The difficulty of the side hustle
I recently got a fulltime job. My anemic business projects weren’t making any money. In fact, I feel like I can’t even say I had any business projects. I was spending a lot of time building and learning, but never got very close to exchanging money for goods and services. When I did—through web dev freelancing—I wasn’t making enough to cover expenses and wasn’t finding much joy in it.
This was in part intended—I estimated that my savings would run out before I was able to make money from products. For the last couple of months I spent most of my time in job search mode.
This was also in part my failing—as a friend said once:
Creating blog posts and YouTube videos is NOT the same as creating an actual full-fledged product that people are willing to take their wallets out for.
And because creating a product requires multiple skills (design work, outsourcing, maybe printing, maybe shipping) people avoid the hard work and the new challenges that presents.
So instead they spend their time creating blogs and YouTube channels, hoping that later on they can entice people to buy something from them. (And still! they’re avoiding the hard work of actually creating a product.)
They could create an e-book, put it up on Amazon, and earn their first $1 today.
They could design a greeting card, put it up on Etsy, and earn their first $1 today.
They could design a funny quote on a mug or iPhone case, put it up on RedBubble, and earn their first $1 today.
Nope. Too difficult. Too complex. Don’t know how. Google doesn’t exist!
For some reason, an inordinate amount of people have some emotional glitch that prevents them from selling a product (despite the fact that there are hundreds of people out there who’d love to buy their product.)
“Selling? A product? That people actually want? Ewww. I’m going to go write a blog post instead.”
I’m not necessarily creating blog posts or YouTube videos (although I’m writing one right now, ahem), but I am spending time doing HackerRank challenges, reading articles, studying, creating a portfolio…
Now that I have this fulltime job, the reality of not having a limitless supply of hours to do stuff has come down on me like a ton of bricks. It’s painful.
Over and over again I recognize that I should be making more intelligent choices about what to spend my time on. Over and over I make bad choices. I think. I’m certainly not getting the results I want, that I know for sure.
Why do some people manage to make so much progress and mobilize so many resources? I’ll keep trying. Keep doing things and striving to bring awareness to my blind spots. But now that I have even less time, what can I expect to accomplish?