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Having ten side gigs is not hustling, it’s romanticized wheel spinning

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) We romanticize “the hustle” and working ourselves into the ground for no reason other than the title it affords us which is cool – for like a minute.

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busy messy hustle

Hold up

In an age where everyone with a Facebook page considers themselves an aspiring small business owner, Crew’s Ryan Robinson manages to compile what amounts to a holy grail of beginners’ information to get these startup hopefuls—well, started up.

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And yet, something feels a bit off.

Make Time or Break Time?

What sticks out to me about this piece as odd isn’t the business advice—that’s solid. So is the general point (keep your side gig separate from everything else in your life, meeting deadlines, etc.), and the legal aspect is a sure way to make everyone double-check their own NDAs before continuing.

No, what sticks out to me is the notion that the first thing you should cut out of your life to make room for your side business is your leisure time.

Whoa.

Hard pass on that.

Hustler Issue

We’re still in this weird area where we pay a reverent amount of respect to people who opt for an “all work, no play” mentality.

Rappers yell about it all over the radio. The Weeknd—one of my personal favorite artists of all time—goes so far as to romanticize the idea, tying it to the archetype of a strong, independent woman. “Make the commitment,” the article reads.

It may be ruthless, ugly, downright unhealthy, even—but as a culture, we’re insanely turned on by the notion of the hustle.

Fatal Attraction

We’ve talked about hustle culture (and the fact that we reject it at face value) before: When you spend every waking moment thinking about working, actually working, and then trying to get more work on top of that, you burn out.

How can you expect to achieve your highest performance goals if you’re constantly running a hair under the red line?

I don’t care how strong and independent you are—you, like almost every other person on this planet, are a human being. You need time to decompress.

Enjoying Your Free Time isn’t a Crime

That’s not to say you won’t have to make sacrifices along the way.

If you truly want to build a business while holding down a nine-to-five, be prepared to lose some sleep—just know that simply having down time isn’t a frackin’ crime.

If kicking back with a beer and an episode or two of NCIS is how you get down, great. Relax your mind and come back fresh tomorrow.

When hustle hurts

I also want to close on the point that, though we’ve rejected the surface-level notion of the hustle, the concept it truly stands for is so valid.

If your only mission is to put food on the table and you manage to scrape by each month only because of a bevy of odd jobs and side gigs, you can safely claim the hustle.Click To Tweet

I get the feeling that you might not be the kind of person who wants to, though.

#PickASideNotSideHustle

Jack Lloyd has a BA in Creative Writing from Forest Grove's Pacific University; he spends his writing days using his degree to pursue semicolons, freelance writing and editing, oxford commas, and enough coffee to kill a bear. His infatuation with rain is matched only by his dry sense of humor.

Business Entrepreneur

This startup makes managing remote internships easier for all

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) Internships during COVID are tough to manage for many employers, but Symba aims to present a unique solution.

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Internships could be becoming easier to facilitate remotely, wherever you are.

Internships are among the innumerable practices disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some might argue that the loss of the corporate version of hazing that defines many internships is not something to be mourned. But the fact remains that internships are crucial for both employers and employees. Fortunately, a company called Symba might have a solution: Remote internships.

It’s a simple, intuitive solution for the times. That’s why big-name industries like Robinhood and Genentech are turning to Symba for help in constructing their own digital internship platforms.

Symba is, in and of itself, akin to any employee management system. Prospective employees sign into their Symba account via the landing page of the company for whom they are interning, after which point they are able to review their workload for the day. They can also see communications, feedback, other profiles, group projects, and more; they can even access onboarding resources and tutorials for the company in case they get lost along the way.

The key difference between Symba and other management tools—such as Slack—is that Symba was built from the ground up to facilitate actionable experience for interns at little to no detriment to the company in question. This means that interns have a consistent onboarding, collaborative, and working experience across the board—regardless of which company they’re representing at the time.

Symba even has a five-star ranking system that allows employers to create and quantify areas of proficiency at their discretion. For example, if an intern’s roles include following up with clients via email or scheduling meetings, an employer could quickly create categories for these tasks and rate the intern’s work on the aforementioned scale. Interns are also able to ask for feedback if they aren’t receiving it.

While Symba doesn’t facilitate communications between interns, it does include Slack integration for the purposes of collaboration and correspondence as needed.

On the managerial side, employers can do everything from the previously mentioned rating to delegating tasks and reviewing reports. All data is saved in Symba’s interface so that employers have equal access to information that might inspire a hiring.

While it’s possible that Symba will struggle to maintain relevance during non-internship months, the fact remains that it is an exceptionally viable solution to an otherwise finicky problem during these trying times—and some employers may even find it viable enough to continue using it post-pandemic.

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Business Entrepreneur

Zen, please: Demand for mental health services surges during pandemic

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) 2020 has been an exceptionally hard year for many on a mental front. How has COVID-19 changed the mental health landscape?

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Man leaning against tree, affected by mental health.

As the pandemic stretches on, it continues to affect everything from jobs to plastic bags, but one major shift has come with mental health. According to the National Council for Mental Health, while demand for mental health services is up 52%, the capacity of mental health organizations have actually diminished. So…what does this mean?

Mental health startups get a boost

From tele-health to mindfulness apps, venture capital investments for mental health startups have already surpassed what was earned in 2019. And it makes sense; as more people are isolated for long stretches of time, there has become a greater demand for digital mental wellness services.

With COVID-19 predicted to spike again in the coming months, combined with shorter spans of daylight and less welcoming weather, the desire for these sorts of businesses isn’t likely to fade. If you have an idea for a neat app or website to help with mental well-being in some way, now is prime time to release it.

Companies increase mental health options

As the pandemic rages on, many companies have started to partner with mental health solutions for their employees. For instance, Starbucks has started offering free therapy sessions to employees through the mental wellness provider Lyra, and Zoom began to offer mental health seminars.

Of course, while smaller companies might not have the means to provide specific therapy, many companies have gotten creative with how they’re looking out for employees’ mental and emotional well-being. From providing virtual meditation sessions, to increasing self-managed leave, to connecting employees through book clubs or happy hours, there are a variety of ways that any company can help employees manage their psyche during these difficult times.

Resources are more accessible

Although therapy and similar apps do cost money (many apps include a monthly fee for the services provided), there are plenty of low cost alternatives available for those having a hard time. For example, many sites are offering free trials to services. There are also plenty of free or low-cost apps available to help you do anything from track your moods to manage your breathing. Or check out YouTube for videos to help with yoga or meditation.

While these resources are not a replacement for medication or talk therapy, they can help mediate some of the increased strain on our mental state that many of us are feeling right now.

In case of an emergency, there is also the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available by phone call or chat 24 hours a day. If you or someone you know is struggling, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Business Entrepreneur

What entrepreneurs should know about new federal regulation leadership

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) New appointments indicate that federal regulation is about to change. Here’s what entrepreneurs be prepared for in the coming months.

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Entrepreneurs reading over documents, which will be impacted by new leadership in federal regulation.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau underwent some leadership updates as of January, and Rohit Chopra—a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission—is currently in line for the director slot. Gary Gensler, formerly a banker, was also nominated to become the next chair of the SEC. These two will spearhead the current administration’s federal regulation efforts, making their introduction pivotal to entrepreneurs across the board.

This pick makes a strong opening statement for the administration’s regulatory tone, with a clear emphasis on what some call “protecting unsophisticated investors” in the coming years. Between Chopra focusing on reprioritizing the protection and safety of consumers via CFPB reform and Gensler tightening back up SEC regulations in the wake of the prior administration’s regulatory stance, entrepreneurs can expect some substantial changes.

Those changes will stretch to include anything from fundraising to the way corporations advertise and distribute things like credit services and student loans.

Additionally, the new regulatory team will address the way that large corporations—specifically Facebook—operate regarding privacy and other sensitive issues attributed to social media. Chopra has a personal record of criticizing the FTC for their perceptibly lenient actions against Facebook, so it seems reasonable to expect that his position will involve increasing regulations for how Facebook—and similar companies—advertise and treat consumers.

And that attitude isn’t restricted to social media giants. A very clear focus of this regulatory team is preventing corporations from taking advantage of consumers, be that via predatory loans, unclear terms of use, or even manipulative advertising.

Obviously, there’s a lot to address whenever a new team enters the federal landscape, and it can take some time for the ramifications of such a transition to become clear. However, entrepreneurs across the board can expect stricter advertising guidelines and the potential for tightened restrictions on web-based outreach—something that, when paired with Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies, could make for a tough environment.

Business owners can also probably expect more regulatory scrutiny regarding things like fundraising and day-to-day operations. While it can be difficult to plan for the exact kind of scrutiny these corporations will face, now would be a good time for those owners to speak with their HR departments to ensure that all of the necessary documents are in order to expedite any forthcoming demands.

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