Do you ever open your email or messenger to find yet another friend has started a side hustle? Perhaps selling make-up, leggings, skincare, or essential oils? Regardless of what it may be, we immediately feel torn inside. Not another invite to this? our brain whines. We always want to support and encourage our friends... but it turns out we already have several close colleagues or even family members who are already in that particular business. (And let's face it, there are a ton of fad companies out there!) Surely, if and when we do decide to order, we are morally obligated to shop with the ones we are closest to. We'd feel terribly guilty if they learned we got that item elsewhere. And listen... I have been that person selling and showing up in your inbox at times throughout my life. If Facebook Live was around 5-10 years ago, you would have absolutely found my selfie videos showing up in your feed.
Let's get real here...
If you were to look at me or my shopping habits, you might think I was a tad high maintenance. Not that I am impeccably dressed to the nines by any means. But I do try to keep myself dressed neatly and always have my hair in perfect order! (My make-up not so much!) But the truth is... I am not a high end kind of gal. I don't spend money on expensive make-up, clothing, purses, or such on a regular basis. It's just not my thing. My look and style are typically budget friendly. I can whip up a cute outfit off the racks at Wal-Mart or TJ Maxx and I'm not ashamed to admit it. So when I do place an order, it generally will be to "support" the person selling and not really because I need that item in my life. Sure it will be great to try out something new. I may even find I like it. However, more often than not, I find it doesn't work for me the way it does on the model or in the description. It's seldom that I find a product I love so much that I need to go back for more.
But that is not what my point is for this blog post.
So why am I sharing my opinion on the matter?
As someone who has recently done a bit of homework on branding, there are a few things I've come to realize about those who take on a "side hustle." (Myself included!)
A very small amount of women will thrive from the actual income. Of course earnings are always the motivation to start and the incentive to stick with it. Truth is, however, even though it certainly can be done, it's rare that a side hustle turns into a five or six figure salary. In fact, many woman choose to go into the business of side hustling simply so they can earn and stock a particular product for themselves that they are fond of.
When you scratch the surface, you might reveal that their financial motivation morphed into something all together different. Suddenly, it becomes clear that the side hustler has found a way to connect. They have found an audience. A brand new social network is born. A platform for sharing experience and excitement that has stemmed from a product or company. We, the followers, become engaged when we see what it has done for the person who is promoting the item(s). Who knows... we may even be convinced enough to take the plunge and try it out ourselves.
As branding education will teach you, they are not really selling us a product per se. They are selling us on their experience. A feeling. A feeling we might also be searching for. We want that soft, subtle looking skin. We want to successfully turn patterned yoga leggings into acceptable work attire. We want to mix a few simple ingredients to create an appetizer our guests will talk about for days. And if our friend doing the promoting can make it happen... we can too!
I may not join your virtual shop when I get the invite. I may not promote your new endeavor because my bestie is already vested in the same. On the flip side... I may buy a product or two and find it certainly was helpful. I may purchase something and love it so much that I have to give you a huge shout out.
Regardless of my reaction to your side hustle... please know this:
Whether you have joined the business to make friends, feel pretty, score a few extra bucks, or conquer the world... it doesn't matter. I commend you for trying. I commend you for putting yourself out there. I envy your willingness to share videos and photos of yourself being vulnerable and real. I applaud you for knowing your worth and dabbling with the idea that you might be made for something more. Because you know what? We all are. And there is only one way to find out. And YOU were brave enough to take the plunge!
Keep up your hustle. Keep trying new things. Find your calling, even if it takes a dozen different tries. Be dedicated! And don't be offended at all if myself and others don't join your party or browse your catalog this time around. It simply means we don't have the funds or are not interested at that particular moment. We may very well be in the future. You will find your people. The ones who are looking for your connection and inspiration. The ones who need your product and/or experience. That is who you focus on while building and creating relationships. The rest will come when and if they are meant to.
And most importantly... know that you are being admired. You will inspire others on your journey. It might be 10 people or 1000 people. Either way, you are showing other women to follow their passion and ultimately, that is what connection is all about. Enthusiasm is contagious. Trust me when I say, every single outlet you explore is helping you to grow and learn about yourself. There are no wrong choices. Just life lessons paving the way to a better future. Only time will tell who you are bringing along for the ride.
You keep on doing you! Promote that side hustle! You never know where it may lead you!
Just my two cents. 😉