In 2016 I was working as a physician when I accidentally began consulting doctors on how to build a profitable practice.
Consulting on the side was never something I did for the extra money. In fact, I started doing it for free, helping friends who asked me for advice. Then they began referring me to their friends.
At one point one of these new referrals asked: "what do you charge for something like this?"
I was stunned by the question. It must've taken me a second or two to think about it. And when I did, I just blurted out a number. I immediately thought it was too high. Silence…
A few moments passed and then he said "yeah ok, send the invoice," and I was in business!
Don't keep all your eggs in one basket
Having a second income-generating activity had several benefits.
Mind you, it was not bringing me huge sums of money. But knowing that my expenses were fully covered by my day job, every dollar coming in from consulting was gravy. Well… more like a quick trip to Miami. A lavish night out. Or a new PlayStation. But you get the point.
By far though, the most important benefit was the possibilities it brought.
A whole new world
After a few months of recklessly spending the extra cash I found myself with, I noticed I was not nearly as stressed at my day job.
Nothing had changed there. Same responsibilities, same workload, same hours. But something had changed in me.
I no longer needed the job.
For the first time in my professional life, I felt like I could leave if I wanted to. I no longer felt "forced" to put up with anything simply because I needed a job. Just knowing this completely changed the way I saw my job.
Thanks to my accidental side-gig, I learned that all that's needed to enjoy something is to not need it.