I love side hustling and think everyone should do it. Yeah, you hear that? Peer pressure! Everyone should do it! It’s boosted my income, my confidence, and my network. Recently I wrote about the unexpected benefits of side hustling, but today I’d like to illuminate some of the downsides. You might not see them right away as the excitement of extra work comes your way; but for all great things, there are some sacrifices to be made.
Weekends Don’t Exist
I should be really happy that it’s Friday. TGIF, right?! But to side hustlers, it’s just another day. More often than not, it’s a transition from one’s “real job”, to their side hustle. I do all my work on nights and weekends, and try to get as much done as possible on the weekend. Working six or seven days a week can be hard; your days start to run together, and it can be difficult to take time for yourself.
Spending More on Convenience
Last month I went out to eat far too many times. It’s easy to justify if you are running from one gig to the next and don’t have time to stop at home. It’s easy to justify if you don’t have a car, or a dishwasher, and let’s face it, it IS easier to spend $5 on dinner. I can say the same for transportation. Generally I bike most places. However, with the weather and being so tired, I’ve opted for paying for the bus or Car2Go out of convenience.
You Owe More
Working more and making more money means you owe more! This year was the first year I’ve owed to the government. Getting serious about side hustling and making more money requires you to really look at your tax situation, so you don’t get yourself in a pickle.
Thriving on Less Sleep
There are only so many hours in a day and if you are a hustler like me, you need to utilize every minute. This might mean writing outlines for blog posts on my lunch break, answering emails on the bus, or waking up early to finish a project. Lately, I’ve felt what it’s like to be consistently tired. It’s not a good feeling, and it’s not good for your health. Coffee isn’t working and even if I sleep 6 or 8 hours, it still doesn’t feel like enough. You might create a ‘new normal’ for you and get used to it, but I’d also be mindful of this so that your work doesn’t suffer and end up costing you money.
Being a Bad Friend/Partner
This one is the toughest for me.
Last year, the infamous GMD came to Portland and I missed her. Why? Because I was working! I was so bummed to miss out on this opportunity, but I was scheduled for a well-paying, long-term side hustle. More recently, I’ve had to say no to helping a friend move, and missing out on a farewell party to friends leaving for China for 7 months.
That felt really shitty.
I don’t want to be that girl; the friend who is always “so busy” to do anything and so unreachable. I want to be there for my friends when they need me. If I don’t start saying yes, or initiating contact, soon enough people won’t invite me places.
I also want to be present in my relationship. I don’t want all my time spent with my partner to be around dinner, dishes, rent, or laundry. That’s terribly unsexy.
Ultimately, I’d like to feel more balanced with my job, side hustles, relationships and personal time. Side hustling is great, but there are things to consider when giving up your free time.
Do you have any others you’d add to the list? How do you deal with the downsides of side hustling?