Lessons on the Side Hustle: A recap

Last week was The Side Hustle: Panel & Meet up Event and we were blown away by the turnout! Thank you so much to our panelists:  Katherine Andrikopoulos, Pansy Lee, Chanele McFarlane, Frances Murray, and Anum Rubec for sharing your passion!  Thanks also to our partner RL Solutions for lending us their space, and of course, the attendees for your thoughtful questions. Seeing the room full of excited, passionate young women and men was inspiring. There were so many helpful ideas about how to handle the 9-5 and find fulfillment in the side hustle, so we've collected some of the thoughts below. From inspirational advice to useful apps here are the highlights from the panel to help you get your passion project off the ground:

On maintaining a work-life balance
  • Save yourself time - Delegate work you aren't good at, so you don't have to do it all
  • Plan to have a social life - Organize events in advance, plan out time for yourself, and stick to that schedule.
  • Learn to say no! -  The side hustle can become so much of your life. Don't let it lead to burn out.

On helpful resources

  • Use your network - Talk to people you already know! When you're excited about a project it can be infectious. People nearest and dearest to you may be able to help you or connect you with someone who can.
  • Build on that network - There are many venues where you can meet influencers and supporters. YWiB events for one! Also look up events that relate to your passion. Find great events near you on Eventbrite.
  • Google! - There is so much information out there, you can teach yourself everything. Look at how your favourites do it and don't be scared to imitate it at the start.
  • Ruthlessly prioritize - Spread too thin? Say no to things that don't put you ahead in your passions. There will always be more opportunities and it's the best way to keep all of your goals on track.
  • Create an accountability group - Tell people about your goals to help keep you accountable. Pick friends, relatives, and coworkers who will routinely check in to see how you're doing. Nothing is as motivating as telling others you're working on a project and having them ask you how it's going.

On facing their greatest challenges

  • Lifestyle changes - Watching Netflix at home everyday isn't an option for an entrepreneur. You're going to have to spend time outside of working hours if your want your passion project to take off.
  • Having confidence - Being in the public eye can be intimidating. Remember that if you believe in it, so will others. Anum didn't show her YouTube channel to people she knew until 1 year after she had started.
  • "Too busy" is bullshit - You can make time for what you want. Examine your schedule and be realistic about time. Do you have opportunities in your current schedule to work? During the commute or at the gym you can manage your emails, do the administrative work, or plan out your next steps.
  • Managing the little time you have - Create lists. Lists upon lists. Make sure your lists have lists. Find a system that works for you. Try a bullet journal.

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What makes the long days worth it?

  • Innovation - Being able to create something new and inspired. For Frances, it's turning desserts on their head, coming up with a creative new way of doing anything is exciting and empowering.
  • Making a difference - Social enterprises that support and inspires others are their own reward. Hearing how your project impacts others, whether it's inspiring them to dress well or giving them the confidence to take on their own passion projects.
  • Reaching your goals - Having people tell you that you can't do it sucks, but it can also be motivating. However, nothing feels better than proving them wrong. For Kat Andrikopoulos, it was raising  +$300,000 for families with Alzheimer's when others thought Memory Ball wasn't going to accomplish much.

How do you get back on track when you take a break?

  • Take it slow - Don't think you can conquer your whole to-do list right when you come back. Start with 1 to 3 action items to get you back in the groove.
  • Know when you need to recharge - Sometimes not being able to keep up the pace is a sign you need a break. Be aware of what you need whether it's sleeping 8 hours, exercising twice a week, or keeping snacks nearby.
  • Go out and find inspiration - See places, do things, look for inspirational quotes. Knowing others have done it or hearing someone else cheer you on can give you the boost you need.
  • Get focused - Look at your vision board, make a list of short-term and long-term goals, or just check your calendar, especially if you have clients! Talk to your accountability group for a pep talk.

How do you stay concentrated? 

  • Get it down on paper - Being online can be distracting, sometimes you have to reign it in on paper. Write it out physically and avoid getting sucked into the internet. It's also helpful for separating mandatories, priorities, and small to-dos.
  • Find the right space - Location, location, location! Make sure you have a good space to work in. Wherever you need to be to get your work done is important. Turn off the notifications on your phone or go to airplane mode if you need the break to get stuff down.
  • Try the Pomodoro technique - Take a 5 minute break for every 25-45 minutes of work. There's even a Chrome extension to help you keep on track.
  • Don't multitask - Tackle one thing at a time to make sure you are focused and everything is done properly the first time.

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What are some digital tools or apps you use to get stuff done?

  • Google Calender - For keeping track of deliverables, meetings, and events wherever you are.
  • Google Drive - Keep all of your documents with you and share them with others as needed.
  • Pocket - For savings articles or blogs so you can find them and read them again later, even when you're offline.
  • Planoly - Plan out your Instagram posts in advance.
  • Post schedule - Schedule your blog posts and social media content.
  • Evernote - Take notes on your phone then access them seamlessly on your computer. (It's what I used to write this blog post!)

What do you do when negative people come your way?

  • Know your self-worth - Don't keep negative energy in your life. It's difficult to part ways with people but it's important to know that your time is precious and if someone will only be hurting you then you don't need to spend your time on them.
  • Know that sometimes they are just concerned about you - Sometimes it's just a matter of wanting you to be safe and secure, especially when it's your close family and friends. Make sure you're looking at the intention behind the words even if they didn't express it well.
  • Practice words of affirmation - You drive where you are looking. Practicing affirmative words will keep you confident and help you stay in a positive head space.
  • React with positivity - It can hurt, but hurting others back only hurts yourself more. Make sure you react in a way that won't hurt your psyche. You'll feel stronger and better if you keep your cool and return negativity with positivity.