Side Hustle Sambas: Seeking Happiness in My Work-Life Balance

As an aging millennial, I know what it’s like to have a side hustle. The first rule of side hustling? If the money seems too easy, then it’s probably too easy.

As an aging millennial in what feels like a crazy economy, I know what it’s like to have to hustle. Side hustles are ubiquitous in this day and age. Even people who have high-paying jobs are often looking for a side hustle to help make ends meet. It’s not uncommon for people to have more than one job even if they’re already in a dual income home. It’s just the nature of the beast and the world that we live in.

I’ve had side hustles for years and I finally feel like I’m getting to the point where I’m starting to make a lot of money.

The first rule of side hustling? If the money seems too easy, then it’s probably too easy.

This includes things like cryptocurrency or NFT get rich schemes. I’m not an authority on crypto by any means, but it’s a unregulated market and that means that frauds abound. If you want a really great in depth video on it, watch Line Goes Up by Dan Olson. It’s a long video, but definitely worth a watch. Or if you want someone who’s invested in the space, but still points out the scams within it, Coffeezilla is an entertaining watch.

This also includes MLMs. If someone comes at you with the chance to “own your own business”, but it’s multi-level marketing? Run. John Oliver has a great breakdown on MLMs, but as someone who was suckered by them when I was in university… R U N.

So if there isn’t a way to get rich quick like this, then how do you do it? I can’t speak for everyone. Some people are able to take an idea and turn it into a million dollars. Some people, like me, are more comfortable working for different companies and finding the right ones that value my labour. Others, like my friend Diel, are going out and creating their own businesses from scratch and eventually making bank doing so.

The problem then becomes burnout. If I’m working 60 hours weeks right now to afford the same level of living that my mom could afford on one parent’s salary, then… do I bump it up to 80 hour weeks if I have the opportunity? What’s the trade off between quality of life through financial security and quality of life based on time? It’s tempting to want to put as much time as I can to make money while I’m still (relatively) young and then coast off of that when I’m older, but I worry too about missing out on fun while I’m young enough to enjoy it.

And then there’s burnout. I’m no stranger to being exhausted, I find that it comes and goes in waves. I want to make it so I can balance my work and personal life, but that’s getting harder to do as costs creep up and work responsibilities expand.

So how am I going to manage it? This is going to be an experiment for me to be honest. I don’t want to give up what I’ve got, but I also don’t want to have my mental health suffer. So here are the things that I’m going to try until the end of the summer. We’ll see if I can make this all work.

Keep Sundays sacred

This probably seems pretty basic, but I’m going to make sure that I don’t work on Sundays. I’ll even try to avoid having chores on Sundays if I can manage it (after this week. I’m totally breaking this rule this week). While I’m not particularly religious, keeping Sundays for recharging and doing what I want should make it easier on me to not burn out during the week.

Make a loose schedule

I’ve tried making strict schedules before and it’s never worked for me. So instead, I’m going to keep things loose. Instead of working for X company from 9 to 12 and then Y company from 1 to 4, I’m going to just make a big block of time that says “WORK”. Whatever company needs the priority or wherever my attention goes, I’ll let it wander. It just has to be a work schedule.

Move during lunch time

I don’t eat breakfast or lunch, but it’s still good to carve out that time for myself. When lunch hits, I need to move. Whether that’s working out with my Switch or going for a long walk to the library, it doesn’t matter. I just need to move. 5 days a week, no exceptions.

Write down priorities

This might seem like the most basic thing to do, but the problem was that I used to be really good at organizing my responsibilities. The more that I have to do for different companies, the more confusing it can get. I’m going to make sure that I’ve got nothing left like that and things don’t get left by the wayside.

We’ll have to see how this all works out in the end. Maybe I’ll crash and burn, but maybe I’ll be able to make things work. Fingers crossed for the latter. I’ll check in once a month and see how we’re doing.

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