The Dark Side of Side Hustling


Dark Side of Side Hustling

“Having multiple income streams is great but it comes at a price.  It can be quite addictive and time consuming.  You can easily lose focus of what’s most important.

-Peerless Money Mentor

Revisiting The Dark Side

In my Rockstar featured post The Dark Side of Greatness, I wrote about the importance of spending quality time  with your family.  I shared a lesson I learned from hearing Tyriq’s Farid story on Guy Raz’s How I Built This podcast.

Guy Raz spent so much time building his business that he neglected his wife and children.  As a result of his neglect, his first wife left him.  In the end, he ends up regretting the lack of time spent with his wife and children.

His business went on to become incredibly successful but he paid a heavy price for its success.

The lesson learned was that we should try to spend more time with our families while achieving our money goals.  This is a lesson I have failed miserably at since writing that post.  How hypocritical of me!

Who are some of the culprits to blame for this lack of time spent with family and friends?

  1. Swagbucks
  2. Ubering
  3. Blogging


When searching for side hustles to increase my income, the first opportunity I stumbled upon was Swagbucks.  I spent a lot of time taking surveys and passively watching videos.

When I went to Miami with a group of friends last year, I was not fully present at times.  Instead of socializing with the group, I would spend some of my precious vacation time taking surveys.

After finishing my survey, I would say, “Guys, I just made a dollar from taking this 20 minute survey!”

I was wasting my time with Swagbucks.  If you are trying to expedite your path to financial freedom, pick another side hustle!

The second side hustle I tried was Uber.

See Related Post: Money I’ve Made From Reading Finance Blogs


Dark Side of Side Hustling

I started driving for Uber last year as a way to supplement my income.  It has been quite and adventure and I have written about some of the fascinating things  I have learned from Uber passengers.

On average, I drive 15-20 hours per week.  I mostly pickup business passengers from the Baton Rouge airport.  During the week, I sometimes pickup passengers after getting off from my government job.

It can be incredibly tiring at times. Eventually, I would like to pivot away from Ubering and focus more on freelance writing and blogging.


As I am writing this article, I am cognizant of the fact blogging could be considered a side hustle.  For me, I consider it a project I am working on to help others improve their financial literacy and an outlet to express ideas.

However, consuming, creating, and marketing content takes time.  I probably spend more time than necessary consuming content.  Every day, the first thing on my to-do list is to read every finance article featured on Rockstar.

After work and in between Uber runs, I usually listen to personal finance and business podcasts.  Hours can pass by without me noticing it, especially if I am listening to Do You Even Blog :-).

To be honest, I do not even know how much time I spend on blogging.  Maybe I should track that!

What I do know is this:

Blogging in addition to Ubering can sometimes leaves me little time left for those who matters most.  It can leave them feeling neglected and rightfully so.

Acknowledgement of Neglect

Within the past year, I have lost a relationship due to my side hustle addiction.  Instead of focusing on improving my relationship, I was more focused on increasing my page views.

While I do not have any kids of my own, I have a Godson who turns 10 in August.

When my sister texted me earlier this year saying I needed to spend more time with my Godson, my reply was, “I have to work.”

Maybe if I spent more time focused on increasing my main income, I wouldn’t have to work so much!  Or I could simply be a better godfather.

Career vs. Career + Side Hustling

My main source of income is my government job; 80% of my income comes from there.  Lately I have been questioning whether I should be spending more time focusing on my career, instead of blogging and Ubering.

It’s not like I have totally neglected career advancement.  A couple months ago I interviewed for a position in the IT department.  After interviewing, rumors circulated around the office that there was a high probability I would be offered the job.

However, a few weeks later I was told that the position had been given to someone else.  While it was frustrating, I know other opportunities will present themselves.  I just have to keep putting myself out there.

In the meantime, I will keep focusing on developing in-demand skills!

Plan Moving Forward

My plan is to pivot away from doing Uber during the week.  With my car loan being paid off next month along with some personal loans, this should help free up some time to focus more on improving my  writing skills and learning other in-demand skills

Skills such as JavaScript, CSS, search engine optimization, etc.  These are skills I have seen people learn and monetize later.

Another idea I had in mind was to wake up earlier.  If I wake up at 5:30 AM each morning and knock some things off my to-do list, that will free up more of my time in the evenings.  Some of that time could be spent with family and friends!

[2019 Update: I have pivoted away from doing Uber completely.  It was too much wear and tear on my car.]


While side hustling can help you reach your money goals sooner rather than later, it can be very time consuming.  Your significant other, family, and friends will feel neglected if you are spending all your time blogging, driving, content marketing, etc.

More than likely, your significant other or family will let you know that you have been missing in action.  Pay attention to the warning signs.  Steer clear of the dark side.  Be better than me!

Loved Ones > Financial Independence

Community Feedback

  • What are some of your side hustles?
  • How do you balance work with spending quality time with your family and friends?
  • What are your thoughts on the career vs. side hustle debate?
  • Bloggers, how much time do you spend consuming content each week?
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Author: Jerry

Jerry is a Business Insider Contributing Writer who is obsessed with personal finance. He believes you can improve your financial situation by applying principles taught by the financial independence community to your financial life.

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21 thoughts on “The Dark Side of Side Hustling

  1. Nobody’s better than you. Remember that.

    I really appreciated this one. Side hustling can be a great opportunity or a waste of time. It’s really up to each of us to figure that out for ourselves. These day’s time is my biggest constraint and stuff like Swagbucks never had any appeal.

    The most important thing is to find balance. If spending time with your godson is your #1 priority, don’t pass on it for a few extra dollars in your investment account. If paying off a high-interest loan is your #1 goal, by all means, side hustle away.

    Finding your own balance is incredibly difficult but I’m sure you will get there. Good luck.
    Jason@WinningPersonalFinance recently posted…A Year of Winning Personal Finance: 40+ Incredible Success StoriesMy Profile

  2. Appreciate this! It’s a hard place to navigate. While I know for a fact my family feels neglected sometimes, they are also my “why” because of what the income from a side hustle can do for us. The season of building the hustle is incredibly hard. Keep the faith- we’ll get there!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Misty! I hope you and the family are doing well.

      Yes, it can be a very difficult place to navigate. In the end, I believe side hustling will pay off. I just have to do a better job of achieving some kind of balance.

      Thanks for the ecouragement!
      jobrown2787 recently posted…The Dark Side of Side HustlingMy Profile

  3. Can I be honest and say that you NEED a balance. period. although being financially free is great, your time is worth more. Make sure you enjoy your days.

    Much luck to you


  4. Earning more in your main career is always great (the larger your salary the larger your % increases are) but it too can come at a cost if you aren’t careful.

    Try to schedule time in advance with your friends and family. Put it in the calendar and give it the importance it deserves…like you would a business meeting or an Uber pickup. And think of what you are ‘earning’ when you spend time with them. Remind yourself that those earnings are more important in the long run. You’ll figure it out!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

      Very valid point. If I redirect all the time I spend on side hustling to focus on my main career, that won’t solve my problem.

      I like the idea of scheduling time with family! Last week I took a look at some kid friendly events in my area that I could take my Godson to.

      I’ll pick some events and put them on my calendar!
      jobrown2787 recently posted…The Dark Side of Side HustlingMy Profile

  5. gotta have some “me” time and down time too. burned out isn’t good for anybody. at least the blogging has skill building potential for your future. it’s good you recognized what was going on. it’s not always that easy to see. overtime was always a great side hustle when it’s available and optional. 1.5x. cal wrote about it on once.
    freddy smidlap recently posted…Good Eats for Cheap #2 – Grilled Cabbage SaladMy Profile

  6. This is a great post. Concern about neglecting my family has actually held me back a little. I try to carve out time for blogging but it is soooo much work and I feel like I’m only taking baby steps. In order to grow exponentially I really need to increase the time I spend working on my blog, but I’m not willing to give up watching my son’s soccer game or my daughter’s track race, etc.

    When push comes to shove my family always comes first. I’ve never heard of anyone on their deathbed wishing they had spent more time at work instead of with their family. It might take me a little longer to reach my goals this way but kids are only young once and I’m not willing to miss out on their childhood.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Mike! Yes, blogging can be so much work. I find the the writing part is easy but there is so much other work to be done.

      You definitely shouldn’t give up those activities! What race does your daughter run? I ran the 800, mile and 2 mile in high school.

      1. She’s starting high school in the fall. In middle school she ran the 800 and the mile. My younger daughter just started last year too but missed most of the year with a bum foot. Track/cross country are great sports and it really gets them into shape.

        1. That’s awesome! Hopefully your younger daughter remains healthy for the upcoming year. Do you do any running yourself? At the end of this month, I will be participating in a 5K run.

  7. Great post! Its a hard balance to strike. I often feel like I can do more with my blog of I spent more time on it but my kids and marriage have to be my top priority. So I am building much more slowly than I would like. Money isn’t everything and its hard to remember that sometimes.

  8. Great post, quality of life matters most. May I suggest trying side hustles that involve your family members? Rich Dad, Poor Dad stuff.

    Years ago, I volunteered to be on the Youth Sports and marketing committee at the local YMCA. I don’t have any kids, but knew my marketing background would help them. While involved, I learned they needed refs for youth sports. I offered to volunteer but they said it was a paid position (minimum wage). I ran up and down the soccer fields for hours on the weekend, got back in shape, and spent time helping the kids (and parents LOL) become better at sportsmanship, etc. There might be opportunities for you to find paid work that involves things your family is interested in, etc.

    When I was younger, my parents did the flee market thing after they retired. They took us to garage sales, they bought stuff, and then sold it during the weekend at a big flee market. We helped them load the car, setup, and sell stuff. It was fun talking to the people at the flee market. My parents had “regular customers” that asked for specific items week after week; mostly immigrants looking for small appliances for their communities. They made thousands of dollars and I learned a lot about business and money in the process.

    Another thing I’m passionate about is controlling my time and that’s why I love “recurring revenue” or “income stacking” – spend time once, upfront, and get paid over and over. The time away from your family diminishes over time but the income keeps coming in although you are spending less time on it. I wrote a post about recurring revenue opportunities we use now; always looking for more. Here’s the link for anyone interested:

    I hope this helps. Again, great post – thanks for sharing.
    Greg recently posted…DIY One Month of Free Groceries Per YearMy Profile

  9. Nice post, Jerry! I find myself thinking about the value of side hustles more and more lately. On the one hand, I feel like I have every reason to focus on them now—being young and unmarried means all the more time and freedom to pursue side gigs. But, as you pointed out, it’s not necessarily the most meaningful investment of time. Definitely looking to strike a better balance and invest just as much in my relationships.
    Joyce @ Financial Impulse recently posted…The Boomerang Generation: Living at Home & Saving MoneyMy Profile

    1. Hello Joyce,

      Thanks for stopping by to read and comment! As a young and unmarried person, I can relate to that! It is the perfect time for me to front load the sacrifice, right?

      I’ll definitely continue to side hustle a bit, but my current focus is only doing higher paid side hustles like freelance writing and social media management. The ultimate goal is to make more but work less!


    1. Hello Duncan,

      Thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, they require a lot of dedication. While I still do side hustles, I have been more selective lately. I only do high-value side hustles or ones that I think are super fun.

      I’m looking forward to checking out your blog! Enjoy your weekend.


  10. I feel your pain Jerry. It’s extremely difficult to balance the drive to make your hustle a success with a “normal” life doing the things that are important outside of the hustle.

    We’re often told you have to be single minded and driven to make a business successful. The downside is that important relationships suffer as a result. Sadly I don’t have the answer as I’m still trying to find the balance myself.

    1. Hello Paul,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment. I am glad someone else can relate to what I’ve experienced. Although I still struggle from time to time, I have gotten better at giving my family members and significant other my undivided attention.


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