The best way to deal with a problem, is to first admit you have one. I think I have a problem: I’m addicted to side hustling.
Now, one might be thinking, “what’s wrong with that?” Nothing really on the surface, but I’ve noticed that side hustling is not just a want lately, but something I feel compelled to do. Big difference between the two.
Why is the belief so deeply ingrained?
Last week when I was talking to my financial coach Shannon about my financial roadmap for 2016, I mentioned that my goal was just to save like crazy. Then I pointed out that I left no room in my budget for wants. She seemed concerned that I might be a little financially uptight (she is probably right) and that I should allocate some money to make my life happier/a little easier…or who cares! It’s none of your business what it’s for.
For the first time in a long time I felt relieved, like I had permission to spend. Yay! But then Ruth from Prudence Debt-Free had pointed out in a comment,” I hope you are able to resist lifestyle inflation now that your income is up.”
She’s right. That thought crossed my mind that, “what if I buy something and it becomes a slippery slope?” Geez, a little financially bi-polar much?
Along the lines of slippery slopes comes side hustles, and why I feel compelled to keep hustling my butt off.
Before I started freelancing over seven years ago, I was a complacent full time worker, who wandered merrily through life without giving any serious thought to my finances. When it was Friday at 5:30, my work was done, and I did whatever the hell I wanted until Monday (including some unnecessary spending).
As many of you know, when I was laid off in 2008, I spent
one two three years sort of waiting for work to come to me. I had no concept of side hustling, side jobs, or side anything. I was leftover from an era where you worked one job, and enjoyed life.
It wasn’t until around the time I started my blog in 2012, that I picked up on the concept, and realized I could earn extra income from totally random jobs in between my bigger projects for video editing. And if you think it’s for peanuts, think again. Last year I earned over 13k from side hustles.
So what’s the issue then?
Downtime. I’m barely giving myself any. I always feel like I need to be doing something “productive,” especially with my blog. If I let myself, I could easily work a 12-hour day on my blog, and still have 8 million other things I’d like to be doing to improve pins, video, layout, design, etc.
Although I’m fairly good about daily balance (making sure I make time for exercise every day and not staying up too late), I’m not good about having a full day off. To be lo-fi (any activity that doesn’t involve electronics) instead of wi-fi, which I think is really important to our overall well-being.
It’s like I’m afraid, as Ruth pointed out with spending, that if I give myself a break, then I will slip into complacency mode once again and become lazy, or indifferent.
Even this past weekend, my friend and fellow blogger Arman wanted to meet me for lunch. The mere thought that I would be gone from my apartment (aka productivity) for approximately two hours (three with LA traffic) made me squirm. Crazy right? No one was holding a gun to my head to make me “work.” I should be happy someone wants to spend some time with me chatting, and catching up on life.*
There are lots of movies made about the type of person I’ve kind of become. You’ve seen it where the one character is a workaholic and they meet the total opposite of themselves…the kind of person who is carefree and has never had a Facebook account and somehow they are blissfully happy. In the end, it’s always that person who converts the workaholic versus the other way around. Maybe there is a little something to that, eh?
So I’m not sure what the solution is, and I’m not sure why I’m afraid to ease up, but I’m bound and determined to figure out what I need to do do truly give myself permission to back off a little and enjoy life. It’s bad enough tax season is coming up and I’ll be spending most of February prepping for that.
I can’t say I will miss doing freelance taxes.
Do you have a problem stepping away and not hustling so hard when you don’t need to hustle?
*BTW Arman if you’re reading this I’m glad I took the time to hang out with you!