Hey! I’m Bobby, and if you’re new around here, I’m one of the strategists in the mighty, magnificent beast that is team TDP.
I recently launched a side hustle [charmoffensivetees.com.au] by way of an e-commerce store. It’s going quite well [thanks for asking] and a few people have asked me when I’ll be leaving my job and slingin’ tees full time.
Short answer? I won’t be. In fact, I’m here today to state my case on why having a side hustle makes me a better employee. [And why my employer, who is not a regressive idiot, thus supports my side hustle in all the ways she can.]
I’m gaining off-the clock skills that are relevant to my role.
Owning a business gives real-world relevance to skills that I can apply in my workplace. Having a side hustle has honed the skills I engage every day at work.
No idea how to write an email sequence? Bam. you’re a small business owner. Learn. No idea how to interpret and filter certain data? You better work it out, because it’s killing your cash flow. Avoided getting stuck into video marketing? Sis, it’s vital. Get in there. ALL these skills are transferable in my role in some capacity, and I’m using them to benefit my employer.
It’s given me a deeper appreciation for my workplace.
Having my own business on the side doesn’t mean I’m unhappy in my role [in the slightest] or that I’ve got an eye on the exit. I’m happy where I am. My role is a good fit for my skills and is dynamic enough to keep me busy and interested. I have a team full of sweet angels who I’m lucky to also call friends. IF my business grows to the point where it’s able to provide me with a salary? My first port of call will be using that income to hire clever people, not to quit a full-time role that I love.
Creativity on my own terms, in my own voice.
My natural voice is quite angular and sarcastic, which doesn’t fit with most of the brands I work with. Having a creative outlet where I can choose my tone means it’s easier for me to stay true to brief and voice when I’m creating content for clients.
[It’s also liberating to be able to tell nuffies, trolls and sexists to piss off, which I have no doubt some of my clients would also like to do sometimes!]
I can fuck things up on my own time.
Fucking something up always carries a lesson. Fucking up on my own time teaches me lessons that are applicable at work – without putting client relationships or company revenue at risk. So my employer swerves the fuckup, but benefits from the lesson. Winner.
It forces me to practice what I preach [still working on that, TBH]
A big part of my role is teaching other people, people in my team to some extent, but more so people in my workplace’s broader community.
It’d be embarrassing as a strategist if my profile sucked, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is in a publicly visible way. #nopresh.
It’s forcing me to ask for help.
There is SO MUCH I don’t know about the apparel business. Like sooooo much. I went into this blindly, and so far have been able to wing it. Why? Because I’ve found people who have the strengths and knowledge that I lack, and I’ve asked for their help. Is that having a flow-on effect to me as an employee? Mmm, undecided. My team lives in hope.
If you’re an employer? Evolve. EMBRACE those side hustles, and offer your employees the flexibility to ensure that their roles remain tenable.
The skills those people learn [and can then bring to your organisation] will ensure that their time spent in the office is better used than ever before.