In my entire adult life I have had 4 ‘legit’ jobs.
I was a taco maker at Taco Bell. I had short hair and customers frequently mistook me for a boy (even though I had boobs and wore lipstick)! I got free food, so, being called ‘sir’ or ‘son’ was worth it to me.
I worked as a seasonal clerk for the USPS. I loved this job. I could come in, do my job (sorting mail for the carriers) and leave. I was often paranoid about anthrax though.
I worked at a ‘green’ store. This was the best job ever. The owner was super cool and working here exposed me to lots of new ideas and people.
The worst job I have ever had been when I worked as a merchandiser. I stocked ugly, cheap jewelry at Old Navy and Famous Footwear. It sucked.
In between these jobs I always had a side hustle. Jewelry was my first hustle. I was on bed rest with kiddo #4 when I randomly received a beading catalog in the mail. It was great but, I was feeling uninspired by the beads, so I began to research silver smithing. As soon as I was able to move beyond a reclined position, I bought a torch, some silver wire and a book on silver fusing-I was in business. Hubs thought I was crazy. I nervously signed up for a 2 day art fair. I was terrified-I am the very definition of a̶n̶t̶i̶-̶s̶o̶c̶i̶a̶l̶ introverted. How was I going to handle having to talk to people about stuff I made and convince them to buy it?
I asked my mom to come with me (she makes beaded stuff-ha ha) and toughed out the first day! Profits were $250! I was hooked! I worked fairs successfully for a few years selling jewelry until, it seemed everyone was selling jewelry.
At this time I was working at the green store. We sold these really nice bars of soap made by a local lady. We sold her soap for $6 per bar and people snapped them up! One day she came into the store and informed us she would no longer be making soaps! I googled soap making, and started making soaps for the store. The soaps took off and provided a nice side income. Years later, when we ended up in a homeless shelter, I would make soap in my room and schlep it to the farmer’s market in the next town to make some extra bucks!
My next hustle came at Christmas time. Hubs lost his job and we had 5 kids to buy presents (and groceries) for. We had no $ but I had already signed up and paid for a few fairs intending to sell some soap and jewelry. I had just a few pieces of jewelry made and some soap but no money to buy supplies to make more. I did have flour, sugar, butter and booze! I made ‘wasted’ cupcakes and sold them for $3 a pop! Aldi had a huge sale on tomatoes, raspberries and blackberries so I bought a whole bunch and made ‘wasted’ jams that I sold for $8 per jar!
We didn’t have a tree, but, the kids had presents and a good Christmas meal! They were happy (they also learned the value of perseverance, hard work and creativity). Frosting cupcakes until 1 a.m was so worth it to see their faces on Christmas! In times of need, some prayer and a little bit of hustle works wonders! What is your hustle?