If I didn’t change course from these ways of working or thinking, there’s no way I’d be successful today. Sadly, I see many of the mistakes I made bring many entrepreneurs down. Don’t let you be one of them! Tune in to this episode to learn how society’s norms might be fooling you the same way that they nearly fooled me, and how you can shift into your own decisions.
Tune in to hear:
– Why learning from lawyers nearly cost me my career and how to audit your own version of success too.
-What years of listening to YouTube interviews with entrepreneurs taught me about entrepreneurship, but yet took me a while to figure out.
-What stopped me from making money for the first YEAR of my blog and what finally shifted. Do this MUCH sooner than I did.
Facebook Live Replay
Transcript of Episode
Leah Gervais: Hello, hello. And welcome to day one of five. So today we are focusing on, well actually all week I’m going to be coming to you guys live. I’m so to do so, uh, and I’m going to be sharing my biggest side hustle secrets and the things that I’ve learned working with so many side hustlers and seeing the successes and seeing the not successes. Okay. My blanking to anyone else. It’s starting to make me feel like I’m in the movie from the ring. You know, really freaky. I hated that movie and it always freaked me out, but hopefully no one else is seeing it that way. Okay. So we’re just going to dive in and I’m just going to have to be freaked out by myself for a little bit.
So I am Leah Gervais and I’m so happy to be here with you guys and today alone we had nearly 500 people sign up for just this training. And that’s incredible to me because just four years ago, honestly just three years ago, I was just trying to figure out the whole side hustle thing, trying to crack the code, trying to figure out how I could actually make money from it, see what it actually was about and now being able to share my own success story of going from side hustle to six figures and helping so many people do the same. It’s just a huge honor and privilege. So I’m very excited to be here with you guys today and especially excited to be connecting with you all during this very chaotic time. You know, I can’t tell how things are for the rest of the country.
I’m sure everywhere is going through this together. I can’t tell if it’s more intense in New York or not for us just because New York has been hit the worst. But you know if you’re inside you’re inside. So if this is getting to you, my heart goes out to you. I am here with you and I’m really excited to be connecting with you guys on this specific topic because one of the things that I’ve remained the most grateful for over this time period is being able to continue working and not being at the mercy of, you know, a boss or anyone else for my income and really being able to kind of call the shots here myself. So whether you are being forced into learning more about side hustling because your job is not going the way you want it to or you are excited to do that.
Now that you’re home more or maybe you just had a wake up call where you’re like, you know what? Life is short. I am not going to listen to myself. Continue to talk about how I want to start a side hustle, want to start my own business, want to work for myself and then not actually do it. And you know, be in this kind of situation where you don’t feel like you have your freedoms in the same way. Whatever the case may be, you’re welcome here with open arms. I’m very excited to hear from you guys over the next few days and share this really in depth and honest information. Uh, so much of which could have expedited my timeline by months, even years if I would have known sooner. And my mission is to do the same for you. My mission right now is to do my part in helping as many people feel financially secure and stable on their own as possible.
Because the last thing I want is for people to feel like, you know, they don’t have control over one more thing in their life when they probably feel like they don’t have control over so much right now. So over the next four, uh, at noon, I will be live here. And uh, the more of you are, the more you can come live the better because this is going to be a very interactive workshop. Um, so I would love to start now and I’d love to just hear from everyone. Tell me what city you’re located in. Uh, and if you’re not in the U.S. tell me where not in the U S you’re located in. Um, and let’s get a feel for where everyone who is live is from. And hopefully that kind of gets everyone in the habit of really participating here. All of my workshops are meant to be interactive.
It is not meant to just be me talking to you guys. So, um, I’m excited to spend this time with you and hopefully starting now, uh, am starting to hear a little bit more about you guys and where you are tuning in from. And every single day over the next four days, each training will have kind of a side hustle theme. So every day we’re going to go through a few different, uh, or we’re going to go through a different kind of pillar of side hustle success and I’m going to share some really important information on each pillar so you don’t want to miss any single day. They’re all equally as important. They all kind of hold up the success, um, with equal weight, if that makes sense. And at the end of every training, I will kind of be sharing the one biggest kind of juicy secret or just mistake people that I see people making on that topic when they’re trying to make their side hustle work.
So make sure to stay till the end every single day, um, and hear that because I really do think that, you know, what I’m sharing today are things that either people aren’t talking about or they are in denial of or you know, they’re just not implementing it. And that’s not what we want to happen to you guys, obviously. So that is what we have in store. Let’s go ahead and dive in. Okay. You’re from Connecticut. Awesome. Clear Lake Portland. Great guys, so happy to have you all here. Hope you are all safe and healthy during this time. All right, let me take a sip of water and we will dive in. Wow. It looks like the new Facebook live.
Yeah. Is like generating captions while I talk, which is pretty cool. That’s great. Alrighty. So today we’re talking about the five nearly fatal mistakes I made in my first year or two of side hustling. So this is going to be help, especially helpful for you if you are within the first year of starting your side hustle or your online business. This might already be like, you’re like, I’m not even thinking side hustle. This is full time for me. But it all started for me as a side hustle. So that’s kind of the way I frame it and I have a lot of compassion for those of you that are working nine to five jobs and this at the same time. Uh, and during that time I spent the first year, I’m going to be honest, not really making that much money. I made some money here and there.
I’m really open about that. But it was not until well into your to I guess, um, that my income started to pick up. But once it did, it really did. So I feel like I have a lot of insights on what definitely didn’t work and what definitely did. And that’s why I think I’m able to really help my clients get transformations quickly because I can really identify what, what’s a yes and what was maybe what maybe is holding you back. Um, and so we’re going to start a little bit before that actually and kind of start talking about how I started this and why I started it because that really plays into some of the mistakes I made early on. So for those of you that don’t know my story, I will briefly fill you in. I live in New York city now, but I am originally from a very small town in Colorado, a mountain town.
But it was my dream growing up my whole life to move to New York city and to live that kind of big, rich New York life and have a great career and have a great relationship and get to enjoy all the restaurants and bars and all the things that can’t, can’t do it all right now. But I really had this monumental vision for what I wanted my life to look like. And so it was super exciting when I was able to go to NYU for college and move to New York when I was only 18, 19 years old. And I can’t believe this year will be 10 years that I was here. And so when I moved here and went to NYU, my plan the whole time was to go to NYU and then go to law school and be a lawyer. And I thought that going down the legal path would lead me to that life that I had envisioned.
I thought it would lead me to a really sexy career here in New York. Helped me meet a lot of really ambitious and interesting people. Uh, obviously compensate me in the way that is needed to live a big life in New York. Society kind of had laid it out for me in this really clear way and I didn’t question it. So I went to NYU, I took out all the student loan debt to go to NYU. Um, and there I was graduating from NYU, getting a job as a paralegal to then go work at a law firm and then eventually applied to law school. So my checklist was kind of checked off, if, you know what I mean. All the things were aligning up in the way that I wanted them to be and the way that they should have been. Um, and it was not until I had been accepted into numerous law schools having to give my notification to which law school I wanted to go to.
Um, and working as a paralegal when something in me was like, Oh my God, Leah, you should not do this. And I talk a lot about that moment and I talk about it in a sense that it was like my intuition speaking to me. And out of the blue telling me, don’t do this, don’t do this. This isn’t what you want to do. But I didn’t really know why, but that’s actually not entirely true. There is a little more to it that I don’t share that often. And that’s what I want to share with you guys today because it is the first nearly fatal mistake that I made and if I didn’t recognize it then I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. And that’s why I really want to share it with you today in case it applies to you in a similar way.
So what happened that day and what happened when I finally realized that this was not what I was going to do with my life is that I realized that I had been continually listening to society’s advice. I had been listening to what society was telling me to do, right. To go to the really highly ranked school to take out tons of student loans to do so to work as a paralegal before I went to this, you know, kind of yellow brick road type career path of law school where you know, you go to law school for three years, you know, it’s okay to take out like six figures of debt and then you end up working at, you know, usually a bigger firm for a few years so that you can pay your loans back. Um, and then that’s kind of, that’s kind of it. That’s kind of your path.
So it’s really defined for you and society loves it. Um, I feel like nowadays people are a little more skeptical of this whole thing, but just a few years ago it was still really kind of ambitious or just highly regarded to go down that path. And at this point I had kind of explored ways that I had been creative about trying to make that big life in New York happen for me in different ways. Specifically, though I was working as a paralegal, I was making an entry level salary in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I had like no money. So I got really, really into personal finance and I was obsessed with reading while things Dave Ramsey and um, you know, just automating all my finances and couponing and like making the absolute most of that entry level $40,000 salary that I could while I was paying back loans while I was paying for New York city rent.
Um, and it was really, I would say the experience of going through that and feeling like I was doing all these personal finance things. Right, right. Like I was saving all the money I could. I was automating my finances. I was, you know, not spending over my means. I was doing all these things quote “Right”. And where was I? I still didn’t really have any money. I still wasn’t able to go on vacations. I still wasn’t living in a great apartment in New York. I still wasn’t anywhere near that big life that I had envisioned. I was living with two other roommates in a two bedroom that we turned into a three bedroom by building a paper machine wall. That’s what you do in New York. Um, and I had no money left over, you know, I couldn’t buy anything for myself. Like a nice blurred for me was buying a box of Yogi tea on Fridays before work.
Uh, and that’s really all I could do. And so I was feeling like I was doing all these things right. I was following all this traditional career finance advice and personal finance advice and I had absolutely no, I had nothing to show for. It is really how I felt. And so there I was about to go to law school about to go into six figures of debt, about to give up three years of my life to go back to school, which if that’s what you want to do, obviously isn’t a sacrifice, it’s an investment in yourself. But I wasn’t totally sold on that. I was wanting to do it because I was wanting to do it, thinking it would lead to this big life. And I was sort of like, okay, you know what, I already listened to society by going to the quote, “great school” and I ended up in a lot of student loan debt, not having anything really to show it at the end of the month. Would I change NYU for anything? No, I loved it but I definitely did it out of what I thought society was telling me to do and it had a lot of side effects that society didn’t really, it wasn’t really honest about the same thing happened when I got really into personal finance. I thought I was doing everything society told me to do and uh, that didn’t get me where I wanted to either. So the morning that I declined my law school acceptances, it wasn’t that, it was just out of the blue something saying Leah don’t go to law school. It was that I was finally coming to my senses and being honest with the fact that I was going to be naive if I continued following society’s advice, thinking it would lead me to my big vision of my life in New York when it hadn’t.
And when, if you looked at the facts, there were all the reasons why it wouldn’t. I was going to go into a lot more debt. I was going to have a lot less opportunities in terms of career. Not that there aren’t legal jobs in New York, but that’s really what you need to do and you need to work at a high paying one in the beginning to pay off your lungs and that means giving up a lot of your social life, giving up a lot of your own flexibility, a lot of your time. I was handing over my freedom. I had already done that with NYU by going into debt. I had already also done that by going through all these personal finance trainings but still not really having anything to show for it. Was I really going to do it again? No. Did I know what I was going to do instead?
Absolutely not. But that’s when the side hustle came in and so what is the lesson here? What is the nearly fatal mistake I made? I was overly listening to society’s way of doing things. And I really want you to think about whether you do this now or tonight with a glass of wine in your journal, you know, be my guest, how you might be using society’s influences on you in ways that aren’t actually in alignment with what you want. And so this does take you getting clear on what you want. And I don’t even really like giving that advice honestly. And it kind of makes my blood boil when people tell me “get really clear” because it’s like I could get clear on so many different things in so many different ways. It ends up just kind of overwhelming me, you know? But what I did know is that I had this vision for my life and going into six figures of debt and going back to school for three years and feeling kind of locked into the legal field was not in alignment with it.
And so learning that lesson carried on through my side hustle in ways that would have made or break my success. So here’s a tangible example, and I don’t want to get too far ahead in the story, but I just want to drill this point home and see how this might be relating to you guys. So about a year or two years into my side hustle, I made the decision to go all in and see if I could make it my nine to five job. And so for me that meant learning from other people who had also quit their nine to five jobs. Whereas at that, up until that moment I was doing it all on my own. I wasn’t learning from anyone else, which it’s no wonder why things weren’t happening, but I decided I needed to learn from a mentor, hire someone to teach me how to grow my side hustle, to quit my nine to five job.
The problem was this investment was $5,000 and I had only made around $1,000 dollars in a month from my side hustle. And at the time I was not making $5,000 extra dollars a month at my nine to five job to pay for that. So I did not have that money. Is the long and short of it. I, for the first time in my life, ever put money on a credit card knowing that I probably wouldn’t be able to pay the entire balance off that month. And remember this had been the girl who was trained in all personal finance obsessions of never have credit card debt, never take out more money than you can pay in one month. And I lived by that, but I had to remember this lesson. Do not be overly influenced by lessons from society that aren’t in service to your own vision.
So what had all that personal finance advice done for me? I mean, some things, it taught me to automate my savings. It taught me to contribute to my 401k. I’m grateful for that. But all of this advice around never having any outstanding balance on your credit card had gotten me nowhere. So finally I had to remember, you know what, Leah, you didn’t come this far doing your own thing to only come this far. Remember, society isn’t God. Society’s rules aren’t always right, especially if society’s rules are encouraging people to conform to society. And you want to be an entrepreneur and you want to do something totally different, you need to think differently. So from there I made, took the huge risky decision to put $5,000 on a credit card, which I had never done in my life, which totally went against everything that I had thought that I stood for and grew up doing.
And it was the best decision I ever could’ve made because it lit a fire under me. That program really helped me and pushed me. And within six months, not only had I made the investment back, I left my nine to five job and I’ve made that investment back over and over, and I’ve made more money than I was ever making it a nine to five job. So it was the best decision I could’ve made for myself financially. But if I hadn’t learned this mistake that you can’t listen to society’s advice too much, then I still would be probably in my nine to five job couponing. You know what I mean? So that is lesson number one. Don’t overly listen to society’s advice if it doesn’t help you get to where you want to be. So I’d love to hear a takeaway from you guys at this moment.
Please share in the chat. One thing that is coming to mind right now that maybe you have been doing because your parents told you to do them. Society told you to do it, your friends and family told you to do it. The news told you to do it. Dave Ramsey told you to do it. And this is no shade to Dave Ramsey. The guy’s brilliant and he’s obviously helped a lot of people, but it wasn’t what I needed at the time. So what’s coming up for you guys? Share a few things with me. I’m gonna take a water break.
Okay, keep sharing. I am going to go ahead and go on to number two because I obviously have a lot to say and I want to be mindful of your guys’ time. All right. The second nearly fatal mistake that I made was waiting too much until I was ready to start things. So when I started Urban 20 Something, the truth is that I had actually kind of had an inkling to start something on my own for probably over a year. At that point, I didn’t know it was going to be Urban 20 Something. I didn’t know that it was going to be what it is now. I just knew that I love the idea of having my own thing. So I would spend days in my nine to five jobs with one earphone in listening to replays of um, you know, YouTube videos from some really inspiring entrepreneurs, women like Alexa Vontobel and Choquet and Sarah Blakely.
These totally let me up and I love the idea of doing it on my own. However, I didn’t have an idea like Spanx or like learn best. I didn’t have this very clear problem to solve in front of me that I felt like I had the guts to just step out and do so for a long time. I just didn’t, I didn’t start. And now, you know, to be totally honest, even when I started urban 20 something, I didn’t start it thinking this is going to become a six pack, a six figure business coaching firm. I didn’t think it was going to be my, you know, my entrepreneurial dream come true. I really had started it to just sort of get my feet wet with online business and with online marketing and write about my life as a 20 something in New York, trying to find her way, thus Urban 20 Something the name.
And so even when I did start, I still didn’t really have a clear vision of what I wanted it to be. And this is probably one of the things I hear the most from side hustlers that email me and my company every single day. They want to have a side hustle, they want to start their business, but they just aren’t sure what to start when to start it. Do they have the expertise? Are they ready? You know, all those things are kind of, they haven’t taken shape yet and I have a lot of sympathy for that because that’s how I felt watching those videos. I felt like they had either a business plan ready to go or a clear income or a clear mission statement. All these things that I just didn’t have and I would literally pray to God and say, please give me an idea like, please, I’m ready.
Drop it down to me and he didn’t, but that’s not true. You know, it was always inside of me. The thing was, the thing is I was waiting for this, this perfect idea to come to me when really that never happens. You need to take the first step. You need to buy the domain, even if it’s just your first and last name. You need to start getting creative and putting yourself in positions where you can think about and brainstorm with people who have done this so that you make the first move. Because here’s the secret. Here’s one of them. Nuggets of secrets. It doesn’t matter how perfect of an idea you have when you start a business or a side hustle, it’s going to change and it should. If you’re any good at business and you are constantly listening to what your audience is saying, what your gut is saying, what your higher guidance is saying, what society is saying and you’re pivoting all the time based on that.
Look at what’s going on right now. Any good business is pivoting what they’re offering to help people with what they most need given what’s going on. That’s how this training series started. We had no plans for me to do a four day training series on side hustling this month. I’ll be honest, but because we started getting more and more messages around how to start a business, how to do something online during this crazy time, we birthed this, so if you are good at… if you want to be a good entrepreneur, you will start before you’re ready. You will start before you have a business plan. You will start before you have all the answers. You will start today. You will reach out to my team after this live and say, how can I start today? And we will give you exact steps on what you can do, even without a business plan, even without a clear mission statement, even without an idea of what you’re going to sell because you will pivot once you start.
So that was one of my biggest, nearly fatal mistakes was continuing to wait until I had it all figured out before I started. And if I would have kept doing that, I never would have started. But luckily I decided to just start something, um, to document my journey. Like that’s really what I thought Urban 20 Something was going to be. I thought I was going to be kind of like my diary, my online diary as I figured out my career. I didn’t think it was going to be my career. And if I thought it was going to be my full time career, I probably wouldn’t be here today talking to you about this. So if you, you know, as I shared with you guys at the beginning of this, there were over nearly 500 people that signed up for this training, which is incredible that I get to teach how to side hustle well and how to go from side hustle or to six figures.
But if I wouldn’t have started one day and just pulled the trigger and started, I wouldn’t be doing this and I wouldn’t be able to help people right now when they really, really need it. So what is your takeaway from this lesson here? What are you w when can you start, can you start today? Can any of you put in this chat box I vow that this is the week I am going to figure out the steps I need to take to start moving this forward because I’m sick of hearing myself talk about how I want to do something, but it’s not actually happening in my life? Have you guys ever had that happen to yourself? This happens to me still where like I’ll have this idea, I’ll have this idea. And finally one day I’m like, Oh my God, I don’t even want to hear me talk about it anymore.
I’m sure my team doesn’t want to hear me talk about it anymore or my husband, I need you to just do it right? Like no one wants to be that person where you have this idea, you have this vision, you are talking about something, but you don’t actually do it. And let me tell you guys what I didn’t have when I started. I didn’t have a photographer. I didn’t have photography. I had no background with WordPress or starting anything. I had never sold anything online in my life. I didn’t know what SEO was. I didn’t have any money to hire anyone to teach me either. I remember saving up for weeks around that paralegal salary so that I had an extra $50 to wake up one morning early before work, buy an ebook. It was when my payday went through, buy an ebook and spend $50 on how to set up a blog.
That’s literally what it was like in the beginning. So I didn’t have thousands of dollars to invest. I didn’t have a photographer. I didn’t have any of that, but I figured out a way to make it work and that’s why I am where I am now. So one of the exercises you can ask yourself to get really clear around something that is, Oh my God, you guys, this is so exciting. I will register my name domain. I’ve been meaning to just haven’t pulled the trigger. Awesome. Leslie, love hearing this. Would love to connect with you further about that. Um, but here’s kind of an exercise you can ask yourself if you’re feeling fear around thinking of this, if you’re feeling afraid to invest in your business, if you’re feeling afraid to buy that domain and have to push publish on a website, if you’re feeling afraid to put yourself out there on a social media account, because what will people from your hometown think of you?
These are all fears. I’ve had you guys, all of them. The question that you can always come back to, and I still come back to to this day, is what am I more afraid of? Am I actually afraid of putting myself out there? Am I actually afraid of putting, whether it was $50 that I had to save or the $5,000 I eventually put on a credit card. Um, you know, they, my w my more afraid of doing that or am I more afraid of not living out my potential? Am I more afraid of living off of one income for the rest of my life? Am I more afraid of being the girl that always says she’s going to do something but then doesn’t like that’s way scarier, way scarier even if you chase those fears like in five years. But I rather worst case scenario have, you know, had to deal with a few thousand dollars on a credit card that maybe took me longer to pay off than I wanted or that I had to end up, you know, freelancing to make the extra money or whatever.
Like you can always figure that out or my more afraid of still sitting here behind the desk dealing with the zoom calls with my boss. You know, like having to deal with his coffee breath at work. I’m feeling like this constant anxiety of when I check my email on my phone and still feeling that way in five years. It’s no question. So that’s an easy question to ask yourself today. If there’s something that you’ve been excited to do or you want to do, but it feels nerve-wracking, what are you really more afraid of? So let me know in the chat. What are you guys most afraid of? Is it that I’m afraid of never fulfilling my full potential? I’m afraid of staying at a nine to five job that I don’t really love. I’m afraid of always thinking what if? Tell me in the chat, what is the bigger fear for you than starting.
Okay, nearly fatal mistake number three, that almost cost me all of the business that I’ve built is that in the beginning I did not have the focus that I needed in order to actually be. So, I don’t know about you guys, but for any of you who have dabbled with online business at all so far, maybe you have an Instagram following or maybe you have a blog and you’re just waiting to monetize it or maybe you’ve even kind of told friends and family about what you’re doing. Here is one of the, uh, here’s how I managed my monthly goals during that time. I would, uh, categorize my goals and just try to hit those numbers every month. So for example, in one month I would say my goal is to, um, you know, hit a thousand Instagram followers by the end of the month. And my goal is to write four new blog posts and my goal is to create a new YouTube video or whatever the case may be.
And so I had all these goals and they looked really pretty and it was exciting when I saw the stats go up. But what I didn’t know at the time and what did cause me from not earning money at the time was that none of these had the clear bottom line of what was moving my business forward. So great, you want to get an extra a thousand Instagram followers on. Yeah. You want to get an extra thousand Instagram followers for what? Like what does that actually for? What does that actually going to do for you in your business? How is that going to make you money? You want to create four new blog posts for what? What does that actually going to do to move forward with your, you know, bigger picture goals. Um, everything in the beginning should be focused on what is going to get your business off the ground, which at the end of the day is what’s going to make you money so that you can quit your nine to five job and or so that you can reinvest back into your business because you do need to grow quickly.
And because I didn’t have that focus, I was very, very scattered. And also here’s a little PS with this nearly fatal mistake because if you’re resonating with this, then there might be some harsh truth that comes with love because I do experience it too. It wasn’t just that I lacked focus, it was that my focus on so many different things was a form of fear, right? Because it’s easier to say, I’m just focusing on building my Instagram, my Instagram following to a thousand people or I’m just focusing on putting all these blog posts up. Well, those things are all behind the scenes work. Those things are all things you can do without really any judgment. What when it comes to selling, getting on sales calls, writing emails to people. You know, one of my, not to get on a tangent here, but one of my masterminders, she is like the most gutsy, you know, cold email sales people I’ve ever met.
She’s amazing. She is sending out like 50 to 70 personal outreaches to cold leads every single day. And guess how many discovery calls she has? Plenty, three in one day. And so in the beginning, if you are noticing that a lot of your time is being spent on one, things that are a little bit scattered and maybe aren’t directly money-making activities and two, are sort of behind the scenes, then you may not lack. And you also might be hiding behind the scenes because you’re a little bit afraid of rejection. And if you aren’t selling it will get ugly. I want to be really blunt with it. You know, there is no way to twist it here. You have to make money in order to leave your nine to five job or if your side hustle is not about leaving your nine to five job, that’s totally fine too.
But you still have to make money to make it worth your while and worth your time and to reinvest back into it so that it can grow. You know, you can’t do it all on your own. You at least need to pay for things like an email marketing service provider or you know, branding or like website hosting. And if you want to be really great, then you will, you will have a mentor always to really lead you through to get you there faster. These things cost money and unless you’re making money, it’s very, very stressful to use your nine to five job income to pay for those. That’s also kind of negating the point here. A side hustle is supposed to help your income, not lower it. So focus on what’s going to make you money and that’s it. And if that feels scary, please reach out to my team because we can talk with you through that.
Uh, fear will always be the thing holding you back, even if you don’t realize it is. So while I felt like my, I felt like my goals were very organized. The truth was those were my goals because they were safe and they weren’t as scary as things like getting on sales calls, sending sales, emails, et cetera, and potentially being rejected. Alrighty. Um, let me know what this brings up for you guys. What is the number one thing you are doing right now to be making money? Or are you feeling like maybe this is an aha, that you want to shift your priorities a little bit to focus more on money making. And if you have questions about what type of money making activities work, please let me know in the comments. The more that I hear from you guys, the more I can customize this to you.
Alrighty. Uh, nearly fatal mistake number four. Let me take a sip of water. So this one took me a while to figure out you guys because even though I was doing it in the beginning, it was a mistake that I carried with me through probably my first two years of my side hustle. And the mistake was that I was learning from the wrong people or it wasn’t learning from anyone at all. So let me explain this a bit. In the beginning when I was going through the skepticism of starting, when I was going through the fear of investing in myself when I was not even sure what Urban 20 Something would turn into when I really just wanted to side hustle because I wanted a little bit of extra money because I was sick of living off of that entry level salary. I was really looking up to lawyers because I was working at a law firm and I was dating a lawyer who is now my husband and I had always thought I wanted to go to law school, so it totally made sense for me to learn from lawyers who had successfully done what I wanted to do.
Right. That’s pretty clear advice. Learn from those who have done what you’ve wanted to do. What I didn’t recognize soon enough was that as I was shifting my vision and as I was getting more honest about what I wanted from my life and as it was becoming clearer that that wasn’t the path of law school, I was still adopting a lot of the principles from success and goal setting and goal achieving from the legal path even though that wasn’t the path I wanted to go down. So a bit more specifically as I was getting honest with what I wanted out of my, um, yeah, no what I wanted out of my life and what I envisioned for myself. Um, I was realizing that I didn’t want to go back to graduate school for three years. I didn’t want to go into six figures of debt.
I didn’t want to have to work at a big law firm for a few years when I graduated because just to pay off the debt, even if considering I’d probably be working like 15 hours a day and I wanted to make six figures before I was 30, if possible. That was like my big vision. And as it was getting more clear about that, I was starting to explore other ways to do it. But yet I was still looking up to these layers. Now this has nothing to do with the lawyers themselves. I worked for very, very smart people, people that I still am very grateful for and have great relationships with and definitely have things about what they taught me that contributed to where I am today. But here’s the thing, they were operating under a totally different timeline. So for them they were still under the, you know, way of thinking and believing that to get to a six figure salary, more often than not, you went to graduate school.
You also put in your dues for a few years when you graduated, of working really long days and nights before you, you know, kind of had that freedom. So while I was thinking I want all this freedom now and I want these six figures, I want this six figure salary sooner. I nearly didn’t believe I could do it because I was still under the, you know, ways of thinking of who I was looking up to and that oftentimes like this lesson oftentimes will include your parents and once just like it’s nothing against these lawyers. This is nothing against anyone’s parents, but if your parents did X, Y, and Z to achieve a certain prize and you want that prize, be careful that you’re not quickly assuming that you need to do the same X, Y, and Z to get there just because they did it.
And just because they might recommend it doesn’t mean it’s the only way. And so if I would’ve continued listening and thinking in the way that I had from this legal field, then I never would have thought, Hey, maybe I can make six figures way before my 30th birthday, which is what I did. I started making it when I was 26 years old. Maybe I don’t need to go to graduate school when I T to hit six figures, which is also what I did. I did not go to law school. I did not take out six figures of debt. I did it on my own. I took out a little bit of credit card debt to build my business as I was open about earlier, but it wasn’t figures and I was able to pay it back much faster. It’s really fascinating to me when I hear people get on the phone with me and you know, they want to build a business or they want to scale it, but they’re nervous about an investment that they might have to make in order to do so.
Yet we don’t question going into six figures of debt in law school and paying that off. Oh. Like Obama paid off his loans while he was still in office. If I’m, if I have that timeline correctly. So they’re paying that off way longer than I, than I did. Right. So shift into only learning from the people who have achieved what you want to achieve and when you’ve wanted to achieve it. And so though I started recognizing that I didn’t have to subscribe to the legal fields definition of success, and I could kind of create my own. I still didn’t learn this quick enough because for my first year or two of Urban 20 Something, I was blogging. I was having kind of those um, unfocused goals that I mentioned earlier. I was making some sales but not a ton. And I was wondering why things weren’t aligning for me and I wasn’t learning from anyone.
So finally I rewound back to this concept, which, you know, had at one point worked in my life. Like when I wanted to go to law school, it was great to learn from those lawyers. They taught me a ton, they helped me get into law school. They helped me take the LSAT. They helped me think about how to think it was really valuable. But once I didn’t want to do that anymore and I started getting honest with my own definition of success, I stopped doing that. So why wasn’t I thinking about how I could do that in entrepreneurship and inside hustling? Why wasn’t I learning how to start a side hustle and scale a side hustle from someone who had done it? Why wasn’t I learning how to leave my nine to five job from someone who had done it?
It’s no wonder I wasn’t seeing results. I was trying to teach myself something I didn’t know how to do. So I really think that this is so important and something that took me way too long to figure out, you know, now I will never not have a mentor. And it’s not because I can’t do things on my own. It’s not because it’s a pyramid scheme of any type where you’re constantly having to learn from someone who’s done something. It’s because we’re only human and I want to have the absolute best experience in this life and with my business as possible. So why should I slow track it, right? Like why should I fumble around and learn to do it on my own when someone else could show me how to do it a heck of a lot faster and save me a lot of grief and, you know, confusion over what to do.
Um, it’s so exciting when you have people challenging you and upleveling you. So this was a lesson I learned far too late in my side hustle journey. But once I did, once I made that investment of $5,000 to start in a program, it wasn’t even about the program. Like the program was good. I’m not saying anything about the program being good or bad, but it was that, it was an investment in the commitment because once I made that it had to work. It had, I had no other option. I didn’t make enough money at my nine to five job to pay back that $5,000 I had to do it on my own. And so that lit a fire under me that fused the commitment to my own self. And that made me listen to someone who had done what I’d wanted to do.
And that’s when I really started getting the results I want. So to this day, I’m constantly asking myself, when we do the quarterly goals in my company, what do we want to achieve next? Do we need to learn how to do Facebook ads in a more sophisticated way? How can we learn from someone who’s done that? Do I want to get better at public speaking? How can I learn from someone who’s done that? You know, why are we trying to navigate this on our own? So the lesson here that almost cost me my business is one, you should always be learning from people not doing it on your own. And two, you should be learning from people who have done what you’ve wanted to do, not necessarily your parents, not necessarily your boss at your nine to five job. Again, it doesn’t matter how great they are, if they haven’t done it, don’t always listen to them.
Um, you know, this applies for so many things. Like I hear people say, Oh, well my uncle didn’t think it was a good idea for me to start my business. And it’s like, does your uncle have a business? You know, um, or, uh, you know, taking criticism from people on the internet and thinking, Oh, well they are judging X, Y, and Z. Maybe I’m doing this wrong. Well, have they actually done it? If not, don’t take advice from them. That’s just a simple way to go about it. And just one other little tidbit here, that I want to share because I want to make sure that no one else goes through. This is one of the other mistakes I made through this same umbrella is I bargain shopped for mentors and coaches and people to learn from. Like I looked for cheaper versions of e-courses that I wanted to take or cheaper coaches instead of the premium ones because I didn’t want to spend the money.
Um, and those always ended up costing, I’ll be brief on this. Those eCourses weren’t necessarily bad, neither were the people, it’s not about them. But when you are functioning in that kind of like bargain mentality, you’re, you’re not bargain shopping for the person. You’re bargain shopping on your own commitments and your own potential. Um, and I’ll just say those always ended up costing me more than they saved me because they didn’t Uplevel me to the level I wanted. And so I still ended up needing to pay to get to that higher level. All right guys. I’d love to hear, who do you need to stop listening to? Is there someone in your life? It might be, and this isn’t about making anyone a bad person, it might be your significant other. It might be your sibling, it might be your kids, it might be your parents, it might be your teachers, it might be your colleagues at work. Let me know who’s one person whose voice you need to get out of your head so that you can go faster. Speed ahead to the vision you have for your side hustle and or online business. Let me take a sip of water.
All right. Looking at some of your guys’s questions. These are great. Okay. Oh, you guys love seeing this. All right, so Megan, you are ditching the need to have a traditional nine to five jobs. So powerful. Best decision I’ve ever made. Leslie, you are ditching fully developing your side hustle because it isn’t the norm to be living in this unrealistic image of what I want my life to look like. What’s to be normal, right? Isn’t that not what we’re about here? Amanda, you are ditching sticking with one career path or only do well, you know, great love that um, Taylor, I don’t have the experience, skills and finances to start my business, but hopefully you’re ditching that mentality because you totally do. And if you want to talk more about that, let’s do so. Um, and you are ditching climbing the linear corporate ladder until you get to the top. Excellent. So glad that we live in the day and age where you don’t have to do that anymore.
Leslie, you are going to register your name, your domain name you’ve been meaning to you just haven’t pulled the trigger. Yes, girl, I’m so excited for you. Send me the screenshot. What you do so we can celebrate you. Taylor, I am going to finally rip off the bandaid. Yes. Oh my God. You guys are so excited reading these. Leslie, you’re afraid of not being successful in this side hustle, losing a steady income and healthcare. Totally hear you. That’s totally real. But aren’t you more afraid of not trying? Aren’t you more afraid of being in the nine to five job for the rest of your life? Aren’t you more afraid of looking back and wondering what if, I mean, what if you’re one of the biggest success stories the internet ever sees? You know what if you’re on the cover of magazines, what if you start writing a book about yourself?
What if you are speaking in front of thousands of people one day about how you did it? What if you’re that person? Isn’t that so much more exciting than you know, the securities that come with the average path? It is to me, obviously you could tell I get fired up about this. Okay. I want to know… Suchita. Hopefully I pronounce her name right. I want to know if I am not sure the business I want to start. I mean, you’re not a good writer and I’m not sure what online business options are available. So the way I teach online business, we’re going to get more into this over the training series here, but it’s really about not being attached to a type of online business. Um, none of my clients, I encourage them not to consider themselves, um, a blogger or an influencer or a coach or a consultant or really ditching the title.
But finding something that you are passionate about and seeing it transcend all of these platforms. That’s really what will give your business sustainability and longevity. Um, so that’s why I really encourage you to think about what’s something you want to share with people. What’s something you’ve learned in your life that you want to teach someone else? What’s something that you would have really been grateful to know about just a few years ago? Start asking questions like that. And we have some exercises here. Actually I can send you, let me see if I can pull these up really quickly because they um, will ask you questions like this.
Um, just continuing to go. Where was your lowest hanging fruit when you started out? Where was your first money making activity? So Taylor on, I don’t remember if it’s tomorrow or Wednesday, but I’m going to go through five different ways that I made money while I was still side hustling. So all while I was around my nine to five job, I’m going to be sharing things like how I first monetize social media, how I got my first one on one client. Um, how I first monetize my email list. So really practical ways because they all worked and they all can work for you too. It’s just going to be like, which one do you want to do first? Um, and again we’ll go more depth, but the thing that I will say that I would recommend first here is building your email list first because that has the most potential in terms of different ways you can sell quickly.
Um, okay, Amanda, where can I find money making opportunities, leads without a website or a following? So, um, I would kind of recommend the same thing. Start looking at your email, start building an email list. And you can do this by just asking friends and family if they’ll join your list. Um, asking people on social media, getting into Facebook groups, starting your own social media platforms, those are all free. Um, and you don’t need to have a big list to start monetizing it. So email lists have the most flexibility and that’s probably what I’d start with. If that’s overwhelming in any way, please reach out to me. We have some resources we can send you. Um, but you definitely don’t need a website. I have had clients have crazy five figure months without having a website, so, um, definitely don’t let that hold you back.
Leslie, my parents. Yes, totally. Taylor, yourself. What a great, great insight. Yeah. Not, not listening to your own limiting beliefs. Zayna YouTube. Ignore the ego voice in my head saying you can’t so powerful you guys. Uh, Leslie, yes, 100%. Glad. I’m glad we’re on the same page. Um, and yes, constraints of money. No, I know that that stuff’s stressful, but that’s, that’s the biggest reason to start, you guys. That’s like, that’s what I really wish I could shake, go back and shake myself, and I was so afraid to spend money, so afraid to spend that $5,000 so afraid to invest in myself because I was so afraid I wouldn’t have the money. Like I would run out. It was like that was the best thing I could’ve done for myself. That’s all the more reason to go all in so that you’re no, like you don’t want to feel like this forever, but if you’re on this hamster wheel of like, I don’t have enough money so I can’t start my business because I don’t have enough money so I can start my business.
You know, a lot of people think, well, I need to have enough money so that I can get off this hamster wheel and start my business. It’s like, no, you need to start your business so that you have enough money, right? It’s the chicken and the egg is often reversed. You need to put yourself out there and look, that does take risks. There’s reasons. Lots of people never become successful entrepreneurs because they’re afraid. So you need to be the person who’s saying that you have more faith than you have fear and you have faith right now that this investment’s going to pay off. You have faith that this is going to work out. You have faith in yourself, you have faith in whoever you’re investing in. Your faith is bigger than your fear and how’s that and going to the successful and you’re going to change this financial hamster wheel of I don’t have enough so I can start so I don’t have enough so I can’t start to, I’m starting and now I have enough and now I’m going to keep growing and I have more and I’m going to keep growing and I still have more.
Like that’s the cycle we want to be on, but you have to make the first step. That makes sense. All right, let’s dive into the last nearly fatal mistake I made and this is big you guys. This is, this is probably the biggest thing that I, this is probably the biggest thing that not only almost cost me it. I actually don’t think this was one of my biggest ones, but this is probably the one that I see cost most of my clients or almost cost my clients their success, it is that they do not go 110% in. So there’s a lot of people on social media these days. And I’m not saying that I’m not guilty of this. I try to make my social media feed, you know, really be a place to celebrate side hustling and I don’t want it to look kind of like, you know, a stressful environment.
But I think there are a lot of people in social media and a lot of people who talk about how this can be done easily, how they constantly work in flow. You know, I don’t really know where this is all coming from, but do not get it twisted to make this work. It takes an obnoxious amount of work and consistency. And I don’t say obnoxious, like you don’t enjoy it. I do love it and I enjoy it because it excites me and I have such a strong vision. But it means being 110% committed and I don’t just mean working night and day. That’s definitely not true and maybe that’s where some of this, this talk online comes from, is people saying you don’t have to work all night and day. That is true. You don’t need to work on night and day, but when you do work you need to give it 110% and that doesn’t just mean the actual work you’re putting in.
That also means the way that you’re mentally thinking about this. Are you always focusing on the reasons this isn’t working or are you always focusing on the reasons it’s going to? Are you always focusing on why you can’t hire someone to teach you or are you focusing on what the possibilities would be if you did hire someone to teach you? Are you focusing on why you don’t have $5,000 I didn’t to spend on a program? Or are you focusing on how you want to be the person that has no problem spending $5,000. You need to constantly be all in, not just with your work, but with how you act and talk and feel and operate. It takes total, total commitment. And so during my first year, it’s no wonder I didn’t make any money because I was 100% dabbling. I would have a week where I was really busy at my nine to five jobs, so I wouldn’t work on it.
Or I would get excited about something like thing, but then feel like it wasn’t ready, talk myself out and never sell it. Um, I would feel like, you know, I couldn’t sell something for a certain amount of money, so I’d lower the price and then break even or not make enough. And I was just in this hamster wheel of dabbling or I was just constantly playing like this, you know, back and forth, like ping pong. Like I’m in that, I’m not, that I’m in that I’m not, it’s not going to work. I just want to be really blunt and not sugar coat it. So, you know, I, I feel like I want to be more blunt about this than ever because I don’t really think that people should be signing up. I talk all the time about the power of coaches and mentors and having people lead you and being part of programs.
But I actually don’t encourage you to do that or any of this if you are not a hundred percent in because it probably won’t work and it is ugly when this happens. People take things personally, they think something’s wrong with them. They think that there’s a reason that people don’t buy from them because they don’t like them. They think that there’s a reason they’re not getting the results. They take it personally. And it’s not personal. It’s not about you, it’s just that you haven’t given it the full room for expression for it to show up and grow. So how could it I get the result? It can’t. So it’s just ends up being a really messy combination. And I experienced this for the first year. I cried over a main Facebook ad for like four days. Um, I questioned if I couldn’t do it during my first launch, I came home from my nine to five job and I cried on the floor to my then boyfriend, now husband just saying I don’t have what it takes.
Like I thought I could do this and I don’t and I’m still here and not only am I still here that maybe not that launch in particular, but what I made ended up making [inaudible] of dollars. Big picture, I have a multiple six figure business and I just a few years ago was in the fetal position on that floor next to my desk telling my husband that I didn’t have what it takes. That is what happens when you dabble. You do not think you have what it takes. So I went from hot and cold taking all these things personally to then giving it a little bit more, but it still ended up like, cause then I was like okay, I’m not going to dabble.
I’m going to invest in myself. I’m going to go all in. I’m not going to be afraid anymore. And then it ended up being an offensive hobby because I was like maybe 90% of the way there. Um, and all of this changed for me during one trip to Barcelona in November of 2017 I was traveling there and it was during that trip, which was over Thanksgiving where I ran a Black Friday sale. Yeah. And I had the first experience of making a thousand dollars in a month from my side hustle. And I experienced being able to travel and work at the same time. And it blew my mind. Like I always thought that, you know, work was funding my traveling. I didn’t think you could combine the two and vowed to myself when, I mean I came back a changed person and I said, I am going to go all in for one year.
I’m going to go 110% no more dabbling nights and weekends investing in myself, not worrying about money. Let’s do this. Like I told the universe that, and it was actually the very next day when we got home from Barcelona that I saw an email in my inbox from an entrepreneur that was having a black Friday sale for her year long program, which was usually I think $7,000 but for black Friday it was $5,000 and I was like, Oh my God, this is the moment I have to choose. So I think sometimes we think once we make that decision, I’m all in that light. The Ruby slippers appear, I’ve been watching those dare to boss during quarantine, so I have all these analogies in my head, but that wasn’t right. The Oz appeared for me, but it was a whopping $5,000 that I didn’t have, but I thought, okay, I just vowed to myself.
I just promised I’d go all in. I’m going to go all in and I’ll never forget making that purchase. I was, I went to, I went to work the day that Monday after black… It was Cyber Monday that I actually bought it. I went to work. I went and met my then boyfriend at a bar after work to have this champagne. I put my credit card in. I cried because I had never done something like that and I thought this is it. This is my next chapter, and it was. And my life has never been the same and I’ve never forgotten that trip to Barcelona and now I have been able to work and travel at the same time to places like the Amalfi coast in Italy, Paris, Dublin, L.A., Chicago. I mean it has been the ultimate dream come true but I needed to go 110% so that brings me to today’s number or today the first of four every day’s training will have their own secret truth and this is my absolute biggest truth that I hope above all you guys take away, which is that you have to go all in or don’t do it.
And I know that that sounds harsh, but I want to be honest with you guys. This is not the time to sugar coat things. We are in a moment of uncertainty and if you really want this, it is yours for the taking but either go all in or don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Um, and just remember you do have what it takes. You just need to decide you’re going to do it and then take the actions that will come from that after. All right, let me, I mean their biggest takeaway, um, uh, is from this and we are going to wrap up and I’ll see you guys tomorrow at noon. But I loved sharing this all with you and I’d love to know, have you had a moment yes or no, where you have decided I am going to go all in. I am going to transform my life. Just let me know yes or no in the comments. And if you want to add an emoji that would be fun. And if you want to share this story that’d be fun too. I’ll stick here for just one more minute. And I loved sharing this time with you guys. Thank you so much and be back tomorrow at noon, but let me know. Yes or no. Have you decided?
Just went through some of your guys’ comments? Yes. Yeah, that story. It gives me chills every time that parcel well story and um, you know, it’s so amazing. Yes. Leslie, I love it because I’m not… but you’re committed. Love it, Amanda… That trip to Barcelona. I remember one of the splurges that I made at the time was new, like nice foundation. I had never bought such nice makeup for myself and I wore it every day in Barcelona just because I was like, it just felt like a new me. It was like, Oh my God, everything I have ever wanted was coming to life. And every time, all of that foundation, I still just remember how inspired I was and how brave I felt and how much it changed my life in retrospect. All right. Leslie Taylor, Amanda Zayna, love it you guys.
Thank you so much for being here. I hope that this was helpful to you. I’m going to hop off. But if you want to share below what your number one, uh, you know, nearly fatal mistake, your favorite one that I talked about today was let me know and I will comment below and we can have a little chat about it. I’d love to support you personally, but just to recap my top five, nearly fatal side hustle mistakes that would have cost me my side hustle and my now six figure business if I wouldn’t have changed them were one, overly listening to society, not myself and my own vision. Two, waiting until I was ready. Three, not focusing enough and having too many goals. Four learning from the wrong people or not learning from anyone at all. And five dabbling and not fucking at 110% so let me know which one moves you most.
I will see you guys here tomorrow. Same time, same place. And we are diving into side hustle marketing tips. So if you guys want to learn how to find your first leads, how to make your first side hustle income, where to find those customers when you don’t really have anything going, um, how to stand out if you feel like other people have kind of already done what you’ve done. You know, I felt all of those things. I’m sharing what helped me stand out in a really crowded market quickly and how marketing became one of my expertise with absolutely no background to it at all. So please be there live tomorrow. I can’t wait to see you guys and I hope you have a great day. I am cheering for you.
Your Biggest Vision’s Daily Checklist for Visionaries;