Side Hustle (Then and Now!)
What is Side Hustle?
I was recently attending a mentoring and coaching event and, yet again, I was assured that there is more to a career job than just 8-5 and doing essentially the same thing over and over again until you are 65 and then you retire to a beach house in Florida or a log cabin in the Rockies.
"There is something missing." a young lady said to me at this event, she was struggling with her day job, and not that the job wasn't paying enough or didn't have decent health benefits, she stated that with a look and hope to find an answer with me. Without telling her much or even getting to know her any further, I knew what she was talking about. Her potential wasn't tapped into a 100%, and she couldn't put her finger on it.
The idea of retiring by 30 isn't something new, neither is the idea of working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Just the same as the idea of hustling. I was hustling three jobs right before I started my career at my current job of 16 years now. I worked M-F from 2 AM in the morning until 8 AM, then my second job would start from 9 AM until 5 PM and I worked weekends setting up computers and building computer networks for doctor's offices. I hustled to pay my bills. Something was different about that hustle. I needed the money to survive. The hustle I am talking about here refers to the "Growth". The kind of Growth that doesn't feel like work.
It feels empowering! It feels addictive! Success is addictive!
Seems to me that we keep finding ourselves at this same nook, Survival vs. Growth.
Is Your Potential fully tapped into?
Millennials are my favorite kind of people. I say this knowing that they are the most misunderstood generation of them all. I say this knowing that they are smarter and wiser than Baby Boomers. They don't mind living with their parents well beyond graduating from college.
As someone who is from India and where joint family traditions are well known and well adopted, I really appreciate this.
They deeply care about their job satisfaction and they will not hesitate to walk out the door if their full potential isn't tapped into.
They are loaded with common-sense-based ideas and more often than not this conflicts with their Baby Boomer bosses who fail to see their potential. Gen-X isn't too far behind in this thinking. This is the connection I want to make here is that Gen-X and Millennials are standing side by side to have their voices heard in the workplace.
"So, there’s lots of free food and beanbags and yet for some reason, they’re still not happy. That’s because there’s a missing piece." - Simon Sinek
We all have watched, listened to or read Simon Sinek's thoughts on millennials. He is dead on, as usually he is. If you haven't you must check out his article on The Millennials in the Workplace.
The keyword here is - potential! I believe that some Gen-X and most millennials are in that place where they know what they are capable of achieving and they are not letting their bosses decide what they can and can not do. This is where Side Hustle comes in.
Why is Side Hustle a Growth Mode, Nowadays?
The answer is simple - deep desire to tap into 100% potential. Corporate world has been operating under the same or similar thought process for years, despite waterfall or agile, Slack or Skype, Facebook or Google, Apple or Amazon, Uber or Lyft, Udacity or Udemy - the answer is more than likely the same. The days where everyone went to work 8 - 5, came home, had dinner, over the weekend went to a nice restaurant, watched a movie and lived happily ever after, are well behind us. Just like BlockBuster got run over by Netflix.
Now we have a day job, then evening and weekend hustle(s), we have Netflix and Hulu, we have "cut the cords" with cable and LinkedIn is a thing and Facebook is so much drama, we even have "lock boxes" for our smartphones where we take pride in announcing that I found a way to stay away from my phone for 2 hours; and somewhere in between these things we find another passive income idea to put in motion, yeah and if we find the time we will write and article or two staying up until 2 AM, because - why not?
Nowadays, if you are working one job and calling it a career - chances are you are just another "hamster in a wheel" and hiding behind a laptop screen and a fancy sit/stand.
It is inevitable that folks are not only working harder but also smarter. Constantly Learning and Growing! Most individuals who I meet or surround myself with are generally working on something more than just that one job. That is not to say that the workplace jobs are boring. In fact, I would like to claim that
... folks who have Side Hustles are smarter, efficient, risk-takers, transparent, honest, hardworking, and natural leaders compared to the ones who only work one "career" job.
It is simple! They know the value of their time! And they are not wasting it!
Side Hustles... the Point Being...
I am a Side Hustler. I have a few "irons in the fire". A little different than what I did 16 years ago, however. I don't just have 8-5 job but I am more proficient in my day job than I have ever been.
I work well into my nights, I am creating solutions, I am coding and developing things that I desire - this keeps me current with my line of work and career, but I am also now an entrepreneur, writer, content creator, have goals to summit all Seven Summits. Needless to say I have summited Kilimanjaro, Africa as of 2017. Yes, I have goals that scare the sh*t out of me but I am still approaching them with courage, and that courage I am passing that on to my twelve year old (Gen. Z) and we are just getting started.
So what brings most people to start having a Side Hustle? Or at least the ones that I have talked to and asked this question, most had one thing to say that was in common.
"If not NOW, then when?"
I would humbly like to tie it back to my favorite "virtual but real" mentor, Simon Sinek. He is absolutely right when he says that,
"What I’ve learned: I can break it down into four pieces, four things, four characteristics: parenting, technology, impatience, environment." - Simon Sinek
Additionally, the ease of access to the information that we have now has a huge part to play in creating these Side Hustlers. You can Google it, YouTube it or Wiki it, Udacity or Udemy it - what took books, loads of reading and years of research can now be discovered in the matter or minutes at our fingertips. We are living in the world of "Instant Gratification".
Challenge that the Corporate World Faces
So let's paint the picture here, there are innovative organizations that are dying to hire and accept the millennials and the likes because the organization is run by one, and possibly this someone who probably didn't even go to a college or has a four year degree. There are Millennials and the likes who don't even have a college degree but are millionaires. Graham Stephan being one of them and I admire this guy - he is a Hustler and extremely smart and has done it with the ease of access to knowledge and data in today's world. Check out the article below for further reference.
These Millennial millionaires gladly enjoy their avocado toasts with their lattes as they ride their "Lambos", and rightfully so.
There are educational resources that teach you a skill within a matter of hours or days, not four years. Skills, if you wish to put in your hard work and apply that knowledge in building something. And guess what? These millennials are doing it! And they're Killing it and Crushing it!
It isn't enough to have decent salary, good healthcare plan, beanbags, free food, pingpong and pool tables and video game consoles if the job isn't tapping into the 100% potential of these next gen. youth, they will simply walk over to the ones who will. If this continues, our organizations face a real threat in increase of operating costs in constantly hiring, training and losing these talented and extremely smart people, who will also get a salary boost as they take their next job at a competitor workplace while being trained by you.
In the end, Corporate world needs to realize that the times are changing, and so should they. Don't have so much red-tape that you may scare off a talent that could have helped you on your ROI that number one spot in the race with the competition or simply could be your next CEO.
These talented guys and gals are fully aware of what their worth is, and they are not giving discounts anymore!