Side hustlin’

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A great way to gain a little financial freedom and earn some extra coin is to turn a passion or hobby into a second job, or ‘side hustle.’ From the pharmacist who writes a successful lifestyle blog to a restauranteur-by-day and makeup artist-by-night, we talked with some Atlantic Canadians who shared their experiences with side hustles.

How did you begin your side hustle?

For Geoff Robb, his side hustle was a natural progression from student to teacher. From 9 to 5, Geoff works as a technical consultant, but after hours he teaches BodyFlow, a yoga-inspired workout offered at Goodlife Fitness Clubs. “I started attending classes regularly and one of the instructors asked if I was interested in training to be an instructor,” Geoff says. “I hadn’t thought about it before, but the opportunity came around and I went for it.”

How do you balance the two roles?

For Chirine Issa, owner of Saj House Lebanese restaurant, the key to balancing her restaurant role with the makeup artist work she does on the side is surrounding herself with the best people to support her. “I’ve hired a few people at the restaurant who have learned the ins-and-outs of the day-to-day operations,” says Chirine. “They make it easy for me to step away to do full days of makeup application work without having to worry about Saj House.” She schedules her side hustle around her full-time gig, taking makeup jobs during slow times at the restaurant.

What do you like about having a side hustle?

Thanh Phung loves how her side hustle gives her the opportunity to think in a different way. As a full-time pharmacist, she uses the clinical and analytical part of her brain, but as a content creator for her blog Love and Sundays she gets to express herself creatively. “I have a lot of fun with it,” says Phung, “it’s my passion project.”

What are some challenges that come along with having a side hustle?

“It can be tricky to balance two roles,” say Bryanna and Alyssa Chapeskie, twin sisters who both work full-time jobs but run their greeting card business Double Dare Print Studio on the side. “Time management is key,” says Alyssa, “things like labelling your files and being organized helps.”

Do you use the extra income for anything specific?

Like many side hustlers, Canadian Forces member Katie Buckland puts any extra income she earns back into her side business. “As a bagpiper who plays everything from conventions to weddings, I have a lot of travel costs,” says Katie. “I use the money for expenses and to buy new instrument equipment.” The extra dough also helps Katie to justify some of her more extravagant expenses, “It helps me afford doggy daycare too!” She says.

How do you manage your time?

There are many ways to make sure your time is managed well-although it can be a struggle. Thanh works three 12-hour shifts a week in order to dedicate time to Love and Sundays while Chirine admits she finds it hard to find time to do it all. “Sometimes I just have to say no,” she says. Bryanna and Alyssa manage by taking the time in January to plan out their year, make a production schedule, and do their best to stick to it.

Would you ever turn your side hustle into your full time job?

A side hustle is usually a hobby; something you do because you love it. Geoff Robb says he’d teach BodyFlow full-time in a heartbeat. “Even if I don’t start class with a smile on my face, guaranteed I’ll have one by the end,” he says. This sentiment is echoed by many side hustlers, although some wouldn’t choose to make it their day job. “I love what I do, I just want to do it on my own terms,” says Chirine who is happy to keep her side hustle just that.