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How to Stay Happy in the Hustle

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Did you know that 45% of people in the U.S. have reported to have a side gig on top of their full-time job? That’s about 70 million people. When you look at millennials alone, that number jumps to 50%. According to data, about 57 million people own a side business that isn’t their main source of income. 

The hustle culture is not only alive and well, it’s quickly growing. Many people are finding that having a diverse revenue stream is smart — especially in times when it’s unclear where the economy is heading. 

You’ve probably noticed the inspirational #hustle hashtags on Instagram and Twitter, and read the countless career books that praise the art of the hustle. And while your career (and bank account) may be thriving, you also need to ask yourself: Are you happy with what you’re doing? Is your hustle giving you purpose and allowing you to propel yourself forward both professionally and personally? 

Here are some ways you can make sure to keep yourself happy in the hustle.

1. Know when to say “no”

As a hustler, your gut instinct may lead you to want to say “yes” to everything — every assignment, client, project, you name it. The hustler in us will always try to tackle every possible task we humanly can, because we want to succeed and outperform expectations.

But by saying “yes” to every proposal and request, you will eventually run out of bandwidth. This inevitably not only risks overwhelming yourself, but not being able to give projects and tasks your fullest attention. This could cause further problems with the relationships, connections, or networks that you’ve already worked so hard to establish. 

Analyze what projects are worth it. This could be a money factor, a timing factor, or a general fit factor. Is the client easy or hard to work with? Ask yourself how much you can take on, and don’t beat yourself up if you have to turn down work. That’s the nature of business, and truth be told, when you have the option to say “no” to something, it actually means you’re doing something right. 

“It’s only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” – Steve Jobs

2. Learn how to delegate 

Hard work is admirable, but you don’t always need to be the one doing it. If you have your own consulting business, could you be delegating certain time-consuming, smaller tasks to subcontractors? If your end goal is to prioritize high-level ideation and project management, it could be wise to start hiring freelancers to do the more menial tasks.

Learning to delegate tasks is an essential part of becoming an efficient hustler. There are always people out there looking for part-time, contract-based work. Can you pinpoint what tasks have a high impact versus tasks that don’t? Do you know how to effectively prioritize? 

Although you may feel that you need to have your hands on every phase of the project, recognizing the skills and abilities of others, and how they can bring value, lifts some of the stress and burden off you. It’s also key to understanding your own workflow in order to not only be successful, but to stay happy and avoid burnout.

The more you take on to accomplish your professional goals, the more you’ll realize that you can’t possibly do everything. In fact, even when you think the business or project can only be handled by you, at some point, you need to step away and let others handle the low-hanging fruit. Plus, by having other people in your corner, you don’t have to say “no,” nearly as often.

3. Be open to challenges and learning new subjects

It can be intimidating at first to dive into a subject you’re not completely familiar with, whether it’s content marketing, newsletter campaigns, business development, or another field. But variety can be key to shaking up your routine and keeping your attention and skills engaged and nimble. The same old day-in and day-out tasks can get boring and mundane, which can impact your overall sense of happiness and satisfaction with your work. 

Maybe the task or challenge at hand will require you to learn how to develop a new skill or use a tool that you’re unfamiliar with. Instead of looking at this through the lens of, “This new thing won’t benefit me right now,” consider what long-term gains it may offer. After all, the more you learn and expose yourself to new facets of business, tech, and entrepreneurship, the more tools you have in your arsenal, and the more you can offer future clients. 

Challenges can be intimidating, but they’re ultimately a good thing. Keep an open mind, adopt positive thinking, and go for it. Yes, you need to know when to say “no,” but hustlers also know when it’s the time to say, “Hell, yeah.” Your resume and growing skillset will thank you for it.

4. Lean on your network for support

It’s incredibly important to have established a group of professionals whom you can go to for advice. I have many folks in my network who I often consult with when it comes to questions about staffing, business models, and vision. When you have a trustworthy group of people whom you can get advice from, it makes you feel less alone and more supported.

Support from your colleagues is also key to staying happy and feeling confident in what you’re doing. Plus, it’s never a bad thing to rely on someone else’s knowledge and expertise and see if they have any insights. Collaboration is a powerful tool, and without it, you may miss opportunities you couldn’t see by relying on your own insight or perspective alone.

“The richest people in the world look for and build networks, everyone else looks for work.” – Robert Kiyosaki

5. Take time to rest

The hustle is real, but so is your mental health. Know your limits, and allow yourself to unplug and give your brain and your body a break. This might mean going for a jog, watching a game on TV, being outdoors — whatever helps you unwind. Taking breaks helps avoid burnout, mental fatigue, and can actually help you refocus when you switch the gears back on to “go” mode. 

You’ll find that you’re actually even more productive after you’ve allowed yourself to relax. Making time to step away from the hustle allows you to evaluate how much value it brings to your life. Then, you can make the changes you need, directing your time and efforts to those things that keep your professional life, and your happiness, moving forward. 

Manick Bhan is the founder and CTO of LinkGraph, an award-winning digital marketing and SEO agency that provides SEO and paid media services. He is also the founder and CEO of SearchAtlas, which offers a full SEO software suite. He is the former CEO of the ticket reselling app Rukkus.

Life

How Your Psychological Blind Spots Keep You Stuck in Life

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Sometimes, life doesn’t seem to make any sense. Albert Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Here’s the funny thing. We will say that line about someone else, have a good chuckle, and then DO THE SAME THING OURSELVES! This time, it’s not that funny, is it? I know. I’ve done it myself. (more…)

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3 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself and Live an Optimized Life

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The secret to happiness lies in the way you live your life. People think of happiness as some destination they’ll reach when they’ve accomplished the hundred things on their life to-do list. Happiness is often associated with money, material possessions, or even great relationships. (more…)

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These 7 Daily Resolutions Can Change Your Life

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We all strive to be better every day. Most of us want a new day to bring something new, and we plan for it as well. Of course, the execution is debatable as procrastination is real and it becomes an overwhelming feeling at times. Also, not to forget the customary practice of making resolutions on new year’s eve!  All of us are fascinated by the thought of preparing long lists of resolves to mark the beginning of a new year. Not sure how many people are able to translate these resolutions into functional realities. (more…)

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4 Reasons Why Content Is Pivotal For Mental Health Healing

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One of the most important things for an entrepreneur’s mental health is expressing their feelings, thoughts, and emotions. This is where content creation and writing becomes pivotal. Whether you read something that resonates with you or you write a compelling blog post, the act of expressing yourself through content can help to put a smile on your face and make you feel better about things.

Most entrepreneurs don’t spend as much time taking care of their mental health as they should. Over the course of your career, you will experience a lot of ups and downs; these emotions have the potential to take a toll on your mind and body if you don’t learn to manage them properly.

Here are four reasons why expression through content is pivotal for healing, slowing yourself down, and giving yourself grace when the going gets tough.

1. Content can be a form of self-expression

When you are an entrepreneur, you frequently face feelings of insecurity, doubt, fear, apathy, and exhaustion, just to name a few. Some days it feels like no one is on your business’s side and everyone else has it all figured out. On those days some of us try to look at our website’s analytics to cheer up. 

But an even more freeing task is creating content. You create content to improve your business and reach more people’s lives. But, there is something special that happens when you write with the intention of expressing your thoughts and feelings — you open a door to yourself. 

Content is inherently personal, which means content creators open themselves up when they share their thoughts on a platform. Everything from the title of the post, the keywords they choose to include, and even the content itself helps you to understand who the author of that post truly is. And as an entrepreneur, this can be an important experience because it allows others to empathize with you.

2. Self-reflection will lift you up

As you think through what to write about and how to express yourself, the process of self reflection is a valuable step you need to go through. You’re able to reflect on the blessings you have, assess what you learned from the negative experiences, and create a plan on how to maintain the positive experiences you’ve had. 

There are a few ways that self reflection can help you with mental health healing. The act of reflecting on your experiences helps to create clarity in feelings, thoughts and emotions which will eventually lead into acceptance for what has happened or is happening currently without feeling overwhelmed by it all. This process also leads people towards finding new things they enjoy doing. Self reflection is therapeutic and can be implemented anytime you feel the need to overcome overwhelm.

“Writing in a journal each day allows you to direct your focus to what you accomplished, what you’re grateful for and what you’re committed to doing better tomorrow. Thus, you more deeply enjoy your journey each day.” – Hal Elrod

3. A sense of belonging and camaraderie

It is important to have a support network of people who will listen and understand what you are going through. When you post a blog or upload a video on YouTube, there are others who feel the same way and experience a sense of connection with you.

When you put time, attention and thoughtfulness into your writing, it is amazing when someone reads what you’ve written and comments on it thanking you or expressing how they resonate with what you’re going through. It’s hard to put into words how powerful it feels when someone who has gone through the same experience and reads your words then reaches out.  There is power in expression but miracles happen when people bond over a similar experience.

4. Library of content to share with more people

It can be very difficult to know what content to share with people as the symptoms of mental health disorders (anxiety, depression, etc.) vary from person to person. But as you accumulate more and more content, this will increase the number of articles or videos available for readers to choose from depending on their specific purpose. It also builds your personal library of resources you’re able to share to different people you encounter or engage directly with.

As chaotic and distracting social media can be, it can also be a beacon of hope with the right content. Many people share viral posts, or content that interest them. Since your content is valuable and personal, the more you share it, the more likely it is to be shared with the right audience.

You never know who is watching (reading)

Your content is speaking to someone and even though they may not be actively engaged, their experiences with your work are impacting them. Think about the last time you watched TV: did everyone in the room have something entertaining to say? 

You never know who’s watching because there’s always somebody reading your posts or viewing your videos-even if they just skim through it briefly. This is why creating content worth consuming is critical, not only to get you out of your funk, but also to serve your audience.  Be authentic and stay true to yourself; make every post count as an opportunity for connection with your best self and for potential readers to bond with you.

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