Growing up, my parents did not beat home financial lessons, but through little nuggets here and there, I credit them for teaching me some very important lessons regarding money, work, and relating to people. Some of their basic lessons may look familiar: save money, give money, be nice to people. These will certainly get you far. However, there was another crucial lesson that they didn’t specifically call out, but became clear through their actions. Hustle, baby.
As a child in the 80s and early 90s, I suspect the term “hustle” took a slightly different context. But in millennial parlance, it’s now clear to me that my parents hustled. In addition to working full time jobs, they bought, fixed up, and rented out real estate. Many of my childhood weekends were begrudgingly spent in Home Depot.
Strangely enough, I now feel a sense of comfort every time I’m in a Home Depot. More than that, though, I inherited the hustle mentality. I try to talk myself out of it: “You have too much on your plate.” “You will retire eventually.” “Just relax.” Nevertheless, I keep coming back for more. My current list of “hustles” includes the following:
- Main job (okay, this is not really a side hustle)
- Rental property
- Side business (selling a product my husband and I created)
Another I’d like to add to this list is freelance writing work. Any takers?
At this point, I don’t think it’s worth trying to kill the hustle inside of me. I have dreams to retire early and travel the world, hopefully as a family, and my hustles can help me achieve them. My few takeaways from this are below:
- Hustle. It may not look pretty: mounds of laundry, dirty dishes, missed social engagements, etc., but it works. You can improve your standard of living and hopefully achieve your dreams sooner through hustling. I saw this principle from afar in my parents’ lives and have seen at work in my own life already. Our rental income helps to pay the mortgage and our side business helps to pay property taxes and babysitting, which is not insignificant. These additional streams of income allow us to fully fund the retirement accounts offered by our employers. I hope this leads my family to financial independence sooner.
- It’s okay hustle. I constantly wonder whether my hustling will negatively affect my kids. I know that my first job every day is to let my kids know how much I love them and I would like to think that I do that. But in looking at my parents’ example, I can’t help but hope that my kids will also takeaway from what they see. One day, I want them to have the courage and resolve to follow their own dreams and to work hard to achieve their own goals.
So, there it is. There’s still laundry to do, but everyone has clean undies for tomorrow, so it’s all good. I’m off to hustle…
What about you?