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5 ways to avoid burnout while taking side hustles

  • ‘Sidepreneur’ Daniella Flores (they/them) has 12 streams of income.
  • They say it’s easy to burn out in an effort to make more money, but there are ways to protect yourself from it.
  • Do not invest too much time or money, do not take low prices and choose a concert that you like.

The culture of side-hustle can lead enthusiastic creators and small-business owners to burnout, says I Like to Dabble blogger Daniella Flores.

Flores, who uses the pronouns they/they, is a sidepreneur who currently has 12 streams of income, including freelance writing, consulting services, digital products, affiliate partnerships, and investment dividends.

They’ve found so much success in the sideline hustle world that they’re considering quitting their full-time jobs in IT to focus strictly on their side jobs and growing their consulting business for those who want start their own side business.

However, that doesn’t mean it was easy. They have gone through a lot of trial and error when it comes to having hustles and finding balance in their lives. “I’m not for people who work so hard that they get lost,” Flores told Insider. “I unfortunately put myself through it, and I’ve worked so hard the last two years in particular.”

Flores was able to create a little more breathing room for themselves while they are still working full-time jobs, for the time being. But as they move forward focusing full-time on their secondary pursuits, they’ve learned — with the help of therapy — five ways to avoid burnout.

1. Make sure you don’t work too many hours

When you have jostling and could be spending every waking hour working, it’s important to remember that you need to make room for downtime. Especially since most people who have side hustles keep a full-time job – hence the “side” in side hustles – it’s very easy to work too many hours.

For example, Flores points out to Insider that even if you only spend 20 hours working a week, if you work 40 hours a week at your full-time job, that means you’re working 60 hours a week.

“The side hustles are great and all, but don’t overload your time and engage in a bunch of side hustles for like extra money just to save up for early retirement,” Flores said. “I obviously approve of side hustles, but I’m not for people who work so hard that they get lost.”

Flores said they need to limit their own hours spent on side activities. Because they are currently busy and working full-time, they only spend about eight hours a week on side jobs, until they can become full-time self-employed.

2. Remember that a side hustle is work

One thing that can be very taxing, Flores said, is managing the logistics of your stampede. These endeavors are businesses, after all, and require you to spend time dealing with taxes, registration, and other legal issues.

Flores said side hustles are still “work,” even though they’re meant to provide more passive streams of income to supplement other work you’re doing. “It’s still something I have to file taxes on; it’s still a business I have to run,” they said. When Flores went from being an employee of W2 to having an LLC for I Like to Dabble, their taxes skyrocketed, and they hope to change that by moving to an S Corp.

3. Understand your business expenses in advance

Flores also said it’s important to remember how much money you’re spending to run your side businesses.

“Especially if you’re planning to take time off from your job to focus on your side activities, make sure you understand your monthly expenses, your profits, and how much you can actually afford after taxes,” Florès says. “It’s something that took me a bit of time to fully understand at first.”

4. Do not accept too low rates or invest too much

“I would say another version of the toxic side scam would be working for really minimum wage in a bad environment,” Flores said.

They gave the example of some low-paying and time-consuming hustle and bustle of the “gig economy”. For example, if you plan to work for a ride-sharing company but have to use your own car and pay for that car’s maintenance and insurance for a low rate of pay, it’s probably not worth it.

5. Make sure you like your hustle

Flores said the surest way to ensure you have a toxic bad experience with side hustle is to invest your time and energy in side hustle that you don’t actively want to do.

They added that they think people end up doing this because their vision of success for a lucrative side hustle wouldn’t necessarily align with who they really are and what they have a passion for doing.

“I think the difference between having a side hustle that’s good for you — or not — is making sure you enjoy it,” Flores said. “It aligns with the things you want to do and your values. You really want to do it every day.”

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