blog » July 5, 2018 by Renee

How & Why to Start a Side Hustle With Career Coach Jessica Williams by Renee

Blog Entrepreneurs
5 years ago
How & Why to Start a Side Hustle With Career Coach Jessica Williams

Have you ever considered having a side hustle but did not know where to start? 30Seconds contributor, Jessica Williams, is a career coach at General Assembly and also the founder of Tech Biz Gurl – a side hustle empowering women to use technology to pursue their passions on the side. Recently recognized by Built in Chicago as one of the Top 50 Tech Influencers to follow, Jessica has helped dozens of women improve their online businesses using the power of technology. Jessica explained what a side hustle is, why you should start one, how to manage your time and how to practice self-care in the process! 

Q: What is a side hustle?

A side hustle is a way for you to earn extra income on the side of your day job. I also believe that a side hustle is a way for you to pursue something you are passionate about or launch a business in a low-risk way. You could do many things as a side hustle, it’ll just depend on your skills, what you’re passionate about or something that you have always been interested in trying.

Examples of side hustles could be health coaching, writing / proofreading, teaching, baking, selling your creations and blogging. You can also make money offering services or creating passive income opportunities through digital products or affiliate marketing.

Q: Why should you start a side hustle?

People start side hustles for a variety of reasons and it’s really important for you to get clear on your motivation before going on this journey. This will help you figure out the type of side hustle that makes the most sense.

  • You can start a side hustle as a way to earn extra money. Perhaps you want to supplement your day job income and pay off your student loans or credit card debt or use it as travel money.
  • When I started my side hustle, it was a creative outlet – a way to pursue something I was passionate about on the side. If you’ve always been passionate about writing or speaking, this could be a great way to start.
  • Side hustles are also a great way to pursue a business idea in a low-risk way. This way you can test ideas, evaluate different income streams and then make the leap to full-time when you are at a more stable place in your business.

Q: Does your day job know about your side hustle?

I have had a few different day jobs since I started my side hustle. I’ve always made a point to be up front and transparent about it. I list my business on LinkedIn and my resume as well, so it is visible to everyone. But this will depend on you and where you work. Before you start a side hustle, I would advise you to check with your HR department to get clear on whether you can start something on the side and what those requirements might be. Most often HR will ask for you to disclose the side hustle and document the hours you’ll be working on the biz to make sure that it is something that will not happen on company time or a conflict of interest.

Q: What are some of your favorite tech tools for your side hustle?

I could talk about this all day! Tech definitely makes my side hustle life easier. I use  Gsuite to manage my mail, Google Docs, Sheets and Slides on my own domain. I use Buffer to manage my social media and Missinglettr to create social media campaigns based on my blog posts. Other faves are Calendly for online scheduling, Feedly for keeping up with tech news and following some of my favorite bloggers, and Revue for my “Jess Picks” newsletter.

Q: What are your time management tips for juggling the side hustle and day job?

  • Be realistic about the time you can spend on your side hustle. One thing that helps me is taking a weekly calendar and blocking all my commitments: work, sleep, etc. Take a look at what's left over and figure out the times you can work on your side hustle.
  • Make use of wait times. There are lots of time we are waiting for things, like doctor's appointments, prescriptions, trains and things, you can use that time to work on your business, return client emails, catch up on social media, draft a quick blog post.
  • Timers! Sometimes when I’m working on my side hustle, I set a timer for five- or 10-minute intervals. It keeps me focused and helps me get things done. It’s amazing what you can get done in a few intentional minutes! 
  • Understand when your energy is at its highest and you are at your most productive. Use that time to work on your side hustle. If you’re an early bird (like me) try to carve out some of that time to work on your side hustle. Same if you are a night owl.

Q: What is one piece of advice you’d share with current or aspiring side hustlers?

  • Baby steps are key. As a side hustler, it’s not about these big pockets of time. It’s about making the most of those 15- and 30-minute chunks in your day. Consistent action over time is the way to go.
  • This is the time to experiment. Your basic needs like rent and bills are covered by your day job so your focus does not have to be on getting rich with your side hustle right away.
  • If you want to teach, you can start with a small five-person class at your house. If you want to start coaching, coach five folks over the phone for free. If it doesn't work out, that’s OK. You can try something different next time.
  • Figuring out what you don't like to do is just as important as figuring out what you do like to do. Take a baby step here and a baby step there, and you'll get clarity along the way. Learn as you go.

Q: How do you practice self-care?

Self-care has become a bit of a buzzword lately and I define it as ways that I’m taking care of myself. One major part of my self-care is having a wind-down routine before bed that normally involves reading or coloring.On weekends, I also try to minimize the amount of work I’m doing and really use the time to give my brain a rest.

Self-care as a side hustler has to be even more of a priority because the risk of burnout for us is even higher. We are often working a full eight-hour day and going home to work an extra two to three hours. So, it’s important to build in time to recharge. I still haven't found an exercise routine I can stick with. The struggle is real, but I do love to walk and try to hit 7500 steps every day. The key there is to find a way to add some movement to your day.

Be sure to follow @techbizgurllike her on Facebook, visit and read her 30Seconds tips!

Meredith Schneider
So can't wait to hear what Jessica Williams has to share with us. See everyone Wednesday! :-)
Toni B
Sounds like a great topic! See you tomorrow night
Cindy H.
This will be so awesome! CAn't wait to learn more! RSVP'd Cindy H.
Chef Gigi
What a great informational chat tonight! TYSM!

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