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james watson

Why I Started a Side Hustle and Why You Should Consider It

Let me start off by saying that this may not apply to everyone. In fact, I hope it does not. Many of you may have dream jobs, making great money, doing the things you want. You may have complete freedom of time.

That is great, but for every 1 of you, there are 10 who do not feel that way. This article is for those people.

Have you ever felt stuck in the same cycle, day after day, week after week, for what seems like eternity? Go to work, come home, go to bed, repeat. And for what? A paycheck every two weeks that satisfies the bills, but fails to leave you feeling satisfied?

This is often referred to as “The Rate Race”Spinning the hamster wheel only to fail at gaining any ground.

Like many real estate investors, I had a mind shift that occurred after reading “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki.

The detail in which this “Rate Race” was explained resonated with me on such a high level that I took immediate action. (I actually traded in my newer truck for an older Honda Civic that same week).

Ultimately, I sought out additional forms of income to free myself from this repetitive lifestyle and my side hustle was born.

Realizing That You Are Stuck In The Rate Race is The First Step To Freedom

stuck in the rat race

This is not easy. In fact, it took me 31 years of my life to realize that I was simply going through the motions of work, home, sleep, work, home, sleep, pay bills, repeat.

To get out of the rat race, you need to realize first that your are indeed in it.

Have you ever thought to yourself, “If only I could get up when I want, do what I want, and get paid enough to satisfy not only my bills, but myself too”?

It is possible for every single person who wants it. It takes a shift in your thinking. It takes dedication and hard work. And it most certainly takes sacrifice. But it is all obtainable if you truly want that freedom enough.

Figure Out Your “Why” and Don’t Look Back

Everyone has a “why” that fuels their thoughts, actions, or lack of action. Everyone. Tap into that and discover what makes your ticker tick.

Ask yourself: “Why do I work?”

If your answer is: “I work so I can support my family”.

Ask yourself again: “Why do I want to support my family?”

If your answer is: “I want to provide a good life for them?”

Ask yourself again: “Why do I want them to have a good life?”

Continue this until you get down to your core reasoning for doing the things that you do. Chances are you will discover a deeper understanding of what your true motivations in life are. And if you are like me, there is probably a lot of room for improvement in achieving your goals.

When we get stuck in the repetitiveness of the “rat race” we lose track of what we are actually trying to accomplishSpinning the hamster wheel, getting nowhere.

If You Don’t Have The Life You Want – It’s Your Fault

I understand this may be controversial and many might not agree with me. That’s fine. However, If you feel as though you have been dealt an unfair hand and that is why you do not have the life you want, I ask you this:

What have you done to change it? How hard have you tried? Did you continue to push forward, even after failure? Do you want it as bad as you want to breathe?

How To start a side hustle
Get Off The Couch, Take Action

Push forward. Keep trying. Don’t give in to failure. Get off the couch and turn off the tv. Sacrifice your hobbies. Do whatever you need to do to improve your situation. Do it as if success is oxygen and the only way to survive is breathe success. I guarantee you can’t be denied if you do.

My Reasons For A Side Hustle

I had this moment, I remember it so distinctly. It happened as I was finishing “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”. In fact, it may have been in the book ( I cannot remember for certain), but it changed everything….

I imagined two versions of myself.

The current me, stuck in the rat race. Living paycheck to paycheck. Going to work every day at the same time, to the same job, making the same amount of money only to pay the same bills and have the small amount left over to keep for myself. This version of me sits down on the couch every night after dinner and watches tv or surfs on his phone for a few hours before going to bed and repeating the cycle all over again.

Then there was the “other me”. He was more driven. He worked in the rat race for a while, but when he got home he spent his free time improving himself and his situation. He didn’t waste time in front of the tv and he wasn’t an aimless Facebook scroller. His free time was dedicated strictly to getting out of the rat race. He went on to form a side hustle, became successful, and quit his “clock in, clock out” job. He had freedom of time and money. He did what he wanted, when he wanted and made enough money to satisfy his bills and also himself. He was able to save money and build a future that excited him.

Here’s the part that rocked my world….

two guys sitting by the beach

Imagine if the current version of me (or you) ran into the “other me” (or you) out in the real world. How would that feel? How would that conversation go? How hard would it be to see the “other” version of yourself that had accomplished all your goals and dreams while you failed to do so because you preferred to spend your free time doing “nothing”.

THAT WOULD KILL ME. So why do we settle for being a lesser version of ourselves? It comes down to one thing: Because it is easy.

Why A Side Hustle Is An Important Start

So let’s say you want out of the “rat race”. You have decided that no matter what, you are going to work your butt off to make your dreams come true. Great. So how do you start? After all, you have bills that need paid and you certainly can’t quit your job as you need the income.

Find something that you have always wanted to do. It doesn’t need to make you any money currently or any time soon. Just find something that you have always wanted to do. For me that was owning real estate.

Spend your free time laying out what that looks like 10 years from now.

If you could dream it up any way you wanted, 10 years from now what does that side hustle look like?

For me it was owning 100 rental units, collecting rent checks, fishing when I wanted, and spending time with my family any day or time that I wanted. I wanted mailbox money.

Now how to get there…..

Every single free hour of just about every day was (and still is) spent on developing that side hustle, little by little, until it starts to grow and take shape. For me it went like this:

Writing hundreds (if not thousands) of letters to owners of apartment buildings looking for anyone interested in selling their property. I didn’t have any money so I certainly was not going to be buying them. But I knew that there are investors that pay good money for good deals.

So I searched, and searched, wrote letters, made phone calls, and spent every single free minute I had after work hunting for a deal.

I got yelled at, hung up on, received nasty letters in the mail, got told to shove things where they don’t belong. I got rejected so many times. I quit at least a dozen times. But each time I came back to my “why”.

My “why” is this: I never want to deny my future wife and future kids any experience in their short lives because of money. I want them to have the world if they want it. I want to be at every basketball game, dance recital, and concert. I don’t want to miss a single meaningful moment in their lives because I am working a job that does not provide enough for them to experience the things they want to experience. I want their lives to be so full of love, laughter, and happiness.

Find Your “Why” And Don’t Look Back

Each time I came back to my “why” I would get right back to it. Start over. Reassess. Keep hustling.

Eventually, I found a deal and got paid a small referral fee for bringing that deal to an investor. Proof of concept.


Build on it every day, every hour, every minute. Build it until it works. Don’t stop. Remember your reasons, your “why”. Build it until it becomes more financially beneficial with each new month. Build it until it’s got a big enough foundation set to get you out of the rat race.

Stay off Netflix, get off Facebook. Build it, pay down your debts, start keeping more of your hard earned money and eventually jump off the hamster wheel and go explore the rest of what’s out there. After all, life is too short to not go get what you want.

And who knows, maybe one day you will run into the “old you” and be able to tell him about all the great things you experienced in life while he was on the couch, watching Netflix.

Thanks for following along!

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