3 Signs Your Side Hustle Isn't Working Out

by Maurie Backman | Published on Sept. 7, 2021

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If these factors apply to you, it may be time to get a different side gig.

There are plenty of benefits to having a side hustle on top of your main job. For one thing, the extra money could help you meet your financial goals, whether it's buying a home, padding your savings account, or paying off nagging debt. Plus, if the pandemic taught us anything, it's that it never hurts to have a source of backup income in case something happens to your primary job.

But if you're going to hold down a side gig, it's important to find the right one. If these factors apply to you, take it as a sign that your side hustle just isn't working for you.

1. It's not as financially rewarding as you expected

It can take time for a side hustle to be lucrative, especially if it's the sort of gig (like writing or web design) that requires you to promote your services and build up a customer base. But if you've been plugging away at your side hustle for months and it's just not drumming up as much income as you would've expected, then it may be time to try something new.

It's a good idea to talk to different people you know who also have side jobs and learn more about their experiences. There may be a gig out there that pays a lot more than what you're making right now for the same number of hours.

2. It's hurting your performance at your main job

Earning money on the side can help you attain financial stability. But if your side hustle causes your performance to falter at your main job, you'll do the opposite -- put your primary course of income at risk.

If you find that you're constantly having to sneak out of your office to take calls from clients during the day, or you're showing up to work exhausted after having worked late-night shifts, then it may be time to look for a side gig that better fits your schedule.

3. It's causing you to burn out

Maintaining a side hustle isn't easy, especially when your main job keeps you busy enough. And you may run into the occasional week when you can't seem to carve out more than a few minutes for yourself.

But if your side hustle is making it so you truly don't have a life and you're spending every waking hour working, then it's probably not a sustainable gig. In time, you're likely to burn out, and you may cause yourself physical and mental health problems that just aren't worth it. Instead, aim to find a side gig whose hours are more flexible or one that allows you to cut your hours when things get busier at your primary job.

Working a side gig isn't easy when you already have a full-time job. If you're going to hold down a side hustle, make sure it's truly the right fit. And if it isn't, don't be afraid to go out and explore a different opportunity.

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