It started with a Tweet – what’s your side hustle?
I do love side hustle listicles, so that night in bed I decided to revisit some. A quick Google of “50 side hustle ideas” brings up some brilliant lists. I thought maybe I was being one of those people who automatically come up with excuses as to why side hustles won’t work for me. Was I self-sabotaging?
I started working my way through the ideas. All of my usual reasons were still there. Things hadn’t changed. Then I came across an idea I hadn’t heard of before – website user testing. I feel like I have the skills, and it sounds interesting. It also seems to pay a reasonable amount for a side hustle. They are upfront that you’ll never make a full-time job of it, but that’s OK. It’s not why I was looking.
It’s Not Why I Was Looking…
The next morning I got to thinking – why was I looking? Why do I read articles on side hustles? Why do I save lists of potentials in Evernote? Why did I use a sad emoticon in my Twitter reply when I said I hadn’t found one yet?
It’s Not for the Money
Let’s be honest – compared to what I earn in my job, anything I can pull in with a side hustle will be a minuscule addition. I don’t discount adding small amounts into our investment funds – I’ve done that by selling our clutter in Facebook Garage Sales.
But my full-time job uses 11 hours of my day. Blogging and associated activities take at least an hour a day. I try to sleep for 8 hours. I do some volunteer admin work daily. I try to spend a small amount of time learning every day. I like to spend some time with Mr. ETT and the cats, and that leaves household tasks, managing the finances and some TV to fill in the remaining hours. Clearly I don’t need a side hustle to fill in time, because I’m full.
It’s Not for Job Security
I appear to have been sucked into the fear of not having multiple income streams. What happens if I lose my job? I need to have something lined up (or more than one something) so I can just ramp up my side hustle and I’ll be OK. Except:
- While no job is guaranteed, I’m in what is likely to be one of the safest ones I’ll ever have. A job for life, if I want it.
- If I did lose my job, the first thing I would do is attempt to find another one. I’m not an entrepreneur. It’s not for lack of trying that I haven’t been able to identify a side hustle that fits my skill set and I’d enjoy. I don’t have the ability to open a small business.
- If worst comes to worst, at least I’m aware of the possibilities now. I’d be behind the eight-ball, but I’d do my darnedest to ramp up pretty quickly.
It’s Because Everyone Else is Doing It
I think that by reading about everyone else’s side hustles, I’ve bought into the idea that I’m missing out if I don’t have one. I love reading success stories from driven people who have turned an interest into an income-producing activity. I admire people who have a go, who have the drive and energy to see things through to a successful conclusion. Building a side hustle is the ultimate expression of “turning learning into action”. For someone like me who tends to research stuff to death, action is admirable.
I Have Enough
At this point in my life, a side hustle is not for me. I have enough money coming in. I have enough stimulating activities to keep me growing. I have a rich life. I have a plan in place to become financially independent without sacrificing a life well-lived now. My constant obsession with what “could be” (side-hustle) is taking away my focus on what “is” – my job and my life. I should stop worrying about not having a side hustle, and focus on what I do have.
need want to stay aware of the potential of side hustles, because I never know when an opportunity will open up. However, I shouldn’t waste time actively pursuing something that won’t benefit me at the moment. I will continue to enjoy reading about others’ experiences, but no more anxiety. No more frantically looking for ideas. No more FOMO.
I don’t have a side hustle at the moment, and that’s OK.
Edit: after writing this, I realised I nearly plagiarised a post by Mrs. Picky Pincher. These thoughts are all my own, but her post must have been floating around in my brain. Sorry Mrs. Picky, but thanks for the inspiration!