In today’s world, almost everybody has some sort of side passion. It has become known as a side hustle if there is a way to monetize it. I don’t think anybody actually knows where the term “side hustle” originated, but the idea of having one seems to have grown to a point where it has become an unspoken component people must incorporate into their lives to feel balanced and complete. After all, who likes a person who only focuses on a typical career or one narrow area of life?
Let me just give you my viewpoint on side passions/hustles before I go on to the rest of this post. I believe you should do whatever makes you happy. If having a side passion/hustle doesn’t make you happy, then there is no need to have one. If having a side passion/hustle does make you happy, then have one! Have as many as you want. Simple. Just focus on the area or areas of your life that give you the most joy.
That being said, I know having a side passion/hustle is becoming increasingly popular. It’s already become so popular that there is an influx of articles being posted online on creative side passions/hustles you can most easily and quickly pick up. I’m not here to critique any of that. After all, when I was in college, my primary focus was on my studies…and I had a “side hustle” myself, which as many of you know was writing.
If there is one thing I learned well throughout those years, it was how to balance my side passion/hustle of writing with my college schedule. It was not always an easy thing to do, but I made it work. I decided to write this post, though, because with the modern popularity of side passions/hustles, I have been running into more and more people who don’t know how to find that balance between their side passions/hustles and the rest of their lives. Even more surprising, with all the posts out there offering ideas for creative and easy side passions/hustles, none of them actually provided any information on how to find a balance.
I wanted to provide you with two quick tips on how to find the balance that you are looking for.
1. Prioritize – Make it a habit to prioritize what is most important to you. When I was in college, my first priority was on my schoolwork. The next priority after that was on my writing. Yes, writing took a higher priority for me than spending time with friends or doing certain other activities. That doesn’t mean I was holed up indoors all day, though. I still saw my friends…just less than other people probably saw theirs. For example, instead of staying at a social event all night, I would stay for two hours and leave a bit early. Occasionally, I even made excuses so that I could get out of social obligations altogether and just go home to write. If you want to seriously balance a side passion/hustle, you have to prioritize and be resolute about following the priorities you have set.
You’ll also have to learn to make time that you didn’t even know existed and avoid as many distractions as possible. For example, when I was in college, I woke up at 5:37am every day on the weekdays so I could write. In a college environment, almost every single person is sleeping at 5:37. I didn’t have to worry about people distracting me or any other obligations. I could just write. I was also extremely serious about my side passion/hustle. I encourage you all to set your priorities accordingly and also creatively set aside time to pursue you side passion/hustle.
2. Set Goals and Look for Positive Results – Set goals to accomplish certain milestones for your side passion/hustle. That’s the only way you will know if you are actually making any progress. If you’re recording a new music track, set a deadline for when you plan to have it finished. In college, I often set goals for when I wanted to have chapters of my writing done. Make sure your goals are realistic, though. Otherwise, you’ll just feel bummed for never reaching them.
At the same time, look for positive results. Nobody will enjoy a side passion/hustle without positive reinforcement. When I was writing my last book, The Corridor of Uncertainty, two positive results for me were when I reached my crowdfunding goal to make the book a reality and also when I secured a publishing contract. Those two accomplishments motivated me and also assured me that what I was doing was totally worth it.
I hope those two quick tips help! What advice do you have on balancing side passions/hustles? Feel free to post them in the comment box. Also, don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you may have!