Financial Freedom

Are Side Hustles Worth It?

In this day and age “Side Hustles” are all the rage. Believe me, I’ve had more than my fair share. Some good, some not so successful.

My opinion, which will surprise many people, is that they are not worth it.

Seriously.pexels-photo-583846

It is better to focus on your full time job and grow that into something better, than to always scramble for extra money on the side. If you are in a dead end job, the goal should be to take control of that and make a change.

You see, a laser-focused mind is both extremely powerful and at peace. A scattered mind is stressed and ineffective. When you are spinning too many plates, your primary job performance will suffer, and you will miss out on the long term rewards of growing your career. You may be able to convince yourself otherwise, claiming that the responsibilities don’t bleed into one another, but that is not the truth.

I will add a caveat: If there is something you love to do, and would be doing it anyway as a hobby, there is nothing wrong with making a fun business venture out of it.  For example, I am a writer, even though it is not my full time job. I’ve published a few books that a lot of people have enjoyed. It is a passion of mine that has been amazing and fulfilling. The import thing is to make sure you are not putting undue pressure on yourself. Be certain you are not taking anything away from the priority of doing well in your career, or running your company.

Such priority matters, because a singular focus is how important stuff gets done. One of the things that really irks me is that so many social media ads make you think you need to be hustling and networking constantly. Oh, and by the way, the experts in those ads will teach you how to become rich . . . . they’ll show you how to hustle other people into paying you to teach them the same thing. It’s the ultimate pyramid scheme.

I actually had a man come up to me at a Barnes & Noble, while I was browsing for books, and trick me into a conversation that ultimately led to an invite to “come see his mentor” and “learn to get rich.” When it was clear that I wasn’t going to bite, he simply turned on his heel and walked away. Creepy? Yes. But also sad, because I knew “his mentor” was preying on people’s deep desire to find some secret shortcut to wealth. But that shortcut doesn’t exist. Sure, there are lottery winners, figuratively speaking. But banking on lottery-like odds is not a solid financial freedom plan.

What about multiple streams of income? Isn’t that a cornerstone of financial freedom?

Yes. But passive income is the goal—not expending massive amounts of your precious time and energy for a little extra. Those multiple streams should come from things like investing in index funds, or an options trading plan.

If you need some extra oomph in your current finances, there is more payoff in using your energy to find ways to spend less. Also, reading books to improve your knowledge and skills is a good use of time without piling on stress.

You may be asking, “But what if I start a business on the side and it takes off? Or I invent the next big iPhone app?” That’s fair. If it’s something you are passionate about, you can certainly give it a shot! You just have to be REALISTIC about the probabilities, and it should not be thought of as part of your financial freedom journey.

Remember, good financial plans are based on highly probable outcomes. While lottery tickets are . . . . well, lottery tickets.

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