How I Found a Soul-Satisfying Side Job – and You Can Too

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Photo: Courtesy of Karolina Szczur

It all started three years ago. I was at the office, deeply absorbed in my Lenovo ThinkPad, cranking out PowerPoint slides. I was a strategy consultant at the time, working long hours around the clock. That day in particular, I had a deep need to exert energy and, for whatever reason, getting on a stationary bike going nowhere fast seemed like the right idea. I peeled my eyes off my laptop, reached for my phone, messaged a few of my friends who were also consultants, and said, “Hey! Want to go to a Flywheel class after work? It’ll be fun!” I knew it would be a hard sell so I threw in a “First class is free!” for good measure. We rocked up, signed in to the class, put on our spinning shoes, and got on the bike. Little did I know what the future had in store for me. Forty-five minutes later, sweat dripping and endorphins pumping, I felt exhilarated. I knew this was the beginning of something special. I was hooked and became a regular at the studio under the Torqboard name “BigE Smalls”. My friends – bless them for being good sports in joining me – never returned for a class. I, on the other hand, listened to my heart and went on to become a Flywheel instructor.

Finding that which satisfies your soul is about finding out what makes you come alive.

I’ve always been the type that enjoys wearing multiple hats and working in more than one field. This reflects where I am today. My daily grind: now in Oil & Gas, which stimulates and feeds my mind. My side hustle: Flywheel, which satisfies and feeds my soul. Teaching spin is my hobby and my passion. It’s a way for me to give back and help others find balance in their lives. My motto has always been, “Your health is your wealth,” and I believe in the power of movement as a means to connect your mind, body, and soul so that everything else you do in life, you do one hundred percent.

The impact on my students’ health and wellbeing, the sense of community at the studios, and the friendships I’ve made along the way have all provided me with an incredible source of happiness and fulfilment. Having Flywheel in my life has added a new dimension; one more window from which to look at the world. Flywheel, simply put, is my soul-satisfying side hustle.

So how do you find a soul satisfying side gig? There is a Japanese concept called ikigai that translates to “a reason for being”, similar to the French phrase raison d’être. Your ikigai is at the intersection of what you are good at, what you love doing, and what the world needs. How do you find your ikigai? Ask yourself three key questions: What is my passion (what you love)? What is my mission (what the world needs)? What am I good at (your vocation)?

Finding that which satisfies your soul is about finding out what makes you come alive. Once you’ve found it, pursue it and don’t stop.

Your internal compass and intuition are powerful tools that will lead you to your ikigai. Just like that seemingly simple day three years ago led me to mine.