At any given time, I’ve always had at least one side-hustle going on, if not more. Of course, up until recently it didn’t have the sexy name. I think people referred to them as projects or perhaps even side-projects in the prior to about 2010. If you’re one of the many that have too many ideas and interests and not enough time, you’re well acquainted with this. The kind of people that aren’t neccessarily great at one thing because we are too busy chasing thirteen things at once that just sound so damn interesting. You know who you are *winkyface*.
So how the hell do you pull off a sidehustle and a job and laundry and SO and pets and taxes and god forbid a semblance of a life? Couldn’t tell you, my laundry has been sitting on my couch for six days. What I can tell you are the things I have grazed from years of grind, remote work and the many sidehustles:
1. The first three waking hours make a huge difference in how your day goes. Use them wisely.
2. Follow the drive. When you start digging in, let yourself grit through and get shit done, even if it’s 3am. When you’re pulling teeth to get a single sentence or line of code out, detach. Go for a walk, play a video game, whatever; just get out of that headspace. Get work done when you’re brain isn’t cued for it is going to be subpar and drain you faster. Learn your energy waves and how to ride.
3. Stay healthy so you can pull of that 3am grind. You can’t eat shit, do nothing, treat caffeine like a meth addict and survive on 3 hours of sleep for very long before your work tanks bigtime. You can abuse your body only as much as you nourish it. One of my closest friends is a huge raver but also extremely health conscious (I know right, check her out here). She can party all night with the best of them, and then be bouncing into yoga poses at 7am while the rest of her crew nurses hangovers until 2pm. Her not-so-secret secret is that she eats clean while she’s there. Think green juice, veggies, fruits and nuts. No added sugar, no junk food, no caffeine. The bottom line, in limerick form: If you’re putting your mind through hell, treat your body well.
4. Just ship it, then ship it again. Your mom is likely your only follower in the beginning and she won’t care.
Fear of taking action only leads to an empty portfolio.
5. There is a difference between a side-hustle and a hobby. I’ve learned the hard way that not everything you like or are good at needs to be a side-hustle. If fact, when you try making every hobby a job it depletes your down time and you lose interest in it because those things were made for fun and by making it a hustle you stripped it of it’s sole property. Get really honest about what your core passion is and let everything else be a weekend hobby.
6. People can sniff out a pitch a mile away, so feigning interest for a few minutes until you can pitch them your idea/product/blog etc is only insulting them and embarassing you (whether you realize or not). Be genuine as hell with your interactions.
7. Say yes to collaboration, cautiously. Everyone needs help with something, at some time. Don’t be afraid to talk about your dreams with others, but guard who you surround yourself with in these instances. The right people will both nurture and challenge your ideas, but they won’t try to take them over, distract or discourage.
8. Be intentional. Overthinking never helped anyone, but making hasty decisions that will matter in the grand scheme of things will bite you in the ass. Think about the core of your hustle and always bring every decision back to that. Ask yourself what your intention is with each decision, make it and then let it go.
9. If you’ve listened to Gary Vaynerchuk speak in the last year, one of his key messages has been, and I’m paraphrasing: save yourself unnecessary effort. Don’t create, document. What better way to promote your authentic self/brand than by documenting your day-to-da work? Create when necessary and document everything.
What tips have you learned to keep the sidehustle alive, or move it to FT status? Let me know in the comments or link to your post if it’s related!