Catching Up on Hustle & Grace Episodes 7-13

Catching Up On Hustle & Grace Episodes 7-13

I kind of can’t believe it but we’re already up to 13 episodes on Hustle & Grace!

(You can find quick recaps of 1-6 here). 

Have I mentioned what joy this podcast is giving me?

Now, honestly, as awesome as that is, it's not really the point of the podcast. It’s about bringing you value, takeaways, and inspiration, but an awesome bonus has been how totally delightful it is to dream up each episode, talk with fascinating people, learn a TON, and then share it with the world. Thank you, thank you, thank you for listening!

If you've taken a little summer vacay from your podcast listening routine, here's the dish on what you'll want to catch up on ASAP: 

Episode 7: Caitlin Pyle began her work-at-home journey after getting brutally fired from her $16-per-hour corporate job in 2011. She quickly replaced her lost income by freelancing as a proofreader. Then she transitioned to helping others build their own work-at-home incomes through her blog, ProofreadAnywhere.com and later through WorkAtHomeSchool.com. Through plenty of hustle and grace, Caitlin's freelance business evolved into the multimillion-dollar media company it is today.

In this episode, Caitlin shares tips she swears by in running her own business and creating the life of her dreams. We discuss the exciting project that brought us together: WorkAtHomeSchool.com.

More About Caitlin: https://caitlinpyle.co/

Caitlin’s podcast: Work-At-Home Heroes 

Episode 8: Lisa Rowan is a senior writer and on-air analyst at The Penny Hoarder, one of the largest personal finance websites in America. She also cohosts Pop Fashion, a top-rated weekly podcast about the business of fashion and culture. A former full-time freelance writer and vintage shop owner, she is well versed in the gig economy and the small-business landscape. Her financial advice has been featured in Women’s Health, Family Circle, Refinery29, Real Simple, The New York Times, and NBC News.

In this episode Hilary brings Lisa, millennial finance expert, all her burning questions about budgeting on multiple income streams, what millennials need to know about saving, and the finance trends everyone under 40 should be paying attention to.  

Recommendations from Lisa:
ThePennyHoarder.com
Get Money by Kristin Wong
Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry
Planet Money

Connect with Lisa on Twitter and Instagram @LisaTella.

Episode 9: Susan Shain is a freelance writer and digital nomad who's been traveling around the world since 2008. She's written about personal finance, travel, and food for outlets like The New York Times and CNN, and does content marketing writing for businesses of all sizes. She's also the founder of WhereToPitch.com, a website for freelance writers, and author of a pay-what-you-want eBook called "The Ultimate Guide to Seasonal Jobs: How to Have Fun, Make Money, and Travel the World."

In this episode, Susan shares how she has made a living living working in locations all over the world. She shares her tips for breaking into seasonal work and freelance writing and why community is a critical component of self-care for digital nomads and seasonal workers alike. 

Recommendations from Susan:
Duolingo
Trello
The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau
CoolWorks.com
Pimsleur

Connect with Susan at SusanShain.com and on Twitter at Susan_Shain.

Episode 10: Austin Graff leads talent marketing, brand, and social media for The Washington Post and is a contributor to On Parenting, news, advice, and essays for parents from The Washington Post. Prior to joining The Washington Post, Austin led digital, social, and influencer marketing for Coca-Cola’s Honest Tea brand, America’s #1 organic iced tea company. He started out his career leading social media and celebrity relationships for International Justice Mission, the largest human rights organization in the world. After growing up in Russia and Kazakhstan and attending boarding school in Germany, Austin came to the USA for university. He now proudly lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, baby daughter, and two roommates.

In this episode, Austin talks about his career at The Washington Post, Honest Tea, and International Justice Mission. He also unpacks his unique philosophy of living with roommates while parenting, his time management hacks, and how he cultivates boundaries and balance in his life. 

Connect with Austin on Instagram and Twitter.

Episode 11: The Truth About FreelancingIn this episode, I unpack the state of freelancing in the U.S., the drawbacks of freelancing, the benefits, and 10 characteristics of people who thrive as freelancers. If you want to know more about my story and experience as a freelancer, go here

Connect with me on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

Episode 12: Ashley Gorley has written 37 #1 singles and has had more than 300 songs recorded by artists such as Luke Bryan, Carrie Underwood, Florida Georgia Line, Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean and Darius Rucker.  He was named the ASCAP Country Songwriter of the Year in 2009, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, Billboard Country Songwriter of the Year in 2013, 2016, and 2017, and the NSAI Songwriter of the Year in 2013, 2016 and 2017.  Gorley has been nominated for multiple Grammy and CMA and ACM Awards, and has received the CMA’s Triple Play Award eleven times in his career, which recognizes songwriters with three or more #1 songs in one year. In 2016, he became the first songwriter to be honored with three CMA Triple Play Awards in a single year, for earning nine chart-topping songs in a 12-month period. In 2011, Gorley formed Tape Room Music, a publishing company with a focus on artist development. Writers for Tape Room Music have already celebrated twelve #1 songs and eight top ten singles by artists such as Florida Georgia Line, Sam Hunt, Keith Urban, and Dustin Lynch.

At just 41, Nashville songwriter Ashley Gorley has written a mind-boggling 37 #1 hits. He has writing credits on over 300 recorded songs. Hilary got to sit down with the prolific songwriter, publisher, and producer to learn more about the hitmaker, what his day-to-day life is like, and why he prefers for Carrie Underwood to not do the singing in a writing session. 

Learn more about Ashley's publishing company, Tape Room Music.
Listen to the Spotify playlist of Ashley's #1 songs.

Episode 13: Melissa Guller, is the Head of Special Projects at Teachable - an online tool that allows anyone to create and sell their own online courses - and ever since she launched her first side hustle in 2015, Melissa has been hooked on online entrepreneurship and empowering people to go for their big, awesome dreams. A bit of a side hustle queen herself, Melissa has been a top-rated instructor at General Assembly NYC for 2+ years, and she has 1300+ students currently enrolled in her Skillshare course, “What Great Managers Do Differently.” Most recently, Melissa founded The Kindling, a community for millennial women building online businesses, blogs, and podcasts they love. 

Melissa Guller has made a career out of helping people monetize their expertise online. In this episode, Melissa and Hilary discuss tools to create online courses, Melissa's side hustle ventures, and why she swears by a "relaxed" list to avoid burnout.

Connect with Melissa on Instagram.

There is so much more to come in upcoming episodes I'm thrilled to share with you! Make sure you don't miss an episode by subscribing:  Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | RSS

5 Reasons Why You Should Start a Reading Group

Me reading the Artist's Way alone. (Read alone, then discuss together!)

I think it’s time to tell you…I have a milestone birthday coming up in exactly two months.

And like any true blue ENFP I have been thinking about the implications of it since my last birthday.

One of the ways I wanted to head into my 30th year was to add more creativity and intention to my life. So I embarked on a journey of 30 Creative Pursuits for My 30th Year.

The whole thing is well under way as I’ve only got two months left, but today I wanted to share with you what has been one of the most meaningful and impactful items on the list.

#27 Start some sort of writing, creativity, thinkers or reading club (meet at least once)

hey, don’t judge my ‘meet at least once’ goal—I was trying to make it attainable :-)

Last fall I started a book group and together we read through Julia Cameron’s book, the Artist’s WayNow this particular group happened to be centered on reading a book together, but I think groups that are meant to simply share what your current challenges are in your work or get feedback on your writing or to pursue various creative pursuits together are all highly valuable. I would like one of each please! 

For our group, the book choice was great because the chapters were short, it was very action-oriented and it was already organized into a 12-week study.

But more than the choice of book, the choice to pursue reading a book with some women who challenge me was even greater.

5 reasons I encourage you to make your own writing/creativity/thinkers/reading group

1. Connecting with like-minded people. Putting an intentional group together to discuss a book or another given topic is a refreshing experience. In the case of my book group, while I didn’t run into all the people in my group in my regular circles, I knew there was a kindredness of spirit there. It was really rewarding to spend time around a table discussing something we jointly cared about and were interested in.

2. Accountability. Knowing that I would be seeing my book group again in two weeks made me stay on schedule with my reading. When I’m reading a book on my own it feels pretty “optional” but knowing that my group would be gathering soon to discuss this week’s reading served as great accountability to get it done.

3. Your thinking is challenged. While my group was filled with like-minded people it was also filled with opinions, perspectives and backgrounds that differed greatly from my own. It was a wonderful reminder that two people can read the same text and feel completely differently about it. A meeting of the minds is challenging and gets you thinking more critically.

4. Intentional conversation. When meeting up with friends it’s so easy to let conversation focus on the latest headlines of our lives and not go to a deeper place. With the right book or subject matter to discuss, conversations go deeper and you actually might get to know your friends on a deeper level than you would have without it. 

5. Reading is richer when it’s a shared experience. My experience working my way through the Artist’s Way was so much better because I got to not only interact with the book by doing exercises and writing a ton, but also because I got to discuss it with my fellow readers. We talked about what resonated with us in the book and our reactions to the reading. It really created a bond and made me closer to the people in my group.

Maybe it’s because I work from home (alone) most of the day or maybe it’s because I’m an extrovert but this reading group really enhanced the quality of my life. I’m already mulling on my next book group.

Do you have a book/great minds/writing/thinkers group? I want to hear ALL about it.

Announcing the First HSL Creative Blogging Workshop

HSL Creative Blogging Workshop at Toolry in Lynchburg, VA
HSL Creative Blogging Workshop at Toolry in Lynchburg, VA

I'm so thrilled to announce that I will be leading a workshop at Toolry (the massively inspirational co-working space in downtown Lynchburg) on January 17. This workshop is all about taking the headache out of blogging for your business. If you're a small-business owner, employee, artisan or even an Etsy shop owner, this workshop is for you.

Did you know that websites with a blog receive 55% more traffic than those that don't?

At this workshop you'll learn blogging best practices, how to create an editorial calendar, and you'll leave with a ton of great post ideas. Guaranteed.

This workshop would also make an incredible gift for the creative entrepreneur in your life.

Experiences>Stuff.

Join me {in person} in Lynchburg on January 17! 

HSL Creative Roundup: August

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.15.04 PM

August is winding down and quite frankly I'm ready for pumpkin EVERYTHING, how bout you? It's been an incredible month of writing, rehearsals, going to weddings, running and of course analyzing our social media practices. This month I had fun curating a list of my favorite places in Lynchburg for the Clutch Guide blog. I had a female college freshman in mind when I was writing it. What do I wish I had known about the Hill City when I first moved here? Boom. I created this list.

I also spent some time on the blog chatting about the different ways I work with other businesses, thought leaders, artists and nonprofits. My purpose is simple: I want to help other people reach their goals by supplying a plethora of services within the writing and social media realm. So here are 10 ways off the top of my head that I do that every day.

And finally I couldn't help but analyze the crazy impactful viral marketing campaign that has raised over $80 million to combat ALS. Here's where I explained why it worked so well.

I hope you've had a great month as well!

10 Secrets to Getting Started in Freelance Writing

Coffee
Coffee

One question I get asked with some frequency is "so how did you get started writing?" You may be interested in pursuing freelance blog or magazine writing but don't exactly know where to start. Though I started with a degree in journalism, I submit that it's certainly not the only way to launch a career writing. Here's ten steps to take that I've seen work:

1. Start a blog. This is your first stop on the road to getting paid to write. Blogging gives you full control of what you will say and how you will say it. Show the world what you can write and what you're passionate about saying! The world is your oyster. The blog is your step one.

2. Get a copy of the Writer's Market. Pore over it. This annual volume is the bible of freelance magazine writing, poetry and writing contests. It also has a collection of great, informative articles all about the business of writing. You can fork over the money for it or just spend some time at your local library.

3. Offer to guest post on other blogs in which you can provide relevant and helpful content. Can you think of a blog or a website that really resonates with you? Look for their contributor guidelines. Some sites won't pay but if you have a good looking blog with compelling content and a great idea for a post, they will give you a shot. Look you're collecting portfolio pieces already.

4. Master the art of the query letter. This is your pitch. The magazine industry has its own nuances. Make sure your ideas are relevant to the magazine. Show you've read it and you like it. Then pitch.

5. Read On Writing Well by William Zinnser.

6. Get YourName.com. I have several friends in the business who regret that some other joker got their name (ie janedoe.com) before they did. This is a just a good rule of thumb for anyone. Buy your name's URL at GoDaddy just in case. My dad always said: "better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it." A website provides a great opportunity to point potential editors to check out several of your clips in one place. You have full control over this corner of the internet that has your name on it.

7. Spiff up your Linkedin page. Make it clear that you're a writer. Add keywords that people who might be in search of a freelance writer would use when looking for one. Consider eliminating positions you've held that don't add helpful or interesting context to your work story. Yes, I left the fact that I once swept hair from the floor of a salon off my Linkedin page. Gasp.

8. Read Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott.

9. Do your research on the people in your network that are in the publishing business. And when I say "network" I don't mean "people you follow on Twitter." I mean people who you know that would be glad to pass your name along to the proper person. Let friends and family know this is the direction in which your career is headed.

10. Keep writing.

Have anything to add to the list? Comment away!  

Dichotomies in Career and the Craft

I've noticed several dichotomies in my approach to work lately. I wanted to share them with you because perhaps you can relate. Stream of conscious-style here they are: Hustle and Margin.I'm passionate about hustling to make an impact but I'm passionate about making sure I have margin in my life. How do I work hard to make an impact and also have breathing room? 

Thriving on working with others. Thriving on working alone. I absolutely love creating a story on stage with a creative team and cast but spending my days alone in my sunny home office are irreplaceable. So am I a person who likes to work on a team or work alone? 

Energized by working hard all day. Energized by doing nothing productive all day. Lately I've worked so hard for so many days in a row nothing has been sweeter than watching 3 episodes of the Today Show *in a row.* (God bless that DVR.) Why is it that sometimes doing nothing productive at all makes me just as happy as having a killer day executing my passion? 

Aspiring to influence. Aspiring to seclusion. Part of me wants to leave a widespread legacy. Part of me wants to live acres away from my closest neighbor. Is it possible to be both influential and enjoy privacy in this reality show/social media platform era? 

Being moved by the roar of an audience. Wanting to avoid the crowd after the show. Nothing is more moving than an audience that shows appreciation at the end of a performance. But sometimes nothing can be more uncomfortable than milling about amidst the audience afterward. Why is it that chatting with patrons and taking in their kind words can be so uncomfortable after I've just braved looking like a fool in front of them en masse on stage? 

Do you have dichotomies in your work? Does any of this resonate with you? I'd love to hear your perspective.

HSL Creative: a story about discovering your purpose


"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." -Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

And thus begins the launch of HSL Creative. After 13 years of school, 4 years of college, 4 years of living all over, 2 years of grad school, and finally supporting myself as a freelance writer, social media specialist and actor, this day has come. I'm not starting a new job this week but I am finally embracing what I do and sharing it with the world.

I’ve always been a person who was curious. I’ve liked lots of things and had trouble narrowing down my interests. Choosing one major and one minor in college was challenging. (I ended up with 3 minors. Who does that?) Saint-Exupéry’s quote above resonates with me because I’ve finally gotten to the point where I know what my life’s work is:

My passion is to tell stories. Whether they're ones that I've made up, ones other people have lived, ones I perform on a stage or ones I share in a magazine article, telling stories is what I know I'm meant to do.

So with the launch of HSL Creative, there is nothing left to take away. This is the next step in living a life on purpose. I'm a storyteller. And I look forward to continuing on this journey of sharing humanity with you through the written word.