Sarah: What was your side hustle and why did you start it?Taylor: My side hustles were dog walking, freelance blogging, virtual assisting, and a little bit of web designing. Anything and everything! Ha! I started the dog walking side hustle because I worked in a cubicle and I wanted to get outside more. I started freelance blogging, virtual assisting, and web designing because I wanted to do work remotely. Honestly, I was just grasping at straws and looking for something that would stick. I later decided to focus most of my time on freelance blogging since I love connecting with people through writing. I also like investigating topics and informing people of what I find. These skills helped me transition into freelance writing on personal finance topics for businesses and publications which later turned into a full-time career.
Sarah: Why did you choose that side hustle over the countless ones out there?Taylor: I kind of fell into these various side hustles. Friends initially would ask me for simple website design services, and I would charge for it. As for writing, I started my own blog, Tay Talks Money as an outlet. I thought it would take too long to make money from the blog itself, so I decided to offer a freelance writing service through it and the hustle grew from there.
Sarah: What were your initial struggles with your side hustle? In other words, what was your mindset at the time when you started it?Taylor: My initial struggle with side hustling was figuring out what I was good at so I could specialize. My early mindset was scraping for any side hustle gig that paid any amount. This was a terrible mindset to have because I wasn’t focusing my time and energy on side hustles that paid well.
Sarah: What were some obstacles you had when you started? What did you do to get over your limiting mindsets about that?Taylor: At first, I couldn’t believe that people were paying me to do things that didn’t feel like work. So, I would just happily say “yes” to any gig worried that my luck would eventually run out. Accepting all side hustle work is a one-way ticket to getting overwhelmed. I got over this mindset by recognizing that my side hustles weren’t just hobbies. I started treating myself like a business owner and not someone who was doing other people favors just for kicks. Sarah: How long until your side hustle became successful? As in, how much did you make, and how long did that take? Taylor: My side hustle income grew from $71/month to a little over $1,000/month within two months. I’m always hesitant to use the word success. I live by the motto: Success is in the journey of constantly bettering yourself while discovering your purpose. I know this sounds super duper cheesy. But it’s because I discovered early on that when you set success markers for yourself, your mind plays tricks on you when you reach those markers. Achieving your goals doesn’t feel as cathartic as you think it should, so you’re always pursuing more and more without ever being satisfied. Success money-wise doesn’t always feel successful in work-life balance. Having fun in life is what I strive for, so I had to make some adjustments there.
Sarah: Were there anything you had to to do pivot your side hustle? What was the mindset/decision making process that lead up to that pivot?Taylor: I knew I had to re-evaluate when I was working myself into a frenzy trying to make more and more money from my side hustles and not enjoying it anymore. It was time to pivot when it felt like I had less time to enjoy life. I had to increase my rates and specialize in a certain service (personal finance writing) where I could command higher rates to take on less work. In some respects, I had to start over from square one again saying “no” to projects that stressed me out. Plus, I dropped dog walking, virtual assisting, and web designing to begin specializing in writing.
Sarah: What were some limiting beliefs you had about your side hustle? How did you get over it?Taylor: My limiting belief mostly was that people wouldn’t pay the amount for my work that I knew I was worth. There’s no easy way to get over this other than pushing through it. You have to be willing to pitch your services anyway knowing you may get rejected by people who can’t afford you.
Sarah: What were the biggest lessons learned about your side hustle?Taylor: One big lesson I learned about side hustling is that you need to calculate how much time it takes you to do something to figure out if it’s a lucrative use of your time. Dog walking, for example, was fun and easy. But, I had to drive to some of my walks. The time driving and money spent on gas to take one dog around the block didn’t make the hustle worthwhile so I dropped it. That doesn’t mean dog walking is a bad hustle, though. It can be very lucrative if your walks are well-organized. This could mean only servicing neighborhoods that are walking distance from you or batching walks with multiple dogs together to reduce commute time. The second big thing I learned from side hustling is that self-awareness is huuuuugely important. Every side hustle isn’t right for everyone. If your soul is resisting something that you keep trying to do, it could be that whatever you’re doing is not a good fit. That’s not a bad thing, you just need to find an avenue where you can excel. For instance, I would love to be a Youtuber. But, I don’t like being on camera (or hearing my own voice. Lol!) Knowing this I don’t waste my time trying to figure out why video doesn’t come natural to me and why I’m not killin’ it with video like a lot of other people are. I acknowledge and accept that video is something that will take me much longer to perfect. At my core, I’m a writer. I’m always thinking of ways to expand my business through writing. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and accept them. It’s liberating!
Sarah: What were some tools that helped you be successful in your side hustle?Taylor: Freshbooks – This is my accounting system. You must have an accounting system to know your numbers. Always remember, your side hustle is a legit business! A coach – I hired a coach later on in biz for guidance when I wanted to level up. A day planner – I’m super old school. I can’t keep a digital calendar for some reason and I like to write stuff down to stay on track. Grammarly – For writers, this spell check and grammar tool is bomb.
Sarah: What top 3 tips would you give to someone who wanted to start your side hustle?Taylor: I had a bunch of random side hustles, but my tips are pretty much the same across the board.
- Treat your side hustle like a business from day one. People will ask you for favors or they may not be able to afford your prices, and that’s okay! You have a right to say “no.” This is a side hustle and you have a day job to pay the bills. Don’t run yourself ragged outside of your 9 to 5 to make side money. That’s not a fun life, so be smart with your time. 2. Get friendly with people who do what you want to do. Partnering with people who you perceive as competition can be a win-win for both of you. You can pass on work to each other when you both have an overflow. Becoming friends with other business owners has been one of the key ways I’ve grown my business. 3. Remember, it’s not a race. It’s easy to stress ourselves out about reaching certain goals super fast, but as long as you’re progressing, you’re already doing more than most. Sit back and enjoy yourself during the process.
Takeaways from Taylor’s Interview About Skyrocketing Your Mindset Making Money on The Side
Define Success on Your Own TermsIt doesn’t matter how much other people make. The important thing is that you figure out what success means to you. It could mean doing the side hustle thing for a few months so you can earn money for a vacation. Or so you can make more so you can just work part time ar your current job, whatever. If you constantly compare yourself to others you’ll just feel discouraged and want to give up.
Ask Yourself “Why Not You? Why Not Now?”There are so many people who have done this before you, so why can’t you have the same kind of success? Ask yourself the above questions and pysch yourself up to a better money mindset. If you feel negative about the whole money making thing, then you’re never going to clear your mind to see the opportunities that are out there.
Be Ruthless With Your TimeEventually, you will burn out if you work too much. The idea isn’t to earn less, but to be more efficient with your time so you can earn more. Figure out what you can cut out from your life or even raise your rates. You can do what Taylor does and specialize in something so you are more efficient completing tasks. I hope this interview was helpful!
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