Why do many shy away from talking about making money on the side, or what they do outside the office with their co workers, family and friends?
Want to be alienated real quick? Mention at work you are side gigging and why you are doing so and see the reaction around you and how your relationships with co workers unfold over the next few weeks and months.
If you have started it up on the side while maintaining a full time job, you may have at some point (likely early in your side gigging career) disclosed your side gigging endeavors. If so, how was it received by whoever it was you were speaking to?
They probably said “oh great” and then moved right on to another topic rather than asking you more about it. Either that or they ignored you? You may not think so but it may very well have gone in one ear and out the other.
Reality is that very few people can relate, and because of that they don’t care about what you have to say and what you are doing. Those that do care do so in a different way. When they sense you are somewhat achieving success at what you do, they start to resent you. The resentment often comes in the form of making fun of you (yes they laugh at your endeavors), hatred, alienation or putting you down in conversations with others behind your back.
Why? Because you are different, or as they see it attempting to be different than they are. There is a huge psychological component to this discussion that I may not be educationally qualified to speak to, but certainly am practically from first-hand experience.
People generally want to relate. They can relate to you if you bitch and complain like they do about their jobs. They need someone to share their mutual feelings and grief with. They know that there is a whole different class that they cannot relate to. And if you free yourself from the environment they share with you, you will progress to this class and therefore they will no longer be able to relate with you.
Herd mentality is plain human nature. Because most people wake up at 7, leave the house by 8 and all drive to work like a herd, they expect you to be doing the same. Anything “different” is viewed as unconventional and they start to distance themselves away from you.
I forgot to mention that everyone goes to lunch at 12, has to get back by 1 and then drive home at 5 all together like a herd once again. The human nature is such that the only thing that hurts more than knowing that you failed is knowing that your best friend succeeded. Think about that for a minute.
When you talk about your side ventures so passionately with excitement, your relatives will laugh you off when they sarcastically ask “hey Sunil how is that side business of yours working out” with a giggle. Your co workers will start gossiping that you are a big slacker at work who does not pull your own weight. You will experience your share of negativity and resentment.
The bitter truth is however that all these are merely excuses that people will find to cover up their own fear of getting left back in the race called “life”. They will feel the fear and fear the feeling of you moving ahead of them, especially when you are younger than they are.
I sometimes wished that others who can’t do it themselves would at least stay out of the way of those who have the will power to get it done. Instead, you will find that there are more than enough people out there that will specifically tell you that you can’t do it.
I have learned that it is best to stay away from that kind of crowd, keep your mouth shut around family and friends you cannot avoid being around (or like being around for different reasons – mostly social). It is best to keep your mouth shut at least when it comes to your side gigging endeavors and let your actions do the talking over time.
At the same time, keep filling your spirit with “positiveness”. Maintain your relationships, but add to it a different circle of friends who think and do like you. It is often said that you start to become who your company is, and from my experience I cannot dispute that at all.
Stay positive and determined by engaging in activities that help you do so. Different things work for different people, so find what helps keep your spirits high and you on the right path. For some people this is spirituality, for others it is motivational books and seminars or a quality support group that holds you accountable toward your progress.
Helping others achieve their goals also helps. I have experienced that by encouraging others achieve their goals and objectives brings a sense of satisfaction and the attitude that if you can help someone else achieve their dream, then you can definitely help yourself do the same.
Do whatever it takes to attract positive energy to YOU. If you are a religious reader of my blog, I have no doubts that I am preaching to the choir, and that you have already made up your mind hard and strong about making something happen. I am not concerned about someone derailing you off your path to success.
If you have any doubts, or at any point lose hope, motivation, desire and determination, I want you to come see me and I will make sure I twist your head straight and on the right track.
I just read what I have wrote thus far and an element of it (ALL) sounds like a rant session. Not everyone is evil. You will find your share of folks within your circle who are genuinely interested in your success and like hearing about you making money on the side. This group is a very small minority however.
A motivated and determined YOU will get what you want in life, no matter what happens. It is the rule of the universe and nothing defies that. Not in my world at least.
When you have the lifestyle that everyone wants, live in the house that your neighbor wants, drive the car that your old co worker wished they did and wear clothes that your distant relatives wished they could afford, they will suddenly be dumbfounded and wonder how in the world you managed to get there.
I am not advocating materialism, rather merely demonstrating the truth. People in your circle will suddenly wonder what the heck is it that you do for a living? Funny thing is that no one will ever ask you to your face (because of that fear).
They will instead ask each other “so what does Sunil do exactly?” in whisper mode behind your back, equally perplexed and jealous as the other. It’s as if suddenly they have lost their balls. Why? Because it is embarrassing for them and at the same time they are in disbelief of what they are witnessing (reality).
I have experienced that people pretend that they don’t want to seem that they want to know, only because they are trying not to care or think about it even when they wished they were in your shoes. Truth is, they are really curious about you because they too wished that they could do the same (but don’t want to appear that they are).
Can you tell that I have been through the ride as well? I sure have, and I would have done nothing different if I had to do it all over again. I have absolutely enjoyed and cherished my journey.
When I am reminded of the bygones and the passersby such as today when writing this post, I always think about the famous quote “give me a place to stand, and I will turn this world upside down”.
I have turned my world upside down, and I see myself on top of it. I don’t mean to come off as cocky, but facts are facts, and ignoring the facts don’t change the facts.
Readers: Are you making money on the side? Are you open about it? Why / Why not?
More of my thoughts on making money on the side.