Real Talk | Why You Need A Strong Side Hustle

It's Tuesday, so let's get our 'Real Talk' on.

You, my friend, need a side hustle if you don't have one already. 

Yep, you. 

If you don't know what a side hustle is, it's basically something you love to do that you are working towards monetizing or taking to the next level to be your full-time job one day. Or it could just be something you enjoy doing that earns you some cash. 

For me, writing has always been my side hustle. I started my adult life working in the non-profit sector in development, and when the stock market collapsed in 2007 so did that career and most organizations downsized dramatically. I had life changes and babies, so I stayed home with them and made money on the side freelance writing about topics I really enjoyed at the time. 

Writing in the digital space allowed me to get an education about social media marketing from the companies I worked for, which combined with the experience I had in non-profit, made me a bit of a whiz at digital media. It was something that just clicked in my brain I happened to have a natural passion and aptitude to do. Boom. Second career was born. I dabbled here and there with health and fitness, which is also a passion of mine, but writing and digital media were always my true passions. I became interested in podcasting and creating video content, and started studying those who were just killing the game, and found my own unique way of doing things. 

As nerdy as it sounds, I freaking love being a student of digital media. I love the science and creativity behind it, because it plays to how my own mind works. I love that you can be original and the landscape is always changing; it's a fun space for me to be in. Just by studying this medium as a way to promote my fledgling freelance writing career all of those years ago, I now have a pretty awesome career in the business that's only going to get better and better. I don't have a marketing degree, I just have a passion and love for doing what I do. With the amount of materials I have studied over the last ten years, I could probably have a PhD in this stuff and it shows in my work.  

My point is that without even knowing it at the time, I created a path for myself that has had longevity and adjusted with the changing landscapes of my life. It adds value to my skill set, grows my own brands and interests, and one day will let me be the full captain of my ship. When life changed for me yet again last November, I was able to upgrade by January because I went back to what I was good at with another new 18 months of knowledge and being an innovator in a market that hadn't even seen digital media before and it's in my portfolio. Hello, feather? Meet cap! Something that was barely even known five years ago is now my safety net for the foreseeable future. 

Every job market changes and every person changes. I could not imagine 37 year old Jenn doing nonprofit development right now. Holy crap, I would die. But then again, 28 year old Jenn would look at what I'm doing now and be like, "Boring, kinda lame, no." 28 year old Jenn was also married and had decent financial security. Even though my ex-husband deeply resented the amount of time I invested in myself and learning all of this because he saw me slaving away for hours while only bringing in a few hundred dollars a week, when I became single, I hit the ground with knowledge that was needed and not many people had, landing some sweet gigs along the way. 

So what honestly gets you out of bed in the morning? What gets you jazzed and animated, and makes you lose hours on a Saturday when you're totally immersed? There is something in you that is waiting to be nurtured, developed, and sent out into the world. You're not too old, you're not to busy, you're not too broke, you're not too dumb or too ugly. Nonsense. We all have something to bring to the table. Remember when I wrote about the lady who missed cooking for her large family when her kids grew up and left home? She literally makes hundreds of dollars a week cooking meatloaf for busy families. It's not her main source of income, but if something were to dramatically shift in her life, she'd be okay for a minute living on her side hustle. Hell, I have had my side hustle build many a bridge between life changes. 

Get out a piece of paper and write down what you love to do, then make a plan. Those who hustle, win. 

Jennifer Gulbrandsen