a little bit about yourself and what you do here at Centric?

Matt: (01:16)
Sure. Well, thank you, Kelli. I really appreciate you having me on today. And, uh, yes. So I am Matt Waldroup, SVP for Business Services here at Centric. I just celebrated my second year with the credit union. Congrats. That’s so awesome. Oh, yeah. Yeah. It’s a, it’s a wonderful place to be, uh, wholly believe that yes, we do wanna be the best place that our members have ever banked and the best place our people have ever worked. So true. It’s, it’s wonderful. And, uh, so yeah, I am, uh, a North Carolinian originally, uh, but, uh, I married a girl from Shreveport, so we compromised and moved to North Louisiana. Uh, and

Kelli: (01:49)
What a compromise that was.

Matt: (01:51)
I know. Well, uh, we are just so grateful to be here and, uh, and so yes, I serve as our SVP for business services, and primarily my role is, is leading our team of business lenders and treasury management professionals and, uh, uh, our team that really just helps everything, uh, helps our members with everything, uh, uh, soup to nuts as far as business services are, are, uh, are concerned. Anything from a sole proprietor who is just getting out on their journey. Yeah. Like, started on their journey and all the way up to large scale manufacturers, uh, here in our area that, uh, that have a wide range of needs. So, uh, we’ve got a very diverse membership here at Centric as far as businesses is concerned. And, uh, and so we just work to meet those needs, uh, and, and meet those members where they are. Oh,

Kelli: (02:40)
Yeah. I love it. And one of the things I love so much about you and your team, you guys always share with us as far as what businesses are entrusting us with their finances, so that we in turn can really say, Hey, we wanna support them with our own dollars. That’s important to us, and we want to do that. And so when I say gig, you know, I think like I have to say GIG Okay. The gig economy and side hustles, because when we were coming up like, this is something, you know, we didn’t really hear a whole lot about. Right. And I think more so now since the pandemic, side hustles are a thing. Right. And a lot of people rely on that, that side income, you know? So tell us a little bit about, you know, some of the experiences that you’ve had with some of maybe our clients or even friends with more of them, more prominent or popular side hustles or gig jobs that maybe folks are exploring nowadays. Well,

Matt: (03:32)
You know, it’s, it’s so interesting and, you know, I I I talked about, you know, not being from the area Yeah. Originally and moving in, uh, moving here and, um, you know, a little bit of a different culture, but, uh, not, not all that different still Southeast. Uh, but one of the things that really stuck out to me, uh, and one of the things that I realized as soon as we moved to the area was there was this entrepreneurial spirit. Oh, yeah. And, um, and I think that’s something that has really always been, especially in our area where our members, you know, live and work and, uh, but, but really that, that really dovetails into where we are as a society and, and our country, you know? When, when we were growing up, it was, you know, you, you got a job at, uh, at, at Graphic, you got a job with, uh, a large company.

Matt: (04:22)
You did your 20, 30, 40 years. That’s right. You retired. And, um, you know, that’s been completely turned on its head in the last 20, 30 years. Oh, for sure. And, uh, and, but, but really what I like about that is, is it gives people the freedom and the flexibility to kind of take their destiny into their own hands. Yeah. And, um, you know, there, there are so many resources and things out there today to help people with that, but, but really, um, it, it, it, it allows individuals to, uh, to get out there and really do as much or as much as they want to. Yeah. And, um, it’s been so great. You know, as, as a couple of examples, uh, here, uh, within our membership, you know, we’ve, we’ve got, uh, we’ve got a gentleman that is, uh, you know, his, his entire career. He’s been a lineman for a large utility company.

Matt: (05:13)
Yeah. Uh, earns a great living, does very well for him, you know, for himself and his family, and, uh, has been really diligent in how he handles his stuff. But he, um, you know, he decided that, uh, he, he wanted to have a little something on the side for some, some quote-unquote play money. Yeah. And, uh, and was able to, uh, build up a, uh, a pressure washing business where he’s able to go out and, uh, and, and help, uh, companies with, uh, uh, cleaning up around their businesses for people at their homes and, uh, you know, pressure washing homes, businesses, parking lots. And, uh, is even looking at getting into where he can do the striping in parking lots, you know, seen and his group, uh, understanding that there was a need in that in the, in the community. And, um, and then just building those relationships with those, those other business owners, you know, that that is so much about, uh, what, uh, you know, this local economy and, and folks are so good about dealing locally. Yes.

Kelli: (06:10)
And that’s, we wanna do that. I, I agree with you. I see that so much. It’s so wild when, when folks actually have a specific talent and they think, oh, this may just be an extra craft or something I just do on the side. But, you know, we’ve got some friends too that maybe during the holidays they make wreaths, they paint, they teach, you know, even giving, uh, um, lessons even for pianos, you know, speaking anything, homework lessons, you know, just anything. And it’s amazing to me, just the extra money. But the other side of it too, they’re also from an economic standpoint, which I think we can probably attribute to some issues with inflation as to why people are seeking other areas. But I think also too is that people are also identifying their talents. But they’re getting some sort of joy out of that, you know, and they’re seeing that, man, yeah, I can work at eight to five.

Kelli: (07:01)
But I also think about what are some other alternatives. Do I really wanna do that eight to five Monday through Friday? Right. You know, do I wanna work shift work? Do I wanna do that? Um, and so I think what you mentioned earlier is talking about the flexibility with these different opportunities. That’s what people are looking for, right? I mean, when they’re thinking these side hustles, they’re like, okay, I wanna work on my own time. Sure. There’s the value of life is really important. And I, I, you know, a lot of times I think we’ve probably all run the whole pandemic thing into the ground, essentially. But you think about that time we really just kind of stopped. Mm-Hmm. We paused, we did for a little while, and there were so many things that people really thought about during that time, and they’re able to see, you know, with their families.

Kelli: (07:43)
And I know everyone’s experience of the pandemic was entirely different, you know, and everyone was, it was very unique. Right. Um, but for some folks, you know, I think it was a moment for people to realize that, hey, our life, we’re not promised tomorrow. Right. And so, you know, trying to think about what are some things that we can do to ensure we’re spending time doing the things we love? Mm-Hmm.  the things that we enjoy. And I think that’s probably where we’ve seen the, the greatest jump or maybe spike in things like home delivery, different services and things of that nature, people are willing to pay for. If it gives them returns to the value of time. Right. So, I don’t know, I mean, do you agree with that or you think there’s some truth there?

Matt: (08:23)
I think so. And you know, I I, I really, um, you know, one of the things that we talk about are, you know, I, I like to think of them. If you’re gonna have a side hustle Yeah. You know, or if you are going to be kind of a full fledged member of the gig economy Yeah. You gotta look at those opportunities and you’ve gotta look at the challenges. Yep. You know, and, um, that, that’s when, when we have members coming in and are talking about this. Uh, you know, we, we see it a lot. We see a lot of our, our members coming in and they, they are in the very beginnings of this journey. Yeah. And, and really, um, you know, while we, you know, really we see it as our duty to link them up with every resource that’s, that’s out there.

Matt: (09:11)
Um, if it’s something internally that we have, or if it’s a trusted partner that we have Yeah. That we can refer to. And, and so, you know, we, we really want to, when we’ve got that member that comes in that has worked at the mill for 20 years, and they’re saying, but, you know, I’ve got this, this passion, this thing that I really care about, and, and, and I really wanna figure out how to take this from a hobby and turn it into a business, well then, you know, that triggers me into, okay, well, let’s talk about who you need to talk to. You know, that’s right. This is your first step. You know, you’re gonna establish your deposit relationship here at Centric. That’s right. We’re gonna link you up with all your financial resources. But, uh, for that other stuff that, that, you know, the appropriate structure Yeah.

Matt: (09:54)
The, uh, the, the right type of, uh, filings that you have to make with the government, all of that kind of stuff. Well, you know, thankfully we’ve got resources here at a That’s right. City where we can, we can, you know, make that referral. I mean, one of, one of our best partners, I think in the area is the small business development center that’s Absolutely, that’s on the campus of ULM. And, uh, you know, for anybody listening or watching that, that is, is ready to make that, that next step, they’ve, they’ve identified what their idea is, man, they, you know, they can schedule a, a counseling session that doesn’t cost them a thing. That’s right. With, uh, with VC and his team. And man, they are just so great. They are so great as far as, uh, helping you understand, uh, the benefits of an LLC Yep. As opposed to operating as a sole proprietor. Um, or, or looking at a different structure altogether depending on, you know, the idea Yes. What it is, you know, but, but that’s, that’s such a great resource that helps, uh, helps well, it helps the member mitigate their risk a little bit.

Kelli: (10:58)
Let me ask you this, Tim, Matt, when you were talking about when they really talk through the different types of accounts or different types of business to really protect that business owner. Yeah. So they, not only would they give you that sort of guidance, but don’t they also work hand in hand for a true business plan and helping you get going, understanding really from marketing set up the whole nine. Yeah. So you wanna talk a little bit about that? So, so

Matt: (11:20)
There’s, there’s two things that I immediately, once, once we’ve got a member that is ready to start this journey, what the, the first two things that I wanna set them up with, obviously getting with the small business development center so that they can, they can, um, look at business plans, they can look at the appropriate structure, they can look at all of those things. And then, uh, also, you know, a lot of these folks, if it’s, um, you know, let, let’s say it’s a, a snow cone trailer, let’s say it’s, you know, it’s, it’s something where you’re providing a good or a service. You’re also gonna need to do what? Well, you’ve got your centric account, but if you’re out at the farmer’s market and you’re accepting payment, well, how are you gonna accept that payment? That’s right. Sometimes it’s gonna be cash. Yeah. Uh, sure.

Matt: (12:06)
We still dealing cash here. Yeah. Louisiana in bit, and we love that. But, uh, but, but you know, in an increasingly digital world Yeah. There’s also the need for digital payment solutions. That’s right. And, and, you know, a big part of that is, uh, we partner with a company that’s based out of the Pacific Northwest, and they’re called, uh, total Merchant Concepts, TMC for short. And, uh, they are one of our trusted partners. And, um, they help us and they help our members, essentially. We, we make that referral and, uh, they are able to get our members set up with, uh, payment, uh, point of sale systems. Yes. That’s where they can accept debit, credit card payments. I mean, you, you, you file your articles of organization, you file for the Secretary of State, all of a sudden you’re gonna be getting stuff from Square, you’re gonna be getting stuff from Oh, yes.

Matt: (12:51)
Which are, which are great products. They are, don’t get it wrong. Sure, sure. Um, but, uh, but I think, you know, for us, what we try to do is we try to make that process very seamless, and we try to make it as easy on the member as possible and affordable, too Affordable because we, we believe in, in, in customer service, right. Member services, but really building relationships with people, that’s important. And, and so when we, when we do that, um, you know, we, we found a, a partner in TMC that their, you know, their values align very closely with ours. They want that relationship model. They want to, uh, to be able to talk to the member on the phone, uh, answer any questions that they have. So yes, it’s the, it’s the point of sale system. It’s, it’s all the, the, the backend payment processing, all of that good, all that good stuff.

Matt: (13:38)
But they can even go, uh, a couple steps further, uh, with, with what you have from the small Business development center. And they’ve got additional business coaching Yes. Available services that they can, uh, that our members can utilize to be able to, uh, uh, to, to figure out, you know, how they’re going to enter into the marketplace. How they’re going to compete with their, uh, with their fellow, uh, uh, uh, folks here in this area. But then they’re also, uh, going to find ways to, to start, you know, to, I mean, every, everything. And, you know, last time we visited about business services, we talked about scalability. Oh, yeah. You know, and, uh, and so, you know, sometimes it’s gonna be, uh, just a short time gig. Sometimes it’s gonna be something that you’re gonna do on the side. Yeah. Just taking your hobby and you want to turn that into some extra income for the holidays.

Matt: (14:28)
Yeah. Seasonable something. Yeah. That kind of stuff, stuff. But, um, you know, um, but I, I, I’ll say, you know, for those that want to take that, that hobby and turn it into a full-time job, it’s possible, isn’t it? It’s possible. Yeah. It is possible. And, you know, we’ve got a member like that. Yeah. Um, I actually had texted with him and, uh, uh, asked if I could, uh, if I could talk about his journey. Oh, good. Good. Yeah. So it’s a, it’s a, it’s a guy over based in Ruston, uh, uh, Mr. Brett Causey with Delta Broadband. Yeah. Yeah. And, uh, you know, he does direct wireless, uh, broadband services for those that live out in, in, uh, more rural that don’t have access to rural reliable, uh, landline internet. And, um, you know, this was a guy that worked for a very prominent company in Ruston, uh, was doing it for them. And, um, just had a passion for, uh, for, for technology, for internet. And, uh, you know, he, he built this up on his own, you know, he identified Wow. Kind of a niche in the market and, and a need

Kelli: (15:32)
Based on That’s so interesting, Matt. because that’s really and truly, we try to look, you know, for our members and where maybe they don’t have the resources, they don’t have, you know, they don’t understand, know exactly how to really manage their finances, and they’re looking for a way to really help them live better. Same way with this gentleman. Right. Right. He saw in the rural communities, there’s a disconnect. Exactly. I love this.

Matt: (15:51)
And you know, the, the great part about that is he was able to take that and, um, you know, we, we worked with him and, and ultimately he was able to embark out on his own. And now, you know, broadband is, you know, that’s, that’s Brett’s company. And he goes out on a daily basis, and he helps these folks in rural areas with reliable internet. And

Kelli: (16:12)
That’s so amazing though. I love that. I love that success story.

Matt: (16:15)
It’s wonderful. It’s a wonderful, um, opportunity. And, uh, you know, and so he’s, he’s been able to do that. And, and so what has he been able to do? Well, that’s a, allowed him to diversify and do some other projects that he’s really interested in. Um, and, uh, so we’re, we’re just grateful to have him as a, as a business member.

Kelli: (16:34)
No kidding.

Matt: (16:35)
Yeah. You know, it’s, uh, it’s, it’s one of our success stories that we just love to talk about, uh, you know, our members that, that go out there and do well and, uh, and gaining knowledge and gaining skills. And

Kelli: (16:46)
You give that back, right? I mean, you’re, you have a thought and you’ve got a talent, and how can you in turn, turn that into something that was once a side hustle, right? You were a gig worker, so to speak, but you think about how that’s completely transformed, probably not only the communities Yes. But even his own family too, personally. So I, I love that. There’s some things I wanna make sure that we go over and that our listeners and viewers do not miss. Yes. But of course, we have any and all products and services that anyone that this is a side hustle, temporary seasonal business that you have, we have free checking accounts that they can actually utilize and manage their funds. Not to mention, we also work with SBDC, which is located at ULM’s Campus. So that’s the University of Louisiana, Monroe, you know, us out of towners.

Kelli: (17:33)
They would think we would get that wrong, wouldn’t they? But, um, and by out-of-towners, I wanna also mention too, you know, I’m not from this area either. I’ve been here for about 17, 16, 17 years now. So it’s so funny that we’re coming and working here. Why that small town, the way we grew up, why that’s so important. And we see that day in and day out of how we get to serve our members by just working here. And, uh, you know, Matt is a, and just for all of you guys listening, Matt is my neighbor, um, at the office, we share a little next-door space, and we’re always popping off ideas to each other because serving our communities something really important to us. So, um, I just, I thank you so much for sharing this and just even mentioning that the accounts that we have that are free, that don’t cost anyone anything, and to know, even going with SBDC, that’s also a free service that folks can go and get their business plan, talk about ways in which to protect their business, but also their personal assets as well.

Kelli: (18:26)
Um, and then the other side of it too is once you get going and you think, okay, I need a little capital, I gotta figure out what can I do to maybe scale my business? Yes, we offer small business loans as well. So those are some really neat things also that we can, you know, talk about. Um, I don’t want you guys to miss this. If you’ve been thinking about this for a while of how I can get things going, you know, I’ve got this talent, I have this desire, you know, maybe that eight to five or that shift work, you’re wanting to take a little bit more ownership of your own time. This is a great opportunity, you know, for you to really say, Hey, I might need to take, take this serious and go talk to an expert like you, Matt. Um, and also Patrick, we’ve got Victoria in the Ruston market, Kalynda too, and also Erica.

Kelli: (19:12)
So you guys have a huge group of folks that they’re just waiting, willing to talk through just these different ideas. Yeah. So we love that we, we are actually out in all of our markets, but we also allow digital access too. So if you wanna call us through video banking, um, even texting us, those are some ways in which you can get in contact with us. Um, we’re just, we’re not limited. And, and that’s something to really think about, ways that if you’ve got this idea, what are you waiting for? Right? Sure. Let’s get this thing going. Well, so just a few things, you know, as well as, you know, we also know that there’s risk and so forth that could be involved in that. And I think that’s why it’s so great and, um, why we’ve entrusted partners like SBDC to really educate us.

Kelli: (19:54)
We trust them enough to say, Hey, if this were our own business idea, we would seek them first as well. So we encourage you, you know, I’ve worked with VC and his team for years. I’ve been at the credit union now almost 12 years, and I have worked with him for that period of time. Um, we’ve even had some really unique opportunities where we’ve been able to go on site there and open up accounts, uh, when they’re getting started. So it’s really outstanding. I love it. So definitely if you go and visit with them, give them a call, you can reach them at, um, I think their, the, the ULM website would be a very easy way for you to access and get information about that. Then of course, you can just contact us too at any time, and we can definitely help, you know, facilitate that conversation. So, Matt, is there anything else that you would like to add today as we’re really talking through encouraging people if they have a, gosh, if they’ve got a desire, a talent, or an idea for them to get going? Anything you wanna add?

Matt: (20:49)
You know, I think, I think the biggest thing is that, um, you know, for, for us, uh, we are well aware on our team. Yeah. And I think as an organization that nobody really gets to where they are by themselves. That’s right.

Matt: (21:03)
Uh, you have to have trusted partners. You have to have, uh, a group of people that are going to, to work, uh, you know, really to, to help you be as successful as you can be. Uh, one of the things that, that I love about our business services offerings here at Centric is, um, and it’s something that really sets us apart from a lot of our brothers, sister financial institutions in the market. Is that because we are cooperative credit, because we are member-owned, um, ultimately we are here to really try to do our very best to act on the, you know, act on behalf of the the members. That’s right. The person that’s sitting in front of me is not only a member that’s looking to scale their their business, they’re, they’re a business owner. Yeah. But guess what, that entity’s also an owner in the credit union.

Kelli: (21:57)
That’s right.

Matt: (21:58)
And, um, I just love that, that dynamic because it is, it is very different from anything else that’s in, in the marketplace here in north Louisiana. You got it. And, and so when, when you’re talking to me and when you’re talking to any other member of our business services team, what we’re looking at is how do we take the best interest of that member owner that’s sitting in front of us? And the overall membership of the credit union. Yeah. How do we mesh those things together to create a win-win?

Kelli: (22:26)
That’s right. That’s what it’s about.

Matt: (22:28)
That’s, that’s the biggest thing that we try to do here. Yeah. And so, um, you know, I, I just, I encourage our business members to give us a try, uh, to see what that, that feels like. Yeah. And, and to experience that, uh, where, where we’re going to, uh, we’re gonna come at it from a little bit different angle That’s right. Than any other institution you’re gonna go to in, in our market, because we are, we are going to, uh, because when you’re sitting across from me and you’re a member of the credit union, well, who do I answer to? That’s right. Answer that member owner. That’s right. And so, uh, you know, we’re, we’re always gonna do our best to try to do that and, uh, and then also be of a benefit to the membership overall because, uh, you know, uh, uh, the, the credit union is here to help all of us. That’s it. And, um, and so we, we’ve gotta make sure that the credit union’s gonna be here for another 80 some odd years.

Kelli: (23:18)
You got that. And that’s our goal, isn’t it? That’s right. That’s right. And we’re, you know, we we’re really and truly, we, we serve, you know, to, to be there and to provide that guidance and, and to say, Hey, listen, there are other alternatives that are out there for you, but do you have someone that you can call and contact and say, Hey, let’s talk about this circumstance. Let’s talk about what it is that you wanna do, and then let’s see it through. Right? So there’s so many things I don’t want us to forget about this, but I just encourage anyone that is really thinking about taking that next step, please help us and contact us. Let us be a part of that journey because we love it. Um, one of the unique things that we really love to do is to highlight too, with our members and their success and, um, their overall story and journey that is very important to us.

Kelli: (24:01)
You know, to really give, pay homage, you know, to where it’s due and to share with them, you know, share their story so that other people can be inspired by that as well. So, well, I will say this, you know, this, this really brings us to the end of our episode, our Live Better podcast. And we genuinely hope that you have found today’s conversation about the gig economy and side hustles to be enlightening and valuable. It’s been a real pleasure chatting with you today, Matt. Thank you so much. Um, and in the world of personal finance, knowledge is your greatest asset. And at Centric, it remains steadfast partner in that particular journey. So in this episode, if it actually resonated with you, we kindly ask you to show your support. Hit the subscribe button, share this episode with your friends and family, and take a moment to leave us a review. Your input is invaluable in shaping the content that addresses your financial interests and needs. And of course, well, let’s stay connected on social media. You can find us on Facebook @CentricFCU and on all other platforms under @mycentric. Stay in the loop regarding the latest financial insights and resources tailored to your unique financial aspirations. Until our next episode, always remember Centric is by your side as you navigate your financial journey. Thank you for tuning in to the Live Better podcast. 

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