The Style Cocktail.

What Having A Side Hustle Can Teach Us

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When people ask us who we are, we often respond with a singular, one dimensional answer: Doctor, Administrator, Mom, Professor, Wife, Vice President, Business Owner, Addict, Grandfather, get the idea. The truth is that we all have many 'titles' but we should never allow ourselves to be pigeon-holed into less than who we truly are or what we can be. We were created to be multi-dimenional humans. Take me for example, I'm a mother, but it doesn't end there...I'm a creative individual, lover of the written word, daughter, friend, work professional, sister, lover of travel, caffeine connoisseur, fan of furry friends of of four legged variety and lead singer in 'The Privacy Of My Own Shower' band. Much like prisms, we are a beams of white light until we disperse our wavelengths allowing us to turn into a beautiful mosaic of colors. 

It's the complexity in our personalities that make us diverse, unique and intersting. Having a side hustle provides us with an opportunity to discover dimensions of ourselves we never even knew existed. Sometimes side hustles open doors and opportunities that turn into wonderful, unexpected adventures. 

I accidentally fell into a side hustle when I stumbled upon blogging back in 2010. I never intended to start a blog. I'm not a planner, it's not in my DNA. I'm more of a dreamer and a doer. I get an idea and I jump in head first. I like to throw things at the wall and see what sticks. I never set out to grow huge readership or monetinize my blog. I just loved having a creative outlet. I was persistent and authentic which led me to build relationships within the blogging and professional communities. My first side hustle that spun off of blogging was travel writing. I had shared so much on my blog about my obsession with Nantucket that I started to receive a steady stream of emails from readers who wanted recommendations on visiting New England. Ding Ding. Lightbulb moment. In my usual fashion, I jumped right in and reached out to properties explaining my position and asked if they would be interested in having me write a travel editorial featuring their property. One editorial led to another, and side hustle #1 was born. Travel Writer.

Another avenue that arose from blogging was that I discovered my love of graphic design. I was having so much fun creating my blog template that I started researching and teaching myself HTML in order to figure out how to create templates. I started getting questions from readers about how to make graphic changes and whether I could help them with their design. Ding Ding. Lightbulb moment again. Side hustle #2 was born. Blog Designer.

Side hustle #3 happened when I decided to add an online store to my blog. This one didn't stick mainly because I hated going to the post office and my personal life at that time didn't allow me the time I needed to put forth to make this venture successful.  Would I try it again at some point? Never say never. Part of having side hustles are the ability to explore different avenues to see what we might enjoy and find out what is or is not for us. Fear of failure or putting yourself out there can't even be a consideration. With each failure or mistake in life, we learn the best and biggest lessons. As for fear of being judged ...who cares what anyone thinks? Seriously. No, seriously. In the end, it's how we feel about ourselves that matter. Be BOLD. Have the courage to fail big and stick around and make everyone wonder why you are still smiling. Be passionate. Find an outlet for what you love. It's your life. No one ever got from point A to point B by standing still. Life can't be dynamic without taking chances. 

My current side hustle started with the intent of styling for small intimate events. If I can blend my background in visual design with my creativity then it's not a hustle, it's a passion. I am slowly building my portfolio, moving forward knowing that everything takes time and sometimes our original idea takes on a whole new shape. In time it will be revealed whether this venture will take on a life of it's own....and if it doesn't I already have 2 or 3 or 4 adventures perculating. As Luci Swindoll so engagingly once said, "I married adventure."