The Money Matters: Create a Recession Hustle

A recession is coming, are you financially prepared?

If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, you’ve probably heard reports that a recession is lurking in 2021. Now Trump and his administration are saying that’s not true. They’re saying the economist experts are wrong. The economy is strong as well as the labor market. And they’re right… except for the fact a recession is coming despite the markets right now (or as a result of, depending how you look at it). And it’s probably not going to be anything like the recession we faced in 2007/ 2008, but an economic dip is on the horizon.

Let’s just use some basic high school education here to explain why a recession is headed our way. History, a subject every American was required to take in high school, shows that it often repeats itself, but more importantly, economic dips and recessions are normal. They’re patterns. It’s how the market corrects itself. Fine. Don’t like history (I didn’t either till later in life)? How about physics? One Newton’s laws states that what goes up, must come down. Okay, I’m dumbing that down a bit much, but basically what it’s stating is that a object will stay in motion until an opposing force of equal force is exerted on it. The object is the economy/ inflation and the force is the market correction. The cost of goods, services and living has steadily increased over the past 5 years because the force of the market hasn’t yet corrected itself.

I was gonna jump to math if you weren’t a physics fan, but I’m not here to battle why there will be a recession. I’m here to help you get prepared for it. And if one never comes, well then guess what? You have a stash of extra money you’ve been growing over this coming year. Otherwise, hustle. Your “recession” hustle is going to be different than your regular hustle as it’s going to be an independent service from one that you’re already offering now. I’m deciding on whether or not I want to do résumés for people or proof read and edit documents.

Editing, for me is easier, but the need for resumes is greater which means more business. More money, essentially. Hey, I could do both. But what makes the recession hustle different or possibly have a greater impact on increasing your finances? It’s gonna be more cut and dry. No package tiers or multiple offers. You’ll market it the same way and provide samples of your services, portfolio if necessary. And you’ll do far less negotiating. Prospect clients will either take your offering as is or not all. This hustle doesn’t have time for the nitty gritty back and forth. Technically, neither do you.

We have 4 months left in 2019 so it’s imperative that you squeeze in an extra hustle if can. If you can’t? Then the hustles you’re already performing need to go hard. You need to find more creative places and platforms to market your hustle. Reach out to more people. Connect offline more frequently. You need to dig out every tool and assest under your belt. Make this time matter.

Too many of us were caught off guard by the last recession.  I was working in a department store in college and was laid off because of low sales as a result of the recession.  Lost my little part time. I was living off campus and supporting myself at the time. So, I felt that lack of income deeply and immediately. I never want to feel that again. Neither should you.

Inside the Hustle: Website Building

Sitting here with Federico working in his website for his busineds: Serrao Cabinets. This project I’ve been working slowly on because I am on his schedule. Which, I like. I use to rush clients because I needed to get paid because I had such a horrible job – ICT – but not anymore.

Now, I take my time, I go at my client’s pace. Sometimes I go a little slower, but no need to rush. Because I make sure I have a manageable rotation of clients to keep me busy and paid.

A Single Woman’s Guide to Side Hustling

I am over the moon to announce my upcoming book “A Single Woman’s Guide to Side Hustling “. This was a year long project I’ve been working on and I’m excited to be releasing it with the world. Or, you know, a handful of readers. I decided last year to write something for all of my would-be side hustlin’ ladies and now that the project is complete, I cannot wait to share with you.

I get real about my life experiences, people in my life and what I’ve done/do to make my side hustles worth my time. I hope you’re able to purchase a copy. I’ll have an eBook and hard copy version available. And would love to hear your honest feedback once you had a chance to read it.

It’ll be published and available for purchase at the end of April. Yay!

Hard Work Ahead

Yes, there will be. That is, hard work ahead.

And short hours on sleep. Late nights working on projects. Negotiations with clients. Following up with clients and quality assurance. Marketing tactics and strategies. Growing pains. A shrinking social circle. A desire to sleep and stay in. Shorter sleep. Less personal time. Constant emails. Dozens of text. Scheduling of phone calls. Invoices and statements. The tracking of payments. Increased local travel. Brainstorming sessions. Conference calls. Website up dates. Ask for reviews and recommendations. Networking events. Handing out business cards. Follow-up calls. Thank you notes.

Yes, there will be hard work ahead. But, as they say. No risk, no reward.

You ready?

Working 5 to 9: Finding the Time

The biggest excuse among most of us is time.

“We don’t have enough time”, “we can’t find the time to do this or that”, “where did the time go?”  Time seems to be this invisible enemy we’re all racing against to get shit done.  Whether we’re just rushing out the door to make it to work on time or trying to see if it’s worth our time to run to the store today after work, after that client or sometime later this week.  And for our lady hustlers out there, finding time to meet with and work with clients, time is a b*tch! (Forgive my political incorrectness here, it just happens to be a part of my vernacular.  Sorry, not sorry).

Rather, the lack of time is a b*tch.

I don’t know if you’ve heard or read those memes where they name some celebrity (Beyonce comes to mind) and they compare the whole world to this one person (forgetting that high profiled celebrity has an entourage of people at their beck and call) saying that this person has the same 24 hours in the day as we do and they get their shit done.  Not too  sure if this is meant to guilty trip us or motivate.  It’s questionable.  And, yeah, that’s true.  But, like us too, many of those A-List actors and performers had normal jobs or normal lives prior to their current status and had to find time in their normal days to make it as big as they’ve become.

They too had to find the time.

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My dearest fried, Elissa, sent me this photo/ quote from a book she’s reading  few days ago.  And yes, shame on me for not asking what book this was from, I’ll ask her later, but as you can see she clearly circled a passage that talks about time:

Look for windows of time just for you, and use them in small and creative acts.  Get to the record store at lunch hour, even if only for fifteen minutes.  Stop looking for big blocks of time when you will be free.  Find small bits of time instead.

Time is no longer an excuse any more, unless we allow it to be.  You don’t need a lot of time to start and even work on your hustle.  Granted, a lot of time would be nice, but do know how much you could get done in 60 minutes versus 24 hours if you knew that 60 minutes was never going to come around again?  And essentially, it won’t.  Not those same 60 minutes.  Maybe not even those same uninterrupted 60 minutes.

You and your hustle or your dreams or goals or plans or whatever you’re calling it in 2019 can go far if you just find the smaller blocks of time and use them to your best advantage.  Going forward, I want Wednesdays to b about the work we do for ourselves, not our bosses, not again some time clock (another enemy) from the hours of 5pm -9am.

So, today or any other day this week, how will you use your small chunks of time to start your hustle or take it to the next level?

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’!

Side Hustlin’ Sunday: Photographer

I think this is a side hustle I’ve been a little leery about sharing, not because I don’t believe it can’t be a lucrative side hustle, but because the market is so heavily saturated. I mean, I can think of five people I know personally who are self proclaimed photographers, regardless of how successful their hustle may be. And I love photography. I love taking pictures, even if it’s on my smartphone. I mean, there are dozens of apps out there dedicated to art of taking pictures.

But when people think of photography as a way to make money, they think photo shops, weddings, big production events because that’s where the money is. But how does one break into an industry where there is so much competition? Look for other niche markets.

Such as…?

Maybe you can be a business photographer. Companies need someone to professionally take of their business location for their website or social media. Or take pictures for a local digital magazine. Or…create your own.

Sites like Foap will pay you for your photos. In other words, in a market so competitive, find opportunities that aren’t. After all, the best side hustles are finding markets whose needs have not been met.

Stay hustlin’!

PTHS Tuesday: Division, Subtraction and Addition

Part Time Hustle Struggle: Time is the answer and equation involves division, subtraction and addition.

I find that the subtraction and addition become easier to pinpoint when I become more focused, but the division gets a little tricky.

It’s easy to begin to subtract what is not important in my life as I make more and more moves to become career independent and financially free. I know what I want and I direct my energy and my TIME to it. In doing so, I subtract people who fall in one of these categories:

  • Negatively critical – offer nothing constructive, because they have nothing going for them
  • Have nothing going for them altogether – when the goal becomes crystal clear, it becomes a chore to entertain people who aren’t on the same mental wavelength
  • Hot air balloons – people who keep offering their help but never produce any kind. Almost as if they’re waiting for you to achieve it before they believe it
  • Small dreamers – they got dreams but they’re small. And not because they’re potential is small. They just believe they deserve less or “enough”; they believe in false truths
  • Toxic people- the worst. Nothing they say is positive and nothing they do is positive. The world sucks they’re doing nothing about it, it’s not their problem

Subtracting these people is easy. Adding better quality like-minded folks, easy too, but takes time. They have to find you, you have to find them. Work is involved.

But when the clutter is cleared and we’ve aligned ourselves with the right people, dividing our time is the biggest x variable I know. Yes, I believe in doing only what serves me. But that includes maintaining and building relationships. Improving my health and wellness. Increasing my business/ my bottom line. Saving more. Earning more. Making smarter investments. And all they while holding down a full time job. And God forbidden the other life occurrences that love to surprise me.

Hats off to the people who have kids and do this, because I’m still trying to make it work.

I think that the biggest part time hustle struggle is how to best divide your time to live and grow the life you want.

PTHS: Time to Network

Tuesday’s Part-time Hustlin’ Struggles — finding time to network.  When you already work 40 hours a week, it can be hard to find time to work on your side hustle or business.  The best hours to spend making those important moves are given to someone else in a time block that is traditionally hard to break.  I guess that’s another reason why side hustlin’ is so appealing.  The practice of working on your own schedule frees you up to take care of the mundane but necessary life tasks; going to the bank, going the grocery store, picking up your dry cleaning and so forth.

But what about networking?  That too is a very big element  I’ve learned over the years.  And we have to make time to network.   And no, not just networking events, although they are becoming more convenient as they’re being held after hours on week days, is not enough.  Networking is relationship building and you’re not going to accomplish that in a few hours no matter how in sync you might feel with that angel investor.

You gotta make time to meet other like-minded people.

I met a woman, by the name of Keyna this past Saturday at a Starbucks near USC (USC Village).  And although we had talked on the over, exchanged emails back and forth, this was our very first in person meeting.  And it was nice.  The meeting was nice, getting to learn about one another was nice and finding a kindred spirit was nice.  Who is the Kenya gal I keep using the word ‘nice’ about?   She’s a broker and financial consultant and we initially began speaking through an email she sent regarding an event she was scheduled to put on but had canceled for whatever reason.  I had notice that her email signature stated she was a broker so I took the chance and asked her if her organization was in need of a Loan Signing Agent. She said no, but was able to put me through to someone who she knew frequently used notaries and the loan signing agents.  All three of us had a conference call one afternoon on my lunch break.  I later touched base with the gentleman again and he assured me they recorded my information in their system to use me for any doc signing opportunities in my area.  After that call, Kenya and I set up a time to meet face to face.

All of which may have taken place about 30 days ago or so.  Not within no 2-3 hours time span at some lavish event.

And although I do enjoy the process, finding time to connect like that isn’t easy.  I have to make myself available hoping it fits whenever the other party is available.  And if not, I hope that whenever we do connect it’s not overly long as I’m probably only on a 10 minute break.  In which, I don’t want to rush someone off because then I come off as aloof and uninterested.  Emails turn into to calls, which are either, again, on my lunch break or after I get off of work.  Calls turn into meetings, which are, again, after work or on the weekends.  Which means any errands I had planned for the weekend gets shifted to an earlier or later time to accommodate this meet and greet.  And this is a cycle I go through with per person.

It’s a time consuming process for someone who always feels like they’re pressed for time.  But it’s just one of many elements I feel like I’m always pressed for time trying to take this hustle to the next level.  But nonetheless, very important.

PTHS: Not Enough Time

Part-time Hustle Struggles: Not enough hours in the day

I think one of the most challenging things I find about hustling part time is not having enough time to get everything I want done. Of course, people will say if you want it bad enough, you’ll make time. True. To a point.

And then there those memes that say Beyoncé has the same 24 hours in her as I do. Well, Beyonce isn’t also trying to pay off student loans. Hell, show me one loan Beyoncé had before she blew up big that she struggled to pay off (granted, I don’t know that much about Beyonce’s finances pre-fame).

Let me not side track to what Beyoncé has and what I do not.

Point: it can be challenging to make the serious moves and commitments you need to make when you’re still punching in a clock and on someone else’s schedule.

Anyone disagree?