#UnpopularOpinion: Side Hustles

#UnpopularOpinion: Side Hustles

Before I even start sharing my thoughts, let me just make a few things clear, I know that I am fortunate to still have a job. I am aware that my opinions will be coming from a place of that privilege and I am in no way oblivious to the struggles of other people when it comes to unemployment. I am thankful & grateful to still have a job and not have to worry (at least not yet anyway) about where my next salary is going to come from, okurr? Okay. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it.

I’m a firm believer of only pursuing a side hustle or a side business about something I’m passionate about, unless I absolutely must. If I still have a source of income, i.e. my job and I can still maintain a decent lifestyle, I really am not interested in having my finger in all the jars, just so I can say I have a side hustle. And this is coming from someone who has tried different side hustles. Trust me, I have tried them and it didn’t work out because I wasn’t passionate about them, the businesses didn’t play to my strengths, and they certainly weren’t my main source of income. If anything, they drained me. I dreaded having to actively participate in my own business.

I used to fall for the trap that you MUST have another form of income, other than your 9-5. Statements like “you are busy building someone else’s dream” when you work a 9-5 really made me uneasy and put me under pressure to find another way to make more money. Now look, I am going to be real with you, I don’t need more money🀣, before you flip out, hear me out. I am fortunate that I only have myself to care for. I have no one but myself to maintain with my salary, and I am also fortunate to have a decent salary that is enough to maintain me, and only me. If I had to take care of someone else, it wouldn’t be enough and I would definitely need more money and I would do whatever it took (within reason) to make more money, whether I am passionate about it or not, but I don’tπŸ€·β€β™€οΈ. Do I want more money? HELL YEAH I do (duh! who doesn’t?), but again, I don’t need it (purely from a basic needs standpoint).

I guess I am just so sick of the notion that if your 9-5 job is your dream, you are not dreaming big enough or you’re not ambitious enough. I am so freaking tired of people looking down on 9-5 and shaming people who are content with having a job, like we said we all want to be entrepreneurs. “Nywe nywe nywe, if your circle isn’t talking about finding ways to get out of 9-5, then find a new circle.” Well, not all of us want to run businesses, Susan! Some of us actually enjoy what we do and want to grow in spaces we are already in, and some of us are okay working for other people. Just because my dream is different to yours, doesn’t make your dream bigger or better than mine.

My favourite people (not reallyπŸ™„) are the ones who will try to shame you into joining their business, the “you say you can’t afford to join this business but you are spending the same amount of money at groove every weekend” folks. First of all Karen, stop telling people how to spend their money! Focus on the people who are interested in joining you and your business and leave those who aren’t interested alone, haibo. We all have different priorities, for instance, I will happily spend R1000 on a pair of shoes because I prefer quality over quantity when it comes to shoes, but if you try to sell me a pair of jeans for the same price, it’ll be too expensive because I don’t mind cheap jeans because it probably won’t fit me in 3 months with my fluctuating weight anyway, so I am not willing to spend that much on jeans, then wena with your R1000 pair of jeans will try and guilt me into buying by pointing out that I spent that much on shoes, therefore I can afford it, helang, is it my money or yours?! People spend their money where they want and see value, and they have every right to do so without having to justify it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying I am opposed to the idea of running my own business, I am not. I am, however, opposed to starting a business just so I can say I have a business, when I am not even passionate about the business or doing it out of necessity. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I know I don’t know much about business, but I do know that you have to play to your strengths and I know that marketing isn’t one of my strengths, so I have no business being in network marketing businesses like Amway or multi-level marketing businesses like Herbalife & Forever Living, not to mention that fitness and dietary supplements isn’t really where my passion lies. Do I want to be fit and lead a healthy lifestyle? Absolutely, but I have no interest in turning that into a business, it’s just not my portion, beloved, I am better off as a consumer.Β 

I am probably the only person who feels this way, but honestly, in all things that I do, I am driven by 1 of 2 things: passion or necessity. If it is necessary for me to do something to survive or reach my goal, then I will, no matter how unpleasant it is, e.g. I workout because I want my body to look a certain way and for all the health benefits I get from exercising, but I don’t necessarily enjoy it πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ. I don’t make any money from my blog, but I do it anyway, because I am passionate about it and I enjoy writing, and I wouldn’t be opposed to making extra money through blogging because this is where my passion lies and therefore I know I can keep it up, and I am willing to do it for free, but I sure as hell am not interested in making money through fitness, unless it was the only way I could get an income and be able to pay my bills.

Running a business can’t be sunshine and roses all the time, I am sure there are times when things aren’t going great and you almost feel like giving up, and honestly, I am the type of person to give up when things get stressful and the business doesn’t cater to my passion or my financial needs. I just don’t think it’s worth my time to struggle and be stressed out over something I am not even passionate about and isn’t my main source of income, I am getting nothing but stress out of it mos? Yoh ha.a, it makes no sense to me. When I am passionate about something or when doing something I don’t particularly enjoy is my only option to get what I need/want, I give it my all and I don’t give up, I will do whatever it takes to make it work and find solutions to my problems. I am just the type of person who needs to be motivated by passion or necessity, otherwise it really isn’t worth my time and energy.

The obsession with titles is really getting out of hand. Some people do things just so they can say “Hi, my name is Refiloe and I am an auditor slash business owner slash entrepreneur slash this, slash that”. It’s like people base their value on how many titles are attached to their names, and if you only have 1 title, or no title at all, you’re suddenly lazy, you don’t have any dreams or you’re not worth anything. Did it ever occur to you that I am happy just being Refiloe? It’s always interesting to me when you ask people to tell you about themselves, the first thing they’ll mention is their many many titles, and I am not saying you shouldn’t be proud of your achievements, you should, but they shouldn’t determine your worth and they certainly shouldn’t mean you deserve more respect than someone with “less” accolades.

If you’re an entrepreneur at heart and absolutely loathe working for other people, and you’re only doing the 9-5 thing to pay bills while you wait for your business to succeed well enough for you to do it full time, then I wish you the best of luck and I truly hope your business takes off so you can leave and follow your passion full time, it can’t be easy doing something you don’t love/enjoy on a daily basis.

If you are working a 9-5, and you are absolutely passionate about your career and you want to grow and succeed in that space, then please do not feel the pressure to have a side hustle just for the sake of having a side hustle. Do not listen to the people telling you that you are not dreaming big enough only because your idea of success looks nothing like theirs. Ignore the nonsense and follow your passion and thrive there!

At the end of the day, you live with yourself 24/7, and only you know what makes you truly happy and where your passion lies. Forget the noise, focus on your goals and succeed in whatever it is that you love, because if there’s anything I have learnt, is that people will always have something negative to say, even if you do exactly as they want you to, so you might as well say “fuck it” and do as you please, it is your life, after-all.

Whew, that was a load off my chest! Thank you for indulging me, once again! Until next time.

xoxo, Refiloe😘

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Tebello

    This is a very real and comforting read. I agree with all the dimensions of your view on the subject matter.

    1. Refiloe

      I’m so glad you agree. It needed to be said. Thank you for reading. πŸ™‚

  2. Lindo

    Spot on!! Finally, somebody said it. Great read! πŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘πŸΏ

    1. Refiloe

      Thank you for reading. It had to be said.

  3. Wandile

    Balanced view. I guess I’m still at the side hustle phase in my life, let’s see how far this gets. But what if you could make money from something that is not too difficult/stressful but at the same time you not really passionate about it? Is that still not worth pursuing?

    1. Refiloe

      If you have the time for it, then yeah, absolutely, go for it, I guess my thing is, I don’t want things I’m not passionate about to take away time from the things I am, but if I can find something that doesn’t need much of my attention and makes me money, then I’d definitely pursue it even if I’m not passionate about it. Thank you for reading.

  4. Fako Peleha

    I agree with you completely. There’s no point in you putting time and energy into something that’ll fail because you aren’t passionate enough about it. I do have mixed feelings regarding the need to have multiple streams of income though. I like that you pointed out that you’re speaking from a place of privilege. However, I wouldn’t suggest the same train of thought to someone who is in an a volatile industry given the current economic climate. One that seems to deteriorate each financial year. We get taxed more, the rand weakens, inflation is a huge risk to short term investments, in fact, they are hardly worth while.

    Also, I think only a very small subset of people can make their passion a profitable success. I think the biggest driver is motivation and opportunity/necessity. And in country such as ours with unemployment reaching insane numbers, there’s definitely necessity in taking away a piece of your comfort and investing in something that generates income. Because tomorrow is not promised and it would be harder to start a “side” hustle with no money coming in – your savings would probably be patching the holes in the ceiling.

    So if it were me, I’d say some people actually MUST generate more money on the side. At the end of the day, money either comes in or goes out but it definitely doesn’t stand still.

    1. Refiloe

      Definitely. Some industries are more “secure” than others, and it is necessary for people in those industries to keep up and therefore have back up plans, should things not work out, since there’s really no security in the spaces they are in. So it goes back to my point: passion or necessity. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ

      1. Fako Peleha

        Yeah, I get where you’re coming from. Excellent read btw.

        1. Refiloe

          Thank you so much for reading.πŸ™‚

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