My name is Shirley, the gal behind Side of Hustle.
THEN (parents' generation): people were loyal to ONE or TWO employers until retirement. College degrees weren't necessary outside a professional field.
TODAY: churning people out with MORE degrees. Many are not working in their respective studies. Are degrees irrelevant?
(1) people aren't staying as long (introduce: gig-economy),
(2) People are working multiple jobs for diminishing career benefits. There is a “take what you can get” mentality when competing for the same jobs. Or you're working additional jobs to stretch yourself and make ends meet.
(3) Despite attending college, people are struggling with bills and saving less. Paying to work is depressing.
Too long in the same role suggests one isn't actively seeking out for better circumstances. Multiple part-time jobs decrease access to career benefits reserved for full-timers. We are a mobile and expendable generation.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with life.
I figure I would go abroad and teach English with TWO liberal arts to pay off student debt.
Or, I'd find a way to enter the tech field (big money).
About a month before receiving my Bachelors, I collapsed in pain. The pain on the lower right of my abdomen could have been anything.
Exhaustion. Stress (lots!). Appendix bursting.
It was a slow-growing rare tumor, which immediately set back plans to work after graduation. Scheduled surgery a week after completing my last class. Choice in the matter: None. Chemo wasn't viable given the size. Picture real-life Bonnie Swanson.
I walked with a hunch and my hands supporting my belly to stand upright for months. The pain after the morphine wore off was excruciating. The psychological anguish of learned helplessness ate away self-esteem for two years. I finally got the courage and applied for a job at Best Buy.
We parted because I wanted to be more: perhaps a programmer or location independent hustler. Behind the scenes of Best Buy and unemployment, I would find ways to supplement my income to solve two problems: decrease student debt and the save up for future of healthcare.
I am uniquely in the position where I wouldn't be here today without Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). If I weren't under 26 and still a student when I was diagnosed, I would be six digits in debt. If it weren't for a recent change in health care policy, I would have to live out a cursed life for having a “pre-existing condition.”
The first year of employment, I had no additional health care outside of ACA/Medi-CAL. Because of chronic illness, I had to take a hard look whether I want to work a part-time (no benefits unless I land full-time in the company) or increase my hours to qualify for the company-sponsored health care. Which I eventually use for overexerting myself (but I'll have it!). Or stop working. Solves one problem and exacerbate the other.
Then, what about the inevitable? I could have a reoccurrence and this nightmare would recycle. I renewed my interest in blogging because I could do that anywhere: in a chair, coffee shop or bedridden.
How This Blog Came About
I'm a born hustler (yes, that's a good thing). I enjoy learning and developing systems to do it better. You'd find me cranking long hours when I have momentum and I'm the first person awake (or I didn't sleep). I was the newbie who showed up every day. How in the world do I capture this enthusiasm? And share with others that working remotely and location independently is a way to make money doing things with capable hands and skills?
I'm not sitting behind a desk and building technical programs (like I previously dreamed). My blogging doesn't end world hunger, but I have the potential to inspire and feed a few extra mouths (including mine!). I love a good fun fact because you never know who walks on with clarity.
I focus on the start and obstacles of finding and creating side hustles to build channels of additional income. They start from an idea to building systems that provide solutions in other areas of life. Automation is smart once you learn what is involved behind the scenes.
Hustles take work, “side” hustles are about using the skills you have within and exerting creativity to make extra income efficiently. I also aim to share perspectives (a viewpoint, “a side”, if you may) of a hustle.
Also, I also talk about:
- Productivity: Dedicate to what matters with tools, wisdom or insight what works and doesn't. Create systems that allow you to work smarter, not harder.
- Life Hacks: Making lifeskills easier through trial and error.
- Frugality: Frugality is scaling back and accounting for needs and reducing what you don't.
- Learning: There is a wealth of free resources out there, but paid material reflects a higher quality and toil of others. It goes back to investing in people's livelihoods. I could also be a complete sucker to some pretty convincing sales pitches.
- Life: I went to University to study the human condition. There is a universal grammar that fuels my desire to learn more languages. Good food and smart, respectful travel and taking in what this world has to offer.
SideOfHustle is a money blog. In that aspect, I go into breaking down business and personal finance ideas to set up a hustle. My life experiences have taught me survival and finding simplicity in complicated details. I'm indecisive in areas that don't matter, but I'm completely driven to be helpful. The income is nowhere as steady or predictable as it was receiving biweekly checks. I had bosses and mentors that I answered to in the past. In most instances, it'd be up to me to delegate and perform efficiently.
I use and promote affiliate links. My intent here is to generate a living wage so I can keep writing to serve others and inspire others to create their own opportunities with skills they already have and fill potential knowledge gaps. My opinions and posts seek to be transparent and helpful to a fault, not because I'm out to earn a commission.
Still with me?
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