2 min read

Rethink that Side Hustle

Rethink that Side Hustle
Photo by Mark Broadhead / Unsplash

Like many of you, I too had been sold the idea of quitting your 9 to 5 by growing your passion into a booming side hustle business.  These authors or podcasters paint a picture of being your own boss and making big money while working from a laptop on a beach somewhere.  What they fail to tell you is that, it is bullshit.  Starting and running your own business is a lot of work.  Aside from that, having too many priorities can easily dilute your focus to the point where you don’t produce much value in anything.

The only time you should be side hustling is when you want to get out of the job you have today (or if you desperately need the additional income it provides).

If the job you have today has a path for growth, pays well enough, and is mostly fine in other areas, then you should 100% stop worrying about side hustles and focus on growing your career.  The side hustle nonsense is a major distraction to getting promoted, growing into a better role, and becoming an expert in your industry.

It’s OK to be “just” an Employee

Maybe it’s part of our capitalistic culture where entrepreneurs are praised as heroes, that drives the desire to be one ourselves.  Well, if you are an employee, consider yourself a business of 1 in the labor market.

You still need to develop your skills to keep your business competitive as the environment changes.  You still need to market yourself to some degree by having a resume, networking, speaking at conference, etc. You still need to provide value to your company in order to stay in business (stay employed) and to grow your income via promotions and bonuses.

Don’t think of your job as just mindlessly showing up and clocking out.  If you think of yourself as a solopreneur in the labor market, then investing in your career begins to feel like the easy choice.

Ask Yourself

Are you happy with your current job and see potential growth?  Does the idea of having a side hustle stress you out?  Are you just looking for ways to make some extra money?  Then let go of the idea of side hustling and focus on your career instead.  Consider spending more time growing your business of one in the labor market by focusing on your career rather than creating an additional job for yourself.

Are you looking to change industries or get better job that requires new skills?  Then have your side hustle be taking online courses, doing side projects, and developing the skills and connections necessary to make the change.

Is your current side hustle fulfilling another need besides money?  Then consider it a hobby and do it until it stops providing you with the fulfillment you get from it.

If you have a profitable side hustle already and the income from it is supplementing your cost of living, well done.  I would just suggest you look at how sustainable the multiple streams of income approach is on your life.  Where can you best spend your time to focus on growing in the future?

If you are side hustling now and are appalled by my suggestion that you give it up, then don’t.  By all means keep hustling.  I am trying to give the folks who are stressed by trying to do something on the side, the permission to stop the side hustle distraction and focus on their career instead.

Our time is limited and precious.  My hope is that these questions help you reconsider how you spend your time outside of your primary job.  It’s up to you to figure out what is best for you at this point in time.