Don't Be Taken In By The Allure Of A Side Hustle - It May Not Make Sense For You

In a culture where constantly doing things is the norm, it can be easy to get swept up in the business of it all. Hustle culture places productivity, ambition, and success as the ultimate motivator for young people today, but it comes at a price: our well-being. With little regard for the impact keeping busy without any work-life balance can have, a side hustle can lead to toxic productivity and a glorified, unrealistic example of hard work.


Don't get us wrong — hard work is a state of being that many people thrive in, and more power to ya! Especially if you're a woman, a person of color, queer, disabled, or an intersection of any. If workplace misogyny has taught us anything, it's that men will try and discredit a hardworking person doing difficult things (pretty easily, btw). However, incorporating a side hustle into your busy schedule isn't always sustainable for someone seeking a balanced life. And while the allure of a side hustle can appear glamorous, it isn't always what it seems.

It can be detrimental to your mental health

It goes without saying that doing too much will inevitably lead to a wide array of feelings. At first, it's wondering if you're doing enough. Then, it's wondering whether you're doing too much without knowing how to stop, which eventually can lead to burnout. According to Talkspace therapist Dr. Olga Molina, "Workers in a hustle culture have lost the ability for a work-life balance that's critical for positive mental health." If you're working a full-time job, odds are your schedule is already filled with meetings, projects, and events, leaving little room for additional business and essential self-care time.


Additionally, side hustles can be a passive form of income rather than an exercise in honing skills you're passionate about. Of course, we respect the hustle — but can a side hustle keep you away from your dream career? As recruiter Niani Tolbert told Insider, "A lot of people may feel as though more money will solve their problems, rather than taking a step back and identifying how you can hop off the spirit of hustle culture and redirect your energy into creating a career."

It can lead to unexpected and impulsive spending

Spending money can be a direct result of built-up stress. If you spend most of your week completing tasks for your full-time job while also running your side hustle, you're likely to reward your hard work by spending excessive amounts on the weekend. The desire to make a passive income also comes with the desire to spend the disposable money you make, which can lead to toxic financial habits and a never-ending desire to make everything a profitable action.


According to Tolbert, "When I think of a paper-chaser, they might be spreading themselves thin just to be able to make money in the short-term," she explained. "If that's the case, you're just always going to be a workhorse." The process of starting a business can be exciting and new, but each step contributes to burnout, which we're all trying to avoid. At the end of the day, you shouldn't feel like your job takes away all of your energy. If you still feel good at the end of a work day, honor that rather than filling up that time with another job.

It can affect your full-time job

Once you settle into your side hustle, it can be easy to get distracted from your full-time job. Working on two projects at a time, especially one which you run yourself, can stretch you thin in ways that impact your work ethic and time management. Not only are you susceptible to losing focus, but your side hustle can be identified by your manager as a distraction — leaving the future of your full-time role up in the air.


In more technical terms, a side hustle can also be prohibited by your company. According to sociologist Alexandrea Ravenelle, "A car service might not want workers driving for Uber in their free time, or a graphic design company might look down upon a worker offering discounted services on Fiverr," she explained to CNBC. Before you start your side hustle, it's always best to check with your manager to make sure you're abiding by the guidelines of your workplace.

Above all, our energy is made up of the sleep we get, the self-care routines we engage in, and the health we prioritize. Without all of these in check — especially if interrupted by a side hustle — your job, finances, and mental health can be affected. While we admire hard work, we also value self-preservation. We think you should consider it, too.