The Side Hustle
I get asked all the time if I want my side hustle, ie. all the things I do outside of my corporate world day job, to become my full time gig. Well, the answer is yes and no. Yes, I’m passionate about health and wellness and I love sharing with others, especially women, encouraging them to be the best versions of themselves every day and that each day you get a new chance to do that. There is so much beauty in that! The “no” would be that I’m not quite ready to let go of my day job. I think I’m good at it, I also get to help others in a different kind of capacity and I’ve been fortunate to have lots of fun experiences through that part of my world. All of that being said, I do hope to create something, build something that will eventually be my day to day.
My dear friend Kerri has been working her own side hustle for a while. We met, where else, Instagram! Unique but similar circumstances is how our paths crossed, we are both stepmoms to 2 kids, same ages and we were married within a year of each other. We were fast friends, bonding over all things blended family life. Over time though, Kerri became so much more to me than a “stepmom friend” and through the years we’ve developed a wonderfully supportive friendship that I’m eternally grateful for.
So when this mama and boss-babe kicked her side hustle into full gear and then went viral to talk about it, I knew I had to let her share a little bit of that magic with all of us.
You can find Kerri talking side hustle in the podcast She Reaches here, and keep reading for a little bit more about her perspective.
Recently I spoke with Tiffany Walker, a career strategist for working women, on her podcast, She Reaches. The focus of our conversation was trying new things in your career (you can check it out here), but something that we kept circling back to during this chat and others was the assumption that everyone who has a side-hustle is unhappy with their “day job” and hoping to leave it. Both Tiffany and I, standing in different experiences, reject this assumption.
I am a firm believer that having a passion project can have tangible benefits for your corporate career. Do some reach for a side-hustle with the hope of one day escaping their job? Maybe. But professionals also create opportunities outside of their career to generate additional income, to utilize knowledge beyond the scope of their industry, or to develop and hone new skills. Working in financial services and coming from a legal background, I gravitate toward opportunities that allow me the space to be creative and to cultivate community.
So how exactly can your passion project benefit your career? For starters, it’s a huge confidence booster. It can be difficult to try something new in your main source of income, where jeopardizing your reputation with a “failure” can have significant consequences, whether real or perceived. A side hustle offers you the freedom to take chances, and any successes add up to more confidence in that skill set. This sense of personal achievement will carry over to other areas of your life, including your career.
Side hustles also develop your sense of independence. For most of us, our career offers us the safety net of not being the final decision maker because of the corporate hierarchy. But your side hustle puts you in the position of entrepreneur. What to do, how to do it, and who to do it with – these decisions all lie with you. Small successes and “right” decisions can have an immediate psychological impact and give you the confidence to make decisions in your career and put you on a path toward more senior roles.
Finally, with a side-hustle, new skills and deep personal development are a must. Those risks that build confidence and independence are also offering you opportunities outside of your day-to-day. Personal and professional growth is inevitable for those that push themselves out of their comfort zone and are rewarded for doing so with success in the project – it’s a continuous cycle.
Balancing a career and a side hustle can be financially valuable and personally rewarding when you find the right opportunity. Look for something that aligns with your lifestyle, which will make it more sustainable long term.
Kerri and I would love to hear from you – what passion projects are you pursuing? What growth or benefit have you seen emerge?