DO THE HUSTLE

In my teens the local disco was full of older cool kids who were just the business. Slinky flairs and platform boots abounded. And when The Hustle (as in ‘Do The Hustle!’ from Saturday Night Fever) came on, wordlesslessly they would form a line and dance in formation, all slinky hips and confident smirks. I’d practise at home, ready for the day I joined that line, but I could never get it right. I never did do The Hustle.

But I’m doing it now. The Side Hustle, that is. Spending time each week working on a new project that’s unrelated to my day job. And nowadays having a secondary revenue stream or side project alongside your day job is A Major Thing. Books are written about doing it right, being organised and efficient so you don’t get sacked.

Side hustles are a big deal, especially with younger generations – in fact it’s common to have numerous extra projects on the go alongside a full-time job, eg, blogging, writing a book, running a networking group and pop-up supper club, while doing someone’s business social media for them as a lucrative sideline. It makes your head spin. For some, it’s like their work is never done, they’re always on the go. And arguably that’s what it takes to get on, to develop the kind of personal brand that allows them to be a mover and a shaker – and earn enough to actually afford the rent.

But in mid-life, priorities are perhaps not the same. Hopefully we’ve arrived at a point where we earn enough money to live off doing something we’re good at and don’t need a finger in the maximum number of pies in order to survive. Or at least we don’t feel the need to multi-task to such an extent that we become overwhelmed.

But that doesn’t mean we should lack ambition. If we want more from life, if we have an itch we’ve never had the opportunity to scratch, a side hustle – perhaps just one – might be the very thing. In some cases that side hustle might not make money – it might be more about doing something that has meaning, that fills our hearts with joy. Or it might develop into a whole new career or venture.

I’m recommending doing The Hustle. I’ve been doing it for a year now, and it’s been my best ever. Some weeks it’s all I can think about, all I can do. Other weeks it’s had to go on the back-burner, when ‘flu or work or family stuff have got in the way. There have been periods when I’ve totally lost my motivation and felt like I’ll never get it back. But somehow it’s still on track. At bloody last I’m doing The Hustle.

Words: Louisa B