[We've got a great article today by my boy Zee from Work-to-Not-Work.com. He brings up something good to consider while y'all are out there looking for new side hustles!]
Most personal finance sites I read have at least 1 post (or entire sections) about having a side hustle. The reasons behind why you should do this usually falls into “diversify your income streams” or simply, “increase your income.” The two ideas go hand in hand so it really doesn’t matter which reasoning you are using because all apply.
I’ve been told that the best side hustles are doing something that you are passionate about. If you enjoy graphic design, creating websites on the side might be a good idea. If you like to find bargains at flea markets, then maybe you should open a shop on eBay or Amazon with what you find. If it’s something that you enjoy, then you get to enjoy the experience along with making a side income – a win-win scenario.
I have always been reluctant to find a side hustle. Personally, I view my free time as valuable so whatever hustle I do has to either moderately pay me back, or have the potential to really pay me back. It would be great to have a hustle that I really enjoy and happens to make me money, but if I have to repeatedly do it over and over again then it will probably turn something I enjoy into “work” pretty quickly. And I’m not really trying to ruin my hobbies.
I also think that the only things that I would enjoy doing are not really things that other people would actually pay me for. Sure it would be great to get paid to watch NetFlix but honestly, I pay to do that, no one is going to pay me. (Though maybe I should look into the Nielson company and see if I can get paid to watch regular TV? That would be worth my time!)
Anyways, a few weeks ago my friend who happens to be an artist had a painting party for her birthday. Since I used to be really into collecting art (an expensive habit I might add), I was excited to be the one painting something for once. I don’t consider myself to be very artistic, especially in comparison to those painters I would regularly go see at galleries, but it sounded fun. Since I knew the actual quality of my painting would not be very good, I decided to make a painting that was funny, that way people might still enjoy it even if it looks like something a 7 year old painted in school.
Before the actual party my friend told us to send her a picture of what we wanted to paint and she would sketch it on the canvas for us as a guide to paint over. To make a long story short, I think my painting turned out pretty well. It’s funny and the actual “painting” part of it is not too bad:
Since I enjoyed painting it so much, I decided that I wanted to hang it up on my walls. Which in turn, made me decide to frame it. This required me to paint the frame because honestly the color of frame that I was looking for would not be readily available. I did a first coat on the frame in a neon pink, then once that dried I put over a crackled layer of green so you could still see the pink through it.
It took a few extra days to do all of this and learn how to frame something on canvas, but I had a lot of fun creating something and learning new skills. Here’s a picture of it after framing:
As more people have seen it, a few have suggested that I could sell it. Since I followed the art scene I know where I could do this probably pretty easily, and if all else failed I could always try Etsy or eBay.
But here’s my problem: I like it too much to want to sell it!
I realize that I did not originally set out to make this a side hustle, so maybe it’s not a total fail, but I could easily see myself trying to make a fun activity into income. Some people at work have even said they would buy paintings from me when I joked about making a zombie hello kitty painting. [Editor's Note: I know I would! Haha... I love this type of painting style!]
The problem is, I’m too attached to what I create. Their personal worth to me is much greater than a dollar amount I could reasonably stand to receive. And this is why I’m terrible at the whole side hustle business that other bloggers are always talking about. I think it’s a great idea for some people, but for me it just doesn’t seem to work because doing things for passion means I’d want to keep what I produce, not sell it.
Are there any artists out there that have this same issue? Is it possible I started doing something I’m too passionate about? We will see what the future holds, but for now I am enjoying the spot near my desk at work where it’s currently hanging.
Zee is a personal finance blogger in San Francisco. You can find more of his writing at Work To Not Work where he writes about his journey to reach financial independence and escape the corporate workplace. He is not a Brony.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I think Zee brings up a REALLY good point. And I’m willing to bet a ton of others have this same problem too – at least in the art scene. As I mentioned to Zee, I wonder if this would change if you got paid *ahead* of the process of the artwork? Like, would it reduce temptation since you’re making it or someone else right off the start? AND you already have the money in your hands so now you’ *have to* hand it over? It’s interesting to think about for sure.
Luckily, however, there are a ton of OTHER great ways to rock a side hustle too. Particularly by offering *services*. So don’t give up quite yet, Zee and others in the same boat! Maybe you guys can find a way to drum up some cash in a more boring way? ;)
[Neon passion sign by Anthony Easton]