Working in America where the price of living is steadily increasing, while jobs and affordable housing is becoming fewer by the day, it is essential to have a side-hustle while trying to survive the bulldozer we call the “Land of the Free.” As everyday isn't promised to bring an abundance of funds and joy, it is essential to provide for yourself while turning your passion into a profit. Here are my Three Wise Rules that will save you from exhaustion and breach of sanity.
It is easy to feel a sense of worthlessness, when you are barely able to survive two weeks on a bi-weekly check. Currently, we have people with full degrees and/or masters who still unable to find work in their field or they feel unfulfilled in their positions. My father, like many people in his generation, believe that millennials have a lack of work ethic and that we are constantly moving from job to job with a lack of loyalty. I had to inform my father that the climate that he grew up working in is a different ball game from the one today. Here, you will starve and feel robbed just to say you did it. Without getting into the statistics of unemployment for college graduates, it’s a necessity to build and fund your own way in America.
By day, I work a 9 to 5 (I’m typing this here now lol) while working as an Image Consultant for individuals and small businesses. I’ve worked with brands, gyms and local artists behind the scenes to produce content and promote the beauty and glows of their passions. I’ve learned a lot from my clients. The good and bad experiences, I've shared on my podcast, The Free Parking Podcast, and all of season one can be wrapped up into the Three Wise Rules: See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. The three wise monkeys mythology can help you flourish in your business.
See No Evil: Identity
In the age of social media, it's easy to compare yourself to other businesses and peers in your field. With that mindset, your business will always fall short. Know that your business is not like anyone else's because it is you who is steering the ship. No one else shares your same story and it is that tale that has brought you into business. From the services and products you provide, steer clear of following trends and temporary “hashtagable” moments and put that energy into stabilizing your lane.
If you are thinking of starting a business, what is it that you do? As for me, it took some time to identify who I was as a business. One second my focus was purely on photography. Next, it was fitness, then back to photography and social media marketing until I hit a full circle moment. “I’m an image consultant, instilling confidence in individuals and small businesses, from fitness and health to photography and entertainment.” Identify who you are as a business and stick to it. This will save you a headache and eliminate comparisons.
Hear No Evil: Bad Press and Popular Opinions
Social media will teach you not to read the comments. Everyone will have an opinion and words about you and your business. Especially when starting out and your business is so close to your personal life. It’s important to identify who your business is outside of your personal relations, and lean not on the words of those close to you. Steer your ship! Just as negative reviews will likely leave you crippled and second guessing your business; Good reviews and high-praise can create an ego and a sense of security. Both put you in a negative spot as they both create “immobilized” mindset.
In my unhealthy opinion, I'd much rather invest my energy in cleaning up bad reviews than getting shot out the sky on high praise. As the climate is forever changing and technology is advancing, I've witnessed photography studios shut down because the owners, stuck in high-praise, were unwilling to change with the times. With everyone having cameras at their fingertips with IPhones, you have to provide more than what consumers already have. Listening to only peers that speak highly of you and ignoring true connections with critiques, will leave you with a blind-side.
Speak No Evil: Watch Your Mouth
With having a clear identity and valued support, speak only radiant words. Don’t coat your words in the fear of your business. Speak only to the added success of your business. Your voice should always hold the integrity of your business and the values you’ve instilled in it. This goes for other businesses as well. When collaborating with other businesses and contractors, it is not always promised the connection will last. Like any relationship, there are elements that bring both parties to the table. Speak only the value, leaving the rest to someone else's own experience. It is not your job to leave a Yelp review on some else's business.
In addition, never be afraid to ask and pay for the help. You can’t do it all and investing in help can free up some worries and provide new perspective. DIY projects can be cute, but cute don’t pass in business. There are people suited and skilled to help you launch your businesses and projects. Creating healthy spaces, free of clutter, negative gossip and comparisons is how we make our own “Land of the Free.”
As always, you can stream The Free Parking Podcast as we discuss hot topics, health/wellness and business development tips for young entrepreneurs and creatives.
Written By: Deion Delgado/ Instagram: @Delgado_Nation
Editor: Ashley White/ Instagram: @Ashley_unscripted