Side hustles: Five things to remember

Got a side hustle? Got twelve side hustles? That’s awesome! Just remember the “side” part of side hustle:

This past Wednesday was a busier day than normal.

A few weeks ago I had agreed to be a guest on the 2 Frugal Dudes podcast. In the interim, things got crazy busy at my day job, and I had been putting in extra hours there. I also had arranged to visit a childhood friend who was visiting his parents only a few hours from us; we had scheduled something for this coming weekend.

Then, Tuesday night, I got a request through Wyzant to do some statistics tutoring. The tutoring had to be done this week because her class was almost done.

**Deep breath** OK, so I put in a full day at work, then drove a half-hour one way to tutor someone for two hours … then drove back in time to record a podcast that night for another hour or so.

Side hustle is half “hustle” …

Wednesday was a long day — nearly fourteen hours without much down time — with a lot of different things going on: two different “side hustle” events on top of a full-time day job. I managed to get through it without dropping any balls, but it would be a recipe for burnout to do that every day, or even four times a week.

To make viable life options takes some hustle, of course. Anything worthwhile is work. If it weren’t everyone would be doing it, right?

… but it’s also half “side”

But until any of my side hustles are viable alternatives to my full-time job, it makes good sense for someone in my position to do everything I can to keep that job. By “in my position” I mean “with a family that I support” — in other words, if I were to lose my job, I’d be at risk of putting myself and my family in a world of hurt.

It’s a side hustle. My primary “hustle” is my day job.

Actually, it’s more than primary. It’s critical.

Five things to remember with side hustles

  1. Remember to be thankful for your job. Not everyone has one. Your job could be stressful (mine is at times) but it is still a job, and it pays. I’m also keenly aware that jobs can vanish.
  2. Remember to treat your job with the respect it deserves. Working a side hustle on someone else’s nickel is just stupid. Your employer is paying you to work for them, not for yourself. Work on your side hustle on your own time (or at least, not on your employer’s time!)
  3. Remember to count the cost of the side hustle. There are the actual expenses of executing the side hustle, of course. Sometimes it’s clear that a job just isn’t worth it. But most hustles take time, which cannot be replaced. Be aware of what isn’t getting done while you’re off side hustling. If it was a low-value activity that you could easily do without, then you’re good. If it’s spending time with family, that’s less clear. If it’s in direct competition with your day job, then that’s a definite red flag; see item 2 above.
  4. Remember that money isn’t everything. This is related to item 3 above. Time is precious. A day can never be relived. Health is important, too. Family is important, too. Money can make some problems go away, but it’s less effective at mending neglected relationships or poor overall health.
  5. Remember, too, that there may be extra money to be made at your day job. Can you earn overtime pay? Can you go on travel and eat cheaply to pocket the difference in a standard travel allowance? Going in a different direction than your day job to make extra money is certainly an option, but it may not be necessary!
Side Hustles: Five things to remember

 

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