Money Mindset | Mental Health

Why I Quit My Side Hustle

Back in July 2018, I started my first official side hustle, Moonstone Accounting. An accounting firm providing tax and bookkeeping services to small solo-preneur businesses. This was at a time where I desperately wanted to get out of the 9-5 life at any cost. I thought “I am an accountant, why not?”

So I did it. I opened a company and began marketing my services. I had no idea what I was doing because being an accountant and being the owner of an accounting firm are two different things.

In the first year, I didn’t really do much with it, but in the second year, business surprisingly picked up.

This was probably because I spent a considerable amount of time experimenting with Social Media, networking and trying out all types of marketing programs and what not.

I kept getting referrals and it was great.

I learned a lot and I met amazing people in the process, but soon after I started realizing that I wasn’t really enjoying the process. I figured it had something to do with the fact that I was tired from working both my 9-5 and the side hustle.

Then, in May 2019 we bought our first investment property, the Duplexes. That project didn’t immediately pick up because the units were occupied so the rehab didn’t start until late August of 2019.

Once the rehab project started, I began to realize that I dreaded switching focus to the accounting biz. I continued to blame the lack of motivation to just being tired, but I quickly realized this dread didn’t apply to the real estate business.

When we were working on the duplexes, I was immersed in it. I loved it even when I was exhausted and grumpy. It was a dream come true and I could go on day and night.

By the end of 2019, I already knew that the accounting business was no longer what I wanted, but I didn’t know how to get out of it. I felt like I had an obligation to my clients and also was terrified “What would people think?” “Will they see me as a quitter? Unreliable?”

This was also at time where I was going through serious health issues, physically and emotionally. Then in February 2020 the miscarriage happened during tax season and I began to resent Moonstone Accounting even more.

We live in a society where “keep hustling”, “work hard or go home”, “work now, play later” and I let that drive my life. I felt like I needed to keep pushing even if it didn’t feel right. Maybe there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

I now know this concept of pushing yourself to the limits is nonsense! It basically almost killed me with anxiety and depression. Having a 9-5 job, and 2 side hustles was not sustainable for me.

You can tell me that your Uncle Sam had 5 jobs while going to med school and never missed a workout. Good for him, but that’s 90% not the case with most people.

Even after having a mental breakdown, I kept at it and tried to stay positive. I mean, that’s what you are supposed to do, right? However, it slowly began to consume my energy. I felt trapped. It was a constant struggle between what I wanted vs. what I thought I needed to do.

I began looking for ways to make the accounting biz work and at moments, it felt doable. I tried outsourcing, automating, etc. I even hired a business coach to help me set up the systems I thought I needed to make the side hustle work. Only to realize that I was trying so hard to sustain something that made me miserable. So yes, I paid a good chunk of money to be told what I knew deep inside. To be honest, it was the best money ever spent. I’d probably be forcing myself to continue something that didn’t make me happy just to please others. My coach helped me see that there were many other opportunities that would make me happier like launching this blog.

It is now April 2021 and the end of 2020 tax season. I am pretty much closed for business. I still have few things to wrap up, but just the thought that it is coming to an end, makes me feel liberated. The irony of this is that I had the keys to set me free all this time.

It was a great learning experience and I don’t regret any of it, but my calling has been real estate since I first worked as property manager back in 2011. Now I know this with certainty.

The constant struggle to get new business is not my cup of tea. In real estate, I have more control of the income I bring and it’s overall more consistent. On the first of the month, you can expect to see incoming rent money.

The plan now is to focus on growing my 9-5 income and taking advantage of my steady W2 income to grow our real estate empire so that someday, these properties work for us while we are in some beach drinking margaritas.

Some people will still talk and judge me for giving up. Maybe some will resent me for not being reliable, but in the last few months of focusing on my mental health, I’ve learned that putting the needs of others before my own is not healthy or sustainable.

And with this, I am closing one chapter of my life and I am super excited for the next one.

Thanks to all of you who supported me through this journey. You have no idea how much I appreciate you.

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