If you’ve been part of this community for a while, you know that I’ve always been a huge fan of the side hustle. I believe in it so strongly, I teach people to build thriving side hustles, and I know how much it can change your life.
I also loved the idea of a side hustle because it allows you to be an entrepreneur without having to give up your 9-5 job. And unlike most people living in New York City, I actually loved my 9-5 job. I didn’t work 100+ hours or have crazy bosses like the horror stories you here in corporate Manhattan.
So, my side hustle was the way for me to have the best of both worlds. I loved the nature of the work I did in both my main and side hustle. Always having been driven by helping others and truly trying to improve other’s lives, for years, I felt grateful that I was able to do that both at my day job and in the coaching and teaching I do with my side hustle.
So why, then, did I leap away from my 9-5 job and make my side hustle my main hustle?
The best way I can explain it is broken down in a book that I highly recommend, The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. In this book, the author talks about the four types of zones during which humans spend their time, usually living in a combination of each. They are:
1- Your Zone of Incompetence.
You are wasting your time on things you’re not good at and/or don’t enjoy. You do whatever it takes to not spend time in this zone but rather, outsource or make different choices.
2- Your Zone of Competence.
You can do these things well but they don’t excite you or make you unique. Just because you can do these things does not mean you should. Again, outsource or make different choices.
3- Your Zone of Excellence.
You perform well at these activities and as a result, you make a good living and you are happy. This is generally where humans get really comfortable.
4- Your Zone of Genius.
This is the ultimate path to living a truly fulfilled life; one that is unique to you and one that does not have the rollercoaster of “what ifs” and “maybes” the zone of comfort brings out.
I realized that in my 9-5 job, I was living in the zone of excellence. I did like my job, and I liked that I was making an impact within my field and in the overall city of New York (by nature of my organization’s work). And, I was living comfortably and was satisfied.
But I wasn’t totally fulfilled. Yes, I did like my work and I felt comfortable. But I knew this was not my true zone of genius and that I could make a bigger impact and do more of what I was best at by running my own business. I had to be honest with myself. That’s when I made “the big leap” to being my own boss and into my commitment to live totally within my zone of genius.
You may be wondering why, then, doesn’t everyone live in their zones of genius? Well, to simplify the reasons why most don’t make their own “big leap”, it’s because of one keyword that pertains to the zone of excellence:
Leaving your comfort zone is hard. It requires you often doing things not many of your friend group or family has done. It means you’ll be doing things you’ve never done before. Perhaps scariest of all, it means that you are totally putting yourself and who you are on the line, and if you “fail”, you don’t know what else you have left.
But the good news is that all the fears that keep us in the Zone of Excellence and in our comfort zone can be unlearned, and we all can live in our Zone of Genius, and make our own “big leap!”
One of the biggest missions within my business is to empower people to find their own zone of genius by starting something that is completely their own (their side hustle or online business), something that provides a total financial makeover to one’s life, and enables freedom to work and make money from your laptop. These types of tools are catered to helping you find your own zone of genius and spending your time doing what you love the very most.
And what we know is not in our zone of genius: worrying about money, feeling unfulfilled at our careers, and spending time wondering “when” life is going to get good. And each of has the power to shift out of that.
As Marianne Williamson says in her book, A Return to Love:
“We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
So what can you do today to live more in your zone of genius? Can you apply for that job you’ve been eyeing but perhaps thought was out of your reach? Or, can you consider spending more of your free time learning about something you love and cut off a commitment you have to something that’s not serving you? Can you finally start your side hustle today instead of saying “one day”…? The world needs your light. Don’t let us down!