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 off a successful side project.
Featured Side Hustler: Jen Hsieh
Full-Time Job: I am an Associate Project Manager at VaynerMedia.
Tell us about your hustle:
I started my personal style and life blog back in my sophomore year of college as a way to push myself to make the most of my existing closet on a budget. Over time I really found my own voice when it came to my writing and my own style when it came to my closet. Now my blog focuses less on my style journey and more on my everyday adventures and my travels with the occasional review here and there.
What motivated you to start it?
One of my best friends from high school actually encouraged me to start one with her during our freshman year of college, since we moved far away from each other and wanted to find a way to keep in touch. She’s an even bigger fashion lover than I am so she really was that extra push I needed to blog. Eventually she got too busy, but I kept on going since I found a love for it and it helped me really work on my photography skills as well. Added bonus!
While building your side hustle, who has helped/supported you the most?
Honestly, everyone. When I first started I kept it to only my boyfriend at the time (who was my main supporter and my photographer) and my closest friends. For some reason I found it to be embarrassing and I was really shy about even sharing it with my family. But keeping a blog hidden isn’t the easiest thing in the world, so eventually it spread from one friend to another and I found out that everyone was insanely supportive and they’re the ones that keep me going.
The biggest shout outs definitely go to my photographers though, which vary between a few friends, my boyfriend, and my mom (when I’m visiting home). They have no incentive to help me out for those few minutes but they’re always more than happy to because they know how much my blog means to me.
Who is your biggest side hustle role model?
At my company, almost everyone has a side project going on despite their busy work schedules; whether it’s managing their own company, launching their own start-up, or hosting improv shows, there’s always inspiration surrounding me to keep me going. Working in an environment like that, that really encourages hustle, is such a benefit.
How much time on average do you spend on your side hustle per week?
It will vary depending on how busy I am at work or how much I have going on during my free time. On average these days, I usually spend around 4-5 hours a week on my blog. Back in college it was closer to 10 hours a week, most likely.
What was the biggest element holding you back from starting and how did you overcome it?
The biggest thing was just having the motivation to do it. I was lucky to have my best friend pushing me to start it with her, so having a partner-in-crime gives you that extra encouragement.
What is an example of a time you hit a rough patch? How did you handle the situation?
The hardest hurdle for me, when it came down to it, was getting over the issue of insecurity. As a style blogger, your blog is full of picture after picture of yourself and you start to scrutinize the way you look at certain angles or the ways that your clothes fit on your body. Not to mention you’re surrounded by other style bloggers and it’s hard not to get caught up in comparisons, which is the deadliest thing that you find yourself focusing on in the blogging world.
Ultimately, I just took a step back from blogging and focused on myself for a bit to find my way back to why I even started blogging in the first place. It’s a space for my voice and it shouldn’t be representing anyone else.
What has been the biggest benefit of having a side project?
The people you meet. As a style blogger, there is such an enormous community out there to get involved with if you make the effort. I’ve meet some incredible bloggers and non-bloggers through my blog and just having that interactive aspect makes it so much more worthwhile and meaningful.
For someone starting out, what is your biggest piece of advice?
Be true to your voice. It’s great to find inspiration from other people, but the one thing you have that will set you apart from everyone else is YOU.
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.
Do you have a side hustle? Want it to be featured on our blog? Get in touch!