What My Side Hustle Means To Me

Olu Eletu
Olu Eletu

Urban Dictionary defines the side hustle as “a sideline that brings in cash; something other than your main job. Maybe playing weekend gigs or life coaching. SELLING AMWAY IS NOT A SIDE HUSTLE – it’s just a stupid way to alienate your friends.”

Outside of my job in TV and film development/production, I tutor high school students in writing and make ditties for thought catalog.

My side hustle means that I can have a little extra cash that I separate from my paycheck. It goes towards the pair of shoes that were on sale on Bleecker Street, a trip to Berlin to visit friends – and it definitely does NOT go to rent, AC, or internet. It is for fun – or savings! – only.

It means that I don’t blame my 9-to-5 if it didn’t fulfill me on a particular day, because as a young media professional I’m just going to have those days. If I get stuck in admin-heavy menial work, I can come home and write a ditty or tutor a student to feel creatively satisfied.

It allows me to flex different brain muscles than the ones I employ in my real job. I like keeping my editorial sensibility well exercised.

It gives me something that I can wholly own. I’m the boss. I control my hours, when and where I work, which to be honest is usually from my apartment, in pajamas… It is entirely, completely mine. This also scares me because it means that I can’t hide behind anyone else. This is MY thing. And call me a masochist, but that makes me a little tingly. I find doing things that scare me – within reason – exciting, dangerous, and very important.

It’s a project. Projects are nice.

It means my 9-to-5 job doesn’t have to define me. There’s quantifiably more to my story.

It provides me with an opportunity to teach and empower people; and in turn, I always learn from my clients and readers.

It is ultimately work that doesn’t feel like work – it’s legitimately fun. I purposefully keep it small and manageable so it stays a pleasure.

…and also money. TC mark

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