The Side Hustle is potentially a great thing, but it has become re-branded and distorted over time.
My go-to Digital Mentor for productivity is Darren Hardy, every morning he sends a free 2-5 minute video called Darren Daily (sign-up here, if it’s not for you, you can always unsubscribe later). I’ve also read both his books and for me the Compound Effect feels like it could have been based on my story.
The Objections to Stopping and the Truth Bombs
We have objections or perceptions that we tell ourselves to justify the side hustle.
- Objection: It’s a side hustle
- Truth Bomb #1: It’s a second job – Having a second job demands respect, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves that it is anything but that.
- TB #2: It is professional polygamy – It prevents you from being excellent in your main job (try being a great partner to two spouses at once), excellent people get noticed and opportunities open up for them. Remember the Fred Factor – “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it” – I know of some people who always have bad bosses, working conditions suck, it could be true, but on the third or fourth occasion, I begin to wonder if it is them.
- O: One day, one of my side hustles will become my thing
- TB: Every great “side hustler” had a singular focus (“all in”), even Branson with his 100s of companies, had one for eight years.
Darren gave these two equations:
- Part time extra money = part time extra job
- Success = doing something EXTRA-ordinary
I am different to a lot of people in that I have no dependents and creating and testing new ideas is more like a hobby. I use it as a practical MBA to develop new skills. I also do them as a healthy outlet, my time alternatively would be spent watching TV. That said, I am certainly doing too much, there are other positive pursuits I can do.
I use the 3Rs (Reflect, Reset & Refocus) and more practically the 4Ds to optimise my time, when I need to de-clutter my mind, typically I do this towards the end of the year. It turns out I needed to do this again in January.
- Delete: I deleted all week-end activity that isn’t decompressing, other than my Sunday night focus sessions, which is only 15 minutes. I have sufficient free time during the week. I do a 4 day week for my main thing.
- Do less: I shifted doing the Circular Economy Job Board from a full on website to a Facebook page and I change the update frequency to once a week. Improving the quality, while freeing up a couple of hours a week.
- Defer: Noffice, after seeing what a shared office space costs, I realised I could spend all day at suitable restaurants for the same price or cheaper and I get fed. The plan was to inventory and rank these against relevant criteria. Let me know if you’d like to give this a try and I’ll happily share my thinking.
- Delegate: This could also be automate.
Conclusion on any side hustle:
Assuming it is not to fund paying down debt or improve lifestyle (i.e. I know it’s a second job – one of my side hustles falls into this) then:
- Make sure that my main job is your focus during your main job time. Be excellent here first.
- Recognise whether:
- It is a second job (income driven) or
- The potential to become your main thing (wealth driven)
- Something else (decompression, skill development)
- Only have 1 side hustle (I have more, but just because I give good advice, doesn’t mean I take it).
- Don’t leave full time, until part time exceeds your expenses and you have a 6 month buffer (for most people income=expenses, but there is probably an opportunity to be more frugal) – less important without dependents
There is massive survivorship bias in the success stories we hear, so perhaps turn the question around, how many people do you know that have turned their side hustles into something more?