The Day and Age of the Side Hustle

Almost everyone I know has some sort of side hustle from their primary job. Sometimes it’s a second or even third job, driving for Uber, writing a book, websites, blogs, Instagram, acting, freelance contracts, podcasts, the list goes on and on and the possibilities are endless. These side hustles can be great for generating extra income, breaking up the monotony of your day job or even provide you with the chance to make your side hustle your full-time career one day (travel blogger anyone?). But side hustles and the age of social media, in particular, have also created a culture of constantly working and burnout.
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1. My Side Hustles.
If you haven’t already guessed from my website and social media, my primary career is that of a Pilates Instructor. I also graduated and became a Registered Holistic Nutritionist last year which, apart from my website, blog posts and some workshops, I have not really focused my energy towards. Obviously, I also have my website and a separate travel blog that I write content for, but I also write articles for Nucleo Fitness’s website and have been looking into more freelance opportunities as of late. Earlier this year my colleagues and I launched our first retreat in the city and we have plans to do another one in Costa Rica in the winter (stay tuned!). My YouTube channel was a focus for some time, but I’ve started pulling away from that over the last couple of years. I did enjoy making videos but it was very time consuming to edit while in school and I just haven’t gotten back into it since. I do have plans to use it in conjunction with my website for recipes and exercise content in the future though. My eBook endeavour a few years ago was another way I tried to bring in extra income, but the video content made the book file too large to download and while I have hundreds of recipes and ideas, I have not created a new one yet. Let’s not forget my tote bags either! My Etsy shop does still exist and randomly gets purchases even now, but sales have definitely dwindled over the last year. Finally, I have been attempting to start a career in voice acting for the past year and a bit. I began workshops, lessons and creating demos about two and a half years ago, maybe longer, and then officially got an agent last April. Since then, I have been auditioning fairly consistently but have not yet booked any jobs. I’ve also attempted some random side hustles, such as selling Arbonne (did not continue with it) and driving for Uber Eats (still do on occasion for extra spending money).
2. The Downfall.
The biggest downfall to having all these ideas and side hustle options is that I’m not currently making much (if anything) from most of these endeavours, yet they take up more time and effort than my primary job. The lack of focus also means that not one of these options is getting my full attention. By not devoting the required time to grow any one idea I have not fully succeeded in any of them. Now, it is okay to have hobbies and to want to do a multitude of activities, but focus and consistency is the key to building your career. Time and effort must be given to an idea in order for it to flourish properly before adding new growth opportunities. I tried to do everything and I ended up not growing anything. I became so overwhelmed by what I thought I should be doing that most days I just curled up on the couch doing absolutely nothing, but still stressing about what I wasn’t doing. It was a vicious cycle.
3. The Burnout.
The other problem with many different endeavours on the go at the same time and working as a one-person operation is that you begin to burn out mentally and physically. The main reason this burnout happens is that you never have downtime. Especially in this age of social media, you never fully turn off, even on vacation or “days off”. I’m old enough to remember living without social media and finishing work or school and just watching T.V. or listening to music. Now even while watching T.V. my phone is beside me and I’m periodically using Google to look up something about the show I’m watching or going on Instagram during commercial breaks. Many millennials comment on this trend and how their side hustles make them feel like they are always on and always working. My job as a Pilates instructor means I work most mornings and then most evenings with a large gap during the afternoon. Even if I’m resting I’m always thinking about the next thing I “should” work on or planning out the following day. Physically I cannot work solidly from 6am to 10pm and breaks are necessary but my brain has a horrible time shutting off, even for a couple of hours.
4. The Solution.
These are my personal opinions and experiences and what I’m doing to combat the burnout. Firstly, I make lists sorting out what I have to do for the entire day including everything from working out to eating lunch. By physically checking off each task, it makes me more organized and productive throughout the day. I’ve also seriously taken the time to think about what is important to me and to set realistic goals and expectations for myself. Focusing my energy allows me to be more productive and more detailed with how I want to grow my career. I’m also able to be more consistent with the few projects I have on-the-go, rather than weeks (or months and years) between blog posts or product launches. It sounds simple but it is still a battle to learn how to turn off and how to prioritize my goals. I’ve also still got to earn an income, so sometimes what I want to work on and what I have to work on will vary. Some days I will be productive and some days I will fail. This is a process and anything worth having requires work, so I am prepared to give it my all but I need to be smart about it. The biggest change I have made is allowing my days off to be days off! I’ve asked work not to text on the days I am not there, emails only (unless an emergency) and I try to limit my time on my phone on these days overall. It’s not foolproof and often I’ll still think about the next day but I’m working on it. Doing things I enjoy helps to clear my mind on my off-time like going for a run, taking an exercise class, watching a movie or getting lost in my kitchen with YouTube playing in the background.
Let me know if you have any side hustles and if you are experiencing any of these issues too.
What do you do to unwind from work stress?
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xo Shawn

 

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My Coachella Experience

Where to begin…
Let me preface this post by saying Coachella was my FIRST festival experience EVER! I know, I know, it’s shocking given my love of music and the lineup of concerts I have attended. It’s true though.
The reason I have never attended a festival before is that I have some issues with claustrophobia (I’ve left subway trains and elevators due to panic attacks before) and I’ve just been afraid of what to expect with the crowds. I had always wanted to go to Coachella because, like most, I have followed the plethora of Instagram posts and fashion #ootd that circulate before, during and after the festival. I’m not going to lie, the hippie fashion and the idea of wearing glitter absolutely everywhere was my ultimate goal when I bought my tickets. #noshame
Originally, I was meant to go with someone else but after that fell through my cousin Jeni ended up signing on to go with me! Although I have kept in touch and spent some time with my cousin over the years, we have not spent time alone together like that since childhood and I can honestly say (I hope she will agree!) that we had the BEST time of our lives!
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We started our Coachella adventure by driving from Venice Beach to Palm Springs for lunch (and a photo op) before heading to Indio and our motel. We did make a pit stop at Target and I fully understand the hype in the US. Nearly $200 later, a couple of pool floats and a few bottles of wine, we finally made it to Palm Springs. We had a nice lunch at LuLu’s (although it took too long to get served initially) and I saved room for dessert which happened to be the biggest cotton candy I have ever seen! We then continued on to our motel.
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The Western Sands Motel was the most expensive shit hole I have ever stayed in, obviously because it was Coachella weekend and everything was exuberantly overpriced. But it did the job, the bed was clean and we were a mere 8 minute drive to the festival entrance. I’d do it all over again too, so that’s saying something.
We arrived around mid-afternoon and got to work getting glittered-up for day one! I opted for a classic high-waisted jean short and poncho combo with a silver silk tank top, on-trend bum bag and black boots. I loaded up on accessories, a crapload of glitter on every surface of my skin and hair and added every necklace and bracelet I own plus a scarf. The dust is real but for some reason, I never actually used the scarves I brought to cover my face; they looked darn cute though at least. My hair which had previously been a bit frizzy from the ocean air in Venice Beach, now magically became Insta-worthy waves from the mix of salt residue and desert heat. I’m still daydreaming about that hair…
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Since neither of us had been to Coachella before, getting around took a minute to get used to. We may have also entered the beer tent (a couple of times) thinking it was our VIP area and wondering why the lineups for drinks were so long… *facepalm* But eventually, we figured out our way around and took in some shows! Day 1 highlights for us were Diplo, Janelle Monae and Childish Gambino, the latter being absolutely incredible and unexpected in his musical brilliance.
Getting back to the motel was a lot harder to navigate then getting to the festival grounds (ps. Lyft was the best for that) and our first night we ended up walking all the way back, about 45 mins in total. But keep in mind a good 15 minutes of that is just exiting the grounds themselves. We didn’t have the hook up for any after parties and being that we both wake up regularly very early for our day jobs, we called it a night!
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Day 2 saw us blowing up our pool floats (I forgot how hard that was by mouth) and attempting to get cute shots in our not-so-cute motel pool. Thank you portrait mode! And once again we got ready in our Coachella-finest as we drank some more wine and Straw-ber-itas. This day I chose my new favourite leopard-print skirt with a low-back ribbed bodysuit and matching scarf. Once again my bum bag and boots made an appearance, as did the copious amounts of glitter and jewellery. We thankfully had a locker on-site, as this night we needed to go back for warmer layers as the evening wore on. We were warned the evenings got chilly but the first night had been so mild that the second night took us a bit off guard. This day we also ventured more around the festival and found a second VIP area, taking in more artists along the way. Highlights from this day included Maggie Rogers, Wiz Khalifa, Billie Eilish (who we admittedly had not heard of prior, somehow) and of course Weezer. I cannot believe it took me going to Coachella to finally see Weezer live but they did not disappoint!
Seeing as Kanye was set to host his Sunday service for Easter the following day (which we did not attend) and Kid Cudi was playing, I knew he’d make an appearance and thankfully I was right. This was the first time the whole festival that we both got a bit claustrophobic because the crowd was just crazy and we were in the thick of it. Now I’m not the biggest fan of Kanye but when he performs, you cheer and sing along, it’s what you do. It was a pretty epic experience for us both and I’m glad we braved the crowd! Tame Impala was the headliner this night but after a brief stopover at his performance, we moved on, definitely not our thing. #sorrynotsorry
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And just like that, it was Day 3. By now we both began getting some stuffy noses from allergies we thought but we were both excited and sad for our last day at Coachella. My hair was still on point though and that’s really what mattered most, let’s be honest. My outfit today consisted of a crochet crop top, black shorts topped with a long fringe wrap skirt and the same bum bag and boots previously worn. I had brought other shoes but the boots were so comfy I decided not to chance it with other footwear. This was the first day I tried on multiple outfit options but I wanted to really go all out! I did bring another outfit for later on but decided against the effort of changing as the night wore on. This was by far my favourite day at the festival as Jeni and I really got to have a heart-to-heart and bond a bit more. By now I also knew the pizza place was the best for food and we found a bartender who would make us lemon drop type cocktails (shots aren’t allowed technically). I haven’t touched on that yet but the food was pretty hit and miss inside the festival and drinks were ridiculously tiny. Although nothing was particularly awful, it was severely overpriced and even more so when you consider it was in US dollars ($16 US for a minuscule glass of wine? *another facepalm* Ok, give me two, thanks).
The highlights from the performances this day were Khalid, Dermot Kennedy, Zedd and of course, Ariana Grande. Zedd brought out both Maren Morris and Alessia Cara to perform their songs with him and I was again pleasantly surprised. He puts on a great show with remixes of everything from AC/DC to Queen! We danced the most to this show and couldn’t get enough. Fun fact, we both grew up in Brampton which is where Alessia Cara is from too and it occurred to me how lucky we all were to now be at Coachella!
The headliner was Ariana and by gosh did she ever deliver! The group of guys behind me kept screaming how much better she was live than on the radio and I couldn’t agree more. That woman can SING! She performed for about an hour and a bit in total and even brought out the Biebs himself (Justin Bieber) to an eruption of screams from the crowd. Again, love him or hate him, you cheer when he comes on stage. She was probably my favourite from the whole festival but I really didn’t see one bad performance, it was an incredible experience.
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Truly, I would do it all again in a heartbeat and desperately want to! This was by far one of the best experiences of my life and I think it was only made better by my cousin getting to attend with me.
I think she said it best, “nothing will ever be the same again after this”. #coachella2019
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xo Shawn Marie