Side Hustle Your Way to Self-Fulfillment

5 Lessons From a Self-Improvement Crash Course

Early in my professional career I had what every young aspiring professional usually wants, especially right after graduating from college.  For starters, I was offered employment before my last semester had even officially ended.

Just three days after I walked the stage at my Alma mater, I found myself employed as a contractor with the U.S. Department of Defense.  The job was in an entirely new city, which added a sense of adventure.  And I was getting paid quite handsomely.

Astonishingly, just two years later, I would find myself working in an even bigger city, with a ‘hipper’ company, and a cushier job, all the while receiving an even larger pay check (40% higher). One would think such outcomes would lead to higher levels of happiness and fulfillment for a person.

Oddly, this was not the case for me.  I had this nagging feeling inside of me at the time.  It was this internal sense that I wasn’t living up to my potential.  I just wasn’t fulfilled with what I was doing.   Maybe you can relate.

I was not long into my 3rd year as a member of this so called real ‘working world’; when I came to realize that my expectations of doing so much more as an individual were not being realized.

Consequently, I decided to make some dramatic changes in my life.  I knew I needed to do something different to create a feeling of self-fulfillment in my life.  So I rocked my own boat!  And below I am going to fill you in on exactly how I went about rocking it.

So without further ado, here are some things I did to rock my life into self-fulfillment.  My hope is that you may learn something from these experiences.  Use them as a life hack of sorts, so you can go about creating more fulfillment in your life.

Take a Leap

The first seemingly crazy thing I did to shake things up a bit and rock my own boat so-to-speak, was to leave my profession as a geospatial analyst, and leap into the real estate business.

I had zero experience in sales at the time, I was a borderline introvert from doing analytics type work for the past 2 years, and I had zero business sense.  As you might have guessed, my business crashed and burned.

I found myself in debt ($35,000 in credit card debt) after spending close to two years on another profession I would eventually leave.

The 5 Invaluable Lessons You Will Learn

However; it wasn’t all a waste.  What did work out in my benefit was that I learned a lot about myself, I learned about business, and I grew as an individual.  I did get a hard lesson in what it takes to succeed in the world of business.  But it was also a crash course in self-improvement.

As such, I would still to this day encourage anyone who is feeling unfilled in their job, to make the leap towards becoming their own boss.  Why?  Because you will acquire the following:

1 – Appreciation of Resources

When you go into business for yourself, you will learn the value of time. When your money is on the line or your efforts/lack of them cost you money, you will gain a better appreciation of your employer’s resources, and a better appreciation for how you use your own.  In turn, this can help you learn why operating at your optimum as an employee and a business owner is important for the company’s bottom line, and your own.

2 – A Sense of Personal Growth

In deciding to start your own business you will be getting yourself out of your comfort zone.  You will experience some immense personal growth by striving to learn new technologies and skills so you can make a profit for your business.  You will also grow in your social skills dramatically.  And if you are anything like I was, you will learn the value other people play in the success of your business.

3 – Perspective (Experience That Matters)

When you start running your own business, you have the opportunity to add more value to other people’s lives.    When your business gets underway, you will quickly learn that the only way you make any money, is when what you offer starts adding value to other people’s lives.

4 – Earning Ability

When you start your own business, you give yourself the chance to give yourself a raise.  Becoming an entrepreneur can give you an additional revenue stream for making more money.  This can help you save up and grow your nest egg quicker, it can give you more money to play with at the end of the month, or it can give you that extra bit of money you needed to take that 4 month European backpacking trip you’ve always wanted to take.

5 – Self-Fulfillment

If you feel like I did when I had a J.O.B, in terms of being unfilled or having untapped potential, seizing the opportunity to start your own business can remove any sense you may have, that you aren’t doing enough.  When you’re the boss, you get to decide what you want to work on, and when.  There is nothing more empowering than having the freedom to decide how you get to contribute to the marketplace.

So here is my recommendation.  If you are looking to shake things up like I did, make a similar leap and start your own business.

 

Start a Side Hustle

I have only one caveat for you if you do decide to take this course of action.  My caveat is that I would advise you to take a much different approach to starting your business.    Instead of leaping in the same manner as I did, I would instead recommend you start a side-hustle.   I could have done real estate on the side, but I was a too eager for change,and it cost me quite a bit of money.

The primary reason I recommend such a different approach now, is because of these following three very important reasons.

It is Easier

These days, starting a business is so much easier.  All you have to do is have a platform to bring your idea, product, or service to the market.  With drag and drop website building platforms like WordPress, simple point and click website hosting packages like Blue Host, and non-technical product delivery platforms like gumroad and samcart, establishing a platform has never been easier.

It is Smarter

With access to large amounts of people via social media, and their simple set up advertising campaigns, or free video sharing platforms like youtube.com and periscope.tv, it’s ridiculously easy to reach a large amount of people with your offerings.  Hence, you have a silly smart way to test the viability of your product, service, or brand before launching into your business full-time.  Taking this smart approach, can keep you from over committing your resources (like I did).

It is Safer

You can get a real feel of the business before you make a life-changing decision to quit your day job.  This approach is safer because it gives you the chance to test whether entrepreneurship is really for you.  And if it’s not, you still have the option to stick with what you’re doing or pursue other avenues that don’t put your livelihood at risk.

Conclusion

Making the decision to shake things up in my life by starting a business, was one of the best things I did for myself.  It has thrust me into a whole new world of creative adventures, flexible living, and endless money making opportunities.  But most importantly, it opened me up to accelerated self-actualization and a feeling of self-fulfillment.

I know taking a leap into the world of business may seem scary to some, but it doesn’t have to be.  Especially in this highly connected digital age; where new empowering resources are being created almost by the minute, specifically to make doing business easier for everyone.

There is no doubt you will grow personally and professionally from the experience of starting your very own business.  There is also the exciting likelihood that you will grow your net worth in the process, as I did.  So if something is missing in your life and you’re looking for ways to fulfill your potential, consider starting your own business, and go start a Side Hustle.

Till next time, Go be Great!

 

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