I hate the term “side hustle” because of the word “hustle”. Hustle implies burnout, low self-care, toxic work environments, and unrelenting standards. Funny enough, Millennials are know as the side hustle generation. (Side bar – I do not enjoy how much our generation gets stereotyped.) I’ve come to terms with the fact that Side Hustles are not for me. But Side Projects? That’s something different. I started this newsletter as a side project in January. It’s something I do in my free time and on the side. And I’m really enjoying it.
🙋🏻♀️ The case for side projects
Side projects can be managed at your own pace, with your own milestones, without any pressure to deliver quick results. It does help to have the luxury of having a full-time job so that you don’t have financial pressure for sure.
A lot of people come up with reasons why they wouldn’t do this. Time constraints is a huge part of it. That is completely fair. For those of you who have a bit of spare time, you’ll still want to make sure you get good with time management because having anything on the side requires some discipline and commitment.
Another big barrier to doing anything on the side is finding something you find fulfilling and meaningful. There are many ways to define fulfilling and meaningful. For me, it’s about (a) growth / learning something new, (b) purpose, and (c) creativity. That led me to start this blog about a topic that is near and dear to my heart, which is integrated leadership and designing positive & inclusive work cultures in the next decade from inside the system (hat tip to Simon Sinek though). I’ve enjoyed 99% of the whole process so far, even though it has taken up a lot of my personal time.
My advice having done this for almost a year is this: Don’t be afraid to try something that brings you fulfillment and meaning, whatever that is for you. It doesn’t have to lead anywhere or become a business. And it doesn’t even have to be “productive” in traditional terms. It can simply be for the joy of learning or practicing something new. Don’t make it a hustle. Don’t make it a burden. Make it a project that sparks joy for you.
👉🏼 Challenge This Week: Start to think about a side project you could start in the next year and keep it genuine! I’ll be sharing some tips for any of you who want to start a personal blog next year – more to come soon.
💆🏻♀️ My Self-Care checklist score this week: 75%.
Full of gratitude,