Round-up: The joys of a side hustle

The experience of working for myself lo these many years has led me to think a little differently about time and money than I probably would if I’d had a salary. I haven’t had a set amount coming in every month since July, 2002, and even then I was freelancing a lot. The 1099 mindset is that time can be turned into money in a fairly straightforward fashion. If you need more money, you figure out how to hustle up more money.

If you have a regular job, this is usually less of an option. Indeed, some employers even forbid moonlighting for a variety of reasons: liability, perhaps, or just the fact that a week has 168 hours. Time spent on your side job is time you’re not dreaming up ideas for your main employer.

But employers have never been able to stop people from watching TV during their time off, and I argue in a piece over at Fortune that modern moonlighting is not all that different. You can blog to make money (some people are making money!) instead of watching Glee. If you’re not actually blogging about your employer, why should your employer care? Likewise, if you make cute little purses on the weekend and sell them on Etsy, how does this affect the law firm you manage? It really doesn’t. And, perhaps, the entrepreneurial skills you learn from your side hustle might actually help you in your main gig too. 

In other news:

I write about The Secret to Financial Happiness over at NextAvenue, the new PBS-owned website for Boomers. 

Over at CBS MoneyWatch I look at the benefits of creating lots of time to practice the basic skills of your job.

Modern Mrs. Darcy runs a post on my Lego-purchasing advice to her 9-year-old son, who wondered whether he should save up for a big Lego kit, or buy lots of smaller Lego kits. Like Solomon, I try to split the baby.

Julie Weingarden Dubin, the SheKnows “Parenting Guru,” runs an interview with me on kids and money.

OilandGarlic compares Your Money or Your Life with All the Money in the World. As she writes, “reading these back-to-back inspired me in completely different ways.” I’m just happy to be listed in the same blog post with such a money classic! I had some issues with YMOYL. For starters, I like my work a lot, and I felt like YMOYL didn’t really buy into the idea that one could enjoy what one does for money as much as other things in life. But the philosophy is in some ways the same — that examining one’s relationship with money isn’t just about budgets, but is about achieving a life where money doesn’t have much power over you.

NicoleandMaggie post on whether people spend less for the second kid than the first.

I met Lauren Berger, The Intern Queen, when she was on book tour in Philly this week. In her book, All Work, No Pay, she argues that there’s plenty of time to intern, take a full course load, and waitress at night to support yourself (that’s what she did). If you’re not sure where to find the time, try recording your time for a week. Yep, she kept a 168 hours time log! (Though she didn’t call it that). I really dislike the idea of unpaid internships (hello companies! There are a lot fewer exemptions to US minimum wage law than you think there are!), but her book is a good start-your-career guide for any young person, in an internship or actual job.


5 thoughts on “Round-up: The joys of a side hustle

  1. Glad you liked my comparison…I really did get a lot out of both books!

    Oh, I also hate unpaid internships. I think it sets up a class (and even racial) divide especially in certain industries like publishing, entertainment etc… because many young people from poorer backgrounds are not able to do internships, which back in my day, seemed to be best way to get into certain companies.

    1. @Oilandgarlic- I agree on the unpaid internship thing… though Lauren was very convincing that there is plenty of time to have a “real” (as in paying) job too. The labor lawyers I’ve interviewed on the topic are pretty convincing that in the vast majority of cases, unpaid internships are illegal. Many conditions need to be met, among which are that the company can’t derive any monetary gain from the intern. So you can’t actually have them doing anything useful!

  2. Hi Laura

    I am one of those people with a day job and a nightly side hustle.

    I have always been open with my employers – they know what I do online and have always been supportive.

    And when people ask where I find the time I say the same thing – I stopped watching TV


    1. @Ainslie- simple, isn’t it? If you don’t watch 20 hours of TV per week, you discover 20 hours to do other things. It’s been a while since I’ve written a TV post. Perhaps I should write another. Giving it up as a regular thing in your life is probably the single best thing you can do to recover your time. Oh, it’s fine as an occasional treat, but you just have to keep control of it. One option is to get a treadmill and put the TV in front of it, and only watch TV while on the treadmill 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *