I’m going to start this post out with an admission of a huge mistake I made while on maternity leave from work. I started my leave at the beginning of November and completed all of my paperwork to set up direct deposit while I am out. The first week I didn’t get paid, I chalked it up to the lapse in pay that HR warned me about and didn’t think anything of it. Then another week went by. And then another one. This is when my husband was starting to look at me crazy LOL! He said to me … “you realize you haven’t been paid in weeks, right?”
I honestly hadn’t noticed or felt the gravity of it because our other money streams were still flowing. In fact, we cashed $40,000 in blog checks in the month of November alone. After calling to check on things, I realized that I made an error with my account number which caused a mess up with my direct deposit. Big Oops!
I couldn’t help but think how, in any normal scenario, not getting paid could really affect some families … especially given our current climate. It reminded me of our early days in marriage when we were just getting by and how awful that would have been for us. So today I want to break down the side hustle and the importance of having multiple streams of income to not only accelerate building wealth, but to help you out on a rainy day.
The Six Figure Side Hustle
- How to create it
- How to grow it
- How to make money while you sleep
Number 3 is my personal favorite, the make money while you sleep part. Why? Because unless you plan to work the rest of your life, there has to be an endgame. But let’s dive into the first two points first.
1. How To Create a Side Hustle
Take an inventory of your talents/passions and how you can contribute to or solve a problem within your network and build the plan. My blog grew from my background in journalism and my passion for fashion writing and styling. I dreamed of being a fashion writer for Vogue. But life happened before I took flight. I got married. Had my first child at 21. I was grounded and could barely keep up with my life, much less dig into my passions. However, once my boys were a little older and I felt I could start again, I launched my blog. First as a passion project and eventually it evolved into a business. But the most important thing to take from this is to GET STARTED. Start scared. Start inexperienced. Just start! I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned on the fly over the years. If fake it til you make it was a person … she is me, I am her! A lot of times what keeps people from taking flight with their ideas is this idea that they can start “tomorrow,” or the feeling of insignificance and fear of other peoples opinions. “What if I fail?” “What if my idea isn’t as good as someone else’s idea?” But I’m telling you … you have to start.
2. How To Grow Your Side Hustle
Growth begins with planning, execution and consistency. I started my blog for fun, but quickly realized by year two that other influencers were making some serious money and I knew I could do it too. I analyzed the market and learned from other creators what I needed to do to really elevate myself and my brand to be of a caliber that could demand the kind of money that I knew could be made.
Here’s what I discovered –
- I needed to elevate my content, so I hired a photographer who understood my vision, respected my budget (because this is a business and I can’t spend more than I can afford), and who could deliver images timely.
- I needed to be consistent with both my blog posting and my social media presence. To do this, I created a weekly plan and agenda to follow and hold myself accountable to. I use Planoly to plan out social media posts and the notes app on my phone + Asana to plan out blog content.
- I needed to have a vision + goals to keep me going. When I post consistently and share my best work, my income reflects that, so every plan that I create is intentional. It serves a purpose. It meets the needs of my audience AND the brands I desire to work with.
- Financially, I have quarterly goals and I also break down my monthly income goals within that. If I’m not on track to meet a goal, I push and pitch until we are. I use Google sheets to map out where I want to land each month. I have been tracking my growth since 2016 and every year I push myself to go higher. In 2016 I made $11,000 for the whole year. Today I bring in well over 6 figures. There’s a lot of intentional planning and execution that goes into every month and I believe this can be applied to all scenarios, not just within the influencer space.
3. How to make money while you sleep
I mentioned earlier this is my favorite part of the side hustle … here’s why. My husband and I bring in a significant income, but we don’t spend it on material things like cars, big houses or jewelry (or whatever it is people spend money on these days). Nearly everything we make from the blog or other investments is invested into income generating assets. Our money, makes money. For example, if I sign a $40,000 deal with a brand, once that check clears, it’s either used to acquire a new income generating asset or pay off a current asset. In doing so, it takes our money further and I’m making money on that $40K long after the check clears.
Now … don’t get me wrong, I buy a handbag every now and then, but I handle business first, always.
So what’s your big idea or side hustle? If you’ve already started it, think about how you can elevate and take your business to the next level – whether it’s the time you’re spending on it or the quality of service you are providing. Invest in yourself – you have to spend money to make money. And stay the course, success won’t happen overnight in most cases, so keep going!
I hope you found this helpful and I can’t wait to dig into more topics when we return to the blog on January 11th! You can follow along with all of our Wednesday Wealth Chat posts by searching on the blog + I’ll be adding a wealth section soon. Here’s last weeks post about how we paid off one of our properties in 3 years!
Happy New Year!
XO – Steph