Who Says Your Income Should Only Come From One Source?

I classify myself as many things: a mother, a wife, a pizza lover, a puzzle-doer, and a side-hustler, among other things. That last one is really important to me. I get so much confidence and pride from working for myself, and having creative side projects that bring an income, however small. I'm also a serial entrepreneur, meaning I enjoy the start-up part of projects, and my dream is to just keeping doing that and passing the businesses off to employees or selling it as my passions move on to something different. But if there is one challenge I've faced, it's the misconception that an income needs to be coming to you in the form of one big (hopefully fat) paycheck either once or twice a month, from one place. For me, at least, that's simply not true.

 
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As a kid, I was never really able to ever pinpoint that exact one thing that I wanted to be when I grew up. Sometimes I'd think I had found it (journalist, artist, photographer, magazine editor, then there was that time I wanted to be Miranda Priestly's secretary, stress and all), but I was never sold on just one thing, but rather parts from each of these types of careers. I loved the idea of working for a newspaper or a magazine, but mainly just because I love to write and design layouts. I was on my high school's yearbook staff, which meant I got to play both of those parts and even take some pictures, which was probably my favorite part of high school.

I didn't make it longer than a semester at my university's art school, and I switched my major from Graphic Design to Marketing, mainly because the classes I'd already taken could apply to some prerequisites and it would allow me to major on time. FUN FACT: I actually graduated in 3.5 years instead of the typical 4-5, because I'm, like, ridiculously efficient like that.

It actually wasn't until after I graduated from college (go figure) that I really established what I wanted to do with my life: many things. I wanted many careers. I wanted to experience whatever creative outlets my heart fancied, and I'd use my understanding of marketing and business to build businesses with the opportunity for income around these creative passions. I started with this little old website called The Bloom Design Company and wrote blog posts. I learned that I wasn't really writing to my target audience, and I shifted away from the blog and more towards just marketing design services.

Then I discovered the power and ease of selling on Etsy. Then I started to explore generating a revenue through event planning for The Bloom Design Company in the form of Bloom Bashes (still something I'd like to do regularly). Then Josh & I started White Coast Creative. And now we're working on a brand new project that will be unlike anything we've ever done before. It's a local business with a physical location and everything! More to come on that later.

As of right now, I'm earning some form of income, small or large, from the following sources:

  • outsourced magazine designer (and future partner) for Unlike Juliet wedding & business magazines

  • social media manager, inventory manager, and product photographer for Wild Rag Boutique

  • layout designer and graphic designer for Cache Valley Family Magazine

  • digital download prints and posters for sale in my Etsy shop

  • building websites and designing logos and graphics for business via White Coast Creative

  • freelance graphic design projects (invites, t-shirts, social graphics) via this site

  • part-time virtual assistant for Calli Richards

Holy guacamole. That's a lot of on-going projects. And I ABSOLUTELY LOVE them. I love all of them! I love juggling multiple projects at once. I love that when I get bored of writing blog posts or working on website designs, I can jump around to different projects and still be productive and keep my creative juices flowing. I especially love helping friends and family build their own projects using my services. And each of these projects on their own would be hard to justify as a full income unless I were to spend some serious time marketing and expanding each project. But as I said before, that's not what I'm most passionate about. It's having so many small side hustles that really gets me excited to work every day.

I don't know what I'd do without these projects to keep me feeling creative and energized. And I think everyone should have the freedom that comes with multiple revenue sources! Don't feel like if your job doesn't pay enough or if you're in a low-paying industry that that's all you're worth or all you'll ever be able to bring home.

Start brainstorming your favorite pastimes or creative hobbies and how you could turn those into a form of revenue. It's so much easier than you think! And you don't have to do a million things at once; you can just start with one. I'd love to talk it through with you, if you're interested in starting a side hustle. Please let me be your coach! I'd love to help you make your dream a reality!

 

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Rachel Cottrell | @rachelacottrell

mama to twins • drinker of the Dew

Rachel is a huge fan of TJ Maxx and chocolate chip cookies. She is currently working on updating her 1940s home with her husband.


 

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