Side Hustles are not just extra money, they are also extra experience. One of the reasons why I believe in #sidehustlelove so much is their ability to build new skills and open up opportunity. We often feel like we are ready to step into a new venture or responsibility but are stopped by a manager or lead to remind us we should remain "patient" and "in our place". But I firmly believe through sidehustles we are able to ideate, launch and test our ability to take on new projects and gain new skills along the way. Whats more convincing is the gain of new insight on your program management and leadership style. Still don't believe me? Let me give you a few examples...
Sidehustlelove #1: From Current Role to Influence
A colleague of mine had a passion for fashion. She would often go to fashion shows and events that would allow her to explore building herself as a thoughtleader in the fashion industry. So we chatted on a strategy and she put it into action. She wanted to move into leading the company's new fashion verticle with partners and influencers. But her boss didnt think she had enough experience. We decided the best strategy was to be a demonstrated thoughtleader. So she started to create a blog and then she began to network with some of the powerhouse in the business. She attended events, hosted dinners and volunteered to speak on panels whenever she found the opportunity. Her social media was a huge pull. Over time, she began to increase her followers, it didn't hit 1M on Instagram, but it did get up past 5K, which in 1 year's time wasn't bad. And far more followers than the rest of her peers. After about 9 months she shared her #sidehustlelove work with her boss. And it turned out, a few folks had already mentioned her as an upcoming influencer. Not only did she transition into the role she wanted, she also gained a passion for fashion blogging and launched a tshirt line in the process.
Sidehustlelove #2: From Idea to Cash to New Career
One of my personal tribe members aka best girlfriends found herself in a situation that turned her life upside down. She was coming into a divorce. And on top of it she had just purchased a condo with her partner. In the end, she got the condo in the settlement but she still had to figure out how to pay for her mortgage. She happened to love travel and she happened to pick one of the most attractive destinations in the country, San Francisco. So on a whim, she decided to put it on Airbnb.com and rented out the second bedroom. She set boundaries that she was comfortable with including a strict clause on practices that made her feel safe to share her home. After taking the weekend to launching her place on site, it was less than 72hours that the first week was booked. For the first six months, she had to build a cleaning routine and get use to sharing her home. But once she started to see the reward of not having to stress about filling her mortgage on a single person's salary, she began to plan weekend travel, that turned into monthly travel and then quickly eight months travel because she had gotten ahead on her mortgage. Since traveling around the world, she was able to appreciate culture, experiences and a plethora of diverse hospitality. She plans to open up her first Bed and Breakfast within two years.
Sidehustelove #3: Sometimes failure is better than option #1
Another colleague of mine is a beautiful photographer. She wanted to be the next Carrie Mae Weems, Annie Leibovitz or Alice Ramos. She wanted to become a full-time photographer for digital and high art commission projects. She started by dedicating one day a week to it. Then she added another day. By the time she was able to commit her entire weekends for a full six months, she realized she loved photography but wasn't really that good at it. Her pictures as she put it "lacked the aesthetic expression of the "illest" ... as I said exact words. What she did learn is in the process, she excelled at running the photoshoots. Staying on time, staying on budget, ensuring props and so on. In essence, she was a kickass production manager. And so she began to advertise to her friends and family that she could produce any special art project they were interested in creating from 360film to Installation work. She built her expertise over time and now she runs her own studio and still brings out her Fuji every once in a while to snap shots and express her perspective on the weekend.
Its easy to say that #sidehustlelove is a quick way to make easy money and pay off a huge credit card bill. Or its just your means to an end. But if you use your #sidehustlelove as a strategy to gain greater skills, perspective and talents - you can propel your next career move on your timeline. It's easy to discount the skills we gain when its outside of work but there are skills that can be mastered outside of the watchful eye of your boss. And if you are ready to jump into the entrepreneur game, you'll need to test this ability out at some point. Why not now?
Happy International Women's Day, Female Founders!
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