These days everyone has a side hustle. Actually - everyone’s side hustle has a side hustle. It’s true - talk to any musician or industry person and they will tell you no less than 5 things they are working on. It’s insanity! It’s insanity, but it’s also the reality of trying to build a name and career for yourself. However, just because we’re all playing in this crazy music industry game doesn’t mean that we’re immune to life getting too big to take on. Recently, I know this all too well (hey! Blair here). I just had a baby 4 months ago and I’m trying to make it all work - family, business, hobbies, and side hustle(s). I’ve struggled to get it right, but I’m working on it.
What do you do when it all gets to be too much? Sometimes, you need to realize that certain things have to take a backseat for a bit.
As a reminder to myself and our rad readers, here’s how I’ve started to get back on track:
Ask - what pays me?
While I am ALL about exploring your creativity and thinking through every idea you have, when your time is diminished, you have to prioritize what puts food on the table and pays the rent. Once you’ve gotten to a better place, your additional pursuits can re-enter your life.
Ask - what is ONE thing I can do that will help achieve my long term goal?
Maybe you don't have time to fit in everything, but if there is one thing you can focus on to get you to the next level, then make time for that. If your artist project isn't to the point that it pays you (checking off spot number 1 above) then find something for spot #2 that will help get you there (assuming that's your goal). If you're pressed for time and it seems like all you can do to keep your head above water, maybe you can eek out ONE song a week. Or go to one show. This way you aren't completely abandoning your goals while you sort out life for a while.
Ask - what gives me joy?
Not to be hippy dippy here, but after your financial needs are met, what is the hustle that makes you happiest? Do that. There are so many things that I’ve taken on that seem fun at first and then honestly seem like a chore after I’ve gotten into it. If it’s not paying you and not making you happy, then why the the hell are you putting time and effort into it? Fire yourself from that job and take a mental break.
Ask - is there a point?
What’s the point of what you’re doing? If you can give ANY answer within the first 2 seconds of that question being asked, then keep it on your plate. However, if you honestly don’t know why you’re trying to keep up with something (or worse, it seems like you might be doing something for the sake of appearances), then drop it! It has no room in your precious 24 hour day.
Keep a list.
Grab a notebook (or your handy tiny computer that fits in your pocket) and keep a list of all of the ideas you want to come back to when you’re able to come up for air. Maybe when you come back to it you’ll realize some are genius…. And some not so much! That’s cool too - at least you didn’t spend a whole bunch of time hashing through a non-idea.
Give yourself a lot of grace.
When you have a ton going on, it’s easy to feel powerless to the workload in front of you. If you acknowledge that times are going to be tough for a few days/weeks/months then you can give yourself permission to shift gears for a while. Sometimes you cannot do “ALL THE THINGS!” and that’s ok. Go easy on yourself.
If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that we’ve been a bit off and on with our posts these past few months. While I love writing this and getting feedback from everyone, it just had to take a backseat while I learned my new role (mom). Thanks for your understanding and sticking with us while we figure out how to get back to some version of our new normal! And thanks to Randolph for coming in with his perspective each month! You can check all of those out here.