The Urban Dictionary definition for SIDE HUSTLE is a “Sideline that brings in cash; something other than your main job.” Merriam-Webster dates the term “side hustle” in the English language back to the 1950s, when it was used to describe scams & also legitimate jobs. While the word hustle can be perceived as negative, I believe that in the past 70 years, we have seen in shift in the mindsets of people. People are proud to be called hustlers. Someone called me ‘the ultimate hustler’ & I felt proud. Why? Well, because that’s exactly who I am.
I started my blog in 2010 when I was unemployed. Flash forward to 2012 when I landed my dream job in the clothing industry. Flash forward to 2017, I’m still working in the same company, but the job description’s evolved & so has the salary 😉 In my mind, the blog was always a way for me to share myself. I never thought of it as a job. Some are under the impression that I blog & make my clothing, & that’s all I do. It’s not. I have always wanted to work in clothing, & I am fortunate to be able to do that everyday. That’s my full time job. Shop Brett Robson & my Brett Robson brand is a partnership between myself & the company I employed by. Best of both worlds in my opinion. I love the rush of my job; the international travel; the excitement of doing big business. It’s a drug that I don’t want to give up.
My blog was a side hustle in 2010 during my unemployment phase. It was a side hustle in 2012 when I was starting out in clothing. And it remains a side hustle in 2017 as I flourish in my career; grow my amazing brand; & #GIRLBOSS all over my online shop. Could it have ever been a full time job for me? I’m not sure. Has it served it’s purpose? I believe so. My clothing brand & online store would not be what they are without my blog.
Operating my blog as a side hustle has been great for me. Aside from earning money from blogging, I also get the opportunity to try out products (often before they launch). I don’t attend many events related to blogging mostly because of my schedule. The funny thing about me is that I NEVER get invited to events in Durban. I am always invited to events in Johannesburg or Cape Town. Some PR companies are under the impression I am based in those cities (How? I’m not sure). But even the PR companies that know I am in Durban, & are able to fly me out, know how I roll. I don’t feel like I need to be seen at every event. I attend a few events a year, & that makes me happy. My schedule & managing my time is important to me; & is vital to my side hustle lifestyle.
I see the pressure to be a full-time influencer or blogger. Not for me, I don’t want that for myself & that is not my aspiration. But for you, the newbies looking out at all your favourite bloggers & influencers spending their days have fancy lunches, attending events & posting all these activities on Instagram. Yes, it’s enviable. But is this lifestyle for everyone? No. There is nothing wrong with having a side hustle. You can create amazing content while working full-time, it just makes managing your time more important. I am a multi-tasker if you’ve ever met one. I multi-task & do what I have to in order to get stuff done. And I’ve become better at it because of how much I have going on. Posting regular content takes time & dedication. And if you are not willing to put in the time, then it won’t work. I know all too well how hard it is to leave the office, get home & then start creating content. I sit here typing this post at 10.42pm after a full day. I had a video shoot for Shop Brett Robson; spent the rest of my day at my desk in the office; & I have been home working on this post since 7pm. But I do it, because it’s what works for me. You have to find out what works for you. Maybe it’s that you venture into blogging full time, & get a part-time job for some financial security. Or perhaps you don’t feel ready to take the plunge, & decide to stay in your 9-5 and keep your blog on the side. The options are endless, & if you’re willing to put everything into what you want, then I believe you can achieve it.
I hope that sharing my side hustle story has helped you in some way. I know how it feels to look at the next person & find his or her life enviable. But the truth is, it’s not for everyone – and that’s ok. You need to find what works for you & your lifestyle.