IT'S TIME TO UNLEASH THE SIDE HUSTLE
On Making Your Thing
Into Your Actual Thing
Can we talk for a moment about passion projects and side hustles doing your one true thing? So many people are stuck at the crossroads of “This is OK and I can do it and make money and it’ll be fine” + “This is what I’d love to do, this is my thing, but maybe it won’t make any money”.
We’re told to do what we love, and the money will follow. We’re told to keep our love as a hobby so we don’t kill the love, and make some money because if you’re utterly broke you won’t be doing the thing you love anyway.
It’s a personal call, one that’s usually made depending on the circumstances.
I’m not making any judgements on which path you take, you have to do what’s right for you wherever you are at that time. In the last 8 years of being in business online, I’ve gone with the love, and made next to no money, and I’ve gone with the logical choice, made money, then felt deeply resentful at the lack of love. Your choice is more complicated than “Do the thing you love”.
In my case, I took the “do what you love” path when my husband had a job with dependable income and benefits. I had a safety net. When suddenly I was the sole breadwinner, logic and cash steered my path. Doing What You Love went out the window. There was no safety net, and I didn’t allow myself to waiver from my mission: make money. Keep going. Repeat.
But then you find that you have made yourself a J-O-B with a tyrant boss who makes you feel guilty for leaving the house because you have So Much Work. When you wake up one day and realize that maybe you’re not 100% miserable, but you sure as hell aren’t happy, then it’s time for some serious realignment.
There are two ways to do this, the drastic and the gradual. The drastic involves Just Doing It. One day you move all your offerings and expertise sideways and start doing something else. You jump in with both feet and start telling people, “This is what I do now”. This takes extreme confidence in your ability to make it work, or a safety net of some sort – be it family or day job or other – or both.
The gradual approach usually gets called The Side Hustle. It’s something you start while you still do your main thing. The idea is that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and you don’t walk away from the thing that’s working, to start on something which may take forever, and may still fail. The problem with thinking of it as a side hustle, is that it makes it last on your priority list and trivializes it before you’ve even begun.
As an entrepreneur you wear so many freaking hats, or you’re busy passing all the hats around, it’s hard to make the commitment to something else. And if that something else is your real WHY, your real reason for getting up every day, then strangely, that makes it harder, not easier to follow through. If we keep our passion projects in our heads, then they can never fail, right? We won’t ever know how it really feels to try to put ourselves out there and have no-one care.
It’s easier not to do it. Not to try and not to fail. But when you have a nagging feeling that something isn’t right, that you’re missing out on being the real you, then something has to change. If you somehow wonder how you got to where you are today when you spent most of your life wanting to do something else, then you have to decide that your time is now.
If you don’t start your thing, then you will never start your thing, and your thing won’t happen. Obvious, right? And yet, we try and trick ourselves with elaborate procrastination. When my business is successful, then I’ll do it. When the kids are in school, then I’ll do it. When I’ve lost 20lbs and can get some gorgeous photos taken, then I’ll do it. When we’ve found a new house with space for an office, then I’ll do it.
Here’s the thing, if you want to do this, if you NEED to do this, then you have to make the time to actually do it. I’ve spent the best part of the last two years building up one business, but every day that I don’t sidestep into embracing everything I love and want to do in the world, is a day when the window of opportunity for building a business I truly adore closes a little more.
I don’t know about you, but I want to truly love love love what I do every day. I’m not living in cloud cuckoo land, I know that building a business is hard, hard work. But I want to go into every single day excited that I get to do this.
It’s time. It’s time to unleash the side hustle. Let’s champion the passion project, that thing you do or that thing you dream of doing. Let’s make it freaking real.