When I moved back to Atlanta a few years ago, I noticed that alot of the people that I knew had a hustle. I remember one day sitting in the living room with my then roommate Damian and commenting on how you see black people in Atlanta constantly grinding.

My best girl friend/college roommate had always been into fashion. Her style always turned heads on campus and now to complement her full time gig, she was running an online boutique for women. Then there was Hassaan (oh how I miss Hassaan). Hassaan was my 'jean man', when I needed a new pair of True's or Antek's, he was only a call and a short drive to midtown away.

Chris was the true grinder of them all... Chris worked for UPS in accounting by day, sold real estate on the weekend, and also worked as a barber in the odd hours of the night. I will never forget missing a movie with him because he had to stop and cut some random dudes hair.

While out in LA, my bestfriend and other good friend, decided to invite some people over to the suite for a small get together. In between the hands of spades and cocktails... the conversation showed that only me and my bestfriend were the only ones not somehow affiliated with the entertainment industry. From the 22yo recent FAMU grad and aspiring film maker that made the trek across country... to the full time accountant, part time talent manager... and I am sure a few waiter/actors in the mix.

But DC has proven to be a different grind. It is rare when you meet someone here in DC who has a side hustle. With the Federal Government being the largest employer in the area it is no wonder that at least 50% of the people I know work for the government, 15% are contractors, 10% are some form of attorneys, and the other 25% work in private industry. But of all of my friends none of them have that side hustle, however I do notice how hard many of us work at our jobs. I wonder is it because there is no need or maybe no desire or maybe everyone is doing what they really want to do. (yeah right)

With the economy still going down the toilet fastly... it will be interesting to see what new side hustles develop and how many side hustles become the main sources of income. It is funny as bad as the economy has gotten it seems as if I am getting even more busy at work. But as the layoffs continue I won't complain... I'd rather be busy... than watching Young and the Restless live rather than on DVR.


joshua washington said...

i just find it interesting that you say that, only because my of my friends and buddies do have side hustles. various side hustles. now that could be because a lot of my people, even with their government jobs, and contracting jobs and what not are artist and singers. the dc soul scene is popping. i am beginning to get in with some fashion heads and other hustles, but's just an interesting take and viewpoint sir.

Anonymous said...

Side hustles are the way of the future. With the shrinking economy, having one job (and no side hustle) is a thing of the past. Most people NEED to have several sources of income. And preferably one job where you are paid 'under the table' (in cash) so you are not taxed on it.

Joey Bahamas said...

Yeah...I agree with Joshua. Many of my friends have side hustles and I just picked up one myself. It's more difficult for me because I'm an immigrant but I think the extra work is needed. Non-profits don't pay much and living in this city isn't cheap!