I have started so many side hustles in my life. Some projects have been successful, and others failed, stalled, or both. By success, I mean $10,000 a month through some projects like Fiverr. By failure, I mean thousands of dollars in losses. I recently thought, “Why start a side hustle, anyway?” Let’s first evaluate my past trajectory to find out.
I recall starting some blogs which picked up really well in their first weeks, to say the least. Started online courses that exhibited a fair share of success in the first few days of their launch. However, for the most part, I dropped these projects when other things came over that appeared more promising.
What Became Successful?
Of the several projects I have started, successful projects were because of my time and undivided attention. Staying the course and persisting even when they seemed tough. I could also see progress much faster for most of these projects. I recall seeing my writing project grow from a mere $200 a month to several thousand dollars. When I saw the account grow, I was obsessed with metrics; asking myself questions such as “what could I do to get more next month?” Never did I really ask myself the chief question, “Why Start a Side Hustle?”
But, now I also ask, what constituted progress anyway? Just the money in my bank alone? Isn’t that a bit selfish too? More like a one-sided way to things?
I did most of these things for money. And yes, money came. But not for long, I must admit, which is another story for tomorrow.
What made the difference?
There was a problem, I focused mostly on immediate things that brought in the money. Everything else that did not bring money fell off. Great blog ideas, fantastic courses, and amazing books fell by the wayside.
And honestly, I can never tell the level of impact they could have had. The transformation that could have occurred.
One indeed becomes more inclined to the daily affairs of the freelance craft and less creative on what would sustain the business in the long run. No wonder the glory comes crashing when the market goes down sooner than later.
Letting go of projects that do not serve you should not be an issue.
It is, in fact, a very healthy practice to enhance productivity. However, we fail to see the bigger picture when our central focus is on immediate gains and instant financial gratification. We miss the chance to multiply the money we get because we assume that the blog, email list, or new business idea we started does not match the current income coming in.
Great businesspeople who built projects such as Facebook can only do that when they get to ask, “why did they start a side hustle, anyway?”
This analogy is why most people start great projects, books, blogs, and businesses, courses only to quit or pause indefinitely in the middle because of a sudden income gain or loss. Such income gains could be a new job, opportunity, or some extra money or attention that appears more promising.
Back to my story, I quit most of the project because I focused on the immediate money. And for the most part, when we focus on immediate financial gains, we may get money but lose a lot in other areas of life. The money may never be enough, and the value of our work will be quite shallow in the end.
When the money stops coming in…
And learning the hard way, several months after seeing my bank account go from fat to smaller by the day, I came to a tough realization. It’s not enough to just want more money or to see people do something and want to do it too. One must ask the tough questions of life:
Why start a side hustle, anyway?
As in, “Why am I doing this?”(not me, you.) Well, me too, hahaha. I know you get it!
When one gets it right, this question opens a new world for growth, progress, service, and fulfillment that money alone cannot buy.
Ever wondered why people talk about being content with what they have?
It’s not because you have enough; although that may be a part of it. Being content is a position of gratitude, knowing that what you offer the world does not match the money or recognition you get.
Contentment comes from knowing clearly why you do the things you do. Being content and knowing your why does not mean you settle for less or become complacent in the face of change. Rather, you go about life with bold steps, knowing too well that each step counts towards a journey fulfilling your deepest, truest sense of being in this world.
As I go about this new phase of my life, I am intentionally introducing this question to everything I do. From raising my children and building my business to fulfilling my job responsibilities. “Why am I doing this?” pops up every time.
Over to you:
Starting now, from reading this, building your business, posting on social media, starting a new family, moving jobs, ask yourself the one million dollar question: why am I doing this? Why do I want to start a side hustle?
And take time to really listen to the answers that come from the silence of your being. Go deeper into your why. Experts call it the seven layers deep and discover for yourself the finer details of what really makes you tick. In another post, I shall share how the seven layers of deep work.
Till next time, always remember:
Great businesses come from a deep desire to make a difference in the world and positively impact your customers. What drives you?