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Side Hustle Life

Back in February when I left Humming House, I found myself facing 9 empty months of waiting for Penny without having the touring schedule and Humming House obligations that had been occupying my time and attention since 2013. I had also lost my occupational identity that I had really cherished as a part of this band whose music and members I loved. Throughout my time in HH I constantly told Javier that, selfishly, one of the best things about being in a touring band was how it easy it was to make people happy. It was such a luxury to me, the making-people-smile-and-dance part was instant job fulfillment. I want jobs that connect me to people, that make me happy by making others happy, and that are social.

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“give me all the side gigs!”

I’ve had side-hustles since graduate school. Photography, airbnb, knitting, and my Etsy shop have all been ways to make money on the side, and they all stem from hobbies that I love. They also share those qualities of social interaction and providing a unique service to make people happy that I crave in an occupation. One day this past spring Javier ordered me the book “Business Boutique” by Christy Wright, which dives into the less-exciting but necessary aspects of running a business. In all my time running side hustles, I’ve never once paid attention to what it means to lay the groundwork for a solid business. So I shook off the winter and first-trimester doldrums, stopped fretting about the career void I was facing, and throughout May I became completely engrossed in a number of business and entrepreneur books and podcasts. And, of course, I added yet another side hustle.

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I started my photography business in 2009 with a Nikon D60 from Sams Club. Getting my first DSLR was one of the best investments I’ve ever made.

So now here I am, scheduling photo sessions, running the etsy vintage shop (I’m going to start doing flea markets in July!), and I’ve recently joined the world of multilevel marketing by becoming a Beachbody fitness and health coach with my sister-in-law Andrea (more on this in a separate post). I’ve learned to block my time throughout the week: I schedule writing time, photo editing time, when I shop for Buena Buena and when I add new listings, which days of the week I go to the post office to deliver orders, etc. It feels so good to be working with a purpose, and the work I’m putting in is actually resulting in real business growth.

These are all jobs that I’m passionate about. I love photography, I love fitness, I love finding and selling vintage weirdness. Maybe one day one of these will take up enough time to form a full-time job on its own, but for now I’m loving the variety that these three side gigs offer. I never feel idle, and the work is fulfilling. I’ve been able to successfully maintain my contribution to our household income, which I won’t deny is a big boost to my self-esteem in my post-HH world. So thank you to everyone who has hired me for photo work, shopped in my shop, and who has already supported my Beachbody endeavors in the short time I’ve been working as a coach. We’ll see what happens!

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