Anyone who knows me knows I love to talk shop. My favorite subject outside of faith is entrepreneurship and I gab about it any ol’ time I get. I love chatting about strategy, marketing plans, scaling, passive income. Get me talking about what books I’m reading on the subject… Well, expect to be listening for a while.
But more than it just being fun to build something from the ground up, I think it’s imperative that everyone have a side hustle of their own. Quite frankly, I think it’s financially irresponsible to not. I don’t care if you’re a singer or a pharmacist or a financial professional – everyone should have some side project they could monetize should they need to. Why, you ask?
I’ve coached hundreds of people, many of whom recently lost their jobs. Hearing their stories breaks my heart. The emotional, relational and financial burdens it places on them and their families is something I wish everyone could avoid. And the problem is, you are usually blindsided when a layoff comes, so there is no time to prepare. Even if you do have an inkling, you don’t actually think it would happen to you. Until it does. And when it does, your self esteem plummets and panic mode starts to set in. Even thinking about finding another job is a paralyzing experience.
I know, because it happened to me.
But thankfully, I had a side hustle that I had slowly been growing over the prior two years. So when I got that letter that said it was time to pack my bags, I didn’t totally freak out. (Okay, I had a meltdown for a day. I am, after all, still human y’all.) I examined my savings, looked at the current status of my side income and started brainstorming ways to scale. I didn’t hit desperation mode.
When I was leaving college, my Dad taught me something incredibly valuable and it’s helped me reframe how I look at my career.
He said, “Jena. A company will only be as loyal to you as they can be.”
Man, isn’t that the truth. I often talk to people like myself who are fiercely loyal to their companies. But a company can only be as loyal to you as what makes financial sense for them. Layoffs happen every day. Companies go through periods of growth and slow down. They have to make hard decisions. No one likes to lay people off. No one. Leaders have to make tough calls for the good of the overall business. And regardless of it making practical, economic sense, it still sucks.
But I think my Papa Viv’s advice is very helpful here. It puts into perspective how you’re spending your time and who you’re letting dictate your livelihood. Think about it:
You are literally putting all your eggs in one basket by having one line of income.
I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned that’s a Money 101 No-No. Yet, the majority of you do it. When I started to come to terms with that realization myself, it scared the living daylights out of me. I was literally letting somebody else tell me how much money I could make and when it could be taken away.
No thank you. I’m definitely not okay with that. And you shouldn’t be either.
Over the next couple of days, I’d encourage you to step out of your 9-to-5 thinking and start brainstorming ways you could make a wee bit of extra income. I’m not telling you to quit your job. Nope, I’m just prompting you to think outside the box and really question whether you’re putting too much faith in other people for your financial and job security.
My guess is that you are.
Can you tell I’m passionate about this subject?! Over the coming weeks I’ll be talking more about what it’s actually like to launch, build and grow a side hustle.