Adding What You Love to Your Side Hustle: Unlocking Joy in Your Life
Disclaimer: The following insights are based on my personal experiences, and I believe that one-size-fits-all approaches rarely apply to the steps and systems I explore.
Embracing What You Love
As children, we naturally gravitate towards exploring new things, whether through friends or our own playful discoveries. However, as adults, we often become consumed by work, the pressure to pay bills, and societal expectations. While we bear responsibility for this, we sometimes forget to prioritize fun! Now, I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t take our lives seriously, but rather that we should approach them with a serious sense of fun. Just like when we were kids, immersed in a game and fully embodying our roles, we can do the same as adults.
The difference is that we may have lost sight of the joy it once brought us. So, take a moment to reflect: Does your current role bring you joy? If not, should you explore other options? Or is it possible to infuse joy into what you’re currently doing? Perhaps a combination of both could work, unless, of course, you’re already living your “Kevin Hart” life. Ask yourself: What brings me joy? How does my current role contribute to my happiness?
Discovering My Passion
Speaking from personal experience, when I first started my real estate agency business, I despised real estate — really!
However, after a year passed, I began exploring roles that aligned with my strengths, such as strategic planning, evaluation, analysis, and even venturing into new territories, like managing social media (which surprisingly became a source of income for me).
I always believed in doing what I was passionate about. But now, I’ve come to realize what I’m truly good at. Strangely enough, once I recognized the financial benefits of my real estate endeavors, my perspective started to shift. I began thinking, “Okay, this is actually good.” That’s when I decided to explore something entirely new to me: intense yoga practice.
I pondered, “Why not become a yoga teacher?” So, I underwent yoga teacher certification, continuing to balance my real estate agency and social media management work during training. Eventually, I became a yoga teacher, started offering private classes, and even secured teaching positions at various studios.
Did I give up my real estate agency or stop managing social media? No, I continued to do all of them simultaneously. Surprisingly, yoga helped me develop discipline with my time management. I became intolerant of time-wasting activities and prioritized my schedule. Consequently, I designed an efficient timetable and executed my daily tasks flawlessly.
The Art of Execution and Finding Joy
Setting a Purpose
When I found myself driven to madness by work that I wasn’t passionate about — questioning my purpose and life’s trajectory — I decided to pivot my mindset. I asked myself, “How can this benefit me? Do I have the flexibility to explore myself if I manage my time well?” It was then that I began aligning what I used to despise with what I aspired to do. So, what is your purpose? Take a moment to reconsider.
Once I defined my purpose, I delved into the realm of execution. I sought ways to automate tasks or at least make them more efficient and effective.
Fortunately, I stumbled upon a fantastic book called “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. This book proved instrumental in helping me establish a highly efficient habit system. One of the noteworthy systems pertains to combating procrastination. For instance, when aiming to improve your fitness through exercise, instead of simply waking up and lounging on the sofa, you changed into exercise attire to send a signal to your brain that it time to move.
Another example is how I optimized my office work: instead of manually managing social media uploads, I scheduled them using Facebook Meta Business, only checking in once the content was uploaded automatically. Moreover, I created weekly and monthly meetings with my team for progress reports, as well as quarterly meetings for evaluation and strategy development. I realized that I didn’t have to handle everything by myself — I had a team. Admittedly, this realization came with its own set of challenges, but it was well worth the effort.
Undeniably, discipline plays a crucial role in this process. While having a purpose and system in place is essential, without discipline, it’s akin to owning a journaling book that collects dust on a shelf, never filled with a single word.
I understand that discipline can often be challenging due to its association with consistency. However, deciding to wake up and immediately donning your gym or yoga clothes can be surprisingly easy. The real challenge lies in changing out of your pajamas and into a different outfit.
Remember, you’ve been changing clothes since childhood. Start affirming positive messages to yourself, replacing “It’s hard” with “It’s easy; I’ve done it before, and I can do it again.” Your own ears need to hear this.
Now that you’ve cultivated discipline and are prepared to seize the day, let’s address the reality. Engaging in repetitive tasks day in and day out can lead to exhaustion and boredom. It’s important to evaluate your goals and introduce new, enjoyable elements into your routine.
Occasionally, you need to break away from your regimen and have some fun. Being overly strict with your good habits may not yield optimal results. Allow yourself to explore new things, and you’ll find that you’ll miss your daily routine and return to it with a fresh mind and a clear purpose.
If you’re interested, I’ve written an article on how to build good habits that you can explore for further insights. I hope you find it helpful!
When Joy Fades Away
Returning to the main topic, what if your beloved side hustle starts to induce stress? This scenario can occur, particularly when you’re trying to make money from it.
In my case, there were instances where managing social media became less enjoyable because a client demanded excessive work beyond the agreed-upon budget. Additionally, teaching too many private and studio yoga classes resulted in physical injuries due to excessive strain. These situations drained the fun out of my activities, and stress ensued as I couldn’t fulfill my to-do list effectively while nursing injuries.
What did I do when faced with such challenges? I took a break from all my beloved side hustles for 1–2 months. During that time, I reflected on my actions and identified the mistakes I had made. I discovered that I had allowed my excitement to overpower my clarity. I hadn’t communicated my boundaries clearly to the client, nor did I understand my limits when it came to yoga.
So, I rebuilt everything from scratch, but this time with mindfulness and caution. When my body signaled its limits, I listened and made time for the little things that brought me joy, such as reading a book, watching anime, or even cleaning the house (yes, mundane household taskscan clear my mind).
Now, I can genuinely say that I’m content with my everyday activities because they make me feel good.
Exploring What You Love
In conclusion, it’s crucial to ask yourself: What do I love doing? What benefits can I derive from my current role? How can I maximize my limited time? Is it genuinely a lack of time, or am I unwilling to make time?
Honesty plays a vital role in developing good habits. While others may judge, remember that you don’t have to be your own harshest critic. Treat yourself kindly, speak positively to yourself, and the universe will conspire to bring good things your way.
Wishing you a fantastic day, my friends!