“Your income is the engine of your financial independence vehicle. If you have a small engine, you are not going to be going very fast or very far.”
– Jacked Finance (How To Increase Your Income)
People that are limited to a single source of income are still capable of achieving financial independence. However, having a ‘side-hustle’ outside your main job is one of the best ways to financially push yourself over the edge from living paycheck-to-paycheck to being able to save a significant amount of money every month.
Most people don’t have a ‘side-hustle’ that they work on improving during their free time. Rather, free time is typically spent watching Netflix, idly browsing the web, or actually going out and spending money on experiences. Just think about it – what did you do with your free time this week?
Were you being productive and working on your next big idea?
Were you eating out, spending money, and being unproductive overall?
Keep in mind, if you have a promising career in a high-paying field, you will very likely be able to achieve financial independence on a single source of income over time by simply being frugal with your spending.
For everyone else that may be financially limited in their specific field or current job, it is time to find your side hustle.
What Is Your Side Hustle?
Don’t have one? Then find one! Finding a side hustle that utilizes your unique skills, knowledge, or situation will most likely be your best bet to increase your income. Perhaps, you are like one of my close friends who is a professional mechanic for a high-end luxury car company. On the days (also weeknights) that my friend is not working, he will work on fixing cars from friends and family. A side hustle like this is a perfect transition for my friend as it exchanges his unique skills and knowledge for money.
The problem most people have is that they do not have a skill outside of their academic background that is highly valued by ordinary people. Most people spend their entire K-12 lives being taught the very same things as everyone else in their age group thanks to Bush’s “No Child Left Behind Act” and endless other problems with the education system. Once people go to college (if they go to college) they will then spend 4-8 years “specializing” in a field that hundreds of thousands of other people are also studying.
My point is that the education system will never explicitly “teach” you what your side-hustle should be and if you should even have one. That’s why it is imperative that we as individuals find our own side-hustle in life and own it.
The side-hustle does not need to immediately make money but can be focused on building a following. Something as simple as becoming an Instagram model, Youtube personality, or blogger (lol) could be your side hustle. These simple social media apps are fueling a whole new field of aspiring models/influencers.
If you don’t have a unique skill set you think is marketable, then think again – you have one thing you can sell for money! You have time, and time is one resource that will always be in high demand.
To clarify, when I refer to ‘selling your time’ for money, I am referring to apps like Dogvacay, where you take care of other people’s dogs. Or, apps like TaskRabbit allow you to sell your time and man-power to do odd-jobs (i.e. painting, laundry, deliveries, etc…).
Be creative and figure out what side-hustle is for you.
40 Hour Work Week – Too Much AND Too Little
I am not sure how the 8 hour work day or 40 hour work week became a standard across the world, but I loathe the 40 hour work week. For two reasons:
- The 40 hour work week consumes more time than needed for a given job. As humans become more productive at our jobs due to technological enhancements, we are able to perform the exact same job much quicker and more efficiently than every before. If that is the case, then why the hell are most of us still working 40 hours a week when we can perform the same tasks in far fewer hours
- The 40 hour work week creates a real feeling of having done ‘enough’ once the work for the day is done. Having a standard 9-5 job (40 hours of work a week) creates a real indescribable feeling of being ‘burnt out’. It is nearly impossible to have the internal motivation to work on anything after working 8 hours on a given day, not to mention any time wasted on the commute to and from work. Once we, as individuals, have completed an 8 hour work day there is a very slim chance that any additional work will be done throughout the day. Think about how many times you were “supposed” to go to the gym after work, but didn’t because you were “too tired” from work.
In other words, the 40 hour work week is a WASTE OF TIME! The time is not wasted for the company or corporation that employs you as they are getting all the value of your time.
The time is wasted for us as individuals. I believe most of us can perform a week’s worth of work in far under 40 hours. Not to mention the time wasted during the commute to work, staying extra hours to seem productive/dedicated, and even working an extra hour through lunch. We could be spending these wasted hours working on our side-hustle!
Additionally, besides wasting our time, the 40 hour work week breeds a society that is down right lazy outside of standard business hours. It is difficult to do any additional work after a long day in the office, store, restaurant, or wherever you work. Realize that you are not alone in this regard, but you alone are the only one that can control that feeling.
If you truly want to become financially independent, then you need to overcome the feeling over being ‘burnt out’ and dedicate the free hours you have during weeknights and weekends towards your side hustle.
So, I am a true believer of working less than 40 hours per week at your standard job, but working closer to 60-80 hours a week in total including your side hustle(s).
Sunday Is A Day Of Work
I do not care how unpopular this statement is because it needs to be said.
Sunday is NOT a day of ‘rest’, rather Sunday is a day of ‘work’
If Sunday is a day of ‘rest’ for you in your religion or just in your own personal life, then realize how much time you are actually spending being completely unproductive. You are spending 1/7 or %14.28 of your life being completely unproductive.
Assuming the average life expectancy is 80 years old, that means that potentially 4 years, 1482 days, or 35,565 hours were squandered away simply because “Sunday is a day of rest”.
If we simply restructure our mindset to see the hours on the weekends (and weeknights) as potential hours of work, then we will be able to build a side hustle that is not only personally rewarding but financially rewarding.
This type of mindset cannot be changed overnight, but try working a few hours at a time on the weekends. Initially, you may work just a couple hours a week on your side hustle, but over time these couple of hours may turn into 10-20 hours a week dedicated to working on your side hustle. You may be successful with your first idea, or you may be successful with your tenth idea, the key is to keep working towards your goals no matter what.
Changing from working 0 hours per week on a side hustle to working 10-20 hours per week on a side hustle is the type of behavioral change needed to significantly increase your income!
So, what about me? What are my ‘side hustles’?
Besides my standard 9-5 desk job, I have:
- This blog
- My part-time volleyball job
- My Indie Game Dev Goals (See here if you are curious)
- Airbnb Goals – more to come
- Dogvacay Goals – more to come
I work roughly 60-70 hours a week on all the tasks above. I don’t think that is too much work or too little work. For me, that is the perfect amount of time to work in a week for my given situation. Once I am older (potentially, with a family), I am sure I will want to work far fewer hours.
I am willing to work hard now in order to work less in the future, instead of being unproductive now and having to make up for it in the future. That is the whole spirit behind FIER.
P.S. If you found the blog helpful or useful, then please follow, share, like, comment, and subscribe. Most of all, follow the advice and find your side hustle!