The 5 Habits of Enlightened Side Hustlers

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habits of enlightened side hustlersCorey Poirier is an award winning Keynote speaker, award winning executive, broadcaster, and host of the top rated Conversations With PASSION Radio Show.

For a limited time, Side Hustle Nation can grab a FREE copy of his latest book, Enlightened: Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps. Follow this link and use code “bestyouever” to claim your free copy.

Corey contributed this post on the common success habits he’s seen from interviewing more than 3000 high-achievers.

Take it away!


Back in 1996, I started interviewing Enlightened Super-Achievers; many of whom are also side-hustlers.

My goal was to gain a better understanding of their habits.

Now, more than 3400 interviews and 20 years later, I feel I’m well positioned to share the top 5 (habits) with you.

Nick’s Notes: And I thought 150 podcast interviews was a lot!

Habit #5: Enlightened Side Hustlers are Life-Long Learners.

As Zig Ziglar once said, “You can finish school, but you never finish your education.”

The question becomes, as a side hustler, how are you currently feeding your mind?

life-long learning

Whether formal, or informal, do you have a learning plan in place? Finding ways to effectively feed your mind; whether that be listening to certain podcasts, TED talks, turning your car into a mobile library, attending seminars or online webinars, reading specific books, or taking mentors out to lunch on a regular basis – will make sure you join or remain in the top ranks of Enlightened Side Hustlers.

Nick’s Notes: Even just reading 10 pages a day — a suggestion from The Slight Edge — will put you miles ahead of the competition if you keep up the habit and feed your brain helpful content.

A great example of an Enlightened Super-Achiever (also an Enlightened Side Hustler given the many projects he has been involved in over the years) putting this into action is one of our show guests, Jack Canfield.

Jack is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, a master trainer, a sought after speaker, and has been called America’s Beloved Success Coach. The Chicken Soup series alone now has over 500 million copies in print and Jack himself has worked with millions of people as a speaker or coach.

Still, even though he has taught so many people, and has already invested so many hours (and dollars) into his own learning, he still can be seen regularly attending other thought leaders’ seminars and taking a massive amount of notes. Jack understands the importance of life-long learning.

Nick’s Notes: The skill of learning new skills may be one of the most important success factors. Nearly everything I use today was picked up long after my formal education was over. There’s a reason I’ve had “never stop learning” in my Twitter bio for years!

Habit #4: Enlightened Side Hustlers Focus

They focus on the task they are working on at the time and they go all-in.

They don’t allow distractions, like smartphones, to take them away from their core focus. They agree that single-tasking is where the real achievement is. In fact, I might go so far as to call single-tasking the new sexy.


This means they say NO to the things that take them away from their core purpose so they can focus on the YES(es) that take them closer to their core purpose.

To demonstrate this point further, during interviews with thousands of Enlightened Side Hustlers, rarely did I see a cell phone and I can’t recall any of these Side-Hustlers taking a call or sending a text during our time together; even though many of these same Achievers were juggling, in some cases, 3-4 times more than the norm in the run of their business day.

This is counter to what we often see in an increasingly technology dependency world, but Enlightened Side Hustlers understand the importance of going all-in with the task that is in front of them at present rather than juggling the present task with the next task and so on.

Nick’s Notes: How to choose what to focus on? You can use the ol’ Derek Sivers “Hell YES or no” framework, but I think the most important thing to keep in mind is to schedule a little time each day to make proactive progress toward your goal.

Yes, I’m distracted by the shiny objects of Instagram and SnapChat (whatever that is), but they’re not my main focus right now. 

Habit #3: Enlightened Side Hustlers Understand the Power of Giving and Receiving.

They realize that to achieve balance and to capitalize on attracting the right things and people into their lives, they need to be just as okay with giving as they are receiving, and vice-versa.

If this is an area you find challenging, “practice makes better.”

You can start with a simple or small action like giving someone you are close with a small compliment or delivering value to a client and then being open to receiving their gratitude in kind.


Nick’s Notes: Take the Bryan Harris example of giving away some of his best work; a strategy that ultimately landed some high-profile clients.

Eventually, you may reach the point that many top achievers reach – where they decide to donate a percentage of their income and/or time to giving and receiving.

Nick’s Notes: One of my all-time favorite books is The Go-Giver. Read it. Live it. Always seek to be helpful first, and be open to the rewards that come your way because of it.

Habit #2:  Enlightened Side Hustlers Hire for their Weaknesses.

Sometimes this hiring can be a virtual assistant, a subcontractor that is an expert in a specific area you aren’t, or a partner with complementary skills who can help carry the weight.

For me personally, this action was a game changer. My core expertise areas are not production (i.e. production of our radio show or videos), design, or accounting. In these areas, I have tried to emulate what I learned what many Enlightened Side Hustlers by hiring people who are stronger in these areas.


The great news is that you can now, thanks to our global world becoming so much smaller, hire specialists at a reasonable price, who’ll make you shine in those areas. The end result, especially when the area is their passion zone, or super-power, is often a better looking product, better sounding product, or more efficiency then I ever could have deliver, and also often in half the time.

Nick’s Notes: I hate spending money when none is coming in, so those first few hires can be difficult, especially for foundational tasks like “building a website.”

Someone recently asked me when I knew it was time to hire, and the answer I gave was “when the pain of inaction becomes too great.” It’s hard to give a concrete time, but I sense you’ll feel when you need to bring in some outside help to move forward.

Habit # 1: Enlightened Side Hustlers Spend their Time Living on Purpose.

Even if the product itself isn’t their WHY, they know their true why, and they spend their time focused on it. I have learned during my research that Passion is often the WHAT you do, and Purpose is the WHY you’re doing it.

life on purpose

Side Hustlers spend their time in the what and the why and as I mentioned in habit #3, they say NO to the things that will take them further away from their passion and purpose.

Nick’s Notes: Remember the pair of questions from The ONE Thing and The Slight Edge:

“What’s the ONE Thing I can do right now such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?”

“Is this decision going to help me or hurt me?”

This habit, the habit of spending your time living on purpose (and working at your passion) is so powerful that when I asked former female Wrestling Champion Trish Stratus why the three most successful personal brands in the world of wrestling, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, and Stone Cold Steve Austin reached the top, she revealed that after spending hours with each of them that it was their level of passion and how clear they were about their purpose that helped them rise to the top and remain there for so many years.

Juggling wrestling, acting, podcasting, producing and brick and mortar businesses, each of these is a classic Side Hustler in their own way, and this level of focus on passion and purpose has clearly paid many dividends.

Nick’s Notes: This is probably the most overlooked habit, as we get into our daily, weekly, and monthly routines, and after a while we no longer give them much thought. Are they getting us closer to our goals? We living on purpose? Are we driving our lives or are our lives driving us?

Your Turn

Well, there they are, 5 of the habits that allow Enlightened Side Hustlers to crush it regularly.

They continue to feed their minds, they avoid the distractions and remain focused on the prize, they practice giving and receiving, they hire for their weaknesses, and they live with passion and on purpose.

Whether there are some of these habits that you are not currently practicing or if there are ones you can tweak slightly; I hope this insight can help you take your side hustle to a whole new level.

Which of these habits do you struggle with the most? Leave a comment below with how you plan to overcome and implement it for the remainder of this year.


Corey Poirier is an award winning Keynote speaker, award winning executive, broadcaster, and host of the top rated Conversations With PASSION Radio Show.

Corey spends his time dissecting the wisdom of leaders from all walks of life (3400 personal interviews and counting) so that you don’t have to. He is also an International Bestselling Author (Share Your Message With The World), regular columnist with over 900 articles in print, and a TEDx and MoMonday speaker. 

For a limited time, Side Hustle Nation can grab a FREE copy of his latest book, Enlightened: Becoming the Best Version of You in 5 Easy Steps. Follow this link and use code “bestyouever” to claim your free copy.

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7 thoughts on “The 5 Habits of Enlightened Side Hustlers

  1. Great points! Side hustlers take life into their own hands. I have never met a side hustler who is alright with the status quo. Every one of them has wanted to be the driver in their own lives rather than sitting in the passenger seat and hoping life takes them where they want to go.

  2. It’s easier for me to do some of these things than others. I’ve always been a lifelong learner – I even learned to read before I started elementary school and have never stopped since.

    Other things are harder. Multitasking has become a hard-to-break habit, and I’ve really had to work at that. I’ve tried a few things, like the Pomodoro technique, and I’ve even considered putting a rubber band around my wrist to train myself to stop getting distracted, but I am a wuss and don’t really like pain. :)

  3. Side hustlers need to remember to do many of these great ideas. It’s not just building a business, it’s about making the MOST of building that business. Thank you for sharing this!

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