Do you have a dead end job? Are you desperate for a better life? A better career? More pay? Do you want a job that inspires you; not depresses you? A side hustle just might be the answer.
Today’s Lemon Crushing story about Real Women with Real Problems who achieved Real Success features Alex. Alex found herself in exactly that position. She hated her job and her future was bleak.
Alex needed a job she actually enjoyed
Back in 2010, the thought “Why can’t I do that?” ran through Alex’s mind.
Alex graduated from college in 2009 and entered the workforce while the economy was still in a deep economic slump. Finding any job was a challenge. In 2010, desperate, she took a job working at the call center for an adult product company. She was making a whopping $14 an hour. To say she was on the bottom rung of the economic ladder was an understatement.
It was a very, very depressing time.
She was living with her parents as that was all she could afford. Her car was held together with duct tape. The heater had broken and she did not have the funds to repair it. Living in the midwest, she frequently endured freezing temps as she drove to and from work. The anticipation that she was going to field calls from complaining clients as she headed into work did not warm her heart or her fingers.
With the dismal economy, her schedule and her lack of resources, opportunities for Alex to find a better job were bleak.
The option of going back to school was not one she wanted to entertain. “Many of my friends were going back to school but I just couldn’t make myself do that. I was already drowning in student loans and I just couldn’t see the point in going back and getting an MBA. What I needed most was a job I enjoyed. Something HAD to change.”
A blind date turned her life around
While on the date, her date said he built websites for a living; (back in 2010 that was a unique and unusual venture). He also mentioned that after he built the websites his clients often wanted him to do the advertising using Google AdWords platform but he was not able to handle those requests. He went on to say that if someone was good at Google AdWords, there was enough demand to turn that service into a business.
Alex says she doesn’t remember much more about the date after that. The words about starting a business had resonated with her. She found herself thinking “Why can’t I do that?”
That night Alex started her research on AdWords. She found there were free online courses to learn the AdWords platform. She immediately launched herself into learning the necessary skills.
For the next 2-3 months, she worked all day at the call center and then studied all night. When she passed the certification and became an official AdWords Freelancer, her very first customer was the guy from the date. Not only was he a customer, he also sent a continuous stream of referrals her way.
The first months of freelancing were spent enhancing her skills and building a base of clients. Alex commented, “I charged so little in those early days, but for me, anything over $14 an hour was a fortune.”
6 Months later, her side hustle turned into a full-time job
Within 6 months the small side hustle had exploded into a full-time job. Each day Alex worked her full shift at the call center and then worked her marketing business into the wee hours of the morning.
“The day I realized that I was making more money with my freelancing business and having a lot more fun, was the day I gave my notice at the call center. It was a wonderful feeling to know that I was in control of my future and doing something I really enjoyed.”
Alex has been an independent freelance digital marketing expert ever since. As an extra bonus, the man that introduced her to AdWords, is now her fiance. The two of them enjoy a lifestyle of working where they wake up each day. Alex comments that the freedom they have to work anywhere in the world is a gift. None of this would have been possible without diving into a side hustle.
Looking for a side-hustle? Alex has two pieces of advice.
1. The Internet is Rich with Job Opportunities
Alex comments, “A college degree is not the only solution to a well-paying job. The internet is rich with opportunities and is open 24/7 which allows many people to adapt their schedule to fit in side hustles to start.”
2. There is something to learn at Every Job; even ones you Hate.
“At the call center, I did not necessarily like the complainers, but the sales reps were awesome. I met some of the most dedicated, smart, purposeful women during my time there and they inspire me today. There is always something to learn, even at dead end jobs; look for the good.”There is something to learn at every job; even the ones you hate. – Alex Webb Click To Tweet
Reflection: “Alex, do you wish your adversity had never happened; or are you grateful it did?”
“I would have never had the desire to study and learn a new skill if I was not fed up and miserable. The more I hated the call center job, the more determined I was to succeed at something more fulfilling. So yes, as much as I was not happy, it was because I was not happy that I pursued a new and better career.”
Two Strategies to Find a Side Hustle and/or Create a Job that you Love.
1. Pursue your Calling
Oprah has an Insightful perspective on your career versus your calling. Our career/job is necessary to pay the bills, and as Alex, we often start at the bottom of the economic ladder. Yet, through our job experiences, we learn more about what fuels us and we can channel that fuel to push us to seek positions more aligned to what we like to do.
How do we know we have found our calling? When we run “to” our job/career because is gives us joy and energy, not “away” from it because it drains us. When you find yourself waking up, eager to do whatever it is you do; that is a sign that you are working inside your calling.
2. Start a Side Hustle
Alex found her solution through a side hustle. A side hustle is earning money on a project outside of your primary source of income. Some people call it a Plan B. Today there are vast amounts of side hustles that one can start. Entrepreneur Magazine features a story on 50 Ideas for Lucrative Side Hustles which may spark ideas for you.
No woman needs to settle for a dead-end job. Abundant opportunities exist for those willing to seek them out and Alex is a prime example of success.
For more on making Lemonade Out of Lemons you would love Pearl’s book Lemon Crushers; A Working Woman’s Guide to Overcoming Adversity! There are stories about the qualities for success and overcoming your challenges. You’ll be ready to start crushing lemons after chapter one.
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