Blog >
Ten Hustle Traps to Avoid


Ten Hustle Traps to Avoid


Paul Millerd shares an article that identifies the roads freelancers would be advised to avoid.

Starting your own business is a secret dream of many and with the emergence of more clear paths to make money online, many knowledge workers are deciding to test the waters of self-employment and entrepreneurship.  In making such a leap many people hope to increase the amount of freedom and fulfilment they have with their work.  However, because of how little we think about the way we work, many find themselves caught in one of many hustle traps.

A hustle trap is something that we fall into without asking “why?”  Many of the traps exist because of outdated work beliefs or behaviors we have carried forward from full-time employment.  Many people only realize they have fallen into a trap when they find themselves burned out and noticing that they have created another job for themselves.

Wasn’t the point of becoming self-employed to avoid such a fate?

Let’s dive into ten of the most common traps I’ve seen in my conversations with people on the self-employment journey from around the world.

Hustle Trap (noun): A mental model built on legacy ideas of how one should work and live that leads to burnout, anxiety or the sense of being trapped. Often obvious in retrospect.

#1 The dopamine bomb of internet fame

Creating content on the web is still a relatively new thing and because of this, If you are able to consistently create content, explore topics you are genuinely interested in and develop some way to improve as you go, you will inevitably get some version of 15 minutes of fame. This could come from a famous person promoting your content, getting published in a mainstream publication, economic success or or some piece of content going semi-viral for a few days.

To the self-employed creator that dances in daily uncertainty and self-doubt, this can unleash a satisfying dopamine bomb of approval. It can be so exciting that it can reshape everything you claim to care about.  This effect is so powerful that even some of the most successful media organizations have gone the way of chasing clicks rather than focusing on the content they claim to care about.

Key points include:

  • The productivity trap
  • Chasing audience

  • Chasing status


Read the full article, Hustle Traps: Ten Guaranteed Paths To Burnout For The Self-Employed Creator, on