Today I’m excited to share some lessons my side hustle (aka: But First, Coffee) has taught me. I have some exciting But First, Coffee things to share with you guys in the next 2-6 weeks! I can’t wait to reveal some of the things I’ve been working on for you in 2016. Everything is a constant work in progress, but hey, I’m just one girl, you know.
What’s a side hustle, you may be asking yourself? Well, you are. Not meant in any way to be offensive but, well..you are. You are my side hustle. See, But First, Coffee was born a little over three years ago and I wrote posts here and there after work. As it grew, it morphed into more, and my love for blogging grew as well…and I guess you can say this is how my side hustle was born. I still have a full-time job, and when I get home, it’s side hustle time. My side hustle means I work pretty much everyday morning from 5:30am-7:00am and then again after work for 2-5 more hours on BFC, whether it’s working on posts, creating YouTube videos, beefing up my social media, taking online courses, joining fellow bloggers on webinars. And, besides the fact that I often lack proper sleep, I love every single second of it.
5 things I’ve learned from my side hustle
1. Everyone needs a hobby
Sometimes I wonder what on earth I did with my life before I had BFC. Well, besides sleep more and have an easier time keeping the house tidy. While BFC has morphed into more of a part-time business than just a hobby, I think everyone needs something they enjoy investing time in. Hobbies help keep us busy, they allow us to continue to learn and grow. They give us opportunities to meet new people, and they prevent us from being “bored.”
2. I’m kinda bad ass (the good kind)
I really mean this in totally the most humble way, but sometimes I amaze myself at my ability to juggle a full-time job (where I manage a team), a blog, a YouTube channel, and a real life. Sometimes we put limits on ourselves and it is not until we’re faced with challenges and overcome them that we realize how totally bad ass we can be.
3. Never stop learning.
Four years ago I was teaching high school and had no intentions of ever having another career. I’d spent years pursuing my degree and state certification in teaching and I loved it. But, when I began my blogging journey I started to learn about a whole new world. It introduced me to SEM = Search Engine Marketing and SMM = Social Media Marketing and I became totally enthralled. I was taking online courses to learn more, self-teaching, and trying to learn everything I could about this new field I never knew existed.
And, I became SO enthralled in fact, that you may know about a year ago I quit my job as a teacher to pursue it full time. While I loved being a teacher, and part of me always will be a teacher, but had I not kept my mind open to new ideas and concepts I wouldn’t have found another passion in Internet Marketing. So, always keep learning and stay hungry for knowledge. It’ll open up new doors and opportunities.
4. I’m a human, not a niche, and that’s OK
Being in social media, blogging, YouTube, etc., you hear over and over again that “you need a niche.” Sure, maybe a niche helps define focus, it makes you easier to optimize, allows you to identify your key audience…but the last time I checked, I wasn’t a niche. I’m a girl who loves makeup (but isn’t a pro makeup artists), needs coffee err’day, and will always be #teamdog (sorry cat lovers). I have a big pet peeve about bad cocktails. I love cooking but never follow recipes. I will 100% embrace a fad while completely scoffing another (for no real reason except for “I like this” and “I don’t like that.”) I love style but always choose comfort…. Tell me how to fit all that into a niche? It doesn’t. And, if I want to be me on my blog – which I do – then I can’t fit into a niche.
But, want to know the best thing about it? When I finally said “f#&k it” and gave up the idea of trying to be in a niche, my traffic, audience, and engagement GREW. Whoop! Maybe a whole other blog post about that some other day.
5. Not everyone will understand your journey…
…and that’s OK because it’s not their journey. All my family and friends know that I blog, that I have a YouTube channel, but they don’t all really understands the ins and outs of this industry. When I’m busy night after night on “blog work,” they can’t always relate. When I gave up my job in education like I talked about above, some people didn’t agree. They didn’t understand the choice of giving up a regular career for one they couldn’t understand. No one truly knows your journey except you, and that’s OK. Don’t get bogged down by other people’s impressions of your journey.
It’s important to remember this the latter direction as well, however, because you don’t always know your friends’ or family member’s journeys. We should all be understanding of everyone’s choices and decisions because they are their own to make.
What are some things your side hustles have taught you? What opportunities have you had by allowing yourself to keep learning?