14 Pieces of Advice for Anyone Starting a Side Hustle

Lior Frenkel
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September 17, 2018
  1. A side project should speak to your soul, elevate your career, or be an investment in your personal growth. If yours can tick two of those three boxes? Even better.
  2. Start slow. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. How do you start a side project? One tiny task at a time. Plant those seeds and watch them grow.
  3. We all have 1,440 minutes in a single day. It’s what we do with that time that makes us different. What would happen if you took just 1% of that time, a tiny 15 minutes a day, and consciously tried to change your life for the better?
  4. If you view your side project as a calling, it will be a labour of love rather than laborious.
  5. Pay attention to what you pay attention to, respond to every call that excites your spirit and reward, in all its forms, will follow.
  6. Real talk: if your side project is causing you more guilt than fulfilment, let it go. Side projects should fill you with more passion than pressure.
  7. Be bold with your boundaries. Be strong in your conviction when things get too much. Be brave in knowing ‘no’ is a complete sentence. Embrace the silence. Dance in it. Indulge in it. Learn to accept that, sometimes, you absolutely need it.”
  8. Ask for help on the regular. There’s no place for ego when it comes to new projects. Identify your project’s ‘board of directors’ and consult them often.
  9. The greatest thing you can do for your side project is to get an accountability partner. This can be your friend, your mum, your co-worker… whoever. Just someone who can check in and ask what’s up.
  10. Understand your motivations, by asking yourself the following three questions: Am I enjoying what I’m doing? What’s the driving force behind what I’m doing? Am I doing what I’m doing for myself, because of myself.
  11. You are more than your mistakes and you are more than your achievements. A sentiment to remember whenever things go horribly or wonderfully.”
  12. Don’t resent your day job. Instead, view your 9–6 as the reason you’re able to do MORE of what you love and watch how your world changes.
  13. The process, the struggle, the day-to-day… that’s the fun part. Don’t be so set on the end goal that you lose sight of that.
  14. It’s not about being fed. It’s about staying hungry.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?
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I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.

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"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

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