Close to half of millennials have side hustles, creating additional sources of income outside of their 9-to-5 jobs, according to Experian. Some pursue side gigs to supplement their primary income or to finance activities like traveling. For others, creative outlets and passion projects turn into income-generating businesses.
Side hustles can include driving for ride share companies, photography, teaching or consulting. According to NBC News, those with multiple jobs earn an average monthly income of $280-$1,390.
While social media encourages “getting the bag,” there’s a lot of work offline that goes into sustaining multiple incomes. Some of Charlotte’s hardest-working professionals and business owners shared with CharlotteFive how they manage it all.
(1) Leslie Bond
Senior technical support specialist and executive chef at Beyond Blessed Food Services Organization, LLC
CharlotteFive: Which local resources have helped you as a new business owner?
Bond: Charlotte SCORE has been a huge local resource. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps people start and grow their small businesses. I attended a workshop that outlined simple steps to starting a business. It gave me the blueprint on launching, sustainability, feasibility and other pertinent pieces of owning my own business.
CharlotteFive: It sounds like you started your side hustle with a good understanding of how to start and run a business. Being that you did not quit your day job, what have you found to be the most difficult part of balancing the two?
Bond: The most difficult part about owning a business and working for a company is addressing competing priorities. I love being the owner of Beyond Blessed and would love to do that full time at some point. However, my corporate job helps fund my business. I keep that in mind when I book clients and events so that it does not interfere with my corporate duties. Organization and planning are critical when balancing your own business and a day job.
(2) LaToya Evans
Corporate communications leader and executive and owner of LaToya Evans Public Relations, LLC
CharlotteFive: As a corporate executive, I’m sure your plate is already full. How did you find the time to start your own public relations firm?
Evans: My business was born accidentally and out of need. After doing PR in Corporate America for nearly 10 years, many friends – mostly politicians, and small business owners – would ask me for my opinion or to help them. I wanted to help my friends simply because I didn’t want them to hire someone who was inexperienced or not get the results they should, so I would do things here and there as a favor. After working on some political campaigns and projects for friends that got a lot of attention, the next thing I knew, I had a dozen or so people wanting me to work with them and offering to pay me just to get them started on the right foot outside of my corporate roles. Helping out ‘here and there’ became a business, even though it was never my goal.
CharlotteFive: In your corporate role, you are on call 24/7. How do you intentionally delegate to manage both your duties in corporate and in your PR firm?
Evans: I’m fortunate that corporate has taught me what true delegation is.
Delegation is thoughtful and about matching tasks with strengths and opportunities. I unfortunately believe that many ‘delegate’ incorrectly, which is why it hurts them more than helps their business. For me, I hire for specific skill sets that either mirror certain strengths of mine or are completely opposite from mine to fill certain gaps. A person who is able to ‘mirror’ one of my core strengths is a great proxy for when I’m unavailable. A person with a completely opposite skill set challenges the way of thinking and can fill gaps that would typically be outsourced. A person with a completely different skill set can also get things done while I work on what I’m best at.
(3) Lorri Lofton
Lending manager and owner of Gracefully 54:17 (pictured at top)
CharlotteFive: What apps/sites/tools do you use to help you stay productive and on track?
Lofton: My favorite app is Apphi. This app allows me to schedule posts on social media and see my page layout. This helps with my personal page,as well as my clients.
I have also replaced listening to music to listening to podcasts and audio books. My favorite podcast right now is “How I Built This.” It features conversations with founders of companies like Yelp, Shopify and Dyson. They share everything from how they started their companies to lessons learned. It keeps my head in the right mind space to keep going.
CharlotteFive: What advice would you give to someone considering starting a side gig while still working their day job?
Lofton: Go for it. If you don’t start, it will never feel like the time is right. So stop waiting for the ‘right time’. You will be tired, but it will be worth it. If you can work 8 hours/day for someone else’s company, you can invest 2 hours/day into your own.
(4) Christopher Peoples
Lead service attendant at Infiniti Lake Norman and a DJ
CharlotteFive: Most busy people will agree that there are not enough hours in the day. Between your day job and your side hustle, what one activity do you spend the most hours doing?
Peoples: Without a question, I spend the most time marketing. Being that social media is very popular, it’s imperative to create a solid social media presence and use your followers to your advantage. I consistently engage with my audience through my stories and interacting on posts. In turn, my followers recommend me to their friends and share flyers for my events. Networking in person is also key. I visit companies and meet with decision makers to learn about their business and to share the services that I offer. When it comes to your business you have to build relationships-both online and in person. Marketing is what keeps my calendar filled.