I was recently reviewing my financial growth over the last few years and thinking about my hustling situations when I noticed something kind of interesting.
Seems like there’s no hustle like a New York City hustle.
I’ve done a better job saving and growing my net worth since I left, but the number of cash streams and the amount of money I had coming in every month by midway through my time living in NYC was pretty much the height of making money for me.
I was also ready to write off the amount of energy to just keep going that I had to being three years younger, but when I think back, I really think there’s something about the City itself that energizes you to just keep moving.
Living somewhere expensive is a huge motivator to get your hustle on (not that New York City has to be unrealistically expensive to live in). How much do you love your Starbucks habit? I know for me, I loved it enough to start mystery shopping to pay for it. It didn’t affect my budget at all that and if I wanted more coffee, I did more mystery shops. When I was lazy and hadn’t mystery shopped, no coffee for me.
It’s also pretty rare to meet your average New Yorker who is only doing one job. I remember initially meeting up with a bunch of other New York bloggers who were pretty much all doing it as a side hustle around their primary jobs. One was even in the process of starting up her own financial consultant business on top of everything else. Even at my day job there was a hustle mentality because pretty much everyone there was picking up some freelance work on the side whenever they could (I know I did with a few props and stage management gigs).
The strange thing is that before moving to the City, I’d had a few experiences with making a little side money, but looking back, somewhere it went from that to a side income search on crack. I don’t even think it’s all about the money there, it’s about the busyness and the connections and just keep swimming.
For a while in New York, I had my income from my day job, occasional props and stage management income, brokeGIRLrich income, freelance writing income from one steady gig, freelance writing income from intermittent gigs, mystery shopping money and UserTesting money. I also spent a chunk of time for a while trying to get a YouTube channel focusing money issues people in the arts face off the ground with another personal finance blogger, where I learned YouTube isn’t really for me (however, if you’re not watching Stefanie’s video channel, you’re missing out on some great advice that you don’t even have to read). It feels impossible to stop moving when you’re there.
Two years into returning to the suburbs, I realize it’s just not the same. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to be constantly submerged in that go-go-go hustle world. Every person you talk to out here isn’t working on a side project or trying to figure out the next thing they want to spend their free time investing in. Unless you make it to a FinCon, then… different story for a few days (which, incidentally, I managed to hustle my way to the year I lived in NYC).
I just didn’t realize how much I had taken it for granted.