No matter how much you love what you do, you will inevitably go through a period when you just don’t wanna. So what do you do what you lose your side hustle mojo?
Call it what you want, a dry spell, a down period, a blah phase, but at some point, all of us go through and have to find a way to pull ourselves out of it. Easier said than done.
Figure out what’s up with your side hustle
Before you can fix a problem, you have to know what the problem is. If your septic tank is overflowing, sure you need to call the septic guy to drain it, but if you don’t fix the constantly running toilet, the problem isn’t going to go away.
Over the years in my work with clients I’ve found that there are 4 basic reasons people lose your side hustle mojo:
- Self-doubt or imposter syndrome
- Idea fatigue
Maybe you can identify with one or more of these, and notice them in your own business
When you start to feel imposter syndrome tapping you on the shoulder, it’s important to go back to the inspiration that helped you get started. Listen to podcasts, read blog posts, or find someone who inspires you to help you get back into the right headspace. You can also go back to episode 5 of this podcast to listen to Defeating Imposter Syndrome as a Side Hustlin’ Teacher.
Before I started Side Hustle Teachers I was a blogger, looking for something more. I started listening to podcasts and found myself saying, “Yeah, I could totally do that,” as I was listening. So when I need a mental boost, that’s where I turn.
Dig into your side hustle idea bank
When you’re in a good flow, keep track of ideas that you have; podcasts you want to record, posts you want to write, products you want to launch. I use a voice recorder and a Trello board to track my idea and when I find my motivation lacking, I go back to the recordings I made and the list of ideas. This can help combat idea fatigue when you just can’t think of what to say, or write.
Sometimes those ideas are non-starters, but sometimes I find a spark that reignites my creativity and passion and makes me want to jump in and get moving.
Try to snowball your to-do list
Sometimes we can’t get moving because the volume of tasks in front of us seems overwhelming. When I find myself paralyzed by a mountain of stuff in front of me, I use the snowball technique.
Here’s how it works:
Pick an item on your to-do to tackle that will take no longer than 5 minutes. Maybe do a couple of those small tasks, then choose one that will take approximately 10 minutes. As you start to cross smaller items of your list you start to fall into Newton’s first law, where the small movements you’ve started to take keep you moving. Then you gain momentum and, like a snowball rolling down a hill, you just can’t stop.
Take a break
As much as I advocate doing something for your business every single day, if you’re dealing with exhaustion, take a break. Often times if you find yourself dealing with a combination of roadblocks at the same time, it’s due to being burnt out. In that case, taking a break can help in many ways.
When you’re trying to do too much it’s easy for imposter syndrome to creep in because you feel like you’re doing everything badly. Taking a break let’s you step back and begin to prioritize. Plus, when you’re tired and burnt out you become emotional and tend to overreact even to yourself.
Exhaustion also hampers creativity because you’re literally using all your brain cells just to stay awake and handle normal, everyday tasks. Exhaustion will tell you that every idea is a bad one, simply so you don’t have one more thing to do.
Likewise, when you’re overly tired your to-do list will seem impossibly long. You’re never going to finish it, so you might as well just go to bed.
So take a break! There’s nothing wrong with taking some time off. In fact, some of my best ideas have come to me when I’ve stepped away from work, whether just to go for a walk, or to take a day or 2 off. I always have my voice recorder there to capture the idea and sometimes I feel compelled to go take action right then.
Remember that as you take time off you give yourself a restart time, too. Otherwise you can fall prey to the opposite side if Newton’s first law – an object at rest stays at rest.