When was the last time you followed your curiosity?
Perhaps a side-hustle is brewing inside you…
As a working mum with a mind that races at a 100-miles per hour, I feel like I’m always thinking of ideas that I would love to explore, that could be a compelling story to write, or an interesting business to think about. In the shower, while driving to and from work, while listening to podcasts; my brain is always bursting with aha! thoughts (that of course, I never write down, so they come as quickly as they go!) This is making me wonder, what if I followed my curiosity, put this to work, and started something on the side?
Something on the side of my job and kids and life, haha I hear you think, when are you going to squeeze that in? Well, if it’s something that might be a source of fulfillment and perhaps even a little money, would it not be worth making the time for it? Yes, we need to make the time.
Do you have a side-hustles or are working on having one? Have you turned your side-hustle into your business? Do you even think about starting something on the side that may branch off into something bigger one day? Could this be the answer to the time and financial freedom we are looking for? Maybe. Am I nuts?
I have to admit, when I think about the idea of having the freedom to schedule my own day doing things that interest me, and being there for family, and making money, I cannot help but light up. Surely, it’s possible. Where do I start?
A few years ago, just before I had my first child, the same thoughts were lingering. That’s when I launched Start with Something, an online publication narrating stories of people who had started their something that was not only their business but also something that was creating an impact in their community.
While I focused on it, it did get some traction and I interviewed some amazing people along the way. It also lead me to start writing for Triple Pundit, an online business publication that writes about how businesses can be a force for good and profit at the same time by focusing on the triple bottom line – the three P’s - People, Planet, Profit. It’s been so great writing for Triple Pundit. It’s given me the opportunity to interview some people who are doing phenomenal things; it has improved my writing style, firmed my voice as I learn from remarkable editors, and has kept me competitive in the online writing space; I couldn’t be more grateful for it. It pays a little too, which is a validating bonus.
Doing things that interest you outside of your 9 to 5, outside the bubble of your family and friends, can open doors you never imagined. So, while we might think we are just about making ends meet as a mum and working professional, there is often something dormant inside us that is waiting to wake up. Waiting for the right time. When our kids are a bit older. Or when our next event finishes. In the new year.
Spoiler alert: There is no right time.
Maybe it’s not a side-hustle, but something you’ve always been curious about but not taken the effort to pursue.
One of my favourite books is Big Magic: Creative Living Without Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert (known for her bestseller Eat Pray Love). It talks about not waiting for our ‘passion’ to appear before we start doing something, as it rarely does, but to follow our curiosity as it could lead to bigger things. For example, the author moved to a house with a garden for the first time and became curious about gardening, so she just started doing it. Everything she learned in the process lead her to write a book with a botanist as her protagonist. Being open to the ideas that come to you is so important; we should never dismiss them as “silly, unworthy or frivolous.”
The author also talks about how when we think of ideas, they have a life of their own and are up for grabs (the universe!), if we don’t follow through with them, someone else most certainly will.
A few excerpts on these floating ideas in Big Magic:
“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely.
Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual….
When an idea thinks it has found somebody—say, you—who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. It will try to get your attention. Mostly, you will not notice. This is likely because you’re so consumed by your own dramas, anxieties, distractions, insecurities, and duties that you aren’t receptive to inspiration. You might miss the signal because you’re watching TV, or shopping, or brooding over how angry you are at somebody, or pondering your failures and mistakes, or just generally really busy. The idea will try to wave you.”
If you don’t collaborate with the idea, it will move on to the next person who might “birth it”.
Totally crazy woo-woo, right!? But so wonderful, too. I highly recommend the book if you are searching for something you know you have inside you, yet cannot define.
So, let me ask you again, when was the last time you followed your curiosity?