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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: ReadySetMillionaire on April 18, 2017, 10:38:03 AM

Title: Invest More in Career (Lawyer) or Start a Side Hustle?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on April 18, 2017, 10:38:03 AM
I'm now in my third year as a practicing attorney.  Anyone on here who has followed my posts knows I've kind of had a roller coaster ride with my current employer, but I seemed to have found my footing and things are going well enough that my job security is stable and my prospects here are decent. Also, the prospect of becoming a solo attorney is seeming to be a very viable alternative to my current corporate practice, so that idea is floating out there as well.

Nevertheless, I recently ran across the following very eloquent and relatable post from Laura33:

I will give you an example from my own life:  I got into a rut at work where I was wasting hours every day putzing on the internet -- at times to the point where I was not even getting my work done.  I spent a long time beating myself up for that (lazy, unfocused, [insert epithet here]).  And then I started to think really hard about *why* I kept doing that -- and I forced myself to move past the simplistic "because I'm a lazy good-for-nothing loser" stock response.  And I realized it was because when I was at home, I was always going in seven different directions -- full-time job, two small kids (one with major ADHD/anxiety), spouse with another full-time job, house, pets, etc.  But I am an introvert; I need downtime that is quiet and just me.  So when I was running around taking care of other people all night/every weekend, I wasn't giving myself any downtime, and so my clever brain figured out its own workaround to get what it needed (just in a very self-defeating way).  Once I realized why I was doing what I was doing -- that is, once I understood that it was an unmet need and not a character flaw -- I was able to build in more downtime for myself at night and on the weekends, so I came back to work a little more refreshed and was better able to focus on the job. 

This resonated with me to such an extent that I've been thinking about it seemingly every hour for the last 24 hours. And this is mostly because I think I want to have a side hustle as an outlet.  I've actually designed my own planner and sold a couple of those.  I'm also a pretty decent writer and have multiple draft outlines and chapters written for several ebooks. I think about these all the time when I'm at work.

I'm only half-committed to these ideas, though, and the fire comes and goes because I feel guilty about working on side hustles instead of investing in my career. For instance, I checked out Justice Scalia's "A Matter of Interpretation" this weekend rather than work on any ebooks.

But I LOVE when I'm working on my side hustles.  I can stay up for hours outlining, writing, tinkering, etc.

So I seem to be at a crossroads: should I be investing my spare time back into my career (e.g., networking, volunteering, reading about the law, etc.), or should I commit to my side hustles and have a go at those?

All input appreciated. Cheers.
Title: Re: Invest More in Career (Lawyer) or Start a Side Hustle?
Post by: mozar on April 18, 2017, 01:46:15 PM
Title: Re: Invest More in Career (Lawyer) or Start a Side Hustle?
Post by: Laura33 on April 18, 2017, 07:04:09 PM
Wow, I'm honored to have fucked with your mind so completely.  ;-)

I guess the question is what is your goal?  If the goal is to make more money, you will clearly do better by throwing that extra time into your career.  OTOH, if you have right-brain needs that aren't being met by your current job, then by all means, spend your spare time on the side hustles.

I think the key here is that, yes, you do need to do marketing and networking stuff to build your practice and career.  But no one can spend 24/7 on law (much as the partners for who, you work would I'm sure love to persuade you otherwise).  So find a way to balance both.  Maybe set your own personal targets every week/month for events you will attend, clients/potential clients you will contact, and other specific things you can do to build your practice.  And then, once you meet your targets, your reward is that you are now free to spend your remaining extra time on stuff that floats your boat and energizes you. 

The real key is to hold yourself accountable so all of the fun stuff doesn't take over the time you need to spend on the work that needs to get done.  Because paying your bills is a valid priority, too, even if it's not as much fun as, say,

Title: Re: Invest More in Career (Lawyer) or Start a Side Hustle?
Post by: albireo13 on April 18, 2017, 07:39:11 PM
Just curious ... what's your side hustle?
Title: Re: Invest More in Career (Lawyer) or Start a Side Hustle?
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on April 19, 2017, 07:36:45 AM
Just curious ... what's your side hustle?

Writing 2-3 ebooks per year.