Nowadays, it seems everyone has a little side gig. It makes sense. Employment is no longer the rock-solid safety net it was for our parents.
In addition, the cost of things such as education, child care, health care and other necessities is rising.
Many families simply can’t pay the bills without two incomes. Sometimes even parents who work full-time start a small business to create an additional stream of money coming in.
As a mom of 7 (yes, 7 – and I birthed them all), I’ve always worked from home. In addition, we’re a homeschooling family, which is difficult to pull off without a parent at home full-time.
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For most of the time I’ve been a stay-at-home-mom, I’ve blogged, created digital products and hosted a podcast for extra income. But four months ago, I started a new side hustle and it’s changed my life in ways that go far beyond the extra money I’m bringing in.
Let me explain.
I’ve learned to love people again
Two years ago, after the birth of my 27-weeker preemie, I experienced PTSD symptoms and developed social anxiety. I began avoiding people and basically hiding when I was in a social setting.
Realizing what was happening, I knew I would have to do something drastic to change this. Since as a blogger I was able to hide behind my laptop and not get out there and be with people, I needed to do something very different.
Something that forced me to mingle with people, to get me out of my comfort zone. I started a direct sales business.
Since then, I’ve been going to networking lunches, striking up conversations with strangers, even doing some business-related travel (something I haven’t done in many years, mostly due to being intimidated!).
It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve had to work on myself a lot, but it’s so worth it! I’ve met some amazing women that I deeply admire. I’ve watched as ladies I coach use their talents and skills to grow their businesses.
They blossom right before my eyes. I love it!
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Free personal growth
Many people have noted that direct sales are a course in personal development with a paycheck attached, and I agree. This is probably true of any business, but sales, in particular, requires a person to grow if their income would.
In other to succeed in sales, you need to get over yourself and focus on the other person and their needs. You must face rejection and keep going. You have slow months. It’s a roller coaster at times, but you keep your emotions in check and the vision for your business strong.
All of these things force you to grow as a person. In addition, being in a coaching role brings out your leadership skills. Sometimes you do the thing because other people are relying on you, when you may have been tempted to bow out. This brings me to the next point.
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Stepping outside your comfort zone
We all know that wonderful things happen in our lives when we push ourselves outside our comfort zone. But how often do we put this into practice? Starting a side hustle creates a framework where we must do this again and again.
Before I started my direct sales business, I had never created a Facebook group. I didn’t post selfies! Ever!
Even as a blogger, I was uncomfortable with the idea of putting my face on the internet. (I had to get over that fast because when you’re in sales, your face is your fortune.
Seeing your face creates trust. Also, I had to post selfies to show off the pretty, long-wearing, smudge-proof lip color I sell!) I had never done live video before – now, I do it almost every day and I love it.
Doing these necessary tasks in my business has grown my confidence. It’s also inspired people who follow me online.
Even people who haven’t bought my product message me on a regular basis to tell me that my posts encourage and educate them. And that’s my goal!
The previously mentioned benefits I’ve enjoyed since launching my business are non-monetary. But the bottom line is this: the additional income I’m bringing in has decreased my stress level.
I’ve replaced my blogging income (and then some!) and am having more fun. I no longer feel an anxious, tight feeling in my chest when one of my kids asks me to buy something they need.
My brand new car is paid for by the company (when I began, I didn’t have a car!). My family easily afforded a week-long vacation on the beach, without going into debt.
If you’re considering starting a side hustle, I encourage you to go for it! Not only will you earn some extra money to put towards a goal or ease financial burdens, but you’ll also likely grow as a person.
Carrie Willard is a wife, mom of 7, homeschooler, avid reader, and Francophile. She can be found online at Carrie Willard and Lippy Chic. She aims to help women feel more beautiful and confident while simplifying their lives.
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Has a side hustle changed your life?
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