Having one source of income is something I know well. I’ve lived it for many years and so have many of you reading this.
Over the last few years, I’ve moved away from this lifestyle in the search for a different way of living. I thought about having a job and doing a side hustle and two paths that could co-exist beautifully like a marriage that has lasted 20+ years.
Through experimentation, I think I’ve found a balance between having a job and a side hustle. I’m going to make a case to do both and explain the benefits of each in really simple terms using my own experience and the experience of many of my friends who’ve done the same.
I believe that the joining together of a regular job and a side hustle, when done right, could be the future of work.
The pillar of a job.
I see having a job as the pillar to it all.
That job can be working for someone else or even running your own startup.
The benefits of having a job are as follows:
- A connection to other human beings
- The office environment
- A place to commute to while listening to podcasts or reading
- An escape from the normality of the home office
The thought that you do your side hustle 24/7 seems as though it would be the ultimate fantasy. Having played with this lifestyle, I found that it was easy to get lazy, become bored of your home, feel lonely and get stuck in a never-ending set of success habits with everything at your fingertips.
Working in an office each day adds variety. An office has new people coming in and out and has a whole other world that is different, in a good way, from home. The very limitations of an office can often be conducive to work. There’s normally no TV, iPad, gym, couch or place for you to go and ‘be comfortable’ while simultaneously pissing your time up against the wall.
One experiment I tried was going to the office of the bank I used to work at on the weekends. It was where I did some of my best work because there was nothing to do other than write or make videos.
The social aspect of work was often something I overlooked. There’s something about coming to work each day and seeing your colleagues, asking about their weekends and sharing in their many life milestones that help make you feel a part of something other than your own selfish goal of freedom/side hustle.
A side hustle can quickly become a disguise for self-obsession and a selfish existence if you’re not careful.
A job is an excellent pillar to get the best of both worlds.
The self-expression and creativity of a side hustle.
My side hustle is blogging and I freaking love it.
It began as an after 5 pm pursuit in the beginning and has since evolved to the working week and even weekends. Often we never set out with the intent of creating a side hustle.
The best side hustles are happy accidents that turn into something more on their own.
The benefits of a side hustle are as follows:
- Time limitations
- The potential for multiple streams of income
- The fun of it
- The online networking
- Making money while you sleep
One of the first realizations I had, when I took a break from a normal job for a while and just did blogging, was that I became lazy and procrastinated.
I actually did more blogging when I had a job than when I didn’t and could focus all of my time on it.
The time limitations of having a job give you a sense of urgency that forces you to do your side hustle work. You constantly have the deadline of your alarm clock that you use to wake you up for work, to remind you that you must bring things to an end.
The temptation with a creative side hustle like blogging is to never finish anything. I remember going back and forth with editors, publications and illustrators for months trying to perfect a blog post.
I ended up firing all of them and doing everything myself so that I wasn’t relying on an external influence to finish my work. The result was over 1000+ blog posts written in a short period of time instead of a few perfect pieces.
Every time I thought I had a perfect project that would win me blogging notoriety, I was wrong.
You can only do the work. Your audience decides the outcome for you and they will pick the weirdest, strangest and most crazy shit to hold up to the light and say ‘This is awesome people!’
Having a side hustle has quadrupled my creative side and allowed me to explore. Just working a 9–5 by itself, made me bored and I always longed for a time when I could be creative, and do something spontaneous or say something crazy.
The normality of a 9–5 on its own can be crippling for a lot of us if a bit of spice is not added, in the form of side hustle goodness.
Side hustles are a fantastic way to get the best of both worlds and have more variety in your life
Bringing the two together.
I’ve explained why having a job or side hustle on its own can lead to issues.
The best advice I can give you is to attempt to get the best of both worlds. That’s why I work 4 days a week in a 9–5 and work on my side hustle during Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
In the future, I’m going to experiment with working 3 days a week in a 9–5, two days working on my blogging side hustle, and one day doing public speaking or face-to-face training.
The exact ratio between a job and a side hustle is not an exact science.
I’d start with having one day out of your Monday-Friday dedicated to a side hustle and then go from there. If that sounds scary as hell, then consider taking one day out of your weekend instead.
What I can tell you is that if you never have a side hustle, you may be missing an entire part of yourself that could give you joy and fulfillment. What I also know is that the digital nomad life of quitting your job can also be a trap.
You can have the best of both worlds. Each has their advantages and disadvantages.
Work is best shaken, stirred and blended in a beautiful cocktail of balance, normality, fun and creativity. Try it.