A short and sweet post today about something that I’ve been thinking about recently. Is your side hustle holding you back financially?
I had visions of grandeur when I started my first blog in late 2015. At the time I’d been bitten hard by the early retirement bug and I wanted a way to share what I’d discovered. But these days I’m wondering if I’m not biting the hand that feeds me? I can’t help but wonder whether or not I’d be better off financially had I not stared this blog in the first place.
Is Your Side Hustle Holding You Back?
I spend around 20 hours per week on this site, give or take a few hours. That includes time spent writing new posts, editing old ones, reading and choosing blog posts to feature, responding to email, looking for images, improving SEO, testing new layouts, engaging on Twitter, and about about a dozen other tasks. Rather than sitting down and working on this site for a dedicated amount of time each day, I pop in and out all day, every day, as time permits.
Sometimes I work early in the morning, sometimes late at night. I’ve been known to work while I’m riding the bus to work. I wrote this sentence that your reading right now during my lunch break on a Friday afternoon.
I do what I can, when I can and I’m not complaining – I don’t like rigid schedules so the fluidity that blogging as a side hustle offers suits me just fine.
In It For The Money
Making a bit of money was one of my reasons for blogging for starting my very first blog. Camp FIRE Finance made a few hundred buck for me during its first year, but I sunk five times that amount into the blog.
In the long run I’m certain that I can make my money back, but in the back of my mind I’ve got this nagging thought that I can’t seem to get rid of, and that’s this:
how much better off would I be (financially speaking) if I’d spent my extra time focused on my full time job instead of my “side hustle?“
Biting The Hand That Feeds You?
If I were spending an extra 20 hours per week at my full time job, and if I’d been spending that amount of time on my job over these past few years, I can almost guarantee you that I’d have received a promotion at work along with a nice bump in salary that would make the money I’m making from this blog look like a rounding error.
- Was it a mistake to start this blog?
- Do I quit while I’m ahead (i.e. still employed) and rededicate myself to my full time job?
- Should I keep on grinding away on this site knowing that slow and steady progress is happening?
- Do I double down and spend even more time on this site to accelerate this progress I’m seeing?
I have no good reason to dislike my job, but sometimes I despise it. It stems from my ‘don’t tell me what to do’ attitude, but I resent that I’m still so dependent upon that paycheck and that my time isn’t my own.
That feeling of resentment towards my full time job is one reason that keeps me grinding away as I navigate the layers of financial independence. Also, the feeling I get when someone comments on one of my posts, or shares my site on Facebook or Twitter is something that I just don’t get from my 9 to 5.
The monthly affiliate check I get from blogging is ~1% of what I make at work.
But it’s 100 times more satisfying.
— Ty Roberts (@TyRoberts) June 9, 2018
Why I’m Sticking With It
It’s kind of ridiculous I know, but the sincere interaction I get makes me feel really good. It’s addicting. I crave it and that’s another thing that keeps me going, even though I’m pretty sure that I could reach financial freedom much sooner if I just focused on my full time job instead.
Another reason that I’m not ready to throw in the towel is that I really (really) want to turn this site into something that is useful for you (the reader) and also generates a few bucks for me. It’s not a greed factor (it kind of is a greed factor) it’s a safety net factor. I’m trying to generate multiple income streams and I know that this blog has potential to become just that.
Landing on hard times hurts like hell if you don’t have a safety net. – me
Spending more time on my full time job will eventually lead to a significant pay raise. A pay raise would lead to me reaching financial freedom sooner, but would also put all my eggs in one basket. Should I ever lose my job, I’d have nothing else. Maybe having a big, fat emergency fund would ease my pain? But emergency money disappears very quickly when you’re not replacing what you spend.
Do you think your side hustle is hurting your full time job? Would you be better off financially if you spent more time on your full time job?
Ty Roberts is the founder of Camp FIRE Finance, and a husband and father of four living in the Seattle area. He’s a fan of the 4% rule, 80s movies and music, dad jokes and cast iron cooking.