Millennials are always on the move. Our mentality is “go, go, go” – and it’s not uncommon for us to have a job and a side hustle. We are seeing this everywhere. Most blogs are a side hustle. Maybe you have a jewelry business. Or freelance consult or write on the side. There are so many options and opportunities to have a side hustle these days.
My thoughts on this arrangement? I think self-improvement and growth are totally badass. I love people that are determined, passionate, and persistent. A little grit goes a long way.
I’ve really been trying to read more, tackling a long list of books to read that I recognized had a lot of self-help and self-improvement messages. (Not as boring as it sounds, I promise!!)
A common theme that came up in the books I read was the idea of a growth mindset vs. a fixed mindset. The belief that you can develop talents through hard work and persistence vs. the belief that talent is innate and to a certain extent, “fixed.”
What I found was that I didn’t always have a growth mindset. In fact, I had spent the better part of my life believing that my abilities and skills were “fixed” to a certain extent and out of my control to change. I had always thought of myself as “analytical, numbers oriented” and “not creative.”
This was a major wake-up call, and honestly when the blog was born. I was determined to prove to myself that I was creative and if I wasn’t great at flexing those muscles then, I would get better.
I was letting my mindset and self-perception get in the way of my own success.
So the blog has been my side hustle. I work full time and while sometimes it’s exhausting and overwhelming to do both, for the most part it’s been exciting, stimulating, and immensely rewarding.
Why do I do both? For me, it’s yin and yang. My full-time job works one part of my brain and my blog the other. I get to build two very different skillsets: taking on challenges with the blog that I’m interested in, shaping every aspect of the creative direction, and learning new skills I otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to. I get to interact with different kinds of people and develop a deep understanding of very different industries.
To be honest, I like the combination and challenges of both.
The pros of having a side hustle:
+ A new challenge and something to learn from. You never know what opportunities might come out of it.
+ Learning new skills. Social media, digital marketing, content strategy, writing were all new to me before I started the blog. I’m learning so much every day, and it’s even helped shape my perspective on where I want my career to go in the long run.
+ Perspective. Having a side hustle has really opened my eyes in a way that working in a corporate environment never did (in a good way!).
+ Flexibility in the projects you take on and the kind of work you do. A lot of people dream of turning their side hustle into their job. What they fail to recognize is that doing something for fun vs. doing it for work/your main source of income is very different. When you have a side hustle, it’s purely a passion project that allows you to express yourself.
+ Extra income.
The cons of having a side hustle:
– Say goodbye to your social life/sleep/other hobbies. I’d be lying if I said I was able to have and do it all. Social media is not reality. For every picture of me in an outfit drinking iced coffee, there are countless hours behind a desk in an office and working on a laptop at home. Not that glamorous! But having a side hustle requires some sort of sacrifice. There are only so many hours in the day.
– It can be distracting. Contrary to popular belief, multi-tasking really isn’t that great. In fact, it can be downright awful. When your brain is constantly jumping from one thought to another it can be next to impossible to do any one thing well. Staying focused through time blocking and prioritizing daily tasks has been essential for me.
– All of this can lead to emotional ups and downs. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people and feel like you’re not doing enough in either job. The best advice I’ve come across is to just focus on yourself.
As for how I balance a job and a side hustle?
I try to do as much as I can, when I can. And I don’t beat myself up when I can’t.
Specifically: I’ll wake up an hour earlier or go to bed an hour later. I make my workouts more intense so I don’t have to go to the gym as often (think: high-intensity bootcamp or pilates on the megaformer 2-3x a week vs. the elliptical for an hour every day). I don’t say yes to every party, event, or happy hour invite. Some days I’ll get a lot done, other days I won’t do anything for my blog.
A little bit of effort goes a long way. Growing up, my parents would always tell me the Chinese saying, “constant dripping of water wears away the stone.” I’ve finally come to appreciate it. If you pour a bunch of water on a stone, it won’t change. But if you consistently drip water on it, over time, the stone will wear away. That’s what I’m going for.
The key word here really is “balance.” I never want to feel like I’m overwhelmed and stressed for prolonged periods of time. What I try to remind myself is that I’m in it for the long game. My career is going to be a marathon, not a sprint, and I have to pace myself if I want to make it all the way.
Eating well, getting enough sleep, yoga, and lots of “me time” are key for me to staying grounded and balanced.
I also have an amazing support system – which I really think is key! Behind every successful person, there’s a team. It really does take a village ; ).
And of course, blogging has forced me to be more put together (with the exception of mornings when I take my pup out at 6 am and some weekends when my style can be described in no other way than derelict) and conscious of my appearance. When I have more than 5 seconds to get dressed, I still try to keep it simple. Think: out the door in 5 minutes.
For spring, I am all about a white bag. Kinda risky, but I can’t help it – white is my absolute favorite color and nothing screams SPRING (or bridal) more than the color white.
Botkier has been a long time favorite brand of mine. I don’t have the budget for a closet full of Chanel but a good mid-range bag (think: between $100-$500) can be hard to find.
Botkier keeps is clean, simple, and chic. This crossbody is perfect for a girl on the go. Maybe a girl with a side hustle? Ha!
And, they just launched SHOES this spring! I am digging every pair in the new collection. Although I am absolutely horrible in heels, two things make them more bearable – a chunky heel and an ankle strap. This pair has both and I am in love.
This look is perfect for brunch, no? Speaking of which – I’m off to make some avocado toast. Trying to make some changes to my diet, one of which is more healthy fats! You don’t have to ask me twice if I want more guacamole. Happy Sunday babes!
two piece set: similar (more options below) | bag: botkier | shoes: botkier