THE BLOG
01/14/2015 02:08 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Side Hustle

January is always full of resolutions. New year. New you. I get that. I appreciate the chance to begin fresh and see what new things you can do to improve yourself. What I do not appreciate is losing track of these resolutions circa end of February or March, leaving you empty handed and feeling down on yourself. I have been there far too many times.

The problem is not with you following through or taking action. Instead, it is more likely a disconnect between your mindset and your "resolution." The overall idea of a New Year's resolution is inefficient because it is a finite concept. One example, "I want to learn a new language in 2015." A great quest, but after you declare that resolution, what happens? It becomes too vague and you lose track of it, as any human would, after a month or two of working at it. Your whole years' worth of resolution just ended in three months.

My call is to take what you want to improve about your life, and shift your mindset from it being a resolution to it being your side hustle. I credit one of my best friends Matt with this term. He called me from San Francisco after reading a previous article of mine and suggested I outline what this idea and mindset looks like.

The mindset of the side hustle is granting yourself the tenacity and spark that entrepreneurs experience when starting and running their own companies. It gives you ownership. It puts your skin in the game. It does not limit what you can accomplish. These principles greatly increase your chance of success and follow through on the things you are looking to improve for the New Year, or for anytime of the year. Another way to look at this more simply is asking yourself the question: "What am I doing with my time outside of work or class?"

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You may consider work or class your day job. It is crucial to excel at these, but you still have a great amount of time outside of your day job that you can turn into actionable learning and improvement.

Your side hustle.

For me, my main side hustle for 2015 is in fact learning a new language. I have been itching to do this ever since living in Europe. How will I do it? After understanding how I learn, a couple of ways:

  • 30 minutes of study in the morning (before work) with apps Duolingo and Mango
  • 30 minutes of study in the evening (after work) listening to conversation and practicing vocabulary through an app called Quizlet
  • 30 minutes over the weekend practicing my speech with native speakers and friends on a similar journey

This is a plan I have built for myself to work on each day. Yours will likely look different, but be sure to not scare yourself with your own plan of action. Set goals you can achieve every day to help you stay motivated and excited. It is not my resolution to learn a new language, instead it is one of my part-time jobs.

My side hustle.

My final note on your side hustle; be patient. Don't be discouraged. Stay with it. No matter how little time per day you can allocate to it, you will grow. Let's do it!

What is your side hustle for 2015? Do you have more than one? Connect with on LinkedIn and let's talk strategies for our improvement.