Don’t quit your 9–5 job.
Just shift your optimism and energy from a job over to a 5pm — 9pm side hustle. If you worked as hard at your 5–9 as you do your 9–5, you’d be surprised by the results.
I remember when I made the transition.
I’d just been overlooked for another promotion and got another haircut on my annual bonus because my employer’s stock price went down. I’d had enough of the games.
So I didn’t quit. No. I just checked out of my job. I did the bare minimum. I stopped giving a damn in meetings or when a new CEO came.
While my colleagues got distracted with corporate games, I got focused on after-work games — you can too. Those after-work games changed my entire life and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Here are some ideas to radically improve your 5–9 side hustle.
The magician world reveals the secret to 5–9 side hustles
I’m a huge Penn and Teller fan.
They’re the original gangsters of the magician world. One time Teller said “Sometimes magic is just someone spending more time on something than anyone else might reasonably expect.”
That’s the key to a side hustle. It’s not that you will necessarily be better than someone else at your chosen skill.
It’s just if you use 5–9 every day (or some days) to work on a side hustle, over time the results will compound.
These compounded results are often packaged up as success.
From afar it looks like luck or magic. But close up it’s just more repetitions done when most are asleep or in the middle of a Netflix hangover.
Pattern recognition unlocks a powerful drug
Without analysis much of life looks like randomness.
To make a 5–9 successful you want to start looking for patterns. Patterns are powerful because when you come across them, you get a huge hit of dopamine. The dopamine is a drug that feels good.
It keeps you coming back for more and automates some of the motivation needed to power through your 5–9.
I found when I immersed myself after hours in personal finance, there was a pattern between how many money books I read, and how much money from investing I made. It didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t conscious. But the transition was epic.
Too many people give up 5–9s because of a lack of motivation. Pattern recognition is how you prevent that.
All 5–9s are basically sales jobs
If you join the Permissionless Economy, then you’ll have to sell (persuade) internet users to care about whatever you make.
If your 5–9 is in the traditional economy, then you’ll have to persuade gatekeepers to let you into their walled gardens with what you make.
May as well get used to it. You’ll sell or be sold. The former carries all the rewards, the latter feels like a slow death in front of friends and family.
A common place where people fall over and break both legs
5–9s are great.
The challenge I see is side hustlers can get caught up in what they’ll get out of their 5–9 versus having the goal of doing the thing no matter what.
I see it with writers all the time. They want money, views, followers, and book deals and become a slave to them, instead of focusing on doing the work of a writer.
Inevitably, when their unrealistic expectations aren’t met they get angry. They can even throw mud at an innocent chap like me. Eventually they become stuck as if they’re legless and can’t move forward anymore.
The simple solution is to love doing the thing instead of worrying about what the thing will give you.
Why many people don’t have 5–9s
A lack of meaning in life is a major cause of unhappiness.
We all know that deep down. The trouble is what the freaking hell do we do about it? For many of us, we numb the pain. We waste 5pm to 9pm because it’s the only escape from the rat race we get.
After hours projects are the cure. They provide added meaning in life which can solve many big problems.
Use 5–9 to find new meaning.
5–9s produce compounding results (if you’ll only let ’em)
Many people are painfully slow with their 5–9.
They want to go it alone. They refuse to spend any money on it. Or they invest all their money smartly in the S&P 500 stock market index fund.
But putting money into financial assets isn’t as smart as you think.
The fastest way to make more money isn’t through a 401K investment account that takes until age 65 to be worth anything. No.
It’s to self-invest in yourself.
For the last few years I’ve poured money into courses, coaching, VIP communities, books, and seminars. When all that learning gets fused with 5–9 execution it starts to produce wisdom.
That wisdom compounded 3x faster than a normal approach to a 5–9. So the results compound and make you look like a genius.
Investing in yourself is a cheat code to wealth.
“Impatience causes more problems than stupidity”
“It doesn’t work. I’ve tried it. This is hustle p*rn.”
I’ve heard that many times from strangers on the internet who’ve poured their little hearts into a 5–9 and had it detonate in their pretty faces.
I get it. 5–9s are hard.
What’s missed is many people operate on the wrong timeframe. They’ve been taught by TikTok addicts and Hollywood overnight success that their after hours project should blow up and make millions, fast.
Wrong. A good 5–9 takes years. I didn’t transition from my 9–5 over to my 5–9 full time until 8 years in. Now, I’m not that smart, but even people who are still take several years.
Change the time horizon to 5 years and you’re almost certain to see blockbuster results people will admire.
Stop sleeping on your skills
Let’s finish with a short story to inspire you.
Early in 2023 old man Lloyd Richard was a failed 5–9 creator. His kids came first and he gave them everything. He’d spent his life writing serial killer thrillers when he got home from his 9–5.
Nobody read them. His life was coming to an end.
11 years after the book Stone Maidens was released it made almost no sales. His daughter secretly filmed her dad working on his books, happy as Larry.
The video got shared millions of times. The book went on to become #7 best-selling book overall on Amazon. It even beat Prince Harry.
Now his 5–9 has forever changed his life.
Don’t sleep on your 5–9 skills. Let them create a beautiful future you could never have previously imagined. You deserve it. One life.