I knew that I didn’t want my side hustle to stay a side hustle…
If you’ve ever thought about starting a business, side hustles (jobs) are a great way to build and develop your ideas, while maintaining a steady income. Side hustles give you the opportunity to start small, as you learn and work your way up. They are also a way to bring in additional income, and to just pursue multiple things you’re passionate about. The nice thing about side hustles is, you can commit as much or as little as you chose to, and there is a ton of flexibility involved.
I learned how to French braid when I was five years old, both of my parents were cosmetologist – my mom, a hairstylist, and my dad, a barber. I started doing my own hair at about 8 years old, and now that I think about it, I used to color my own hair and all…YIKES. My first “side hustle” started in high school. I’d do my friends hair in my moms kitchen. Some paid, some didn’t. But it was my first stab at making a little money on the “side”. It started with me doing my own hair, or nails, and people would inquire. BOOM! New client! Doing hair and nails carried on through college and every now and then, I still get calls today to do hair. I gracefully decline. I’ve had a formal job since I was 15. Coffee shops, shoe stores, retail, and more. So, yes, my doing hair was a side hustle.
Now, I don’t know if it’s the “Detroit” in me, but I’ve always had a bit of hustle in me. I started a special side job back in 2011, along with a partner. I remembered us having conversations about where we were in our careers and where we wanted to go. We talked about starting a firm to do some small business work “on the side”, and just like that we did it. We STARTED. No real elaborate plans, we just did it. My business partner and I talked recently, about how our first job was a large project. A “stranger” trusted us with her business. Flew us out to Philly and spent a decent amount of money with us and we delivered. However, it was consistently and commitment to improving that allowed us to grow, and eventually make J&F Advisors what it is today! Even better, we still have a ton of growing to do.
How did I balance a growing side business for SEVEN years, before pursuing full entrepreneurship? Honestly, the grace of GOD, SACRIFICE, and I love and believe in our business. In the end, my days went like this: 7:00 am – Wake up, Get Dressed, Drop Kid off to School, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm – Show up at Work (work on personal if time allots) , 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm Pick up Kid, Prepare Dinner, Get Kid a Bath, 9:00 pm – 1:00/2:00 am work on my “side hustle”, repeat x 5. Believing in what you do, and having passion behind it, really takes away the feeling of it being work. Of course there are days, where things don’t go as planned, but it’s really easy to pick up and move past those days, when you’re doing what you love.
While working in Corporate America, I made it a habit to be selective in who I talked to about what I did on the side. It didn’t come easy, as my employers were down my back about, wanting to know what it was, googling my name to try to find out anything they could. Not because it was a threat or competition. It was because when you work for a corporation, they want to have complete control of your time and attention. For example, I’d received an award from a local newspaper, and during the awards ceremony, my boss BLEW MY PHONE up. I mean, he called a minimum of 20 times. When I finally stepped out to answer he asked if I had a business on the side, and told me he found out about the award, and that his boss had been calling him for more information. They fired me soon after.
I knew that I didn’t want my side hustle to stay a side hustle, and that’s why I was willing to sacrifice so much. Today, I’m celebrating 6 months of full-time entrepreneurship. Honestly a year ago, I was telling myself that I’d leave August 22nd of this year. However, as life will have it, I left much sooner. So far, it has been one of the most exciting, yet challenging things I’ve done. Every day is different, and I’m learning lessons in discipline, and time management. I’ve also added Corporate Momming to the mix, which is a space for me to do more of what I’m passionate about. You’re never too old, too late, or too small to start your own. Give it a try!