The 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?
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
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
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
- 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?
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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