I had an online mentoring session with a lovely client at the start of the week. We spoke about confidence, about fitting in and standing out and the conversation naturally turned to ‘out of work’ interests, things that are a huge part of my client’s life and elevate her confidence.... things that have been labelled by a board colleague as a ‘side hustle’. It was on her mind and that started me thinking.
What do you see when you look at your people, your teams, your colleagues, your friends? Are you subconsciously packing people’s lives into pieces – work life, home life, hobbies, side hustles? Do the things we emotionally invest in mean any less if we’re not doing them during the largest part of the working week and more importantly, shouldn’t those talents be encouraged and celebrated rather than relegated to an aside? What possibilities could that open up?
The chat also reminded me of being in a similar situation to my client, many years ago.
I created music. I also had a marketing job. I was doing both at different times of the day, night, week and weekend. It was way before the phrase ‘side hustle’ was born, but to me there was nothing side about it! I was in a band. I was signed to an artist development company and every week I performed and created songs. It was a world away from the office where I spent the majority of my daily time of course, but was it a separate part of me? Did it mean I gave any less or was any less committed to the day job? Absolutely not.
That creativity and insight, that unique perspective I was developing, fuelled some of the best pitches I created at the time. It was the reason I genuinely connected with clients (and often found out they had ‘hidden’ talents they wanted to chat about too, which was telling in itself). I brought every part of me to work every day and vica versa. There was no aside or disconnect.
Our interests, our passions, all the different things fuelling our creativity can’t be boxed up and segmented. They're intrinsic. They drive how we think, feel and respond. We can be the gardener, the writer, the software developer, the artist, the marketeer and learn and draw confidence from every layer and every facet.
So, at the end of the mentoring session we agreed... in fact we shouted it out loud and then laughed.
"The side hustle is dead"!
We mean the phrase of course... because the length of time we all spend on whatever fires us up isn't important. Our passions make us who we are, we bring them to work every day and the potential of realising that and harnessing it is very simple, but very, very powerful.