Throughout college I often found myself juggling two jobs on more than one occasion. Not by choice, but out of necessity. Nowadays I find myself juggling two jobs, and I couldn’t be happier. So, what’s the difference between now and then? At the time two jobs wasn’t an option for me, and now it’s something I’ve happily chosen to do. Running back and forth between waitressing jobs a few years ago wasn’t exactly what I’d call blissful, but now I accept the challenge of being LaurenConrad.com Associate Editor by day and part-time photographer by night.
Having a successful side hustle doesn’t happen overnight (even though it may happen throughout the night). I’ve become good friends with long hours and busy weekends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. To give you a little background information, I have always been interested in photography and have in the past few years really learned to hone my skills and become a professional. But the thing about photography is that you need to make time and get out into the field in order to succeed. Since I chose to go to college and start a career in Public Relations, I knew that in order to pursue both of my interests I would have to make one of them part-time. The best part of making that decision is that I still get to enjoy my full-time position with LaurenConrad.com by day and flex my creative photography muscle at night (and on weekends).
Taking on two roles can get stressful and chaotic, but sometimes that’s what it takes to pursue your side hustle and get your passion project off the ground. I know that your passions may not look the same as mine, but today I’m doing my best to bring you five tips for making your dreams come to fruition. So whether or not you too are interested in becoming a photographer (or maybe a chef, editor, or professional basket weaver), I encourage you to keep reading for some tips that will hopefully help you along the way…
1. Don’t let it get in the way of your day job.
If I’m honest, there have been days where I’m physically at work but mentally dreaming up my next photoshoot. I’m also here to tell you that shirking your responsibilities at work will only end badly. Resist the temptation to multitask and keep your head in one game at a time. As soon as you clock out and leave your day job, you can then feel free to run into the open arms of your side hustle. If the opportunity presents itself, merging your day job and passion project can sometimes result in unsuspected magic. I’m very thankful that Team LC allows me to do so by frequently taking photos for the site, and I encourage you to inquire about the same possibilities at your current job.
2. Make sure that you love what you do.
As cliché and overused as it sounds, loving what you do is a total game changer. Like I said in my introduction, being a waitress was miserable to me because I didn’t love it. It just paid the bills. If you’re working to make your side project a full-time gig, working nights and weekends will only be sustainable if you really love it. I will admit, there are days that I feel rundown with lack of inspiration only to come back stronger and more clear-headed.
3. Utilize social media and networking.
Being a millennial myself, I have grown up in the digital age and most social media platforms are second nature to me. I will admit, I’ve closed my Instagram app just to mindlessly reopen it .02 seconds later. Social media and networking can work miracles to promote your business and will be super valuable to both you and your work. Teaching you how to get the most out of social media is a whole other beast to tackle, but trust me when I say that you should learn how to be fluent in many, if not all, social media platforms. When it comes to networking, I’ll keep it simple. Be willing to make friends and collaborate when you see fit. Knowledge on these subject can only help you, not hurt you. Your homework tonight: research both!
4. Master what makes you unique.
You can’t reinvent the wheel but you can put your own flair on it! I truly believe that comparison is the thief of joy, and this certainly applies in making your side hustle successful. It’s so easy to compare your beginning to someone else’s middle or end, that we forget what makes us unique. My best piece of advice that I can give to you is to recognize what makes you different from everyone else and run with it!
5. Prepare to make sacrifices.
Yes, I realize that this tip sounds more on the scary side than uplifting. However, be prepared to sacrifice things such as free time, sleep, and on occasion, your social life. You won’t have to put these things on the backburner forever, but the sooner you dive in and devote your extra time to your passion project, the sooner you can gain these things back.
I know that this doesn’t always happen as easily in all situations, but I’m so happy that I’ve gotten to a place of balance and harmony between my career and side job. These tips have really stuck out to me throughout the years and I hope they can help you in some way too!
Do you have a passion project that you’ve been working on?
I’d love to hear what it is in the comments!
Photos: Jessi Burrone for LaurenConrad.com