How to Hustle Like a Boss and Avoid Burnout at the Same Time
What does “hustle culture” mean to you?
For some, the word “hustle” conjures up images of successful businessmen and women doing what they love and making a difference while they’re doing it. But for others, “hustle” leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It can remind us of late nights without enough sleep, running on fumes just to get by, and a feeling of hopelessness, like we’ll never reach our endgame.
So let us ask you again: What does “hustling” mean to you? If you’re like most of us, you have a job, but you also have a passion. If those two things are totally aligned, that’s fantastic! But in case they’re not, you’ve probably thought about starting up a side-hustle to experience more personal fulfillment in your life.
However, running a side hustle is a challenge! Figuring out how to balance work and a side-hustle can be tricky, and it’s all too easy to fall into unhealthy patterns and even reach burnout — when you’ve worked so hard that you just don’t have the energy to keep going. You’ve used up all your passion and drive, and even your side hustle just feels like another job.
Nobody wants to experience burnout, and we don’t want that for you. The good news is that you can strike the right balance between work and life, between your main gig and your side hustle, and you can recover from burnout and learn how to avoid it in the future.
If you’re an entrepreneur or even an aspiring entrepreneur out there, today’s post is for you. If you’re ready to learn how to take your side hustle to the next level, scale your business without sacrificing time with loved ones, and achieve work-life balance overall, read on!
What’s Your Why?
Reaching your dreams, managing a successful side hustle, and balancing work and life all comes down to one thing: your unique purpose, the “why” behind everything you do. This is the essential idea that you’ll need to fall back on when times get tough, so it’s important to be totally clear on what it is.
What’s your purpose? What’s your why? Think about that side hustle you want to start or maybe have already started. Why do you do it? Maybe you love being a mom and you want to help other women be the best moms they can be, so you’ve started a community group. Maybe you’ve invented the next best thing in cycling helmet technology, and you want to mass-produce your product so you can share it with the next generation of cyclers. It could be something as simple as tutoring a high school student or coaching your local little league team. Whatever lights you up — that’s something worth pursuing.
So think about it: What’s your why? It’s important to get really clear on your answer to that question. In fact, we encourage you to take a few minutes right now — don’t worry, we won’t go anywhere — close your eyes, and visualize yourself pursuing your passion. What does that look like? What difference are you making in the world? Whose lives are you impacting, and how? Feel that energy and passion fill you up — and remember that feeling.
Take a minute to write down what you just visualized. That’s your why. That’s the backbone of your whole endeavor. Whether you take on a second job, open up a business, launch a coaching program, or start taking freelance jobs, now, you have everything you need to get started. You understand the meaning behind the work, and that meaning is essential. We love the way entrepreneur Jonathan Fields puts it:
“The first way to understand how to find meaningful work is to realize that meaningful work matters. Most people don’t look at a job and are like, ‘Is this meaningful for me? Will this opportunity or project actually give me the feeling that it matters — that I matter?’ We’re not even using that as criteria to judge what to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to.” – Jonathan Fields
Now that you’re clear on what matters most to you, you’ll know what opportunities to look for and what steps to take.
I’ve Got My Why … Now What?
You’ve thought, you’ve dreamt, you’ve meditated, and you’ve carefully considered why you’re passionate about what you want to do. Great! Now the question becomes — what next? Of course, that next action is going to be different for almost everyone, but here are a few solid tips to help you get started:
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Develop the Right Mindset
The most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to develop a strong mindset around both work and money. By developing a strong wealth mindset, you’ll set yourself up for success!
So what makes a good wealth mindset? Self-made millionaire Rachel Rodgers explains it like this:
When you hit a speed bump in life, do you view it as a problem that’s going to stop you or as an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson? When you don’t get the job, lose your investment, or don’t make the sale, do you feel like a failure, or do you recognize that every experience is for your good and showing you the path to a life of abundance?
When it comes to money mindset, it’s all about seeing every experience as an opportunity. You have to consciously change the words in your head from, “I can’t do this. I’m a failure. This will never work,” to, “I can do this. I know what to do differently next time. I will achieve greatness.” It takes constant practice, but reminding yourself to have a mindset of abundance and wealth will give you the ability to hustle like a boss every day.
Find a Mentor
One of the most important ways we can set ourselves up for success is to learn from those who have gone before us. If we intentionally avoid their mistakes and take their advice to heart, we give ourselves a major advantage right out of the gate.
Having a mentor who can spend time with you and counsel you in your field or industry is priceless. If you haven’t already started having conversations with others who are currently doing what you want to do, find someone just a few years ahead of you and see what you can learn!
If you’re looking to build wealth, find someone who has experience investing and take their financial advice seriously. If you want to start a business, talk to other small business owners in your local area. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take notes — your new mentor will likely be honored to share their wisdom with you.
Just Show Up
Purpose and passion? Check. Strong money mindset? Check. Wise mentor? Check, check, check. The only thing left is to show up.
Don’t get us wrong — it’s great to carefully consider and plan and learn and study before you start any new venture. You’ll save yourself from losing a lot of time and making more mistakes than you would otherwise. But on any journey in life, there comes a time when the only thing left is to take action.
And it’s not just about taking action; it’s about taking consistent action. It’s true — there’s just no way to succeed in business without really trying. To get any new business off the ground, it’s essential to put in the work every single day. You have to pound that pavement and do the actual building — only then can you achieve the life and side hustle of your dreams. It’s not easy, but it works.
After all, that’s the whole reason you took the time to identify your purpose, right? So that when the going gets tough, you have that ultimate why to fall back on. In the moments when you don’t want to work that extra hour, make that next phone call, or write that next chapter, you can think back to your reason for hustling and find the joy and energy to keep showing up for yourself and your hustle every single day. But it’s also critical to remember what Ryan Holmes says:
But How Do I Avoid Burnout?
While it’s important to show up every single day and keep grinding toward success, sometimes we hit burnout. It’s okay — it happens to the best of us. But unfortunately, burnout can be detrimental — not only to our work, but to our mental health, mindsets, and relationships. But what exactly is burnout?
The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” In other words, it’s when work-related frustration and anxiety have built up so much that you experience total exhaustion.
So what are the signs of burnout, and how can we avoid them?
Here are just a few burnout warning signs to look out for:
- Regularly working too late
- Even small problems or changes feel like big issues
- Getting sick more often
- Feeling disengaged in your work and relationships
- Feeling like you have too many tasks and too few resources
- Being unable to let go of perfection
Do any of those feel familiar? If so, you could be approaching the existential crisis we call burnout. An existential crisis, in the words of Jonathan Fields, is a crisis of meaning; it’s when there’s a complete breakdown of the connection between the “what” of your work and the “why” behind it.
How Do I Recover from Burnout?
So how can you recover, and how can you avoid reaching burnout again in the future?
The most important thing you can do is restore the connection between your what and your why. This might mean starting a new meditation practice, and it might mean taking an extended vacation. No matter how much time you need to take, the most important thing you can do is revisit the purpose and passion you felt so strongly about at the beginning of your venture. Do you still feel lit up in the same way by your vision? If so, you’ll need to make some changes to your work environment — more on that in a minute — but you’ll be able to return to work once you’ve rested up. And if your purpose no longer feels the same, then it’s time to start the process over and adjust your course.
Then, once you’ve taken the time to re-identify with your purpose, the best thing you can do is set new boundaries. If you realized you were regularly working late hours and missing out on your family, your new boundary could be that your work phone, email, and Slack notifications all turn off at 5:00 PM. If your problem was having too much work and not enough resources, it’s time to start setting boundaries by saying “no” to tasks you just can’t handle right now. Be firm with your boundaries as you plug back into your purpose, and you’ll be hustling again in no time at all!
Ready to Hustle?
Whether you’re starting a brand new side hustle or you’ve been running your small business for a while, chances are, you’re no stranger to work stress. It happens to all of us; burnout has definitely been on the rise in recent years. But there’s good news: You can detect signs of burnout early, plug into your purpose, and hustle like a boss.
It’s true! It is possible to achieve the right work-life balance — it just takes a clear vision and the right boundaries. When you have a passion and a clearly identified why behind your goals, you have the ability to do anything. And when you have a strong money mindset, the right mentor, and the ability to show up while maintaining the right boundaries for you, you’ll be absolutely unstoppable!
What is it that you want to do? Are you ready to try stand-up comedy? Do you want to learn to fly a plane? Have you been dreaming of opening up your own coaching business? Whatever your dream, we know you can achieve it! Take your first step today — you’ll be glad you did.
Now, are you ready to hustle?