My Ridiculous Love Affair With Side Hustles


Side Hustle

We had interesting conversations growing up at my childhood dinner table.  My Stepfather, at that time a CEO of a large multinational company, often was teased incessantly for his various side hustles and money-making schemes.  His weekly travel led to one of his most infamous side hustle ideas.

Years ago, most people traveled with a mound of suitcases.  In order to help transport luggage from the baggage claim to ground transportation, there were machines that dispensed wheeled carts for a fee.  Because the carts needed to be returned, the weary traveller would insert $1.50 for the original use, and then get returned $0.50 when they placed the cart back in the machine.

The return, however, was quite inconvenient, and many abandoned their payback  and left the carts sitting in the corner by the taxi stand.  My stepfather reasoned that us entrepreneurial teens could make a killing by hanging out in the arrival area and returning carts.

Although I never followed through on this side hustle, his inventive spirit inspired me.

Since then, I have thought up many, and executed on quite a few side hustles.  In grade school, I bought and sold baseball cards.  Later on, I became an art mogul.  Although not always money making, the life lessons I learned have been invaluable.

As a seasoned and experienced physician, however, it is fairly ridiculous (from and economic standpoint) to spend time on side hustles.  Can you picture the almost unimaginable joy I would feel by making a thousand dollars from this blog in a single month?  I probably would have to spend forty hours a week working diligently.  On the other hand, as a physician, I can make a thousand dollars in a few hours by seeing patients at the nursing home.

I have spent so much time and effort training to be a physician and building my expertise.  It will be very unlikely that any side hustle will ever match my main hustles money-making prowess.

Yet, for several reasons, I still find myself in love with the idea of side hustles:

Every side hustle is a new experience.

Each and every new business opportunity I pursue deepens my understanding of how companies are built and monetized.  It gives me a chance to be uncomfortable again.  To dip my feet into something totally new and be a novice.

Medicine is not the challenge that it used to be.

After almost twenty years of practicing medicine, I generally know what to expect on a daily basis.  There are very few surprises.  Very few problems I don’t know how to manage.  Side hustles introduce me to a world full of challenges and possibilities.

New challenges bring new passion.

Passion can die when we do the same job over and over again.  There is nothing like a new venture to get a person charged up all over again.

Our dinner table discussions are never boring.

Like my Stepfather taught us.  The kids get to see their parents push the envelope.  They get to watch us try and sometimes succeed, but often fail.  They see their adult role models tirelessly strive to build and create.


While my side hustles may never end up paying the bills, I can’t imagine a life without them.  They are the ventures that wake me up in the middle of the night exited and too revved up to sleep.

I like having this passion in my life.

And if they happen to add a few extra dollars to our yearly savings, that’s not so bad either!




Doc G

A doctor who discovered the FI community but still struggling with RE.

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11 Responses

  1. Great post Doc. I too love side hustles. Like you said, the excitement of the regular job wears off and I just like the idea that I can get a buck doing something totally different. It’s kind of a challenge.

    Lately I’ve been into graphic arts/design and my side hustle there now makes me about $100 a month. It pays a few utility bills and that just makes me happy inside. Makes me feel like I’m winning at life.

  2. Steveark says:

    I loved this post, while not an MD I made MD wages as a corporate VP at a Fortune 200 corporation. Like you side hustles had a hard time competing with my compensation. However when I decided to slightly early retire I chose to imediately execute some (5) carefully pre-planned side hustles that all are fun and profitable. Now I work about two days a week and generate six figures of income that keeps me at a zero withdrawal rate and still allow a lot of leisure, travel and volunteer work.

  3. Yes, totally agree. My MD job has become routine more or less. My blog has reignited my passion for learning and doing new things. If nothing else, it took me out of my comfort zone. Nice post.

  4. JoeHx says:

    I can totally relate to the love affair of side hustles! I’m always looking for the next opportunity beyond my current day job.

  5. Caroline says:

    I am with you on that one, will always look for side hustles. It does make for a more interesting life:)

  6. Planedoc says:

    I agree…after a few decades of medicine…in 2 different specialties…I returned to my roots…flying ag. Yes..aerial application…cropdusting.

    Its been joyful

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