Five years ago, I felt lost. My career wasn’t moving in the direction I hoped, and I was searching for advice anywhere I could. This led me down internet rabbit holes that seemed to promise a new life with career growth and limitless potential. All I had to do was one thing: hustle.
Like been bitten by the “hustle culture” bug, I started listening to people like Gary Vee and Tim Ferriss. I followed accounts that idolized the work ethic exemplified by Steve Jobs or Elon Musk. Then, I put my mind to the grind, and in my case, this meant writing… a lot.
I started this journey toward the end of the 2010s, but the pandemic kicked me into full gear. In some regards, my life did improve. I transitioned into a full-time writer role, but I definitely didn’t build a business empire. Worst of all, the “hustle” has taken its toll on me and and negatively impacted my work ethic and well-being.
Hustling sucked the joy out of a hobby
Initially, I wanted to start a side hustle as a writer because I loved writing (I know, wild stuff), and I wanted to discuss topics that interested me. But when I followed the hustle mentality, I was also motivated to post frequently. So, writing became formulaic, and it made my hobby feel like a chore.
Each time I posted something, I hoped to get something in return — whether that was a little money or a lot of views. When I didn’t do anything, I became frustrated — though there were times when I achieved a moderate amount of success. Regardless, I wasn’t necessarily writing to explore topics I loved. This made the actual process of making an article feel like a slog and a race to burn out rather than build a passion project.
Consistency was a benefit — and a detriment
When I started my side hustle, I knew I wasn’t the best writer in the world, but I knew I was curious and I could be consistent. I thought this would be my biggest strength, especially because so many resources talked about consistency. So I wrote a lot, and I did gain some…