Your Side Hustle Matters

You don't have to turn all of your talents into your career. 
Ladies hard at work at the Momofuku Milk Bar on the Upper West Side in NYC

Ladies hard at work at the Momofuku Milk Bar on the Upper West Side in NYC

I heard the above statement a few weeks ago and it resonated with me and prompted me to make today's post. I am a person who has several interests and although I have a certain plan in mind for my career at this time, the reality is that my plan may change. I could get into the workforce and decide that I want to do something completely different with my life. I might go off to school for an advanced degree and realize that I have a newfound calling that I never knew I had. That's just life and the beauty of the unknown. However, I don't want to let all of my interests and passions that I consider to be unrelated to my main career focus to be put on the back burner or forgotten. The things I love, the things that serve as my outlet, the things that I would wake up and do for the rest of my life for free, all of it, I want to be able to manifest into something that not only benefits me, but also creates an impact on others.

I've come to realize that my side hustle matters, and so does yours. With having a side hustle, you're able to expand your network, build your brand, and ultimately, share with the world what it is that makes you, you. Your side hustle can serve as a catalyst to even assist you with your main hustle, as it can set you apart from others when it comes to applying to schools and jobs. Overall, you never know where your side hustle may lead. If you have an idea or strong interest in something, and want to share it with the world not only to make a difference in your community, but maybe even to gain a little profit on the side, then keep reading. Below are some of my tips on how to start and succeed in your side hustle. 

1. Find what feels good.
It's easy for me to say find your passion! But the reality is that a lot of people don't know exactly what it is they want to do with their lives, let alone the steps to take to reach their goals. So, when I say 'find what feels good,' I want you to look deep within yourself. What is something or someone who makes you smile? What hobbies bring you happiness? What activities do you love and would engage in everyday for the rest of your life and never get tired of them? For example, I've always loved to write, whether it was poetry or fictional stories, or dare I say it, writing an essay for class, I loved it. I loved finding and editing grammatical mistakes and found joy in the noise of tapping the keyboard on my computer. I also grew up listening to classical music and have been playing piano for about 19 years. Throughout college I discovered my love for fashion and styling pieces together. I'm also really big on fitness and health. I could go on for days....but for the sake of this post, I'll spare you. What I'm trying to say is that I wanted to find a way to combine all of these interests and hobbies that I have into something bigger, and that's why I went from recording a CD, to taking "outfit of the day" pictures, to creating this blog, Style Prose. I wanted to created a place where I could showcase all the things that I love. I found my niche, and if you dig deeply enough, you can find yours  too. 

2. Establish a platform.
Now that you have an idea of what it is you want to do, you need to establish a platform that will help you to properly compile all of your work. From photography, to food, to music, whatever your drive is, find the specific platform that you want to use as your main source of showcasing your content. I knew that a blog was the best platform for me because it allowed me to feature my writing as well as include my fashion pictures and music. You may want to create a Soundcloud for your music, or a Facebook page for your modelling portraits or an online site for your clothing line, or a podcast for your book club, the list is endless. Establishing the perfect platform will make it easier for you to create and share your content with your audience.

3. Sharing is caring. 
If no one knows about your side hustle, what's the point of having a side hustle to begin with? Sharing is caring - utilize your favorite social media platforms to get your brand out there. The key here, though, is to share your content with the right network. If you're trying to grow your side hustle in music, you don't want to be sharing your tracks with people who work in the automobile industry (I mean, unless it's for background music for a BMW commercial or something). I joined lots of blogging and fashion networks and I try to use specific hashtags that draw in the type of audience that I feel will relate to and enjoy my posts. Establish contacts and meaningful connections with people, virtually and in person, who are going to help your side hustle to grow. 

4. No mess, no trouble.
Organization is so important, I cannot stress this enough. You have to be consistent with the work that you're putting into your side hustle, and maintain a schedule as to how you want to run your business. If you are not doing this alone, and you have a team, then make sure that all of the delegated tasks are being handled. If you're solo, you are the only one who can hold yourself accountable. I like to use a planner and write down my ideas for my blog posts and I keep a schedule as to when they're going to go live on my site. It does take some work, but I guess that's why they call it a hustle, right?

5. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Last, but certainly not least, your mindset is so important in determining how far you will excel in your side hustle. You have to be prepared mentally for a few bumps in the road, and not have any unrealistic expectations of yourself. I did not start a blog to 'get rich quick' nor to become 'Instagram famous.' I did it for myself, and I hope in the future that it will grow to something that will help me to achieve my professional goals and help others along the way. Don't expect to have a large following on the first day or the second day or even the first month after establishing your side hustle. Starting a business is a lot of time, effort and work and it can be mentally draining. But don't waste your mind or become consumed with what others think of your side hustle or constantly trying to make everything perfect. As long as you keep a positive, can-do attitude, then you're all set to succeed in your side hustle. 

I hope that these few tips help to get you started. I have big dreams and even bigger goals for myself and Style Prose, and I cannot wait to take you all along every step of the way. What's your side hustle? Send me a link so so we can connect. If you haven't started your side hustle yet, then tell me something that you're working on or have worked on that you're proud of. I'd love to hear it. Until next time!