You don’t have to work 80 hours/week to earn money on the side.
There are a lot of barriers we have to stepping out of our normal jobs and earning more, but I especially want to tackle this one. So many of my friends hear “earn money on the side” and immediately start thinking that (1) “money is evil” and that (2) in order to earn any significant amount, they’ll have to basically take on a second job that will consume all their free time.
I think about it a little differently, and I figured this might help re-frame this particular barrier.
For most successful people who increase income by earning money on the side, it’s not really about the money. It’s about far more important things:
- Flexibility: so you can eventually go to yoga every day at 4pm
- Impact: knowing that you can do what 99% of others can’t
- Living an extraordinary life, traveling when and where you want, and crushing barriers
I also have my own personal definition. For me, earning a side income is really intellectually stimulating: I can figure out how to get inside my prospect’s heads, understanding what they really want. I can apply my psychological theories. I can build systems and optimize them. I can rapidly test stuff, as I did in the first 5 minutes of yesterday’s office hours.
Yesterday’s office hours. No, I’m not doing a transcript.
All of these are in contrast to slaving over a second job once you get home.
If you think of a new career and earning money on the side specifically for money, it will be very difficult to stay motivated when times get tough.
But if you want to make more money for bigger reasons — more important reasons — that vision can get you through challenging times.
I thought you might like to see some quotes I collected in my research.
What’s your lifestyle like now vs. before you started freelancing?
“Not a whole lot different, since I was already exercising for a few hrs a day after work anyways. The only difference is now I’m being payed $40/hour for it!”
– JT, 26, Newark, DE
“Busy as hell, but richer both in the monetary sense and intellectual sense.”
– Tracy C., 35, Salem, MA
“I get to work in my bathrobe or pajamas.”
– Emma C., 22, Vineyard Haven, MA
“More hectic, more tired; but mentally more free, because I have options AND experience.”
– M.E., 28, Cincinnati, OH
“I still work as an engineer but I spend a few hours a week shooting and I edit in the evenings and really enjoy it. I also hang out with a TON of other photographers for fun/inspiration/ideas.”
– Sarah H., 34, Houston, TX.
“I used to be a toilet cleaner then I got fired because of my hand disability. I was miserable and depressed. Today my lifestyle is incredible. I wake up with a big smile on my face, I’m making in difference in people’s lives and I have the freedom to create my day.”
– Brice, 25, Vancouver, Canada
Earning more is about much more than the money.
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