Having a side hustle can ruin your chances of success

Ruti Dadash answers why having a side hustle can ruin your chances of success.

This story explains why.

This is a good story, so sit back, relax, and enjoy the read.

Many years ago, I read a short story by Hanoch Teller that had a powerful message.

A businessman was rushing to catch his train on the subway, and dumps a dollar into the cup that some random guy shoves under his nose. This guy then chases him through the station, calling out, “Sir! Hey, Sir!”

What does he want already, thinks the man. I gave him his dollar, does he want more? Leave me alone, I have a train to catch!

The guy finally catches up to him as he gets on the train, and hands him a pencil. “You paid for it Sir, here’s your pencil!”

The man is taken aback, and says, “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you were a merchant.” The doors close, and he is whisked away towards his destination.

Fast forward a few months. This man is walking through another station, in less of a hurry this time, and stops to buy a newspaper at a stand. The owner takes one look at him and exclaims, “It’s you!”

“Me? What about me? Do I know you?”

“I used to sell pencils at subway stations. You’re the one who told me, ‘I didn’t realise you were a merchant’. Well, I hadn’t either. I suddenly saw myself in a whole new light! I started selling more items, hired other people, and I now have these stands in subway stations across the city — and it’s all because of you! Please, help yourself to anything you like from my stand, it’s yours for free.”

Beautiful story, with so much to take from it.

The pencil-seller didn’t suddenly develop new abilities, or receive an unexpected windfall. He simply gained a new perspective on what he was doing already. He wasn’t just a loser who sold pencils for a dollar, he was a merchant!

The same can apply to you.

Having a side hustle often implies that this is a ‘project’ or ‘fun way of making spare cash’. Coming in with this attitude pretty much guarantees you won’t become the next success story.

Whether you do graphics, catering, photography, therapy or copywriting, it’s not just a side hustle. You’re not just trying to freelance in your spare time.

You’re running a business.

That simple mindshift can lead to a huge shift in reality.

Do you have systems in place to run your business effectively? Do you track what works and what doesn’t? Are you committed to growing your business?

Don’t just think of it as a side hustle. It’s a business, and once you treat it like that, you’ll be far more likely to reach success.

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