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Repeat after me: What I focus on will become my future

They all said get a side hustle. It will be easy, they said. Yet, no one thought to mention how easy it is for that side hustle to completely take over you life. But thats exactly what happened to me. Here’s how…

 

A side hustle can be great for paying off debt, learning new skills and meeting new people. But it's not always a good thing if you're not careful.

A side hustle can be great for paying off debt, learning new skills and meeting new people. But it’s not always a good thing if you’re not careful.

For as long as I could remember, I’ve been one of the lucky ones amongst my peers in which I’ve always known what I wanted to do with my life. It was simple. I’d write for national and local publications, make some money from my blog and my name will be recognized and synonymous with insightful perspectives in my writing. And I got some of that right. What I didn’t account for was the amount of student loan debt I’d be swimming in.

So I did what all the pros said I should do. I got a side hustle and then quickly got another one. Neither one of them stayed simply side hustles for long. One of them became an extension of my career and the other took away from my career, family and the person I was meant to be. Of course, I didn’t notice it until I was too far gone because I was blinded by the money.

It may sound crazy, but there is definitely such thing as easy money. And it can get addicting. However, it’s not always a good a thing. When you run a blog that talks about money so much, it’s easy to think that it’s all about the money. But it’s not. The problem all started because I began to master my side hustle, which in hindsight, was worse than I thought.

I was good at my side hustle. Actually, I was REALLY good at my side hustle.  So good that I kept getting more and more opportunities. They offered me more money. Of course, I said yes. I thought I’d be a fool to say no. I mean, who says no to easy money?

Could you blame me? It had all the perks of a side hustle without the hustle. Flexible hours, fun, and money on a schedule. What it didn’t have was something that offered me purpose and fulfillment like my writing does. Yet, it didn’t take long for this easy gig to go from weekend work to Monday, Wednesday, Friday work to literally every day work.

As I mentioned before. I got blinded by the money and the fact that it was a side hustle without the hustle. As much as I loved writing for magazines, I was getting tired of the hustle. Constantly having to push myself, promote and kiss up can get tiring y’all. So when the opportunity came to make more money without the work, I jumped at it.

I jumped in so deep that I was barely working on my blog, community service, pole dancing or pitching publications. What’s worse is the side hustle was beginning to make me frustrated which I was taking out on my family. I didn’t even notice it or how it happened. I knew that I was making more money and I was happy about that. But I didn’t notice how unhappy I was becoming and how unfulfilled I was in the process.

You ever look around, examine your world and wonder how you get there? Or you ever find yourself in a place you can no longer recognize. And once you realize you are somewhere you aren’t supposed to be, you have no idea where to go? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. One day I woke up, I had no idea who I was or where I was and I wasn’t even sure how to get out of it. And I was disappointed in myself for letting myself get to that point.

Despite how much time I was dedicating to this side hustle, I didn’t realize that I lost sight of my intentions and myself until I was going through my to do list one day. I had eight items listed and six of them were in relation to my side hustle. Only two had anything to do with what I considered my career and purpose.

The problem was really actually simple. I was dedicating so much time to this side hustle that I lost myself in it. However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew exactly what I was doing when they said they’d offered me more responsibilities and dangled some dollar bills in front of my face. I knew I was chasing the money. But what I didn’t know was that chasing the money was taking me a way from my heart and sole.

That’s exactly what happens when you lose focus. Instead of focusing on the love of writing and making a difference, I focused on the money. And money is the only thing I got out of that situation. Had I not gotten so caught up in the hustle, remembered how much I loved what I did and focused on the difference I could make in my family’slife, I never would have ended up head deep into a side hustle I really didn’t care so much for.   I focused on excelling on my side hustle because the money came with it and a life full of side hustle crap is what resulted. It really should have come as no surprise that dancing or writing didn’t take off like I thought it had. I wasn’t focusing on it and I didn’t set terms to the side hustle before I started.

Don’t end up like me. I admit that it was a lot easier for me to get lost in my side hustle because I already have a flexible yet risky career. It’s not surprising that I got a tad fed up with the hustle and went to something that seemed a bit easier and money SEEMED to come effortlessly. However, this can happen to someone with a “stable” full-time job also. Maybe you’re  a trained interior designer and you picked up a job cleaning homes instead because the money came easier. Or perhaps you started out as a basketball coach and found yourself doing the accounting for a college part time instead because the hustle to become a big time coach was becoming too daunting. That shift from what you want to do to what you think you need to do or simply fell into can happen to the best of us.

The trick is to remember why you started. Don’t focus on how tiring your chosen career is and don’t focus on the money. Instead, focus on the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s a reason why some people succeed at paying of all their debt and others don’t and there’s a reason why some people become professional singers while others end up in completely different careers. And there’s a reason why some people pick up side hustles and then suddenly turn their side hustle into their main gig.  Simply put, what you focus on becomes your future. So if you suddenly find yourself in a position you never expected, look to your focus. You’ll most likely find the answer there. And if you don’t like the answer, it’s never too late to shift your focus. Lastly, if you side hustle is not your main goal, remember to make a schedule and to do it on your terms, not someone else’s.

Have you ever gotten too caught up in a side hustle or job?

TERRIfic Quip – Don’t let the process punk you out of the promise.

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Written by Terri

    15 Comments

  1. Sheena Steward January 24, 2018 at 9:08 am Reply

    Oh wow!!! This was good. Thanks so much for being so open and sharing all of this with us. I’m glad you noticed what was going on and made adjustments.

  2. Nanekia Ansari January 24, 2018 at 10:16 am Reply

    Thanks for the honesty! I’m sure everyone goes into the side hustle with the best intentions then BOOM you’ve got conflicting hustles. Good Luck to you!

  3. Danasia Fantastic January 24, 2018 at 9:47 pm Reply

    That was an awesome read and you beautifully wrote why side hustles can consume us if we’re not careful. Easy money is cool, but if it’s taking away from our passions, we gotta let it go.

    • Terri January 25, 2018 at 7:08 pm Reply

      Thanks so much! Yes, it’s crazy how easy money ultimately ended up being the worst thing that happened in this situation. However, I’m happy I learned a valuable lesson about following my passion.

  4. Crystal Nicole January 25, 2018 at 12:18 pm Reply

    Thank you for sharing! This is me right now. Being a business owner who is also a lowkey workaholic, it has become easy to be consumed by it all. Definitely have to remind myself to take a step back when necessary.
    Crystal Nicole recently posted…This Has Changed My LifeMy Profile

    • Terri January 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm Reply

      Yes, take care of yourself and hold on to your dreams. Don’t let the hustle consume your life.

  5. Mimi Green January 25, 2018 at 9:39 pm Reply

    I have been down this road, but it wasn’t for the money. I got lost in a hustle and then realized I hated the very thing I once loved. I ended up shutting it down, and I felt a strong weight lifted off of my shoulders. The test came when people would ask for orders when I felt good about saying I no longer do shoes. I knew I made the right decision.
    Mimi Green recently posted…Have You Seen All This Black Magic On My TV?My Profile

  6. Carissa January 26, 2018 at 7:41 am Reply

    This is awesome!!! I feel the same way about blogging now and I’m trying to take the pressure off myself and do it on my own terms versus instead of being influenced by others. I don’t want to shut down completely but it’s been a thought
    Carissa recently posted…Sister! Sister {Featuring Spektrum Eyeglasses}!My Profile

  7. Elle (CleverlyChanging) January 26, 2018 at 8:40 am Reply

    It sounds like you became a slave to the money. I’m sure many people from your audience can relate to this. Hopefully many of us will see the writing on the wall, like you did.

  8. Ola January 26, 2018 at 10:56 am Reply

    I TOTALLY get how you got lost in your side hustle. As a self-proclaimed go-getter I know it’s easy to do. But as satisfying as it might be to pursue the things you love, understanding the value of BALANCE and learning to be content, really help me.

  9. Kita January 27, 2018 at 12:39 pm Reply

    This was so real and so important. My online business is my main source of income however I realized how lost I was in it. Now I set limits and take vacation as I would in any traditional job.

  10. Antoinette Cain January 28, 2018 at 2:17 pm Reply

    This is an eye-opener. This can happen very easily. Kudos to you for nipping it in the bud.

  11. Sanaa Brooks January 28, 2018 at 8:43 pm Reply

    So darn true! OMG! Sometimes I get so lost in work that I have to take a few steps back and remember my kid needs attention too. I’ll be in the middle of screaming “omg what do you want now, you just called me five seconds ago” and go from screaming to hugging her because it clicks that sometimes she just wants a hug. Lol Sometimes we DO let our extras get the best of us and forget about what’s really important.

  12. Kim January 31, 2018 at 8:41 pm Reply

    Thank you for writing this. I do not want to get to that place. I know how crazy it will make me.

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