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Posted under: Life Style Post Grad Life

Why it's time to quit second-guessing your side hustle

“It’s business, so we’ll understand if you decide to leave us. We wouldn’t want to keep you from a better opportunity.”
This is what my coworker relayed to me after her big meeting with a higher-up in the company we worked for. Needless to say, she didn’t get the raise she was expecting to hear about in that meeting. We often spent a portion of our lunch break talking about the businesses we wanted to start. After the way she’d just been spoken to, it seemed to me she needed to start looking out for herself ASAP — these CEOs ain’t loyal. But because the job was keeping her so busy — running a department on too small of a salary and all — and because she didn’t know how to get started, she figured the “time wasn’t right” to start building something of her own.

We had this conversation about a month before I left the company—two months before they laid her off.

I spent some time thinking about the reason my former coworker didn’t get started with her business idea as a side hustle when I warned her to (or sooner, for that matter). She would research her ideas (read: Google and daydream), but never take that first step into making a profit. Meanwhile, I actually had a side hustle while we worked at that company. Why did she think it was so hard? For me, having a side hustle was normal. My family was broke growing up, so I had to find my own lunch money. But, I get it — we didn’t all learn to make money. We were taught to do well in school, get into a good college, and then get 'one of them good jobs.' Most of us tried really hard to do just that, but some of us actually did it. A few of us actually do have that elusive McDonald’s money we’ve been waiting our whole lives for, but we also have some grown ass bills (McDonald’s at the house doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?). And let’s not forget that Sallie Mae chick calling us everyday like a crazy ex-lover who thought Netflix and chill meant long-term relationship.

But, this is the dream, right?

Making just enough to get by and maybe a little extra for a bottle of wine. Traveling very occasionally. Squeezing family in “when we get a chance." Depending on our day jobs for all of our money. That last part, for me, is the real nightmare. Depending on one source of income is terrifying, to me. Your job might seem secure today, but so did my friend’s. This is why I believe everyone should have at least one other stream of income. So, I made a decision. I decided to use my background in 'Side Hustle Economics' to provide the education we didn’t get — the one I think every full-time worker needs (full-time moms included). This summer, in Side Hustle Summer School, I’m teaching people how to make their own money. My students are going to learn how to turn what they love doing into money in the bank. And they’re going to learn it for free. My hope is that a layoff, getting fired, or 9-to-5 burnout won’t be enough to break you financially. It’s also nice to have another skill-set that you can prove you’re good at should you ever want to change careers and not start over as an intern. I can’t stop you from getting laid off. And no, I’m not promising you that you’ll be able to quit your job and fly off to Bangkok next month (although I’m living proof that you can). What I can promise you is that when you’re done with Side Hustle Summer School, you’ll have options. You’ll be able to create more income. You’ll be more confident in your ability to make your own money. And you’ll know where to start. So keep dabbing your way up the career ladder if that’s your desire, but stay woke to the fact that you actually can be your own boss — even if you already have one.

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