As the pandemic kept us inside and unemployment climbed, many sought to turn their pastimes or hobbies—think tie-dyeing, jewelry-making, yoga teaching—into income streams. I was not one of them.
During lockdown, just making it through the day and doing my job felt like a huge accomplishment for me. I’m not sure I could have taken on a side hustle. My cohost, Fast Company social media editor Christina Royster, hosts her own podcast, Young, Black, and Opinionated, and has done some work as a content creator on Instagram. Even she says that navigating a side hustle and a day job seems tough.
To learn more about how to juggle both responsibilities, and possibly turn our hobbies into additional streams of income, we turned to Jasmine Lawrence, founder of Eden BodyWorks, whose natural hair and body care products are sold nationwide at Target and on Amazon. Lawrence founded the company at age 13 after seeing a need for better personal care products in her community. As she grew the company, she also completed school. Now, in addition to being the CEO of her own company, she is a product manager on the Everyday Robot Project at X.
The first thing Lawrence advises? Stop thinking of your side hustle as a secondary job. Instead, think of yourself as someone who has dual careers. “I can’t call it even a side hustle. I think it’s too meaningful to be a side hustle. If anything, my career in tech has always felt like a side hustle to me,” she says. “[Running my own company is] the thing that comes naturally because it’s very much aligned with my inherent strengths and skills. The language I use now is ‘dual careers’—[I think about it in] the same way that you don’t stop being a wife when you become a mother, or an individual when you become married.”
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