Side Hustle vs. Start Up Business

I have had so many friends and people who work for clients reach out to me and ask me “How did you get your business started? I really want to do the same thing, but have no clue what my business would be or how to do it, I just know that I was not meant to work for anyone.”

Cue all of the books related to “Working your passion.” It’s so cliche, but it is also so true. If you could do anything in the world right now – what would it be? If you could get paid for that, would you be working or having fun? When you can find a way to have fun every day rather than feel like you are working, that is how you’ll know if you indeed are “working your passion.”

Next is to figure out if your passion is something that the rest of the world needs (and that you can earn a nice living from). Sometimes it is better to start the process from a stand point of what do I know how to do that very few others know how to do and that I excel in. For instance, does your passion solve a problem that people in your community need? In my case, I worked in a marketing department in the manufacturing industry that had a target audience consisting mostly of men who hunt, fish and like guns. So my designs reflected that but I knew I could reach so many more industries if I had a chance. One of the areas that I kept hearing friends and colleagues mention that they wished they could afford was a website. I frequently designed what we referred to as “micro sites” which consisted of 5-10 pages of online mini websites. Once one of my mentors told me that my work was on or with large design firms, it got my wheels spinning. I didn’t immediately jump at the opportunity but after my husband was laid off from a job he worked for almost two decades, I knew I had to do something to offset the change in income. So I asked my doctor if he would like a new website designed free of charge (They say when you find something you are willing to do for free – you’ve mastered the ability to work your passion – however, I didn’t realize immediately that I was doing just that). My doctor said yes and then paid me $500 for the work. At the time, I tried to refuse the money, but my doctor insisted. I mentioned to my mentor what had happened and she told me I was crazy to only charge $500. When I told her, “but it’s so easy for me! I can’t possibly charge people for something that is easy and makes me that happy!” To which she replied, ” Do you honestly think it’s easy? Could your doctor have made it himself? Can you do what your doctor does easily? No – so you need to charge accordingly and get jazzed about your new work.” Wow – I still was hesitant, but I decided to do what the self help books told me. I leaned in and decided to ask people if they needed a website. I’d ask anyone who would listen and the next thing I knew I was designing a website for George Mason University College of Science. It was the largest website I had done yet and the fun part was that I got to do it in my spare time. It didn’t take me very long and the client told me it was the easiest migration of a web project they had ever done with a consultant, I continued to do this for about 8 years before I went full-time with my marketing firm. YOU can do this too! Start small, providing a service as a “side hustle” until you build a client list that can earn more income than your current job and viola!! You have a business that is more like a hobby that can earn you money to get you what you need in life.


What’s important is to LEAN IN when that moment comes. What that means is when you have the idea in your head that may be something you can turn into a business that can generate money, you need to grab it and start writing down all of  your thoughts. Eventually this will help when working on your business plan. Some of the early ideas usually have the best ones.

Stay tuned for more tips on how to live your passion. I will try to give more tips each month that I learned along the way. When you start, be sure to share your stories with me in the comments or by emailing us at

We can’t wait to hear about all of your success!

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