If You Want Your Side Hustle to Succeed, Stop Telling Yourself These 3 Lies

What if your self-talk is just an excuse?

If You Want Your Side Hustle to Succeed, Stop Telling Yourself These 3 Lies
Anangsha Alammyan on Instagram

What if your self-talk is just an excuse?

“I love writing, but I don’t think I’ll ever make money from it.”

That’s what I told my friend in January 2020, when he asked me where I saw myself as a writer five years down the line. I had a full-time job and no way of earning anything from my writing.

I didn’t even have a clue it was possible to set up a successful side-hustle based on my passion.

Fast-forward to April 2022, and I have quit my job to make my side hustle my main gig, and make more than ten times my previous day job’s salary.

If you told the Anangsha of 2020 that such a moment was possible, she would have scoffed and told you you’re crazy.

But here I am — writing this article after an epiphany of sorts struck me last night.

To be honest, there hasn’t been any significant up-gradation of skill now compared to the Anangsha of January 2020. All that’s changed is my mindset.

Earlier on, I had several limiting self-beliefs and told myself tons of lies that stopped me from believing an alternate reality was possible. But now, after a series of good fortunes and some dedicated hard work, I’ve come to realize that there were three lies I’d been telling myself that stopped me from living the life of my dreams.

In this post, I’ll share the most common lies people tell themselves that hold them back from successfully setting up a side hustle. If you find yourself nodding and agreeing to some, don’t despair. I’ve also added actionable steps about how you can get rid of this limiting mindset and truly explore your full potential.

“My day job keeps me so busy; I don’t have time to work on anything else.”

My younger brother writes a lot better than I do.

When we participated in writing competitions together as children, he was the one who always walked back home with a prize while I sat in the aisles, cheering him on. But now, he has a day job that keeps him so busy, that he hardly ever gets time to write.

Or at least, that’s what he tells himself. True, he’s quite new at the job, and his seniors keep him occupied most of the time, but what about the evenings? What about the little breaks in between he can use to sneak in a little bit of writing or reading?

My brother, however, chooses to spend that time playing games or watching TV. When I ask him why he isn’t writing, he tells me he will do it someday, just not today.

Sadly, his “someday” never comes.

Here’s how you can get past this lie:

If you find yourself in a similar position to my brother, here are five steps you can take to make time for your passion:

  • Replace your phone with a book at night. Studies have shown that using your phone right before bed messes up your sleep cycle and causes you to feel more tired and less alert when you wake up. Instead, if you read right before sleeping, you can become more empathetic, increase your focus, and feel less stressed. Reading books will also fill your head with brilliant ideas you can execute to become a pro at your side hustle.
  • Stop watching the news. It leads to fear and aggression and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. If you absolutely need to be updated about current affairs, try skimming through headlines instead. In the time saved, you can work on your passion and find ways to monetize it.
  • Plan your day in advance. This will help you see the gaps in your schedule and identify the time slots you can use to work on yourself and build your side hustle. I’ve found that journaling is an excellent tool to improve your productivity and boost your creativity.

“My hobby can’t be monetized”

That’s what I told myself in early 2020. I thought the only way to make money by writing is if I became an NYT bestselling author and sold millions of copies of my books. But then, because I loved writing so much, I started publishing on several online platforms, and look where I am today.

It didn’t require me to sell a single copy of my books. All it took was consistent practice, and I could make thousands of dollars by monetizing my hobby.

Here’s how you can get past this lie:

If you think your side hustle is your true calling, you should make conscious efforts to make it into a habit.

  • Don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Start today. As this article in Forbes puts it, “Think Big, Start Small, Learn Fast.”
  • Keep practicing your hobby without any expectations. If you’re true to your promise of being persistent, the dividends will soon follow.

“I don’t have any ideas for a side hustle”

In January 2020, I didn’t either. All I had was a hobby I believed was my true calling and the audacity to keep doing it over and over again until I hit the jackpot.

Here’s how you can get past this lie:

No person is born with the knowledge of where their spark or “true passion” lies. But if you follow these steps as suggested by entrepreneur Bianca Miller-Cole in Forbes, you can find yours:

  • Try lots of things. Get into the habit of pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, even if the process may feel daunting.
  • Narrow it down. Ask yourselves questions that will help you realize if you are slowly developing a new passion.
  • Let your passion motivate you to keep growing and become a niche expert, continuously learning more.
  • Become obsessed — in a good way. Let your passion motivate you every morning and make you will feel like you never have to work another day in your life.

Final Words

I had no prior experience and no friends who were into entrepreneurship. All I had were my dreams and my computer that helped me set up a successful side-hustle.

If you feel stuck in your day job with no way out, I’ll leave you to ponder over this snippet from Mark Manson’s awesome blog post:

You’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.
It’s right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it. For whatever reason, you’re avoiding it. You’re telling yourself, “Oh well, yeah, I love comic books but that doesn’t count. You can’t make money with comic books.”
Fuck you, have you even tried?

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