How to Know When It’s Time to Give Up Your Side Hustle

Allison Fleck
3 min readOct 18, 2021

Sometimes less is more.

Photo by Laura Davidson on Unsplash

I don’t know anyone that only works one job.

There’s there therapist that is building an Airbnb empire. There’s a mural artist working on a standup career. There’s a neurosurgeon spending his evenings writing.

We’re all supposed to be hustling all the time.

We’re trying to pay off debts, build a nest egg, or retire early.

There’s just so much pressure.

Approximately 1 in 3 Americans has a second job of some sort. This figure is staggering an insane. There’s a pervasive feeling that if you’re not working all the time, you’re falling behind.

But at some point, it makes sense to give up the side hustle.

  1. When you have enough

This might be the most obvious sign, but it’s often the hardest to internalize.

If your initial goal was to pay off some outstanding debt or having an emergency fund and you’ve hit that goal. It might be time to stop and gift yourself back the time.

2. When focusing on your current work could earn you more

Sometimes side hustles are more fun than your day job, but they’re also a distraction. If you’re looking for clients during your break time or answering client requests while you’re on the clock, chances are that your side hustle is hurting your productivity.

Would the time you’re spending on your side hustle be better invested in improving your work performance or attending more work-social events? If so, then the payoff for removing the distraction might be worth it.

3. When it’s not fun

If your side hustle started off as a hobby and morphed into a money-making endeavor, it’s possible that the fun and joy you had when you first started is no longer there.

If it’s not fun and you don’t desperately need the money, then let it go.

4. When the pay doesn’t make sense anymore

Returns change over time. Ask any Uber driver. You need to regularly review how much return you’re getting on the time you’re investing in your hustle.

Allison Fleck

Data analyst and life analyst. Proud maker of mistakes. A big fan of learning lessons the hard way.