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- For years, I was always the one to raise my hand at work and go above and beyond.
- But when I realized it was affecting my health, I “quiet quit” — but I just called it setting boundaries.
- Having that extra free time and making money on YouTube and other side hustles.
Even though “quiet quitting” has been a hot topic in recent months, I had no clue what it was until I did a little digging. I learned that quiet quitting is a trend among workers of refusing to go above and beyond at work and simply doing what you were hired to do.
As I continued to read more articles and saw people discussing quiet quitting on TikTok, I thought, “This is nothing new.” I started doing this years ago, and for me, it was simply about setting boundaries.
Once I realized there was no guarantee that I’d see the benefits of overworking myself, I was able to find much more time for side hustles and avoid burnout by “quiet quitting.” It also hasn’t held me back from climbing the ladder at work.
I’ve always been a hard worker — but I pushed it too far
I’ve been a hard worker my entire life, and a lot of that has to do with growing up lower-middle class. My dad always taught me to give more, not less, and I’ve always had to work twice as hard to succeed. We were regularly struggling with money and receiving threats of eviction, too, so part of my hard work is the anxiety that I’ll be the weakest link at work and get let go.
I couldn’t afford college, so I dropped out after a semester and started working full-time. From the start, I worked myself far beyond anything that would be considered healthy. For years, if bosses needed anyone to work extra hours, I’d volunteer. If they needed someone to do something outside their job description, I’d sign up for it. I made sure to always be available via my phone when I wasn’t at work, and I’d even let people know they could reach me if I was out sick or on vacation.
If I’m being honest, sick days and vacation days were few and far between because I never wanted to take time off.
After doing this for over a decade, I realized that this was a major contributing factor to my addiction. I was constantly stressed and burned out, and I wasn’t taking care of my mental health. The worst part was that although I was always one of the hardest workers, I was regularly passed up for promotions and never got raises that matched the extra work I put in.
I finally started setting boundaries — AKA ‘quiet quitting’
Getting sober in 2012 made me realize I needed to start setting boundaries, and if work wasn’t going to pay me what I was worth, I needed time to make that money elsewhere.
I started learning how to simply say “no” to people at work, including managers. It was hard because I’m a people pleaser, but people were surprisingly OK with it as long as I wasn’t a jerk about it. I was always in control but didn’t realize it. With boundaries, we teach people how to treat us.
I was honest with people and would tell them that I needed to leave work on time or that I was busy with other projects and couldn’t help. Once I started leaving the office on time regularly, I had an abundance of time at home where I could start doing side hustles. While working at a drug and alcohol rehab facility, I started my YouTube channel and wrote my first book with my extra time.
I was able to take all of that extra effort that I was giving away for free and use it for myself. Growing on social media is hard, but I started making daily content. Eventually, I started making thousands of dollars each month from my YouTube channel. During my best month, I made $7,000 from YouTube, and I didn’t even have to sell anything due to how they pay creators with ad revenue.
How many jobs will give us a raise that pays that well?
Quiet quitting helping me grow my side hustles
If I didn’t have that extra time from quiet quitting, I would never have been able to make this extra money. I needed that extra time to learn how to create quality YouTube videos. I was able to teach myself how to do audio and video editing, which would also help me when I eventually started a podcast. This extra time also let me learn how to make additional money through affiliate marketing, which sometimes brought in another $500 to $1,000 per month.
The funny thing about all of this is that I still go above and beyond at work. I help others and take on extra projects whenever possible. This year, I started working at the best job I’ve ever had, and within my first six months, I’ve gained a great reputation with everyone from management to the CEO. The primary difference is that I now do the extra work on my terms. I set boundaries from the start, so they know I’m happy to help, but I will also let them know when I can’t.
I love to work, and I love to create. Most of all, I love having financial security. While working full time, I still run my YouTube channel, host a podcast, and flip Lego sets on eBay. I even have the time to make extra money doing freelance writing about personal finance, like this piece that you just read.