Side Hustles Can Be F*ck Off Funds Too

A few months ago, I was approached about a big career opportunity – the exact kind I’d dreamed about. A director-level, content strategy role that would effectively double my salary, provide unlimited vacations, and – to boot – was within walking distance from my apartment. In short, it was perfect. I’d prayed to the universe and it had delivered in a big way.

But (there is always a but) this company had big, big issues with my blog. And really, just my “outside the business” activity in general.

I was torn. I was just finding my “groove” again with the blog, but this felt like a huge opportunity and the next logical step in a career I decided to dedicate to content marketing. I continued to pursue the candidacy for the job….

…but a big stomachache began to brew in my gut.

 

“I don’t understand you,” my fiancé said, “You were literally trying to sell your blog just a few months ago. You said you didn't want to keep it anyway.”

But I couldn't provide a great answer – to my fiance´ as to why I wanted to get rid of it, and to my potential future employers as to why I wanted to keep it.

So, I put everything on pause and went on vacation for a week with my parents. After lots of journaling and rest, I realized – it wasn’t so much the blog itself I was afraid to get rid of.  I realized that all along this blog, the website, and my side hustle had been my security blanket.

I'm blessed (yes, I used that word)  as a blogger-turned-business. As long as I have this website, I'll always be able to fend for myself in some way. In lieu of large amount of savings, in essence, this website is my own form of a f*ck off fund.

Not Familiar with a F*ck Off Fund?

 

A “F*ck Off Fund” is a term popularized by writer and all-around badass Paulette Perhach in 2016. It's sort-of like an emergency fund (actually, I think it's exactly like an emergency fund because you'd usually use it in an “emergency” type situation) but it's meant to be a stash of cash for women (or, well anyone) to have and use in the event you want to say “f*ck off” to a person or situation, but fear you can't because of financial reasons.

I find the term “f*ck off fund” way more interesting and fun to use and 1000% more empowering than e-fund, but you make your own choices. See here for more information and the genesis of the “f*ck off fund”. 

So, the blog/side hustle is my own f*ck off fund. Do you know what a difference having a side hustle/f*ck off fund would’ve made for me in those New York years when I was consistently terrified by a heinous boss? Oh man, it would’ve been a completely different story. Having this little f*ck off fund/side hustle of mine is one of the many reasons I felt comfortable going back to work last year. I knew if it didn't work out, I wouldn't be chained to a job I hated.

 

But There's Pros and Cons

 

Because I don't “need” a full-time job, I'm both an amazing employee (because I'm energetic and engaged and truly want to be there) and also terrible (because I do have a different attitude and approach than most corporate employees.)

I'll admit, it’s been a super intricate dance of finding a place where I can do and be both – both a confident contributor, and also my own person and “brand.” It was difficult, but I did manage find a place where that balance can exist. I'm not talking about the job opportunity, but where I went back to work last year and am currently still employed.

….Let me finish that story.

So What Happened With the Other Job?

I thought I was on the fence about the opportunity because they were asking me to get rid of my security blanket, an extension of myself.

Then I realized it wasn’t just my security blanket they were asking me to throw away, it was part of my values. I value….

  • Having the freedom to do what I want when it comes to my work.
  • I value always being able to consistently stand on my own two feet, the “not having too many eggs in one basket approach.” I haven't lived that way with one source of income for over five years, and I'm not sure I could go back.
  • I value always being able to consistently stand on my own two feet.

I wish I could tell you I had an opportunity to pass on the job, but they passed on me before I was able. I will say that when it happened, rather than being upset, my stomachache went away and I slept very deeply.

Maybe this small story resonates with you, maybe it doesn't

Perhaps it feels appalling to you, or risky. But that’s me. I don’t settle, and I ask for what I want and if I can’t have it I keep looking around until I can.  And see? That's the real beauty of a f*ck off fund. It empowers you (you – Goddess, Queen, Warrior) to never settle for less than what you deserve because you know you are the master of your own destiny, financial or otherwise.

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  • Amanda
    September 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    Listening to your gut is always the way to go – even if you can’t rationalize what it’s telling you. I didn’t follow my gut a few years back when I had 2 job offers. I turned down the one that my gut was telling me to go for. And I was not happy with the job I did accept. I lasted about 8 months before switching to another role within the organization, where I only lasted another 8 months before I left it completely. I often wonder what would have happened if I did go for the job I wanted – maybe it wouldn’t have worked out either, but I’ll never know. All I can do is learn from that experience and remember that my values matter!

  • GreenDollarBills
    September 18, 2018 at 4:46 am

    What a fantastic and brave call. I completely agree with you. I’m not sure you even want to work for a company that does not appreciate your effort, hard work and dedication to build a up a side business – more fool them!

  • Colin Ashby
    September 4, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    Freedom and options. That’s what it’s all about. I’ve been through a lot in my career (just recently got laid off) and it’s always been nice to have a small side hustle going. The income isn’t anywhere near full-time income, but it’s great to have so I’m not 100% reliant on one job.

    • Lauren Bowling
      September 5, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      So sorry to hear about your lay off. Extra income is always nice during times like this.

  • Kevin
    September 4, 2018 at 9:31 am

    I have a pretty large *#$@ off fund. I never thought about it being just a second income stream. Mine is just in cash. I also have other income streams besides the fund.
    I think the ability not to say ‘no’, for financial reasons, cripples much of our workforce and leaves many as slaves to the grind.
    Good for you for staanding your ground.
    I think we would be much better off as a society if more people had *#$@ off funds which gave them the ability to say ‘no’.

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