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Side Hustles: Yay! or Nay?

Updated: Dec 13, 2023


Side Hustles. We keep hearing about them. Taking on more could be the key to being able to do less. Is that true? At Untangle Money, we have mixed feeling about the advice to take on more work, especially when women already spend more time on household management and are societally expected to put more time into their appearance. However, with costs rising, and so many people needing more income than they get from their primary job, Side Hustles provide a solution.


Historically, home-based sales were also an enormous win for many women who weren't able to earn income in traditional ways. We love the iconic pink cars made famous by Mary Kay, a pioneer in home-based sales.


So to balance out our hesitancy, we wanted to bring you some insights from the talented Cindy Meghory, Independent Brand Ambassador, and Area Manager for

Arbonne International. Cindy left a successful corporate career behind after figuring out that the Side Hustle was a better solution for her.


As a woman who built a successful corporate career in what was then a predominantly male industry and then ventured into building a successful side hustle, I thought I would share some of the experiences and insights I gained over the years and why I made the switch.


I come from an era when staying put was encouraged and in fact rewarded. And so I stayed. And stayed. In fact, I stayed for over 3 decades.

Starting off in an entry-level position back in the late 1970s, I saw my entry into corporate as a temporary layover as I took a year off my studies before entering a graduate program in psychology. As fate would have it, I loved the excitement of business and the prospects that lay ahead and decided to plant my feet and learn as I went along. As I mentioned, I was working to get ahead in a predominantly male-biased industry but like so many women before and after me, I persevered and implemented strategies to not only be taken seriously but to ultimately be able to take a seat on the Management Team. Basic principles like doing more than what was expected, dressing the part, acting the part and being among the first to step up and take on additional projects, eventually paid dividends (literally and figuratively) when I was promoted to Vice President several years later.


Today it’s commonplace and encouraged for people to change jobs as needs and opportunities present themselves, however, I come from an era when staying put was encouraged and in fact rewarded. And so I stayed. And stayed. In fact, I stayed for over 3 decades.


Not surprisingly, boredom, staleness, complacency and a lack of challenge set in. Much to my surprise, the title for which I fought so hard and so long didn’t bring the sustained satisfaction and fulfillment I thought it would. There was still an unresolved need to get a greater purpose from my work.


One of the questions I had asked myself time and time again as a young adult was whether or not I had ‘what it took’ to be an entrepreneur and own my own business. I knew that with the right opportunity, I had the discipline and work ethic to look at myself every day in the mirror and be accountable.


Whether it was good timing, accidental or coincidental, the right opportunity landed in my lap. While I didn’t see it as a business side gig at the time, I did fall in love with the products associated with it and became an avid client.


Once the company opened in Canada, where I live, I decided to take a look at the business opportunity behind the products and for the first time in many years, I could feel the excitement build inside of me.


I learned that I could build it as a ‘side hustle’ which I define as an income-producing opportunity that is done alongside other principal activities like a full-time job, having and caring for children and any other undertaking that consumes most of your waking hours.


a ‘side hustle’ which I define as an income-producing opportunity that is done alongside other principal activities like a full-time job, having and caring for children and any other undertaking that consumes most of your waking hours

I liked the fact that it was a flexible opportunity I could build around my already busy corporate life, kids at home and teaching fitness as a hobby on the side. And what appealed to me the most was that the business opportunity, while not guaranteed, could remain a side hustle, or develop into more than that, if I chose.


In this way, in 10-hour-a-week increments, I successfully built my business alongside my busy life until I made the decision to leave the corporate world and pivot to entrepreneurship.


Having said this, not everyone chooses to pivot. Which is why having a side hustle can be so ideal. It’s extra, over and above and in today’s world, it can be a solution.


And yet, the irony of a side hustle is this: the very reason a person embarks on one is the very same reason they may choose to stop:

  • Small investment. Easy to get in, easy to walk away from.

  • Work it part-time. Flexible enough to fit into a busy life, but at the same time, side hustles fall behind other priorities. It takes planning & commitment to work side hustles around life’s priorities.

  • Be your own boss. Has its rewards, but at the same time, can make it easy not to show up for work.


In a nutshell, like most things in life, achieving success requires discipline, commitment, a plan and activity. If the need or desire or dream is big enough, my experience is that the right side hustle can close the gap between dreams & desires and reality as we know it.


... like most things in life, achieving success requires discipline, commitment, a plan and activity

While there are no guarantees regarding earnings and the success or failure of each person is determined by many factors including effort, skills, giving it enough time and more, I was able to make the transition from top-level manager to entrepreneur and I have never looked back.


So let me ask you: Are you looking for a way to make a difference? Are you looking for a way to create something for yourself and your family? Are you fed up with the ‘traditional’ 9-5? (I know there is no such thing anymore so I’m using the expression figuratively!)


If you answered yes or maybe to any of these questions, a side hustle may be exactly what you need.


Needless to say, side hustles come in all shapes and sizes. I hooked my wagon to a company in the Network Marketing industry for many reasons, some of which I’ve already discussed but let me first say that I did my homework. And I recommend you do yours. Like all industries, there are reliable, seasoned, well-established, profitable, innovative & forward-thinking companies in the Network Marketing profession and there are those that exemplify the opposite traits. Fortunately, with a very strong federal regulatory agency overseeing the industry, the latter don’t stay around for too long.


Needless to say, side hustles come in all shapes and sizes. I hooked my wagon to a company in the Network Marketing industry for many reasons, some of which I’ve already discussed but let me first say that I did my homework. And I recommend you do yours.

The old concept of pyramid schemes is just that: Old. Antiquated. Made illegal over 50 years ago. Not only that, the element of pyramid schemes that is illegal has to do with getting paid for actually recruiting people to a team, as opposed to selling goods & services.


On the other hand, the concept of having goods move directly from the manufacturer to the end-user, as a result of the work of an independent brand ambassador, has proven as a more desirable, more efficient means of distribution (think Amazon but with a personal brand ambassador).


In today’s world, where time (our most valuable resource), convenience & ease are expected when it comes to purchases, the network marketing system of distribution of goods not only meets these criteria but also offers other advantages: dollars normally spent on advertising for products sold in the retail sector are re-directed to:

1. ensuring the highest of standards when it comes to quality ingredients in the products being marketed, as well as

2. to pay its brand ambassadors, aka side-giggers.


As I mentioned above, I did my homework. After all, I was a successful ‘corporate woman’ embarking on a less traditional venture that, let’s face it, had (has) some antiquated misconceptions associated with it. When I landed on the company I’ve been with for 17 years now, it was these features that sold me:


  1. They had been around for 26 years (that was 17 years ago – now it's 43 years).

  2. They operated in more than 1 country, giving me opportunities for building a digital business across the globe.

  3. The registration fee was low.

  4. The comp plan was fair and generous. (again, no guarantees).

  5. There were other ‘perks’ the company offered like the opportunity to earn bonuses, trips, gifts & more.

  6. The success plan for the activity was proven and flexible and could be built around my existing busy life.

  7. The company’s ingredient policies were unlike any I had seen, offering benefits to the consumer that were palpable and could be seen and experienced.

  8. The products were consumable – which meant people use them, run out and reorder as they need.

  9. The company offered a large range of products people used every day – something for everyone.

  10. The company took care of procurement, marketing materials, delivery, warehousing, manufacturing & compensation. Yay! I didn’t have to!

  11. The culture of the company was unlike anything I had seen in my corporate life in terms of positivity, support, collaboration, personal growth, leadership growth & encouragement.

  12. No sales experience was required or knowledge of the industry (because I had neither). I would earn as I learned.

  13. There was room for everyone at the top level of management. Not just the 1 or 2 top positions to which I was accustomed in the corporate world.

  14. The company took its brand ambassadors’ feedback, comments and wishes into account. (I personally experienced this many times).

  15. The opportunity for mentoring others was an inherent part built into the culture & even the compensation plan. (This was missing for me in corporate!)


With these features, I felt confident that I had landed on something that could bring what was missing in my life: the opportunity to spend time on building an asset for myself and my family, bring out the entrepreneur in me, the opportunity to mentor and help others work towards their dreams and to rise to the challenge.


While appropriate for men or women, my experience has been that women tend to be attracted to side hustles more often. One reason could be that for those with children at home, it can prove to be a perfect solution. Other factors I’ve previously mentioned like low start up costs, flexible work hours and the desire for collaboration and camaraderie may also contribute to the reasons why women are flocking to side hustles today. And there’s the possibility that the wage gap between women and men plays a role in this too.


While there are no guarantees, there are indeed opportunities in these times of uncertainty for some.



 


Did you like what you read? If you are interested in learning more about side hustle opportunities - feel free to reach out to Cindy by email, or online. Her contact information is below. She is looking for open-minded, dynamic, fun, and interested women who would like to learn more about building a side gig.


NOTE: This content is produced by an Arbonne Independent Consultant; not provided by or representative of Arbonne International. For more information, check out earnings.arbonne.com.  




 


Untangle Take

When you're looking at a side gig, make sure that you aren't putting more money into getting set up than you're ever going to make from selling the products. We have personally been to great Tupperware parties, exercise and diet parties, kitchen appliance parties, essential oil parties, sex-toy parties, Pampered Chef parties, and we have had a great time! 😊


Also over the years, we've seen lots of friends sitting on inventory that they will never sell, for a variety of reasons. Think carefully before embarking. Don't let the solution put you further behind your goals. Here are some ways to lower your risk:

  • Find out if you can shadow someone in the industry before making a financial commitment.

  • How do you feel when you're shadowing someone?

  • Are you an organized person? (this is needed to be successful at side hustles).

  • Are you a bright, shiny, object person? (this could be a red flag - from a fellow bright, shiny, object person).

  • Can you realistically see yourself doing this for the next few years?

  • Can you build new networks? While it's great that you can sell to friends and family, they may buy out of politeness, and may not be excited about buying from you again and again.

Like everything we do at Untangle Money, we want to show you the options without judgment. Side Hustles may or may not be the right solution for you and we would like to thank Cindy for showing us the positive side and potentially lucrative side of these roles.


Tell us your Side Hustle adventures in the comments below.


As for Untangle Money You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn to see more content about women and money, personal finances and planning for your financial future. You can also check out our other blog posts here! Financial independence is a huge part of being a strong, independent person, and it is our mission to help women, and anyone who doesn't feel safe or welcome in typical financial spaces, set themselves up for financial success. At Untangle Money we help women understand their (real!) financial picture, and obtain financial guidance from people that actually, really, get it; this is why we are committed to offering affordable options so that we are accessible to everyone. We would love to help you, too! Join the community of hundreds of other women looking to strengthen their financial well-being. You can check out our products and plans here or get in touch for a free consultation!


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