Working 5 to 9: It Happens

On Monday of this week, I made plans to meet a notary client between 7:30am and 8:00am on Tuesday, as I was not able to meet him Monday afternoon. I was busy. Actually having a life. Plus, I didn’t have my notary journal or stamp on me. So I needed to reschedule. And in our text communication, I agreed to the time set on Tuesday and he agreed as well. I also explained that I would text him when I was leaving and when I arrived that morning. He liked the sound of that.

So when yesterday morning rolls around, I shoot him a text letting him know I was headed his way. Then, 15 minutes after I sent the text, he responds asking how much will the total be for the notary services. I tell him the notarization is $15, but my travel is $25. He then responds, “the bank charges $15”. I said, so do I but I also charge a travel fee since I’m traveling to you. He thought we agreed to a $20 fee. Nothing in our text ever said I agreed to $20 fee for everything. He thought I was really going to accept $5 for traveling 13 miles out of my way to him.

He said he couldn’t pay that while I was in my Uber on my way to him. Frustrated at this point, I just texted back “thank you.”. He then said no worries, like he was really doing me a favor and asked if he could save my number. I, in turned, saved his as well… so I know never to respond to him in the future.

Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

But it happens. Working with clients on our own isn’t going to be perfect and rainbows and sunshine all the time. We’re going to get people who are a disappointment. Who cost us more money to work with them than not to. Who don’t commit or poorly communicate. It happens. It’s part of the process. It’s how we learn how to do what we do better.

So even though he cost me $9.95 in fare money, I take this as a lesson learned experience. It’ll happen. The not so good clients will come and I will still have to roll with those punches.

Working 5 to 9: Don’t Share Your Aspirations With Everyone

There’s something about having big goals or dreams that puts people in an uneasy state with you, particularly if it’s not their big goal or dream. I wouldn’t call this jealosuy or envy right away, but definitely an opposition. I’ve learned a few times with different people not to share my lofty goals or aspirations.

I had a coworker, neither she or I work at the former company anymore, who told me she would never work as hard as I do. There’s nothing that she would ever want in this life to make her hustle they way I was. What was funny about her statement was I knew her boyfriend and he was, probably still is, a hustler. He was working, seriously like three jobs. The two of them lived together split their rent and bills down the middle and even had a joint checking account (unmarried and in their 20s, girl, yes). But she was content with her one job and one income stream. Her boyfriend obviously wasn’t.

I’m obviously not. YOU’RE obviously not. That’s why we hustle. At least, that’s one reason.

Sharing with her wasn’t a bad move. Neither was sharing with any of the others, not entirely. Not at first. At first, people seemed to want to have a hustle of their own too and wanted my help creating one. Awesome! But, when I would try, they would hit me with excuse after excuse as to why they couldn’t start right now. It was like I was getting pumped for information and having the life sucked out of me. Later, perhaps, it grew into an envious mindset. After all, I was the only one who wouldn’t complain about money all the time, even though there were others who were making more of it than myself. Because a side hustle helps you generate more money.

And it removes the desperate factor from your life. It takes away your money urgencies. That need you have for more money all the time. You may still feel that at times, but the truth is if you have an active side hustle, you don’t need money as bad as many of your counterparts. And they see that. They see you hustle but not struggle like them and that doesn’t sit well with some people. Some people want you in the same boat as them. Misery loves company.

I’ve learned that. So I don’t tell new people and even others who I haven’t told already that one day I plan on being wildly and successfully self employed. That’s my big goal. That’s what I’m hustling for.

Working 5 to 9: When You Don’t Control a Resource

Where are all the cars?

If you’ve been keeping up with the Uber IPO news of late, you know that Uber is set to go public this Friday, May 10th. And the company is looking at a $90 billion valuation. But more importantly, that their drivers are striking today in about a dozen major cities in protest to cut wages and longer hours.

If you’ve been keeping up with me, you know I use Uber frequently for my notary business. It’s how I get around Los Angeles to all my clients. It’s how I’ve gotten to clients in areas I typically don’t service, but thanks to Uber, I could. But in light of the strike today, I’m down a resource that’s beyond my control.

How does that work?

The short version: I would not be available to see clients today, if requested. Couldn’t I just take the bus? Yes, I could. But depending how far I’m going, my commute to the client would be longer than the both of us would like and I may be traveling to an area that’s not all that safe.

Typically, whenever something like this happens, as someone who side hustles, it’s my job to find an alternative solution. My alternative solution could be to use Lyft. But they too are striking today. I could find another ride sharing service. I could take the bus to clients who are closer. However, just like I have no control over the Uber and Lyft strike, I have no control over the location of clients.

So they best I could is hope this strike doesn’t last longer than today and that I don’t have a super in need client.

Has anyone else been in a similar pickle with their business or side hustle?

Working 5 to 9: Do The Work

“Seek Help”, I know, I know. Cue in a politically incorrect joke here. But I don’t mean mental help, but help-help. Assistance. Advice. Resources. Money. That kind of help. Work first, then ask for assistance second. Meaning, do the work first, whatever is before you start asking others for help.

People who pitch to investors have some balls (or vagina) on them especially if all they have is an idea. How is it possible to get people to give you money for a idea you haven’t even created yet? I mean, I have lots of ideas. Where is the money?

In my experience, people won’t help you or offer their knowledge and resources until you show them you’ve got something worthwhile going already. There’s no, “I got an idea”. Are you kidding me? I come from a place where that’s how friendships and families get torn apart. Over someone asking for money for something they couldn’t prove they needed it for. And it was never a business related request, so I could only imagine how much more worse those fall out could have been.

But I learned that lesson from my step dad years ago. I had returned home from a college with an business idea I’d be working on with some friends and I was trying to rope him to providing some financial assistance. But he wouldn’t. He wanted me to first show him the viability of the idea and if we already had some traction.

WTF? Who is you?!

But I get it now. I understand why he thought that and was hesitant to be involved. I was asking for a handout for an idea and I hadn’t done any of the real work. I had nothing to give him for his investment other than a promise of a hypothetical ROI. How did he know if that business idea would be viable, sustain, grow or would dismantle? He didn’t. And neither did I until I started putting in the work. I ended up not even finishing that project a year or two after returning from college. My friend Nick runs everything for the time being but I am minusculely involved, to say the least.

Don’t get upset with those who don’t see your vision if you haven’t shown them the work. Would you drop everything to help someone who hadn’t begun with putting an idea to paper? Would that be the best use of your time and resources? We talk about what we want done and what it’s going to look like when everything is completed. But we also have to being willing to be the first one on the front lines and work before we receive any kind of help. We need to show others we’re here for ourselves before someone else is willing to stand with and for us.

Working 5 to 9: Hustle Anyime

I was on the bus yesterday morning headed to work and a man got on the bus through one of the back doors with a wagon full of essential oils. He was selling them as an alternative to perfume and other fragrance options. He said a general hello to the rest of the passengers on the bus then sat down. I got off before he did, so I never knew where he was going, but it didn’t matter. He was already at work.

He was hustlin’. And for us who are consistent with the hustle, we know it never quits. We may say we’re gonna have a little side hustle after work and on our off hours, but we get the hustle in whenever we can. Nighttime, daytime, anytime, we are hustlin’!

I don’t know if I’ll ever find myself selling oils or whatever else can be transported in some tote or wagon, but sometimes we gotta step outside what seems normal to earn a little extra money. And we gotta work when the opportunity presents itself. Think of the people at the promenades. Whether they’re pretending to be still as a statue, move robotically or perform magic tricks, they’re all working out side our normal comfort zones. And doing it during prime hours.

Hustlers are different. We’re not like everyone else. Because deep down, we don’t want what everyone else is willing to settle for. That’s why we hustle.

Working 5 to 9: Keeping Company Among Good Energy

I’m a big advocate for building a tribe. I talk about it as work but I also talk about it among my tribe, ironically enough, because I believe so whole-heartedly in having people in our lives that we vibe with. I think it’s important that we have people who understand us and share our ambitions. This dual lifestyle we live isn’t easy. Juggling everything all the time isn’t fun or delightful. And those that aren’t hustling or don’t have a side gig would simply tell us to stop if we’re so tired, or so overwhelmed, or so confused or whatever else we feel so often. But they don’t understand the “why”.

They see someone doing too much and do they say stop. We see someone doing too little and ask why they haven’t started. And then we have a clash of energies. And we do clash with people who don’t get it. We clash with people who aren’t striving for similar self-rewarding goals. They’re just doing enough to get by. That’s fine for them. But obviously, that’s not fine for us. Which is why we hustle. We grind. We strive. We aim. Yet, we also need to understand it isn’t fine to be around the energy of those that do too little.

I don’t know who said it, but I heard that it’s easier to be influenced to do less and give up than it is to do more and achieve. Probably because most people aren’t big on achieving. A lot of people as they get older stop setting goals. They stop making plans. If you want to achieve anything, you need to keep setting goals. You need to keeping aiming for something. People who just want to get by doing the bare minimum have no goals. They have no direction. And they are worst kind of energy to be around.

At least for high achievers and hustlers. See, we have a reason and a purpose for what we do. So when someone tells us to stop, it’s because they are tired of comparing themselves to us. And if we stop working so hard, were just like them. Executing the bare minimum and accepting less from ourselves.

Ladies, don’t. I don’t care who’s telling you to stop or you’re doing too much. Keep up the hustle. You got your reasons and you have your goals. Just focus on that. And those bad energy people, just gently nudge them away. They’re not ready to see success. And don’t they need to be tearing down yours.

Working 5 to 9: The Important Things

I met up with a friend of mine from the old job this past Monday to catch up on everything. We hadn’t seen each other since January of this year. And to add a little nostalgia to our get -together that evening, we had dinner at one of out favorite ramen places in K-Town.

So we gabbed and talked and shared and laughed the night away, but as women typically do, we started talking about some of the more intimate details taking place in our lives. For my friend, it was working on her master’s degree and spending time with her boyfriend. For me, it was finding time to spend with people. And as we were talking about how we went about these important things, she remembered that how I hustling all the time and wanted to know if I still had all these “side things” going on.

But, of course! Her next question was as to how? On paper, it does seem like a lot is going on with me: new full time job, part time business, marketing the part time biz, side gigs in marketing in general, this blog and a book I just recently finished writing. In reality, I don’t work on all of this every day. That would be exhausting and almost impossible. I chop of my tasks through out the week so they are more manageable for me.

I schedule myself to write twice a week. I only perform a notarization when called. Usually, I create my marketing content on those occasions. I work five days a week at my job. I’ve been taking on other gigs from repeat clients or referrals only this year. And all this maneuvering around allows to do one the important things. Spend time with the people who matter to me.

I think it’s very important to have a life even when you’re side hustling. And when I say have a life, I don’t mean go to the movies or hanging out at bars. I mean making time for people. Keeping up with your connections. Checking in on people. Spending time people. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing.

Working 5 to 9: Is It Too Much?

I preach so much about how important or freeing it is to have a side hustle that I often forget or ignore the fact that maybe the reason most people don’t have a side hustle is because they don’t want one. I often assume the reason someone doesn’t posses a side hustle is because they dont know of the possibilities a side hustle and the extra income it can offer. What if everyone is aware and only few people seek out side hustling because at the end of the day, a full time job and a side hustle is just too much?

I’m a single woman. And by single I mean I’m not married. I have no husband (or partner if I wanna be P.C. about it), I have no kids, no mortgage, no children’s college I’m funding or ill older parent I’m caring for. A side hustle was made for someone like me. Someone who can remain focused on themselves. Someone whose priority is just them. What if you’re not single? What if you got little ones running around the house? Or a spouse whose income you rely on to help support the mortgage and the bills? Can you still have a side hustle, your full time job and your life?

The technical answer is yes. But the question is, do you want to? Do you want to juggle something else on your plate willingly? Do you want take on odd jobs and gigs. You want to use your spare time on other “work”. I can’t answer that for you. But you know whether or not you could and if the rewards would be worth your time.

So even though this blog is dedicated to the single woman out there hustling to pay her bills and save for that Spain vacation, I want to acknowledge the moms and caregivers who’ve thought about taking on gigs to supplement their income or expand their skill set. I know you have a lot on your plate and you’re taking care of priorities bigger than yourself. You’re not forgotten. You’re just hustlin’ in your own way.

And maybe your answer is yes. You’re willing to use the quiet in the morning when everyone is asleep to start your hustle. Or after you put the kids to bed. Maybe… you just need a little push. If it’s not too much.

Working 5 to 9: Just Enjoying the Moment

So my last day at a job I didn’t like working for company that couldn’t care less was this past Monday. Yes, we were open on President’s Day and no, we’ve never received any holiday pay for coming in or shorter hours for the slower pace of work. But now I’m free of that. Free from my coworkers — bye, bye Mimi, the office snitch — free from my employer. I’m free from my supervisor who enjoys switching my schedule at her whim as if I don’t have a life outside of the company. I’m free from the kind of work I hate. I’m free from colleagues throwing one another under the bus. I’m free from poorly supported software platforms that constantly malfunction. I’m free from appreciation lunches but no raises. I’m just free.

So, yesterday I got to see for myself what people do in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. And what I learned is that they do whatever they want. Now I enjoyed this all day yestersay and will be enjoying this for another day as I start my new job on Friday and it is a spectacular feeling. To be in the moment. To relish and enjoy the moments presented in front of us. It’s hard to do — for me, at least– much of the time.

That’s what I disliked most about my old job. There were never moments I enjoyed other than clocking out. I came to resent going to work. I tried meditating in the morning, I tried practicing gratitude including the fact I had a job that allowed me to cover my bills. I tried working out before I went to work to get me pumped up. But, none of it worked. Nothing I did helped me digest my job or the compnay.

Until I sent my resignation letter.

That was the best feeling ever! And from that moment on, I’ve just been enjoying the seconds that past, the thoughts that run across my mind. I’ve enjoyed letting go of something that was drilling away at my spirit and embraced a new opportunity.

That’s been the best moment of my week.

Working 5 to 9: Pockets of Time

Right now, right now (ish)… I am in a meeting with a client of mine I’ve been working with since 2013. We’re meeting a Starbucks in the Pico-Robertson area. And I’m not suppose to be at work (my 9 to 5) for another hour and half. And it’s like this. Often enough.

I’ve talked about hustling around your schedule and finding times to meet with client. But I live that life. I negotiate with clients not just with fees but when to meet. Because, yes, it would be more convenient for them to meet at one o’clock in the afternoon. I would like that too. But I’m working. At a job that covers the bills. And I’m not ready just yet to jeopardize that job for a client whose fees may cover one bill. Not there yet. So I have to comprise. I have make time even when I rather be sleeping in.

So here I am at Starbucks meeting my client after her kids’ carpool drop off and before she has to meet one of her clients. Just another day in the life of.

Know this feeling?