“Always have a Side Hustle!”
Have you heard that advice? Popularized by cash-strapped tech-savvy millennials with mountains of student debt, a Side Hustle basically means side activities that augment your main source of income.
I have a trip coming up to New Orleans in October. I was looking into producing and hosting a Side Hustle - a Video Day Event for businesswomen in NOLA the day before my meeting. The goals were
(A Video Day Event is where women can access studio-quality professional video as easily as they book a manicure. We set a pop-up video studio, have a pro crew and makeup artist, and women book appts to create high quality video footage at a fraction of the price they would have to pay to set it up on their own).
I had recently met a New Orleans-based female entrepreneur and we were talking about a co-sponsor / rev share arrangement.
About 2 weeks into the planning, there I was frowning at my computer. I realized that the time and expense involved in setting up the Video Event was going to undermine the main goal, which was to pay for my trip.
My potential co-sponsor is working full time, has a baby and hubby, and as if that weren’t enough, she also has her own Side Hustle that she is working to transition into her main job. She didn't really have time to work on this project too. She was Side Hustled out. : D
Finally, when Hurricane Harvey came to visit the region, it was inappropriate and pointless to try to market the event in the coming weeks, so I called it off.
The whole experience made me take a closer look at the easy advice “Always have a side hustle”.
So how does this work?
Also referred to as multiple streams of income, Side Hustles can help you
We used to call this "working a second job" or "pulling double shifts". Side Hustle sounds much cooler, I suppose.
The term has some roots in the internet economy, as many of the "gigs" you can pick up are accessed through apps that allow you to easily connect with others that need services - like dog walking, pet sitting, errands, babysitting, or freelancing. Uber, Ebay, Wag, AirBnB, and Fiverr are some examples of web based companies that enable side hustles.
A Side Hustle can benefit your retirement goals* , too, in a couple of ways -
Unfortunately, the extra work can also have you Side Hustling straight into exhaustion and burn-out land if you aren’t careful.
The more nuanced insight around Side Hustles is that they are a combination of:
You can put up a one page website or Facebook page and I promise you, no one but your mom and best friend will visit it unless you market it aggressively. Learning online marketing is its own (and unpaid, at least at first) Side Hustle.
That is why the apps that help Side Hustlers find customers so are popular - they make it easier for us to find each other. Uber, Etsy, Fiverr Ebay and Flexjobs are all examples.
Here are some suggestions.
Here is a brief sampling of some Side Hustles:
Sell your time and expertise
Loan out your assets
*caveat - I am not a tax or legal professional, I’m not giving implicit or explicit financial or tax advice, so check and see what the tax implications are, if any, for bartering or the effect of extra income on your bottom line for April 15. But then you knew that already, right?
This post is part of our Payday Fridays series, where we take a fresh look at money from the midlife perspective. If you want to receive a weekly recap of this and other inspiring, practical info, please sign up on the form at the right.
Check out Side Hustle Nation for ideas and inspiration, its geared at early career earners but it has lots of resources and a fun podcast.
Thanks for visiting!
You have a DreamBiz idea, right? How do you know if its a good one?
If you want to KNOW where to start, and KNOW what works about your idea BEFORE you actually dive in, in this FREE live meeting online I'll share:
sign up on the calendar below!
Sun 9:30 AM
Mon - Wed at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Simple, right? I can't wait to meet you!
Hello! I'm Kala Philo, Founder and Producer of the DreamBiz Test Drive and a bunch of other magic, too.
Did you know that the business failure rate for new businesses 80%?
The good news is there are simple ways to see what works BEFORE you start your business. I am passionate about helping new women entrepreneurs minimize their odds of business failure. I developed this process from many years of diverse experiences to use with my own ideas, and am now using it to help women find clarity and direction around their business idea. BEFORE they even start their business.
Growing up in southwest Houston, I remember the ominous darkening skies, strong winds, and seemingly endless rain of tropical storms. Businesses, schools and stores closing; homes losing power. I felt a bit like Dorothy in the tornado as I read books by flashlight, grateful for my house, my parents and my poor trembling dog hiding under my covers.
I can remember wondering when life would return to normal and the feeling of relief when the lights came back on, like waking from a scary dream.
In the immediate days surrounding a national disaster, donations to Red Cross and charities experience an uptick, and that is great news. The problem is that after the news coverage dies down, the real work of rebuilding begins.
An Uber driver in New Orleans told me his story of being displaced by Katrina, ironically he rebuilt his life in Houston and later moved back to be near family in the Big Easy, he recently told me that there are areas in New Orleans that are still not rebuilt.
One organization that loans to small entrepreneurs is Lift Fund, a regional fund that operates in Houston and the surrounding area, and also has branches throughout Texas. Here is their info:
YinCaravana also supports KIVA, an organization that enables people like you and I to loan as little as $25 to small entrepreneurs all over the world. I searched and unfortunately they have no entrepreneurs listed needing loans in Texas right now.
If you know of any other crowd-funding or impact investing organizations accessible to individuals like you and I and others who want to help, please share in the comments below.
(Update: Here is another organization that focuses on mid-term and long term assistance. http://disasterphilanthropy.org/)
Last quick tip - if you want to have a bigger impact than a one time disaster relief donation, put a reminder in your calendar for 6 months from now to check in and consider a second donation. Sometimes the need is still very present.
Thank you and please keep sending strength to the resilient people of Houston and the Gulf Coast of Texas. If you are feeling personally upset or stressed, check out this post for tips on how to deal..
You can keep in touch by entering your email address in the short form to the right. We are re-designing our email newsletter into something gorgeous, fun and compelling. Something you will actually want to open.
What does money and "retirement" look like for midlife women?
I have many questions around this, so on Fridays we'll start taking a deeper look at what it really means to "start where you are at", the balance between experiences now, when we can still have them, and saving for later, when our mobility is much less, plus what other creative, vibrant, not wealthy women are doing to cultivate a plan for the now and the future.
Here is the link to the NPR article I referenced in the video above:
I am not an expert, so we'll be learning together with this, which sounds like more fun than going it alone, right?
Join us to receive updates and a beautiful email newsletter you will actually want to open.
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Hello ladies! Its almost September - yes, I can't believe it either.
It may seem too early to be thinking about 2018, and for some topics, t probably is. But, as we all know, if you want to make progress on any sort of advance planning for next year, the window has arrived.
I've observed, over my lifetime, the traditional Thanksgiving to late December holiday period increase in intensity and expand to engulf most the time right before Halloween, too.
We are opening the DreamBiz Test Drive course to 20 women for our September VIP class - women who are interested in making change in their work life in 2018 - starting with getting some intense clarity around their DreamBiz idea.
If you have a dream of working for yourself, I promise you this: it will not happen until you give that dream some focused attention.
We have created a VIP portal with a great video that tells you:
So, if you are not in love with your job and would like to get clarity about your DreamBiz idea so you can start planning for changes next year, please check out the VIP Portal.
Thanks! You can also click on the big ol' screenshot below for more info.
Hello everyone -
I haven't posted anything about the awful happenings in Charlottesville, and that is because I wanted to have a constructive response, a suggestion for how we deal.
The truth is there is a constant stream of bad news in the United States and the world right now. We are in a tough spot and its going to take some time to get to a better place. We are seeing the last throes of patriarchy, its fighting to the end with the same violence and tribalism that has fueled its ascendency for the last 3000 years.
I am not minimizing the events of the last year or so. I'm simply offering a way to get off of this nightmare roller coaster of trying to figure out how to respond to each days new bad news story.
This is what you can do: When you get clear on your personal why and create a doable intentional plan around it, one that includes joy and lightness even when times are tough, you will feel better. It creates an anchor that keeps you from being swept out into a sea of hopelessness and frustration. You feel empowered and the quality of your response will start to lift those around you. Going on a media diet helps, too.
I've created a chart that goes with this. Its always easier to explain and idea with a picture, right? So, take a look at the graphic above The 2 axes are your emotional state and the impact of your actions. The impact of your actions are influenced by how aligned they are with your "Why" - your values and the sphere of influence you have at this moment.
Oprah has a saying "Please be responsible for the energy you bring to this place." This chart touches on that, too. It shows you how some of your actions can keep you stuck in the gray area. Its also encouraging you to begin to own the power of your actions and respect that your attention DOES matter.
Our attention is much more powerful than we give it credit for, so we often give it away, allow it to be stolen, or even controlled by the exact forces we don't want to support.
Here are some guidelines to Be the Change in your life, and minimize the effect of bad news on your actions.
Questions? Comments? What tools do you use to keep on track when the world seems to be insane? Share with us below.
This short FB live video complements this blog post about micro-loans. What I didn't emphasize in that post is that KIVA loans to small entrepreneurs in the US! Very small loans that can be perfect if you need a little cash to test out your DreamBiz Idea.
I spent most of the late 70s and 80s on diets obsessing about my weight and my workouts. I was tired all the time and never felt satisfied with how I looked. Does that sound familiar?
I picked up a book about a year ago called Sugar Blues, it is an eye-opening account of the history of sugar's influence on human health. I also watched a movie called Fed Up, produced by Katie Couric that details the effect of sugar on our kids in graphic, heart-breaking detail.
The short version is that food companies started adding lots more sugar to food in the go-go 80s during the low-fat craze. I'm talking about what I call sneaky sugar - sugar in foods that you don't think of as "sweets" - like soups, pasta sauce, corn chips, salad dressings, even vinegar!
Our food supply has a massive infection of sugar, courtesy of the Big Food and sugar lobbies and ag subsidies.
Sneaky sugar pisses me off because it is a subsidized minefield in the grocery aisle that blows up brave people who are making sincere efforts to lose weight and adopt a healthy lifestyle.
My biggest dietary a-ha moment in the last 20 years took place a couple years ago when I started reading labels for sneaky sugar. Sneaky sugar turns up where you don't really expect to find it.
Bottom line is I made a simple change to cut out sneaky sugar and lost about 8 lbs over 6 weeks, without changing anything else.
You know that "last 5 pounds" we don't seem to be able to lose? And should quit worrying about anyway? Bingo. I lost it, and I still ate a little dark chocolate every day.
Now, I didn’t lay on the couch for 6 weeks and watch my middle shrink. I also didn't adopt the workout regimen of a CrossFit babe, either. (I did think about it, though, mostly while laying on the couch).
This was also about the time I started eating healthy fats again, yes, including animal fat. The changes helped me to gain normal energy back after a lifetime of chronic fatigue that I had blamed on a low thyroid condition. Now I'm wondering if the steady intake of sugar over the years actually contributed to hormone imbalance and thyroid issues.
I am fairly active and eat well otherwise. When I finally removed the sugar that was a drag on my system, it was like a smooth shift into a higher gear.
A big recurring thread in this site is remembering that nothing happens in a vacuum, right? Your physical condition is the result of your genetic dance with eating, drinking, moving, reflecting and resting. I'm neither a couch potato nor a CrossFit babe. I could improve my fitness but I feel great most days. The Middle Path is a good one to walk when setting expectations for ourselves. <3
Stepping off the Middle Path, I feel very badly that I didn’t start this sooner, when my kids were young. Regret is a waste of time but I can't help it. #motherguilt. : (
The thing is, my son was a really fat little boy, and it distressed all of us. We could not figure out why.
We never had sodas around the house, or baked goods, or junk food. We taught he and his sister about nutrition and the effect of different foods on our bodies. I had flirted with bulimia in my 20's; the grace from that experience was that I had moved to a much healthier relationship with food. I knew not to focus on control, but on healthy choices and habits.
My son liked to help cook, we ate a wide variety of healthy foods. His dad packed his lunch, we limited sweets. He took Karate and tried swim team and rec soccer.
Still, he gained a little more weight every year.
At his check-ups, the pediatrician would look at me with obvious doubt as I described his diet. Later, the nurse handed me scary pamphlets about childhood diabetes and printouts of the FDA food pyramid (recommendations that are, as I learned later, heavily influenced by the corporations of Big Ag and Big Food).
What the doctor and I missed is that our family diet had a chronic low level infection of sugar and carbs. Here is insidious side of sneaky sugar - as I was figuring out the "sugar budget" for a moderate diet that left room for a treat now and then, I wasn't factoring in the constant hit of hidden sugar with almost every meal. It doesn't take much for our bodies to react.
Sugar in mayo, peanut butter, fruit cups, some chips, crackers, ketchup, BBQ sauce, pasta sauce, soups, salad dressing, yogurt. Sugar in most low-fat snacks, even salty ones. Couple that with carbs sprinkled throughout the week - bagels, pretzels, pasta, french bread - what I thought was a healthy, moderate approach was a recipe for disaster for my poor son.
I thought that not having sodas and cake around meant we didn't really eat much sugar. Wrong. Cutting out the obvious culprits had made me complacent.
Now I'm SO done with that. Let's rattle the cage a bit. I encourage you to be sure to read the fine print ingredients on food at the store.
Start to cut out the hidden sugar and see what happens for you. I'm not a doctor or health professional. Its simply my opinion and experience that this is one of the kindest things we can do for our body, especially in our 40s and 50s.
And my son? Happy ending there. He grew over a foot and lost at least 20 lbs during puberty. He kept it off. He bikes to work most days, loves to cook and is a total foodie. He eats very little sugar. Here is his picture before prom a few years ago.
Don't tell him I posted it. <3
Lastly, I had started calling these Monday posts "M Word Mondays:". After trying that on, I'm not crazy about it. We're changing the project name to Full Circle Menopause. We'll still be posting on Mondays, hence the hashtags #FCMM.
How have you had a run-in with sugar in your life?
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Start with One. Micro-loans connecting women all over the world. My Connecting with a Hero. #YCvillage #recyclemoney
Just another sunny day in Los Angeles, in 1987. I remember it like it was yesterday.
I was reading the paper (yes, we used to do that in the 80s) and an article caught my eye. An upper class banker in Bangladesh had run an experiment, making small personal loans to women trying to start tiny businesses in the poorest section of his town.
His experiment was so much bolder than it seems at first glance. Bangladeshi society is very rigid, upper class men rarely acknowledge lower class women, let alone engage with them, let alone loan them money! No banks loaned money to poor people, loan sharks were the only source of capital.
I was fascinated. I wanted to hop on a plane the next day, but of course I did not. It seemed impossible; in those days my imagination in regards to a horizon of possibility was very limited.
The banker's name is Muhammad Yunus. He has haunted me, in a good way, up to this day.
Although I did not hop on a plane that day, I did end up moving back to Austin, Texas a few years later. I continued to follow Prof. Yunus, and when I discovered that he was coming to talk to a class at the LBJ School for Public Affairs, I went into full-on stalking mode. I crashed the class meeting.
And I couldn't believe my luck - I met him the next morning at a low-key, little publicized breakfast meeting hosted by a small community lender. I was a volunteer with that organization. I remember getting there early because I was sure parking and seats would be scarce. I was wrong. There were maybe 15 people at the breakfast.
Prof. Yunus and I shared a brief one-on-one conversation, I still have his business card and a copy of a short email follow up conversation. I was looking for a way to engage with his organization. Not surprisingly, there was no obvious way for me to add value from Austin, Texas. Once again, I should have hopped on a plane. Later, Prof. Yunus won the Nobel Peace Prize for pioneering micro-finance and the concept of social business.
Fast forward a few years later. I was in Austin yet again. It's another sunny day, albeit hotter, and again, I remember it like it was yesterday.
I waited in a line with hundreds of people outside a bookstore to get Prof. Yunus' signature at a book signing.
I wanted the book and the signature, but the real goal was I wanted my kids to meet him. When it was our turn, I introduced them to him and said, "Professor Yunus has helped thousands of women all over the world start businesses and help their families and communities."
He looked at my kids (not me) and said, "Yes, but the most important thing is to help at least one person. Start with one."
That advice has been in my Book of Life since that time. When I feel my efforts are too small, too slow, too lacking, I remember his words and his conviction.
He tells his story best and I highly recommend his books: Banker to the Poor and Creating a World Without Poverty.
What I wanted to draw out for this post is that in his initial loans with women, he was astonished at two things: the high repayment rates, and the ripple effect his loans had in the womens' community.
When empowered with tiny bits of capital, women not only invested in their businesses but also turned around and improved their families and communities.
This concept of micro-loans for the poor has taken hold and grown worldwide. One organization that I like is called KIVA. They coordinate with micro-lending organizations in host countries to feature individual entrepreneurs on their KIVA.org portal. You can learn about individual entrepreneurs all over the world, including the US.
This is how it works in general:
When you loan money through KIVA, it is, well, a loan. It is not a donation. When the entrepreneur pays back the loan, you get your money back to either re-invest with another entrepreneur or withdraw from your KIVA account.
Think about it as a second bucket to recycle money you might otherwise donate.
Kiva also has a cool option for lenders to create teams to pool their goodness and make a bigger collective impact.
We are working on creating a KIVA team for YinCaravana. We'll be updating you soon on that. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know!
In closing, thank you Professor Yunus for your lifelong inspiration to me and countless other people. And you know what, I may just hop on that plane next year after all. Who's with me?
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I'm living in Mexico for most of the time this year.
Last year, I went through an arduous, expensive, invasive process to get my temporary residency card. I was patient throughout, looking at it as a real life experience, street cred for my global citizen persona.
I realized yesterday that I have been reading the expiration date wrong on my residency card. It says 11/07/2017. November, right?
Wrong. In Mexico the day comes first, the month second.
sh*t. My permission to be here expired last month.
Its so odd, this is one of the details I thought I was being so careful about, and its the exact thing I was trying to avoid. This is sort of common in the human experience. Why is that? If you know, please tell me.
Obviously there is some lesson in this that I am meant to experience.
Here's the thing - I've been practicing for several years now trying to accept all news as objective and not judge it as good or bad. This, on the surface, is potentially "bad" - Its going to be expensive, regardless of the outcome. I've signed a lease on an apt here. Sergio is here. My "life" is here in a manner of speaking. Mexico can kick me out and require me to stay out.
That is what would happen in the US - we have a Mexican friend with a family member that lived and worked for years legally in the US, she is a teacher. She let her visa expire by 3 months and the US kicked her out for 5 years. It is her attorney I'm meeting with today to see what my options are.
I actually slept well last night and I'm happy to report, too, that after the initial sick feeling, my mind jumped more readily to the positive aspects - at least I didn't discover this while going through immigration at the airport. I have a good referral to an attorney here. And worse case, if I do have to leave to restart the whole process, Sergio has a home for a few months - we aren't bopping around in air BnBs anymore. Cross your karma fingers for me.
Immediate take-aways. If you want to live the least bit outside the box, limit your possessions and stay flexible.
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