My aunt called me recently and we talked about her new side-hustle as a real estate agent. For the past 30 years or so, she had been climbing the corporate ladder in a variety of different jobs at the same company. Eventually, she landed at the very top as a Vice President, but sadly, she wasn't happy. As far back as she could remember, the road to her success was fret with nothing but stress.
Long days and even longer hours turned into a career of being frustrated by a job that, in the end, had nothing to do with what she truly loved or who she really was. During our phone call, she said something to me that really stuck out—I've been thinking about it for weeks: "Chase, this is your one and precious life. This is it. So don't waste it doing something you can't stand. It took me this long to realize that.
"After leaving that company, my aunt got another job with much less stress. With her newfound free time, she signed up for real estate classes, and now, she's a licensed agent in my hometown. She even sold her first house last month! When I asked her how it felt, I could hear her smiling through the phone. "It feels great," she replied. "I just wish I would have done it sooner. "From her story, I hope you can take stock of your own life and career. If there's something you've been wanting to do, or even something you've been wanting to let go of, now is the perfect time to go after your dreams. And your changes don't have to be anything drastic to start.
First off, you can't build a side-hustle for yourself until you identify what makes you happy. That said, let's take a look at my Aunt's trajectory toward her new life. For as long as I can remember, my aunt has always loved to learn new things. Despite not finishing high school, she has always been a tenacious person with a hustle mentality to get things done. She worked a series of jobs before landing at her previous longtime employer, and during that time, she eventually went back to school, graduated from college, and even got her Master's degree at night. She is no stranger to hard work, however, she also isn't a stranger to HGTV on her nights off.
With a nice glass of white wine, she'd watch (and still does) home makeover shows and real estate shows like House Hunters and Flip or Flop. For years, she was quietly building her interest in real estate, but not yet taking the plunge to make it a part of her life. And when she wasn't watching her favorite shows, she was researching homes in town (just for fun) on apps like Zillow and Trulia. Whether she knew it right away or not, she had a deep love for homes. Of course, I realize this may differ for everyone, but what you can learn from my aunt is that you should start paying attention to how you spend your free time outside of your 9-to-5 job.
For her, it was like a light bulb went off in her head. She's spending all this time researching homes, getting ideas, and learning the market in her area...how could she then turn this into an actual career? Right away, she looked online at what she needed to do to get licensed, and with so much more free time at her new job, pursuing what she loved was actually possible. 6 months later, she created a side-hustle for herself, and every day, she gets closer and closer to quitting that other job so that she can go after what she loves to do full-time.
I'm not saying that you have to up and quit your job, but at some point, if you feel that what you're doing isn't keeping you fulfilled, then you need to make time for what you do love. In fact, something interesting has happened to me even though I pursue my side-hustle of freelance writing full-time: I'm spending less and less time on my creative writing.
Freelance writing is my main source of income, and I love it, but more than marketing topics and copywriting gigs, my heart truly soars when I write poetry and short stories. Little by little, I carve out time to write new pieces and submit them for publication, but once deadlines pile up and months go by, I realize that my dreams have, once again, taken a backseat. It's at this point I need to reassess my life and make time for what I love.
Like my aunt, I have to find a way to transition from my hectic career (that I also love) and find a way to turn creative writing into my main function. Maybe that means taking on fewer freelance assignments each month. Perhaps I need to come up with a submission schedule and prioritize sending my work out each week. Maybe I should take 6 months off and finish writing the novel I've been working on for the past two years. I've already found my passion, so now I just need to go after it. But that's easier said than done.
I realize that everyone's lives are different. No one can begin to understand your unique circumstances and responsibilities that determine what someone needs to do to make ends meet. However, I do believe that everyone deserves a life they enjoy. Everyone is deserving of their dreams, and once you realize that this is your one and precious life to achieve them, it empowers you even more to seize the day.
That's why Fiverr has been such an incredible platform for freelancers around the world. Whether it's real estate, freelance writing, graphic design, or accounting (yes, I'm sure people are passionate about numbers), Fiverr offers you a unique space to earn a living doing what you love.
Don't wait until it's too late to make a change; sign up for Fiverr and start making a plan to create the life you want.