The Art (and Struggle) of the Side Hustle

Written by Anna Grundmann LeDonne

SideHustleStruggle - Blog - Image-01

Let’s be real. Very few people have a true “9–5” these days where you clock in, do your job and pack up at 4:59 PM, leaving your worries at the door. We live in a digital age where emails follow us home and our clients and responsibilities are always at the tips of our fingertips. Add to this: the ever-popular side hustle. Almost everyone I know has some type of passion project that they’ve turned into a moneymaker.

Most of the #GambelGirls have something that they commit to in their “spare” time. Rosalind has an Etsy shop, Spruce and Rose, where she sells homemade wreaths and woodworking projects. Amy created an entire festival from the ground up and now Beignet Fest is in its second year, thriving.  Gretchen volunteers and sings at her church. My side hustles include a gorgeous restaurant, Meribo, that my husband runs 24/7 and various creative pursuits under the umbrella of Anna Liv Design including graphic design, jewelry making and calligraphy. We love what we do, but we seem to do a lot.

Here’s the side-hustle struggle. While many people are trying to achieve the elusive work-life balance, people with side hustles are trying to achieve work-life-hustle balance. The “life” part of the scale gets divided up into tiny quadrants of side-hustle time, time with your partner, family time, and time with friends. Vinnie and I did the math recently and counted the number of full days that we have to spend together on two hands, compared to someone with a “9–5” and approximately 2 weeks of vacation who would get at least 118 days with their partner. This was a reality check.

The fight against time is real and the work-life-hustle balance is hard to achieve. But there are some ways to combat the side-hustle struggle. Here are some tips and tricks I have learned to keep all of your balls in the air:

  • Sometimes, you have to tell people “no” when you need time for one of the other pieces of your “life” pie. They will understand.
  • Take a step back from side-hustle activities for a bit of rest or meditation. In all of the hustle and bustle, it’s not selfish (and is extremely necessary) to take a little “me time”.
  • Don’t let your side-hustle affect your main-hustle.
  • Incorporate another piece of your pie into side-hustle time. For example, my parents have gotten into the habit of visiting me at the restaurant.
  • Turn your side-hustle time into social time! The people we spend the most time with at the restaurant have become some of our closest friends and family.
  • Remember why you started. Vinnie’s passion for hospitality and my passion for design are what make all the craziness worthwhile.

But what really gets me through is knowing that someday, hopefully, our work will pay off and we will have plenty of time to spend on things like vacations and dinner parties. Until then, we will keep hustling.


November - Blog - Meribo