Passion projects, side gigs, moonlighting. and freelancing–they are all just another way to say ‘side hustle.’
Right here in Boston, side hustles are booming among savvy young women. I’m lucky to be at the center of this with my very own side hustle, Young Women in Digital (YWD). Since launching YWD, a networking group for young female marketers, I’ve hosted nearly ten creative events in the past year, supporting a growing community of 400 passionate members.
Through YWD, I’ve met a myriad of ambitious young women with full-time gigs who are building incredible side hustles.
So, why are so many of us committing countless hours on nights and weekends on projects and pursuits with little, if any, monetary return? We’re passionate go-getters who truly believe in and enjoy what we’re doing. Money isn’t the driver; it’s a result of our insane drive.
Here’s what motivates us.
1) We’re Hungry to Gain New Skills
We strive for continuous learning. We want to be armed with the knowledge to step up into leadership roles and quickly make a difference. For example, before YWD, I had no clue about email marketing. I wanted to learn new skills to help me gain a competitive advantage at my job. Now, I’ve learned to A/B test, create lead gen campaigns, and segment subscribers for powerful results. I get the freedom to test new ideas, and even fail, without the pressure of losing my job —all while building my resume.
2) We Seek Mentorship
We know that we don’t know everything and we’re not afraid to admit we need help with our grand ideas. Not a week goes by that I’m not swapping strategies and stories over coffee or the phone to pick the brains of those who came before me. So many of the lessons I’ve learned from these conversations have gone into practice to help build YWD.
3) We Want to Make Our Mark
We’re do-ers and like to put our own personal stamp on causes we’re passionate about. I started Young Women in Digital because I felt there was a huge hole in the Boston marketing community for young female professionals to meet one another. I wanted to drive change, and be the voice for others just like me who were looking to find their place in the business world.
The outside inspiration you can gain from a side hustle is invaluable. But, having a full-time job and a side hustle isn’t easy. Finding the right balance is hard. I’ve succumbed to the fact that I will never have enough time to do every single thing I want for YWD–just yet–and I’m okay with that. The personal reward you feel after creating your own side hustle and inspiring others is totally worth all the blood, sweat and tears. Trust me, I’ve done it!
Young Women in Digital is hosting a sold-out event Wednesday night entitled What’s Your Side Hustle, which includes talks from successful women entrepreneurs and a pitch contest focused specifically on — you guessed it — side hustles.
Melanie Cohn is the Founder of Young Women in Digital, a networking group for professionals working, or interested in working in the digital marketing, social media, experiential and online marketing. Members meet for creative, fresh and fun events on trending topics in marketing featuring panel sessions, skills classes and training for young female go-getters in the digital world. By day, Melanie is a Digital Marketing Supervisor at GYK Antler.