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Want to be rich? DON'T start a side hustle

"Contrary to its glamorous portrayal by influencers and entrepreneurial gurus, starting a side hustle is not always the golden ticket to wealth as it's often evangelized" - Brian N.

Want to be rich? DON'T start a side hustle

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels

Faced with today's current economic realities, one can easily subscribe to the idea of side hustles. The notion of side hustles leading to wealth has become prevalent in modern times. However, we may need to reexamine this mantra of monetizing one’s passions. Contrary to its glamorous portrayal by influencers and entrepreneurial gurus, starting a side hustle is not always the golden ticket to wealth it's often made out to be.

The goal of this discourse is not to undermine the efforts of countless individuals who have found success through side hustling. Instead, the aim is to explore an alternate perspective: the counterintuitive notion that abandoning the side hustle may be one of the best decisions an aspiring wealth builder can make.

Separating Fact from Fiction

The idea that a side hustle is the magic bullet of financial liberation dominates today's discourse about wealth accumulation. Various individuals have found success through side hustles. However, this is not always true since it might be attributed to unique circumstances and other factors. Notable successful entrepreneurs, such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, did not start their journey with side hustles to achieve their current success.

These individuals pursued their visions relentlessly, with such focus and dedication that there was little room for side hustles. The narrative around side hustles typically overlooks failures and those who've compromised their well-being, relationships, and long-term financial stability in pursuing the side hustle dream. The myths surrounding side hustles often cloud reality, selling dreams of effortless financial independence when they often lead to burnout and minimal financial returns.

Want to be rich? DON'T start a side hustle

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The True Value of Your Main Career

Often overlooked in the hustle frenzy is the untapped potential of your primary career track. For many, one’s full-time career holds the most significant promise for accruing wealth consistently over time. Rather than investing your extra time and resources in a side hustle, focusing on climbing through the ranks of your current job could yield better results.

Professional growth in promotions and raises often runs parallel with increased financial compensation. Jeff Bezos, today one of the wealthiest individuals globally, didn’t side hustle his way to affluence. Instead, his fortune resulted from a relentless focus on his primary endeavor - Amazon. Bezos’s journey shows that intense focus on one's primary career can yield significant financial rewards.

Similarly, countless career individuals have earned financial freedom and built wealth by meticulously honing their skills, measuring their progress, and committing their time and resources within their chosen fields rather than dividing their focus and energy amongst various side hustles.


Making Your Money Work for You

An alternative, often undervalued strategy of wealth-building lies in strategic investments. One of the biggest challenges in starting a side hustle is generating passive income - earning without active, ongoing work. And that’s where investing plays a critical role. Warren Buffet, one of the most successful investors ever, once said, "If you can't figure out how to make money while sleeping, you will work until your death”.

That's quite a strong statement, but there lies an essential truth; strategic investing can generate passive income, which allows your money to 'work for you,' independent of your active participation. Today, countless investment channels exist - stocks, bonds, real estate, index funds, retirement accounts, and modern-age investment options like cryptocurrencies.

Each path boasts its own success stories. For instance, real estate investments made Donald Bren, the wealthiest real estate developer globally, a billionaire. These success stories make it clear that with research, patience, and strategic investments, one's resources can result in substantial wealth accumulation that far surpasses the returns of an average side hustle.


Skill Development for Financial Gain

What if, instead of allocating extra hours to a side hustle, that time was dedicated to mastering your craft? Adopting continuous learning and becoming an expert in your industry could lead to higher income, promotions, and recognition – a critical path to wealth accumulation.

Consider experts who have made careers out of their specialized skills: renowned heart surgeons, top-notch lawyers, successful authors, or eminent scientists who have all reached the peak of their earnings potential by choosing to dive deep into mastering their craft.

Steve Jobs was well-renowned for his dedication to perfection, and Oprah Winfrey for her communication prowess – both have stunning career success and wealth to show. Their examples highlight that specialization can lead to recognition and wealth in your chosen field, often higher than what one could achieve with a side hustle.

Want to be rich? DON'T start a side hustle

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Maximizing Your Income Potential

Time is a finite resource, and how you manage it impacts your wealth-building journey. Balancing a full-time job and a side hustle often leads to compromised productivity. But imagine if you invested time taken by a side hustle back into your primary job or upgrading skills. You could tap into exponential earnings growth by advancing your career.

Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, is an example of leveraging efficient work habits and time management for stellar career advancement. Studies in the Human Resource for Health on high performers articulate similar findings – efficient work practices and skillful time management often accelerate career progression and wealth accumulation.

Rethinking Wealth-Building Strategies

Contrary to popular belief, side hustles may not be the golden path to financial independence. Instead of clinging onto 'hustle culture,' focusing on your primary job, strategic investing, mastering your craft, and efficient time management is potentially more lucrative. It's time to question – 'Is it more productive to build a side hustle or pour that effort into enhancing our primary career?’


This write-up invites you to challenge conventional wisdom, critically evaluate your financial goals, and consider an alternate path. The journey to wealth creation could be less about hustling and more about investing wisely, mastering one's craft, and managing resources efficiently. It's time to redefine our routes to financial success.

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