Making more money is on everyone’s mind. As it should be. Finding ways to pull in more cash is one of the fastest ways to hit your money goals. The question that is rarely answered is how should I allocate my time to make that a reality? To help with that question, I present the Hierarchy of Hustling.
We are going the opposite of Maslow, the higher we go the less time they get. Beware The Death Trap, when something wastes more time than it’s worth it falls off and starts on fire.
The Hierarchy of Hustling
The Base – The 9 to 5 Grind
Surprised? I thought you wanted to escape the 9 to 5, but here you are telling me this is where I should spend the bulk of my Hustle?
Let’s break why this 9 to 5 thing is so important
- By default, you are required to show up for at least 40 hours per week
- It represents the biggest chunk of your income
- The income is steady and stable
- High opportunity for salary growth, that compounds over time (I love percentage raises)
- Benefits (401k, Health, Dental, Life Insurance, etc) that are worth protecting
Health Insurance alone is nothing to bat an eye at. The 401K tax benefits save us thousands every year on top of the free money match. Our income progression has been our single biggest money win over the last 7 years and it hasn’t slowed down. If you are going to dedicate 40+ hours/week you might as well hustle your ass to make more.
On top of all that:
It allows you to build a nest egg and pay your bills while you work on the next level
Focussing on the corporate career could be considered conservative, but with a family, a mortgage, a dog, and a slew of other financial responsibilities it is a must for us. If you are ok with the risk, feel free to chuck your 9 to 5 into the wind and move onto the Passion Project (I just don’t recommend it 🙂 ).
Side Hustle – The Passion Project
Before I talk passion projects, I want to talk My side hustling philosophy:
I’m not interested in doing something that pays me far less than I earn at my day job. I would rather work on something that has the ability to pay off bigger later that I also enjoy doing.
Which leads to my passion project, working on Apathy Ends. The pay is poor right now but I believe in the long-term opportunities working on this site will unlock.
The Passion Project should be something that can shift to the base when you have proven out you can make it work. It’s something you enjoy doing. Hopefully, it is something you are creating, or a skill that allows you to create (coding for example).
It is also hard to break into, you can’t just crack open a new URL or business and start raking in the cash. If it were that easy everyone would do it.
I look at this as something that has the ability to pay off big or be a form of passive income in the future. That is just my opinion, and is likely driven by the fact that I want to leave full-time work earlier than most. Making a ton of money isn’t a necessity, it could be your new “job” after you have enough money to ditch the 9 to 5.
Just make sure you love it.
Side Hustle – The Convenient Cash Grab
This falls into the “day to day dollars” bucket, you aren’t going to make a killing but if you have some smaller savings goals or want to pay for a vacation this is a good spot to start.
Some examples: Driving for Uber or Lyft, walking dogs or dog sitting, delivering food, or charging electric scooters, freelance writing, etc.
The good thing is they don’t require a ton of skill or knowledge to start out and the money is decent. If you can download an app, drive a car or walk and hold a leash you are in business.
I call this The Convenient Cash Grab because you can pick up some work when you free time or are simply driving in a direction you think someone else wants to go. Personally, I don’t spend a lot of time here because the aforementioned “Free time” is rare and eaten up by my full-time job and my Passion Project.
*If any of those sound good to you – my buddy Kevin from Financial Panther is a side hustling pro and has the info you need.
Side Hustle – The Death Trap
Let me introduce you to The Death Trap of time vs money: Paid Online Surveys
If I had a nickel for every “survey sign up” pitch I get bombarded with on social media or my inbox, I would have more than you can actually make filling out these surveys for 100 straight hours.
I tried them, I hated them, and they are a colossal waste of a valuable resource, your time. Seriously, I filled out about 5 “pre-surveys” that took 5-15 minutes and paid me some “points” then never got invited to do the actual survey where I could earn slightly more points.
There are only a few people winning and they aren’t answering a hundred questions on a scale of 1 to please murder me. They are conning you into signing up.
Death Trap Number 2: Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)
“99% of people that invest in MLM’s don’t make back their original investment.” – Federal Trade Commission
Open the nostrils and take that big stinky pile of side hustle in. Puke.
I watched the MLM cycle play out first hand growing up. A new one is created, someone gets “rich” they sign up some other people below them. Then there are parties thrown where everyone comes over and drinks the kool-aid (literally and figuratively, because there was a punch bowl).
I don’t even know how many products a certain member of my family tried to shill, but I do know that riches were never found and the extra inventory bought to hit minimum spends was given away as Christmas presents for years to come.
Instead of pursuing The Death Trap, focus your time anywhere on the actual pyramid. Even if you fail your knowledge will be more valuable than what you make down here.
What do you think of my Hierarchy of Hustle? Do you agree that the 9 to 5 should outweigh the Passion Project?