Inside the Hustle

Waiting for Ms. Renee here at the Ace Hotel/ Best Girl Restaurant in Downtown Los Angeles. She was a guest speaker at one of the programs we ran at my job. She reached out to me about two weeks ago asking to meet about a writing project. We tried to meet up last Wednesday, but due a work event the following day and a client from work, so we’ve reschedule for today. She is an independent beauty consultant and has her own business here in Los Los Angeles.

And I’m not too sure what to expect, but I’m excited. Will keep you updated!

This Week’s Goal: … (What About That Book?)

I wanted to be like, “I finished my book and it’s on Amazon. Please go buy!” But right now I am having some serious publishing blues. And, as a result of Amazon. For those who’ve ever used KDP or KPD, or whatever it’s called, can feel my pain. When you upload your manuscript, they spew this crap about how it doesn’t fit inside the pages according to their specs. Which means you have to go back and edit. Having forgotten this headache this first time I published my book of poetry, I spent earlier this year trying to size the layout just right. As a result, I lost the word format and it had the PDF and noticed I needed to make more edits.

Well…!

Converting a PDF to Word, is not an easy feat despite the number of ads stating their free and easy process. LIES!!! All lies. They failed to mention software incompatibly (in some cases), document delayed response time – my biggest issue now. And the additional frustration you’ll face when you think you’re so close, but really aren’t.

But I really want to share my book with you. I do. So, bare with me. Maybe in another seven days I will finally have a win in this department and have some good news. I’m trying here. But you know what they say…

Anything worth doing will not be easy.

(Now, I did look into Fiverr in regards to paying someone to convert my file for me and I came across two issues: (a) no one stated that they could convert more than 20 ot 25 pages and (b), a book based on using your resources to create a secondary income stream made this feel like a cop-out. If I could create two or three income streams, surely I could figure this out, right? )

Working 5 to 9: You Got To Be Creative Everyday

“Creativity” is one of those artisans words that when people hear, they either believe they’re creative or they believe they’re not. Some years ago, I had a film prop creator tell me that everyone’s creative. Whether they tap into their creativity is another thing. And I believe that to this day. We all possess creativity, some more than others, but the raw talent or skill is there. And when and how we use it depends on us.

And there’s no better evidence of this than in a startup CEO and someone who has a side hustle. And there’s no better way to push yourself to see what your creativity looks like than when your livelihood is on the line.

Now, as a side hustler, you may not feel exactly like your livelihood is on the line, but depending how closely you’re living paycheck to paycheck, it can just about feel that way. So being creative with what you have and how you use it is no different than creating a masterpiece that will hang on a wall in someone’s home. It just looks different and serves a different purpose.

Take the picture above of the person who taped their business cards around a traffic light pole. Most people hand out their business cards or leave them in an office with high foot traffic. “Normal” ways, right? This person chose an alternative, creative way of getting their business cards out with the resources they had.

And that’s it. That’s what it means to be creative. Working with the medium you have or that’s been provided, you can be more creative with your side hustle or future endeavors than you ever imagined. You already have all the creativity you need to get started right now.

Stay Motivated: Check-In With Your Tribe

I’ve been guilty of drowning in my own mess of stuff that I forget to check in on other people who I enjoy having in my life, who I value and who I consider to be a part of my tribe. I make excuses trying explain or justify that I gotta just do me. That something something came up. Or, maybe I just avoid calling the person. But we, as women, are not only great communicators. We are extremely empathetic and sympathetic. For us not to be in touch with one another is a great loss to our connection.

So since everyone (ideally) is checking the bank accounts, how much they’re saving and the improvements their budgets could use, check in on your friends. Check in your loved ones. Definitely check in on your tribe! Make sure they’re doing all right. Offer yourself to their aid. Make yourself available in the near future. Your tribe is in your life for a reason and not just to bounce ideas off, but to bond. To share experiences. To connect.

If you haven’t sent that text, or Instagram message or email. Do so. Most people my age don’t call. But I do, because I play an adult in real life. So I also call. I do my best to remind myself that just like I have days I get caught up. The same applies to them.

So, check in on your tribe. Make sure everything is good with them. Connect. You’re on each others team for a reason.

Money Matters: Budget Check-In

All right, ladies. Let’s open those banks apps and see how much money we’re working with for the rest of June. And more importantly, checking in to see if we’re on track for the rest of the year. I hope many of you are and if you’re aren’t, let’s talk about it.

Well….let’s plan for it, at least.

For me, I’ve always wanted to have a spare $1,000 in the bank for an emergency. Y’know, a rainy day fund. And surprisingly, I don’t have that yet. Working on it, but not completely there. I have more than that in my dream home fund. Much more than that in my IRA (I converted my 401k from the old job). More than that in my checking account. But surprisingly, just a few hundred bucks in my savings.

Why?

Chase, where I have my emergency savings account with, is only offering 0.01% for accounts with less than either $5,000 or $25,000. Something like that. In other words, Chase wants be to believe I’m earning interest on my money by offering one percent of a penny. What the hell! So… the extra funds that I’ve accumulated have been moved to my dream home fund, with Ally Bank, and they give me 2.20%. The difference is like night and day.

But that’s no excuse not to save for an emergency. So, by the end of the year I will have met more than that $1,000 emergency fund goal. And it’ll just sit there till I need to use it. In addition, I’ve been cutting back on my Uber and Postmates spending. Which got out of control in April and May. And I’m saving to lease a new car by next month with Fair.

So, I’m making some traction with my short term financial goals. How about you?

Inside the Hustle: Connecting With Other Like Minds

Sitting here at this really unique and inviting coffee shop near the corner of 6th Street and Shatto Place called Cafe Mak. Meeting up again with Nina from NextDoor, a freelance writer I’ve been communicating with over the past couple of weeks. She’s working on her resume for a writing opportunity in the beauty industry. And me — just happy to be out of the house, although it’s a wonderfully chill Sunday afternoon.

I’ve made a commitment this month to get our more and meet new people and stay connected to the ones that matter. So, far so good.

Met up with Felicia last Thursday in Leimert Park after our company event, since she lives near there. Planning to meet Chamian Downtown this upcoming Wednesday. And if Kelvyn reaches out to me this week, I’ll see if he’s available to mee this Friday after 3pm. He may actually be a client. So, fingers crossed on that prospect meeting. I do have to meet up with Federico next Sunday to complete the website review. It’s going have to be around 1pm as I have my Discount Notary Day that morning and I am already committed to it.

But, yeah. Connecting to people as of lately has been very nurturing to my soul. Don’t get me wrong, I can get “peopled out” too, where I just need to be away from everyone. But stepping outside of my walls and connecting to like minded people has many rewards.

Anyone wanna meet up?

Happy Friday: Transformative Experiences

I just successfully had my first big event at my “new” job. And I was told horror stories of how it was in the past and the expectations of what it could be. But none of that saw light. Not a single moment or horror or crazy mishap transpired and I am thrilled that everything went so smoothly. But, more importantly, that I’ve had this experience. Both, professionally and personally.

This event, which had been in the making before my joining the organization, seemed to be the very backbone of all our fundraising events. But there was prep. Lots and lots of prep. And that’s what made everything work and come together so easily.

And that’s an amazing feeling. Perhaps not one I feel often, or hadn’t felt often enough in my previous employment roles, so it’s still strange and new to me. But, it does feel incredible despite it also being alien. And I’m just taking mental notes. Of what this feels like, looks like and becomes. So when the time comes for me to have amazing transformative experiences, I know what to expect.

We’re half way through June ladies, which means we’re just about halfway through the year. And I wish that each and every one of you has an amazing transformative experience – if you haven’t had one already, or get the chance to experience another one — where everything just seems to come together so naturally.

Happy Friday.

WHEN: Your Game Face Is All About Crushing It

Oh, I’m so tired right now. Legs hurt, arms sore. And my left shoulder is experiencing a pain like no other as a result of today’s constant lifting and moving. Lifting and moving, you ask? We’re hosting a breakfast fundraiser event tomorrow and we got most of the preparations completed today to make light work tomorrow. That meant me crawling inside of a U-Haul van and stacking 220 canvas gift bags. And a box of centerpieces.And the entire time, I smiled. I smiled not because I was at work and it’s my job to be all smiley and happy. But my game face is positivity. And smiling is apart of that. Laughing is apart of that. And when you’ve got a mountain of work and only a limited amount of helping hands, you gotta put your game face on.Power through it. When it seems like the odds are high and the work is tough — and we all know what that feels like — put your game face on! It’s easier said than done, but practice makes improvement.

This Week’s Goal: Finally Publishing My Book

Okay. I’m coming off of hiatus and shifting things back into gear.

No pressure, right?

I was suppose to have my book published earlier this year back in April, but was having trouble with converting the layout specifications and making sure it looked how I wanted it too look. But since none of that was going according to plan, I took a break. Then stayed on break. No more.

NO MORE.

What was the point of me writing this booking if I was never going to publish and it share it with the world? A waste of an opportunity. So, I’m giving myself seven days to do what I’ve put on the back burner for about two months to complete. Nervous? Yes. Excited? Hell, yes.

And although I want this finished product to be perfect, I don’t expect it to be. But I definitely want it to be out there for readers’ consumption. And it can never be that if I never publish it. So… fingers crossed that I encounter less bumps and headaches finishing the final steps. And this time – for real – I’ll let you know when it’s available.