My Typical Day With a Side Hustle – How I Stay Motivated When I’d Rather Eat Cheetos On The Couch and Watch Bravo

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I used to work with a guy named Joe and on Monday he would always ask how my weekend was. I’d ramble off what I did and his jaw would drop and he’d say “someone needs to attach a Go-Pro to you so we could understand how you do so much”. And it was always funny to me when someone else had that reaction because I always thought that I should have done more. That’s just always how I’ve been. I always need to be doing something, I get anxious when I’m “relaxing”, and I feel guilty if I find myself spending time on something that doesn’t benefit my goals. I recently read a quote from the amazing VP of Fitness Programming at Peloton, Robin Arzon, and they are words that I truly live by.

Credit: Twitter @RobinNYC

So it’s not that I’m go-go-go all the time, but that I don’t waste my energy on things that aren’t a benefit to my life. That ability to turn off the distractions and focus on my goals definitely does help me when it comes to side-hustling because you need to be able to carve that time out each day or a few times a week to work on your hustle.

Here’s a snapshot of what my day looks like:

  • 6:30am wake up. Ok my alarm goes off at 6:30am. I get out of bed by 6:50am. I have tried to be a morning person, but I’m a half-human half-sloth hybrid creature and it just isn’t in the cards for me. I’ll keep trying but it has been unsuccessful to-date.
  • I’m out of the door by 7:30am and I get to work at 8am. I usually listen to pump-up music or a motivational podcast on the way to work. Today was “Kickstart my Heart” by Mötley Crüe. Listen to that tomorrow morning on your commute into work and tell me how awesome your day was.
  • Right before I jump into my work emails, I open a journal I have to the right of my mouse pad and I write down my goals for the day. They’re usually something like “take 5 minutes for self-reflection” and “reach out to a friend I haven’t spoken to in a while”. And I’ll also jot down any accomplishments from the day before. I’ll make sure to share my journaling method soon. Then I make a packet of oatmeal for breakfast and eat that while I’m working.
  • 8am-5pm I’m at my full time job. A lot of the time I work through lunch and just eat at my desk. Sometimes I step away and eat my lunch away from my desk. When I do this, I also take the time to catch up on my personal emails or check on the progress of my monthly budget in the Mint app. (It’s basically the cash envelope system for your credit and debit cards. It’s awesome). 99% of the time my lunch is meal-prepped on Sunday night. It saves me so much money by not eating out.
  • ~5pm I leave work. Sometimes I stay until 5:30 but not too often. Coming from a job where I’d stay until 6 or 7 at night on a regular basis, this new job is amazing in regards to work-life-balance. I’m very lucky.
  • 5:30-6:30pm I try to take Pilates or Barre a few days a week. At the very least I try to sweat for 30 minutes a day. Sometimes that means a run after work, or I’ll take an on-demand boot camp class in my living room, or I’ll aggressively clean the house and do laundry.
  • Then I’ll come home around 6:30/7pm. By then I’m starving, so I cook dinner. Yep, I cook dinner most nights. Tonight I made chicken gyros. Sometimes we have tacos, or bibimbap or breakfast for dinner (that’s my jam).
  • Then around 8pm I’ll set aside some time to catch up on my hustle. That would either include writing a blog post, creating graphics to use on Pinterest for my blog posts, paint a wine glass, etc. It just has to be something that will benefit my hustle. I also almost always have a tv show on in the background. You better believe Monday nights have the Bachelor on in the background. Tonight I’m just watching Chopped (because I love seeing people cook with cow brains and rhubarb jelly) and I’m drinking a Bud Light Seltzer. Bud Light Seltzer is just a White Claw, but it implies “my ideal first date is watching Live P.D. and eating Bagel Bites”. No shame. 
  • Then I’m in bed by 10pm. Or 11pm. Midnight if I’m really on a roll with what I’m working on. But if I’m up late, it’s because I have things I need to get done.

Did you expect it to be more hectic? It really isn’t. I just removed anything that wasn’t value-add to my life. Granted I don’t have children, so all of my free time is truly free time. If you do have kids, Rachel Hollis’ podcast “Rise” and Teddi Mellencamp’s podcast “Teddi Tea Pod” both do a great job offering advice for mom’s who want to balance time between their own personal goals, and raising good humans. The biggest takeaway here is to carve out some amount of time every day to dedicate to your hustle. It can be 5 minutes to address reviews and comments on your Etsy page, or an hour to write new blog post, or 2 hours to craft. Whatever you have time for, make that time. You’re only going to get out of your hustle what you put into it.

If you’re not naturally inclined to keep yourself running around all day and night, that’s ok too. You just need to find a side hustle that is fun and you need to stay motivated to reach your goals. I love to paint, so I paint. And my motivation is this blog. Seriously. I started this blog as a way to keep myself accountable. It has always been so easy for me to give up half-way through a project. I’m notorious for reading a book 75% of the way through, and never finishing it. I’m also the person in Pilates that comes down from a plank while the instructor has their back faced towards me. If no one is watching me, then forget it, I’m not motivated. As soon as I got my first follower on my blog, my entire motivation level increased. And with each new follower, it increased exponentially. So with each new set of eyes, I have a renewed vow to pay off these loans that I let get away from me for the past 10 years. So I really appreciate each and every one of you.

I was recently listening Episode 106 of the Rise Podcast with Rachel Hollis. Gretchen Ruben was explaining the 4 different groups of people when it comes to motivation and how we respond to expectations. She calls these “the 4 tendencies”. You can take Gretchen’s quiz here to find out which tendency you have. Why is this important to know? If you understand how you respond to expectations, you can implement ways to stay motivated based on your tendency.

Credit: Gretchen Ruben – Four Tendencies Quiz

I am very clearly an Obliger. I want to say I’m a rebel, but I just like leather jackets. I’m actually a huge rule follower, even for being a “creative type”. And the way I keep my goals on track is to implement systems that makes it very clear that there are people relying on me and cheering me on. I thrive off of that.

I’ve brainstormed a few ways for each tendency-type to stay motivated during their side hustle journey.

  • Upholder: Upholders are great coaches. They practice what they preach. They excel in starting online courses and make excellent teachers. I’d suggest you create an online community to coach others or teach them a new skill. Scheduling and charts are your friend for developing and keeping habits.
  • Questioner: Do your research and let the data speak for itself. You’re going to think “what’s the point of spending my nights on a side hustle? Is it really worth it?”. This article from Forbes explores why a side hustle is beneficial from a financial standpoint as well as a personal standpoint. It’s on the internet, so it’s probably true. But in all seriousness, do some research. There is a massive community of side hustlers out there and there are resources in the form of blogs, books, podcasts, live speaking engagements, etc. Utilize the resources out there for you.
  • Obliger: You need some accountability. Create something very public, like an Instagram page, a blog, or a Facebook group and jump right in. Don’t dip your toe in the water, because you’ll always find an excuse. Once you see that other people are engaged in what you’re doing, their excitement will energize you. You’ll feel a desire to give your audience what they want, all while keeping you on track to succeed.
  • Rebel: So how do you find the motivation if you aren’t motivated by other’s expectations or even your own? A rebel typically resists structure because they want to always remain true to themselves. So focus on that! A side hustle opens doors to more freedom and it offers additional outlets for expression. Hmm…freedom and personal expression? A side hustle is a perfect outlet for a rebel! Your motivation might include a vision board that is a reminder of why you started (outlet for artistic expression, financial freedom, ability to parlay that hustle into a new career later in life).

I do strongly suggest you take Gretchen’s quiz, because it will help you immensely. Self-reflection in general is beneficial and we all need to take the time to do that once in a while. You might even already know right off the bat which tendency you are and you can just Google “Obliger tendency habits” and you can go that route. Do you.

So as you’re developing your hustle, keep in mind how you’re going to stay on track. Because the start of this journey is just that, the start. And speaking of accountability, I agreed to share my progress at the end of each month, so I have an obligation to wrap up those numbers in the next 3 days and give you all an update on my progress.

2 comments on “My Typical Day With a Side Hustle – How I Stay Motivated When I’d Rather Eat Cheetos On The Couch and Watch Bravo”

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