Episode 16: Nilofer Merchant, Author & Speaker On the Power of Onlyness, "Rules for Now," & Decision Fatigue

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Nilofer Merchant a 3-time author, most recently of The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World (Viking, 2017). She's also a Fellow of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management. Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales and has held executive positions at Apple, Autodesk and GoLive Systems. In 2013, she was awarded the Thinkers50 Future Thinker Award which is to recognize ‘The #1 Person Most Likely to Influence the Future of Management in Both Theory and Practice" by the UK-based organization. She's ranked as #22 on the 2017 Thinkers50 list of management thinkers.

On this episode, Hilary sits down with speaker, author, and thought leader Nilofer Merchant to talk about her book, the Power of Onlyness, and to take a deep dive into Nilofer’s unique habits and approach to ideas that have made her one of the greatest business thinkers of our time.

Nilofer’s Ted Talk: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk

Connect with Nilofer at NiloferMerchant.com

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 15: On Geoffrey Owens & the Dignity of the Day Job (Special Mini Episode!)

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Last week Geoffrey Owens, an actor from “the Cosby Show,” made headlines after a woman shopping at Trader Joe’s in Clifton, New Jersey, was so surprised to see Owens bagging groceries that she took a picture and sent it to the Daily Mail, which ran the headline, “From learning lines to serving the long line!” After that, Fox News picked up the story, and then it really began to make waves on Twitter—not so much shaming Owens for being a grocer but more so shaming Fox News for shaming Owens for being caught in the act of a day job.

Here’s the thing though…Owens has been a working actor for decades. He’s been on Broadway four times, was a cast member on “the Cosby Show” for five seasons, and has had roles on shows like “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and “the Secret Life of the American Teenager.” You can check out his IMDB page to get the full scoop of where he’s been (TV-wise) for the past couple of decades. 

Owens was interviewed by CNN about his day job at Trader Joe’s. Here’s what he had to say: 

“The fact that I as the guy from the Cosby show was shamed about working at Trader Joes that story is gonna move on that’s gonna pass ya know? But what i hope doesn’t pass is this new recognition, this current sensitivity that people are feeling about work and about working. I hope what continues to resonate is the idea that one job is not better than another, that a certain job might pay more, it might have better benefits, it might look better on paper but that essentially one kind of work is not better, superior than another kind of work and that we reevaluate that whole idea and we start just honoring the dignity of work and respecting the dignity of the working person.” —Geoffrey Owens

3 Tips to Create a Career that is a Combination of Passion Job and ‘Pay the Bills’ Job

1. Brainstorm about what skills and interests you have aside from your main passion. What else do you like to do? What else do you like to talk about or think about? What have people told you you’re good at?

2. Think about your values. What is most important to you in work? Look for a side hustle or a day job that has the benefits that are most important to you. Even if you end up having a day job that isn’t your dream, if it provides some of those aspects that are important to you (say good pay and flexibility) it may be a great fit for a day job for you right now. 

3. Don’t be afraid to create your own job. Entrepreneurship pairs SO well with jobs like acting. In Episode 13 we unpacked tools like Skillshare and Teachable that can help you create courses online. Or you may have some kind of freelance skill—get plugged in on LinkedIn and begin to spread the word about your skill on that site. That is the place where people go to find freelancers to hire. Don’t be shy about sharing your day job endeavor. 

Mythbusting about Actors with Day Jobs 

  1. Actors with day jobs are “unsuccessful.” The vast majority of acting jobs are short-term contracts—whether it’s TV, film, or stage. For actors equity (the stage union) of members of the union that worked *at all* in the 2016-17 season, the average amount of time spent in jobs on stage was 16.4. That leaves the average working union actor with 35.6 weeks a year to find some other way to pay the bills. That’s about 8 months of the year.

  2. Day jobs are soulless gigs actors have to take to be able to pay their rent. While sometimes, and especially, in early career days, you gotta take a job that will take you, as careers mature you can find other flexible gigs that might bring you even more income than your acting job, and may give you an opportunity to flex those skills and talent muscles that you have in work that is more in demand. Do you know what another word for “day job” is? Side hustle. I have actor friends who also choreograph, teach, work with nonprofit organizations, work retail, do event planning, real estate, get paid to advertise products on instagram, and of course bartend and cater. 

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by 
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 14: Karen Swallow Prior, Author & Professor

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Karen Swallow Prior, Ph. D., is Professor of English at Liberty University, where she has won multiple teaching awards. She writes frequently on literature, culture, ethics, and ideas. Her writing appears at Christianity TodayThe AtlanticThe Washington PostFirst ThingsVoxThink Christian, The Gospel Coalition, Books and Culture and other places. She is the author of Booked: Literature in the Soul of Me (T. S. Poetry Press, 2012), Fierce Convictions: The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More—Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist (Thomas Nelson, 2014), and On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Literature (Brazos, 2018).

In this episode Hilary sits down with author and professor Karen Swallow Prior to talk about her new book, On Reading Well, how she launched a career as an author, and what she has learned since she was in a bus accident in May 2018 leaving her in a wheelchair for three months. 

Episode Highlights

"Reading well leads to living well." 

"I want to encourage people to read books that make demands on you and be OK with books that are challenging." 

"When we learn about characters, we shape our own character." 

Recommended Reading from Karen:
Madam Bovary

Connect with Karen on Twitter and Instagram.
Get your copy of On Reading Well here.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 13: Melissa Guller, Online Entrepreneurship Expert

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By day, 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, the Head of Special Projects at Teachable, 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.

Episode Highlights

"Your knowledge has probably a higher price tag than you even realize because people want to know exactly what you did to achieve the result that they want."

"The way that I think about things now as a manager is that I’m always noticing when people make my life easier. You want to be able to show that you’re making your boss’s life easier by doing something great for the company."

"I love to think about your career as the business of you. You are the only person responsible for making sure the business of you is successful...Sometimes you have to make the decision that what’s best for the business of you is a different opportunity, and I’ve been able to increase my salary pretty significantly by not moving laterally but by moving up." 

Connect with Melissa on Instagram.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook. You can also catch the episode of Melissa's "Figuring It Out" podcast in which Hilary is guest discussing how to work from home productively

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 12: Ashley Gorley, Songwriter, Publisher, Producer

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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.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

 

Episode 11: The Truth About Freelancing

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In this episode, Hilary unpacks the state of freelancing in the U.S., the drawbacks of freelancing, the benefits, and how to know if freelancing is right for you. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Freelancing is massive. 53 million Americans are freelancers (That’s about 1 in 3.)
  • Freelancing is growing. By 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.
  • Expectations are shifting. 32 % of Millenials believe they will be working “mainly flexible hours” in the future. 
  • Technology makes it possible. 80% of millennials use social media as a means of finding work. 
  • 84% of freelancers find purpose working the gig economy.
  • 97% of freelancers say they are much happier than permanent workers. 

10 characteristics of people who thrive as freelancers:

1. You value autonomy. You are energized by making your own schedule. The idea of being your own boss feels right to you. When people say "I want to work in-house because I want to be a part of a team" it's kind of difficult for you to understand. 

2. You like non-traditional hours. You don't hold a grudge if you need to work early in the morning or late at night. You actually prefer not to track hours but rather to just work until the work gets done.

3. You're highly organized. You are highly skilled at keeping track of deadlines and workflow. Project management may not be your favorite thing, but you can do it. You're great at keeping up with details whether or not you feel like that's your highest and best use. 

4. You're cool with alone time. If you're a head down "work hard/play hard" kind of person, working at home may make sense for you. 

5. You don't need outer accountability. You can stay on task and check off your to do list even without a boss checking in on you. You are intrinsically motivated. 

6. You thrive on variety. You like the idea of multiple projects for multiple clients. 

7. You’re not intimidated by invoicing or negotiating contracts. The numbers side of getting paid doesn’t stress you out. In fact, it motivates you and inspires you to set goals. 

8. You actually feel like freelancing is beating the system a little bit. Some people think freelancers have the short end of the stick but any time you’re able to take a Friday off, bum around in yoga pants all day or work poolside, or strategically work faster to take on more clients and make more money, you know that you’re the real winner here. 

9. You're fine with sacrificing earning potential or benefits. It's worth it to you to sacrifice promotions or typical benefits like a company matching 401K in order to have the benefits of working at home. 

10. You're very good at connecting with people. Whether you’re building relationships IRL or via referral or social media, you can build rapport quickly with people who you don’t see face to face all the time

Do you dream about launching a freelance career? Freelancing is an amazing way to strike out on your own and work on your own terms or build a supplementary income stream.

Join Hilary for Going Freelance: How to Launch, Market, & Build Your Freelance Career at the Lemon Collective on August 23 at 7 PM. 2-hour intensive workshop you will get a crash course on all things freelancing as Hilary Sutton shares what she has learned over eight years of building a freelance career. You'll walk away with tons of practical information on everything from what you need to do know to launch a freelance business to creating a smoothly operating freelancing machine.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 10: The Washington Post's Austin Graff On Boundaries & Balance in the Digital Age

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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. 

Episode Highlights

"There’s a verse in the Bible that says if you show you can steward the small things, you will be given bigger things, and that’s the common sentiment to a lot of faiths and people around the world. I found that to be true as I was trying to work my hardest at an entry-level job and not always dream about what’s next and feel entitled that way. I think that holds people back in their careers. I went through that one door with that mentality and tried to work hard and hustle and give my best, even if it was copying papers, and that led to even more trust and responsibilities."

"The moment I’m with my wife or daughter or friends, I try to put it [my cell phone] away. I’m not perfect at it, but it’s my intention for most of the time so that I’m present with people. If someone needs me, they’ll know how to get a hold of me and call. Most likely, if someone texts or emails or sends a Slack that means it’s not as urgent as a phone call, so that’s really helpful. That’s one of my rules – to not be on my phone a lot around people. Being a father has helped because I don’t want my daughter to see that I’m more interested in this shiny object than her."

"I’m really good with tasks and organizing them on my day-to-day calendar, while she’s [my wife] really good at the strategic thinking behind how we should structure our time. We’ll often talk about 'What are our priorities? What are we driving toward?' and making sure all our tasks and how we spend our time add up to that. Recently we went through an exercise where we both went and wrote down our priorities, both individual, and then with my wife Teresa as a family and saw where they are in line and just had a discussion about it. We came up with our top three priorities for this season of time and made sure that most of the things we do ladder up to those priorities." 

Connect with Austin on Instagram and Twitter.

Connect with Hilary on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 9: Digital Nomad + Freelance Writer Susan Shain

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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. 

Episode Highlights:

On Seasonal Jobs:

“You get to make all kinds of new friends. You bond intensely and you get to have a lot of fun by being outside and doing group activities and it offers a really affordable way to travel the country and live in these incredible places that people pay to vacation.”

“My biggest advice would be don’t wait. I talk to so many people who say “I wish I could do that” or “I should have done that” and sometimes I’m blunt with them and I say ‘why don’t you?’”

On Negotiating While Freelancing:

“If somebody offers you something, counter with a little bit more. Of course, when you’re first building your clips you might not be able to command a high rate, but most people are expecting you to negotiate just a little bit and you can always go back down. If they say “no, we really can’t afford that” then you can go back to the original rate, but at least you always asked.”

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.

Connect with Hilary on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by
the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 8: Personal Finance Expert Lisa Rowan On What Every Millennial Needs to Know About Money

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In this episode Hilary brings Lisa Rowan, 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.  

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.

Episode Highlights:

“37 percent of millennials have less than 1000 dollars in savings and 12 percent of millennials have no savings at all.”

“Your money situation is as unique as you are to the next person.”

“If you’re trying to meet goals by paying off debt to start, you really need to be resilient and dedicated and you have to know there’s a big light at the end of the tunnel.”

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.

Connect with Hilary on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

This episode is sponsored by the Side Hustle Starter Kit.

Episode 7: Entrepreneur Caitlin Pyle

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Hilary sits down with entrepreneur Caitlin Pyle to unpack Caitlin's story of getting fired from a soul-sucking $16 per hour corporate job and pivoting to a career running her own multimillion-dollar media company (before age 30!). Caitlin shares tips she swears by in running her own business and creating the life of her dreams.

Episode 5: App Creator & Inc. Columnist Damon Brown

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Inc. magazine columnist, creator of the app "Cuddlr," and author Damon Brown joins Hilary to talk about how a social media sabbatical helped his business boom, how to create passive income, and why it's critical for creatives to find their 'why.' 

Episode 02: Broadway Actress & Author Alexandra Silber

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Broadway Actress & Author Alexandra Silber has created a career as a stage and television actress, novelist, memoirist, singer, and educator. In this episode she shares her approach to her career as a buffet rather than a ladder and shares how her life came to a full stop when she neglected her health.

Episode 01: Startup Founder & Networking Expert Molly Beck

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Hilary sits down with blogger turned tech startup founder & networking expert Molly Beck to hear about Molly's podcasting startup, Messy.FM, her book "Reach Out," how Molly implements self-care into her routine, and her tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, podcasters, and writers.