March 18th, 2020, Atlanta, GA / Giselle Ave. Media — In Part One of this series, I shared How My Side Hustle Helped Me Land My Dream Job. We left off where I shared the story of Giselle Ave. and what inspired me to start my brand. When I moved to Atlanta, I had one thing on my mind: launch and grow my first business. But, I had to factor in the risks associated with moving to a brand new city, as a grad student, with no job lined up, but ….I was committed to living my dreams.
The Art of Side Hustlin’
Side Hustling, in my objective opinion, is something you do— on the side— to earn a little more income. For me, my side hustle is more like the place I employ my own unique talents and gifts: blogging, podcasting, building something from nothing, writing, networking, and connecting people to valuable resources. Whether its photography, writing, or producing music — many of us a have an unborn side hustle inside of us thats either allowing you to express yourself creatively, or it’s adding dollars to your bank account. When this said side hustle does both– you’ve officially cracked the code to creating your dream life!
It was 2012 when I took my first 9-5 here in Atlanta, and continued to build my brand. I worked in a federal agency by day, and at night I went to graduate school and ran my online blog and media company, Giselle Ave. In my downtime, I’d catch MARTA into the city to attend events, industry panels, and explore social scenes. This effort helped me land clients through my side hustle. This energy is what helped me realize Giselle Ave. was the dream–not a job! Building a brand from the ground up teaches you perseverance, loyalty, and commitment to your dreams. But as stated, I was operating my business, as a side hustle. The daily juggle between the two carried on for 7 years, but it eventually paid off.
In 2016, I was working as a federal consultant and found a new opportunity to work in a Creative Role at a federal agency. Turns out, the agency found my website and simply stated:
“We want you to do that, for us.”
It was such an amazing opportunity! The role itself, was right up my alley. The client was seeking a Mobile Project Lead to redesign a website and content strategy for a new feature. It really took some time for me to digest the fact that my work and performance with my then side hustle, Giselle Ave. was the reason I landed my dream job! In 2017, I began working on this project and went on to complete the project in April 2018. Once the project ended, I realized I didn’t just want to work my dream job, I wanted to live my dream life.
Once I started my journey as an entrepreneur I realized Giselle Ave. was never really my side hustle, it was my version of my dream life. I retired from corporate America at 29, and I haven’t looked back since. My dream turned into my reality because I was fully committed to living out my dreams, on my terms.
Create Your Dream Life
What does your dream life look? My vision has always been to be a fabulous, feminine, happy housewife, loving mother, and full-time creator here on Giselle Ave. — and beyond. I’ve been inspired to start an online coaching business– A Talk With Giselle — to help others, especially women, learn how to grow their brand, increase revenue, and tell their story. I am called to help other creatives learn how to make a living off of their gifts. No, you don’t have to be a struggling artist, plus there is no better time to start than right now.
As women continue to soar into new arenas of leadership and superwoman-hood, I can’t neglect how important it is to identify your own dream life. Dream jobs come and go, and it is our responsibility to rely on ourselves to create happiness and joy in our lives. Frankly, nothing outside of you– can do this for you. Not your job, not your relationship, not your family, not your friends. Happiness is an inside job and it’s something worth re-examining daily. Creating your dream life is an ongoing process that forces you to rethink the way you craft your personal life, professional life, and everything in between.
Today, at 31, I can honestly say I’m living my dream life. I’m in a loving relationship with my husband — we’re coming up on our one year anniversary! We have made our loft into a home in our area of choice — downtown, in the heart of the city. My gifts are carrying me to places I couldn’t have imagined! Through my own company, I was able to land my dream job, earning my highest salary yet! I went on to become a consultant for a startup and I was also paid a pretty nice penny to be creative. I was even invited to travel internationally, thanks to my commitment to operate in my purpose and live my dream life! Back in the day, there wasn’t a lot of hope in creative careers. I’m living proof that times have changed, and you art is worth more than you can imagine. Just keep creating, for the love of creating. Passion is the key to living your dream life, what’s your passion?
I’m humbled by the blessings that rain on me, and I know this is only the beginning. I hope my story inspires to you continue to create, no matter what. If you’re not getting paid from your side hustle today, just stick to it. You never know what kind of opportunities will come your way once you decide to fully commit to creating your own version of your dream life.
Most of all, don’t quit.
If I can do it for myself, why can’t you?