For years, my husband has teased me about my inability to sit still. I multitask ALL the time. When we’re watching TV, I’m reading a magazine, making a grocery list and folding laundry at the same time. My dad did it too, and so does my brother, so maybe it’s genetic. True to my personality, it’s been years since I had just one “job.” Doing PR/writing/editing only requires a laptop and an Internet connection, so for most of my career, I’ve always done contract work on top of my day job. I guess you could say I had a “side gig” before side gigs were cool.
After having kids, I took on fewer projects, mostly because the idea of writing web content after working all day and putting a toddler and infant to bed sounded like torture. Then, in late 2013, a new opportunity came my way. I had never considered direct sales before, probably due to my mom’s unsucessful stint as an Avon lady in the 1980s. Although I loved that she had 400 miniature lipsticks in our basement, I don’t have room to store products. I’m too busy with my day job and kids’ activities to deliver products or host parties, but direct sales has changed a lot since the 80s. Products are ordered online and delivered to customers’ doors. It’s less “sales” and more networking. Social commerce is what The Today Show called it, and I couldn’t agree more.
A friend recently asked me to send her the link to my blog post on my side gig, and I realized I’ve never written about it. How is that possible? It’s such an important part of my life, and I would be remiss to write a blog about time and money and not post about the huge opportunity that social commerce offers for anyone seeking more of both. Obviously I feel strongly about my particular company, Rodan + Fields, but there are other great opportunities out there – jewelry, workout videos, essential oils and more!
Top Five Reasons to Find a Side Gig
- Extra income – While we don’t “need” the money to pay our bills, with me working in education and Chase for a non-profit our salaries are limited. With my side business, there is no limit. Some people on our team make $100/month, while others make $100,000/month. San Diego is ridiculously expensive, so unless we want to change industries (which we don’t) this is our chance to have more of the “good things” in life.
- Flexibility – This is the biggest selling point to me. I love the idea of designing the life I love. Maybe you know my story. Once upon a time (in 2013) I had a job I hated. It paid me a lot of money, so I felt stuck. Every Sunday night I’d have a pit in my stomach knowing I had to wake up and leave my kids to go to a job that I did not enjoy. I was let go in May of that year (on Clay’s fifth birthday) and while I was initially scared to death, wondering how we were going to pay our mortgage, I quickly realized it was a blessing in disguise. I vowed then to never stay in a job I didn’t like just for money. Fast forward a few months to when I was offered my current job – making 25 percent less than I had in the past. Thanks to my side gig, I could take this job. I had the extra money coming in, and more importantly, if the new job hadn’t been the right fit, I had income to hold us over until I found something else. I’m in a different – and far better – place now. I love my day job, but I’d be lying if I said it’s always easy being a mom with a 30+ minute commute. I’m seven years into this working mom, “having it all” lifestyle. So far, so good. But if it ever becomes too much, I have a plan B.
- A newfound passion – I didn’t start this business passionate about skin care. I was, however, turning 35 and noticing dark circles and lines around my eyes. Within weeks of using the products, they looked better. Sun spots disappeared and breakouts became less common. My passion grew, out of products that did what they said they would. I didn’t get to VIP status at Sephora by accident. I spent more money than I care to admit, on products that would end up in the bottom of my drawer because they smelled good or felt nice on my skin, but didn’t do anything to change it. It’s very easy to share something with your friends that you know truly works. I feel the same passion about the business itself. I’ve watched it change people’s lives – quitting jobs they don’t like, paying off student loan debt, adopting children and more. It’s incredible, and I’m proud to be a part of it.
- Amazing friendships – This one was the biggest surprise to me. “I have lots of friends. I don’t need more,” I thought. How could I have been so wrong? I talk to girls on my team daily, some of whom I’d never met in real life until I went to our convention in September. They’ve become part of my life – I celebrate business success with them, as well as kids’ birthdays, anniversaries and more. I’ve also gotten back in touch with childhood friends, thanks to this business. It’s the one thing I didn’t know I was looking for, that I’m thankful for every day.
- Products that make you look and feel better – I have problem skin. It’s acne prone, I’ve spent most of my life in sunny Florida or Calfornia and I’m closer to 40 than 30. Being a consultant has given me access to amazing products, at a huge discount, and if you look good, you feel good. So whether, it’s skincare or makeup or jewelry or a nutrition shake that helps you look and feel your best, go out and get it from your friends. I know they’ll appreciate your support!