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Featured Side Hustler: Jamila Rowser
Full-Time Job: At the moment I’m freelancing at HarperCollins doing social media.
Tell us about your hustle:
My first side hustle, Girl Gone Geek Blog started 4 years ago. It’s where I blog about geek culture. Through my blog I’ve been able to meet so many wonderful people and interview creators that I’m a big fan of. I’ve also been on a many podcasts and panels talking about comics, geek culture and blogging.
Girl Gone Geek then birthed two new side hustles, one being straightouttagotham.com where I mashup my love of geek culture and hip hop culture. Basically, I create GIFs and memes of geeky rap lyrics. It’s a ton of fun and it was even featured in Complex Magazine!
My newest side hustle that I started with my friends Yissel and Rachel, which has the ability to become something huge (I hope) is Geek Girl Brunch. Geek Girl Brunch is a meetup group of geeky ladies who usually meet during brunch. Although we only launched Geek Girl Brunch officially less than 2 months ago, we have already received offers from around the world from geeky girls who want to become officers for their city and host their own Geek Girl Brunch. We’re also in the works of planning a massive meetup event around the time of New York Comic Con with a major sponsor! We’ve been overwhelmed with the amazing response we’ve received so far.
What motivated you to start it?
I started Girl Gone Geek Blog because I wanted to contribute to the geek subculture that I was already apart of online. I also just wanted to talk about anime, comics, games, sci-fi and fantasy because I didn’t have many friends who were into that stuff.
Geek Girl Brunch was a way I could live out that online geek subculture in real life. There’s a wonderful feeling you when when you’re talking about your passions with people who “get you” and I wanted to share that feeling. Geek Girl Brunch is a lot of fun, but it is more than just a group of geek girls who eat bacon, drink mimosas and talk about anime boyfriends. As women that live in the geek subculture online and IRL, we know how it isn’t always welcoming. With this meetup group, we want to create an environment where identifying lady geeks can be themselves without fear of sexism, bigotry or ridicule. We hope to provide a safe space to give voice, create friendships and hang out!
While building your side hustle, who has helped/supported you the most?
My parents have supported me a lot. I can tell they are proud of me because of my blog and it means the world to me. Also my internet friends who have supported my blog for years, even when I’m too busy to blog often!
Who is your biggest side hustle role model?
Not sure if they constitute as “side hustle” but my role models in the geek subculture are Felicia Day, Bonnie Burton, Ashley Eckstein and Aisha Tyler to name a few.
How much time on average do you spend on your side hustle per week?
Not enough! haha But it varies week to week but it may average on 4 to 6 hours (or more if I’m lucky).
What was the biggest element holding you back from starting and how did you overcome it?
Time. It’s something I struggled with for years, and still struggle with to be honest. Working full time I get home late and only have about 2 hours max to work on blog stuff at home if I don’t have plans after work, so I take advantage of the weekends. I try and spend at least one long afternoon on the weekend working on blog stuff and I’ll schedule things out for the week. But it’s easy for a wrench to be thrown in my weekend blogging if I have plans, so it’s definitely not foolproof, but it works for now.
What is an example of a time you hit a rough patch? How did you handle the situation?
A few months ago a lot of changes where happening in my life. I made the decision to only do things with passion and care. I decided to leave my job in search for something I cared about, and only blog about what I cared about. In terms of my side hustle, I knew that this might mean I wouldn’t blog as frequently, but at least each post would mean more to me, and hopefully in turn, mean more to my readers. My blog can get pretty personal and deep, but I share my experiences in hopes that it will help others.
What has been the biggest benefit of having a side project?
It makes me happy, plain and simple. Whether it’s from meeting an idol, or a blog post inspiring someone, I get pure and genuine happiness from Girl Gone Geek and Geek Girl Brunch.
What are your favorite apps/books/productivity hacks?
Because my “to do” list is never ending, I usually stick with shorter “to do right now” lists and end up using sticky notes on my Mac or notes on my phone. I’m also a fan of old fashion pen and paper. With Geek Girl Brunch, since it’s me and my two other co-founders Yissel and Rachel, we use Google Docs to collaborate and Google Hangouts for meetings.
For someone starting out, what is your biggest piece of advice?
Make sure your side hustle is something you are truly passionate about, because it will keep it from feeling like a job.
Thinking about starting something on the side? Check out FindSpark’s latest side hustle, Sidehustle.me, for all the tips and tricks you need to pull of a successful side project.
Want your side hustle to be featured on our blog? Get in touch!