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Earlywork #25: Why You Should Have a Side Hustle
Featuring interviews with Arthur Wong, Sachin Shah & Adam Miller, Lucy Wang & Audrey Thehamihardja + Cara Davies (Co-Founder @ Steppen)
It’s Team Earlywork here with Earlywork #25, a junior tech & startup career newsletter that gives you:
Free career resources for young people interested or working in tech & startups
Interviews with young startup founders and employees
A roundup of the latest industry news
If you’re not already part of the crew, subscribe now to keep a pulse on our latest stories and conversations:
💡Weekly Cheeky Tip: Why You Should Have a Side Hustle
Did you know some of the most popular products and companies we know, including Slack, Twitter, Craigslist, Gmail and Trello, originally started as a side hustle.
Before we dive in, just want to ensure we are aligned on lingo, side hustles come in many forms but are typically projects started outside of normal work hours.
Okay, so most of you understand a side hustle. This is why the time is ripe now!
Covid-19 has given rise to remote everything. University, work and side hustles have never been easier to start from the comfort of your own room. As a result of remote everything, we’ve found students typically have more time on their hands than usual. While life in some places is starting to go back to normal, we think remote and flexible work trends are here to stay.
In addition to having more time than usual, the proliferation of no-code tools has also made it simpler than ever to start something. You can quite frankly do anything from building an app to designing a website without having to write a single line of code. For more, check out our ‘No code, no worries’ piece from late last year.
Side hustles are also a really good way to build practical professional experience, learning first-hand about the ins and outs of doing business, through activities like negotiating partnerships, designing marketing collateral, and if you are lucky, calculating income tax and more.
To let you in on a sneaky tip, these practical skills are highly regarded by potential employers & recruiters.
So, this side hustle thing seems pretty cool innit? Well, you may be thinking, where do I start?
There are literally hundreds of types of side hustles, from dropshipping to building a marketplace to starting a uni society, the possibilities are virtually endless.
However, some of these require some upfront capital investment, which can be a lil scary.
So we decided to source some inspiration from the Earlywork community on some side hustles our community members have started for FREE. These include but are not limited to a YouTube channel, podcast, newsletter/blog & an Instagram page.
We were lucky enough to interview these young hustlers and hear the motivations behind launching their side hustle, the best lessons they have learnt along the way and any advice to young prospective hustlers looking to start one.
Why: When you write, you have to articulate the gaps in your thinking when it comes to making conclusions. I thoroughly enjoy writing and creating content on topics I'm passionate about as it forces me to truly understand what I am covering. Additionally, it also helps me build my personal brand and get me in touch with more interesting people!
#1 Lesson: Start something - anything. As a student, it's hard to set yourself apart even if you're the president of this society or that club, because nowadays, everyone is the president of some club. There's a real grit and entrepreneurial spirit that comes with starting your own thing that others will eventually notice - and this will get you in places and meeting people you would have never even thought about otherwise. Create your own opportunities.
Recommend: Find something you're really passionate about. For me, it was writing about Fintech and making concise infographics about topics that piqued my interest in finance, business, startups, etc. When you enjoy what you do, it's more like play than work - and anything related to the process becomes fun and energizes you. An added bonus would be learning how to market/brand your content - it's good to experiment with different strategies (logo, website, social channels, styles, who YOU are), but over time you'll have to find those that work and stick to them.
Why: Most of what I’ve learnt outside of uni classes is from older students, mentors, and people on the internet who generously offer their time and knowledge. I love working on side projects outside my main commitments (i.e. uni & full-time work) because it gives me the chance to help students, build new skills and work with inspiring people.
#1 Lesson: The biggest lesson so far is to keep learning along the way. I started off not knowing anything about filming equipment, video editing and how to talk in front of the camera, but I'm picking up new skills every time I upload a new video.
Advice: Take a small step to publish your first video, it gets much easier after that. At the start it might be easy to get caught up in the views and engagement, but don't let that discourage you!
Why: We seek to unpack the stories of high achieving individuals to find out how they accomplished their successes, their methods of overcoming challenges and the ideas that they’re passionate about. We do this because we think everybody should have a chance at achievement and that learning doesn’t just come from textbooks, it comes from open vulnerable conversations.
#1 Lesson: even the most high achieving leaders in business and politics have doubts in their journey, but they overcome it through immense amounts of courage. Another big lesson is that the high achieving people always have the most curiosity.
Recommend: Don’t overthink it, once you do one episode you’ll feel totally natural and confident. Also, just make sure to follow your natural curiosity because that’s what will keep you motivated and wanting to continue.
Why: First and foremost, I love to eat good food. This drives my curiosity to find the best places to eat in Sydney & when I travel. It’s much easier when your ‘side hustle’ is a fun passion project. I wanted an outlet for creativity and photographing things I enjoyed was a way for me to channel these interests -- the money aspect was never a goal, but it’s icing on the cake!
#1 Lesson: When you dive deep – it’s fascinating to learn about how restaurants, cafes, and bars structure their marketing initiatives. This has taught me a tonne about marketing in hospitality: How do you build a brand amongst thousands of other cafes? How do the events you host & influencers you invite impact the portrayal of your brand? What makes an event successful? These are takeaways that have helped me connect with audiences beyond Sydney’s food scene.
Advice: Like all community-building initiatives, building an audience on Instagram takes time and consistency. This means continuously engaging with the community you want to attract, posting frequently about relevant content, and being able to provide value to the audience who follows you. Instagram is also a platform that captures attention via its visuals; this means high-quality pictures and videos are essential for building your brand.
🌏 Community Update
We’re now at 300+ members for the Earlywork Slack Community and based on your suggestions, we’ve launched a bunch of new channels including #product, #crypto, #stonks and #lifehacks.
Plus, we recently launched Earlywork Masterclasses exclusively for the Slack Community, aiming to run 2-3 sessions per month hearing from the brightest minds in the tech & startup ecosystem.
Wanna get in on the action? Sign up now to join in discussions with other young Aussies in tech & startups, stay up to date with industry news & events, and find/share job opportunities.
1️⃣ 🕐 💪 One Minute Hustle
We are back once again with One Minute Hustle, a bite-sized interview with an emerging Australian young startup founder or operator. This week, let’s get inside the noggin of a fresh founder.
Cara Davies, Founder @ Steppen
What are you working on? I am working on a social fitness app called Steppen. Think of it as TikTok meets Spotify but for fitness. We just launched on the app store check it out here.
How’d you get started? Like most startups we started with a simple problem - feeling completely lost in the gym. I used to go to the gym all the time and had no idea what to do. I wanted to see what workouts my friends were doing but there was nothing that really fitted what I wanted. So I thought, let’s build this thing.
Why do you do what you do? I am obsessed with the problem. Quite simply I just want an awesome gym experience. Talking to users I know that feeling lost at the gym is a big problem for Gen Z. Democratising workouts and making them accessible, this really excites me.
📚 Big Moves in Tech
Five juicy stories from the Australian tech & startup community this week:
What sort of news would you like to see curated in future editions? Shoot us a message: