September’s 💵 Money Challenge 💵

I know. It’s Labor Day. The one day of the whole year which is supposed to be dedicated to not working. I get it. I also don’t care. Not because I’m evil or mean or a monster. Because I believe in Mark Cuban words: when the other guy is sleeping, you need to be busting your butt off.

I firmly agree with that.

So what better time than to get a jump on your week and finances than on a day when everyone else is ‘laxing it up?

We made August the month about zeroing in our income and expenses. And we even threw in a budget to better watch our money. I think September should be about designating our monies to savings account. We already said we’d budgeted it in.

So how much and how often? Or do you want to do the weekly savings challenge: your first week of savings, $1, your second week of savings, $2 and so forth and so on.

So how much are you willing saving, how often?

Side Hustlin’ Sunday: Virtual Assistant

I am unsure if I brought this up earlier, but I will expand on this further either way.

Virtual Assistant.

Now, I know of several companies that offer legit remote Virtual Assistant opportunities, but I feel like they all require you to get yourself or be vetted through the company you’re going through. I’m firm a believer that a side hustle shouldn’t be difficult to get started. So, if you found yourself in one these companies and had no luck getting clients, strike out on your own.

You can creat a website, Facebook page, a Craigslist posting or whatever it is to help you get the word out there. By all means, do so. But also narrow down your services and packages. I’ve done this in so many forms, I didn’t know what it was at the time, just that it paid.

How I did/do it – I still use this hustle from time to time – was simple:

  • List all the services I was willing to offer and complete. Nothing on the list could be something I hated doing. ‘Cause then I wouldn’t do it.
  • Have a fixed price for each service. I used a flat monthly fee. Example, my social media marketing service was $175. My research was service was $150.
  • Offer packages. Make it more appealing by offering some of your services together for a fair price. You can offer three services for $500 or something.
  • Make sure take a deposit up front. Keeps everyone honest and fills your pockets to help some of the cost, should there be any.
  • Offer payment options: Venmo, PayPal, Square app, cash, credit card, whatever you like and think your clients might use.
  • Get a commitment timeline from your client . One month is not a good show of faith for either you or the client. A 3-month minimum commitment is ideal.

If this is an appealing opportunity, find a way to make this work and even enjoyable for you.

Happy hustlin’!

Happy Friday: New Chapter

There is something about closing out a month that makes me feel like I’ve just finished a chapter in a book and am about to start another.

This last week alone has been a rollercoaster for me. Had an interview for job prospect in Beverly Hills. Disappointed a client. Have a referral to another client. Finished a short project for a client I’ve had for over five years. Just a lot taking place. A lot of it good. Some of it not.

Just hoping September and the rest of the year bring 10 times the amount of good I’ve experienced all year long.

To my fellow hustlers, Happy Friday. And may the next new chapter we start be exponentially rewarding.

Sometimes You Don’t Win Them All

Today I disappointed a client. A notary client. I was not able to keep my time commitment. And I feel shitty about it.

I called an Uber after Google mapping the client’s location and figuring that 30 minutes should be enough time to go 6.4 miles from where I was. And even when I saw it wasn’t, I sent him a text saying I would be an additional 10-15 minutes late because there was some sort of incident and police were rerouting traffic, causing more traffic. I was taking an Uber Pool Express so, of course, we had other passengers to pick up. However, those said passengers were behind the police yellow tape and we couldn’t to them. After a couple of failed attempts and a crowded 10 East freeway route later, my Uber drive dropped me off 15 minutes in the opposite direction of the client (those were some long ass blocks). Well, never having been to this part of town before, I’m all turned around. I’ve called and texted my would be client and he attempted to help me as he is unsure as to where I am. I’m now on foot trying to find his location. He then texts me that he needs leave by 5pm and asks for an ETA. I have no idea where I am. After trying to figure myself out, I call and send him a text apologizing that I would not be able to make it to see him.

I was late. And lost. And missed an opportunity.

And I feel horrible about that. What made it worse, but that he proceeded to call me and text me for over an hour telling me how upset he was with me. I haven’t listened to his voicemails as of yet, but I feel bad enough.

I failed someone and I don’t like it.

I mean, it took me four hours to write this, that’s how bad I felt. Still feel. Just replaying the latter half of my day in my head wondering what if I left work earlier or just took Uber pool instead of the Express.

Sometimes we don’t win them all and those losses suck.

August Money 💵Challenge 💵 #3

Okay, so we missed last’s week check-in on our money challenge, but that’s all right.  Consider that week an extra seven days to figure out your budget.  I mean, after all, I did say you would gonna need to look over some of your automated monthly subscriptions and decide what you didn’t need anymore and could live without.  And that may mean giving up some things you probably really wanted when you first got it.  But now that you have it — psssh, it’s just money down the drain.

So, we’ve written all out all our expenses and every thing we’re spending our hard earn money on.  Great.  Next, we worked on a budget to figure out which of those expenses we could live without to stop some of our money bleeding from our wallets, because money gone is no joke.   And having two weeks to figure out how badly we need our Netflix account was probably not enough time, especially for someone like me, who doesn’t have cable or satellite anymore.   I’m not glued to the television 24/7, when I want to watch a little TV, I’d like the option to be there.

Next and final step for August:  Deciding how much we want to save, for what purpose and into what accounts.  I personally have a 401K through my job I’ve been investing in for about two years now.  I have two savings accounts, one with a traditional bank – Chase — because access to my cash for immediate funds is easier to get a hold of than my internet bank account – Ally.  Why do I have both?  I think saving should be rewarding and Ally offers me 1.85% interest on my cash.  Now may not sound like a lot, but when banks like Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Chase are only offering something like 0.01%- 0.05%, my 1.85% begins to look pretty nice.  Why even bother have the Chase savings account then?  Well, it takes a few days to access my money from an internet bank without incurring an expedited fee.  Ask me how I know.  So, I have them both.   I wish I could get the best of a great return percentage on my money of an internet bank with the convenience and quickness of a national branch.  But that’s not aligned in the stars for me just yet.   And in addition, I have one of those robo-investment accounts through Acorns.  So, I have dollars saved all over the place serving different purposes for different goals.  But the point is, I have it saved.  I budgeted saving into my plan.  I don’t need DISH TV.  I do need a retirement plan.

So really begin to look at your money and see how it can better serve you.  And be honest with yourself as to how much you can save each month.  If you can save $100 or more, great!   If you can only save $25 or $50 a month, that’s still great.  Everybody’s got to start somewhere.  But you gotta start.  So, think about it.  How much can you save a month if you got rid of some of those unused monthly automate subscriptions?  Are you working to live in the present moment today or do you want to have a future someday independent and on your own terms?

Make Time for Friends

Hey, hustlers. Hope you’re enjoying this cooler summer Sunday afternoon. Just want to quickly check in and remind you all — hustling and starting a business isn’t easy, but what makes your journey and work more enjoyable is making time with friends.

I’m hanging out with a old employer turned friend in the Venice area of Los Angeles and the weather is great, people are out and about shopping and I realized how much I enjoy just taking a moment to enjoy spending time people I like. People whose company I enjoy. And we should all do that as often as time permits.

So if you haven’t made plans yet, please send a text or pick up the phone and call an old or nearby friend make time to hang out. It’ll lift your spirits!

Side Hustlin’ Sunday: Niche Writing

I talked about writing before as a side hustle. And it might’ve been in respect to résumé writing, because I’ve had my fair share doing that along with writing cover letters. But writing in general is a great income stream if you have a niche for an target audience in need.

Other writings that I’ve personally done that brought in income were:

  • Press Releases – living in LA makes this a very lucrative opportunity as just about anymore involved in the entertainment industry is trying to put themselves our there.
  • Social Media Curator – yes, this is a thing and a sought out thing. How is this writing? You will be writing the content for brands and companies social media posts. Trust me when I say they don’t write themselves.
  • Blogs – this writing very easily falls under social media, but is more labor intensive because blogs are much longer pieces content with SEO practices used and it has to be well written and attractive.
  • Books – ebooks, guides, how-to content, whatever it is, put it into a book. I’ve helped a number of people get self published but I’m finally working on my own. Currently writing book number two.

But don’t stop there. These are just the ones I’ve done. Depending on your background and experience, your writing experience can create opportunities with:

  • Drafting affidavits
  • Agreements and contracts
  • Letters of Intent
  • Slogans and sayings
  • Flyers and poster
  • Scripts for TV and movies
  • Teach a writing class

If you’re good with writing and want to earn a little sumthin’ – sumthin’ on the side, find one niche in the market and make it your own.

Happy hustlin’, my fellow hustlers!