On the Belong blog today Dannie Fountain is guest posting about owning your own business. Dannie is the founder of LE Consulting, a small group of creatives who help entrepreneurs with marketing services and consulting as well as career marketing. You can also find her at DannieFountain.com where she is working on her newest project The Side Hustle Girl.
Five years ago, the “side hustle movement” didn’t exist. In 2010, running your own business was not the norm. Today, entrepreneurship (specifically part‐time entrepreneurship) is becoming the new norm. It’s incredibly common to be at a cocktail party and hear someone say “Oh I’m an accountant and I run X” or "I work in fashion but I also make Y”.
The one thing that hasn’t become common is resounding support for part‐time entrepreneurship. The phrase itself is a misnomer, as most “part‐time entrepreneurs” devote just as much time to their side hustle as they do their 9‐5 job. These impressive individuals are more than what they seem – they’re typically deeply invested in their careers and those careers and hobbies sparked these passion projects that manifested into tangible income.
If you’re a “part‐time entrepreneur,” you know all too well what this looks like. You have all these priorities and plates that you’re juggling and you’re never sure if each plate will settle without shattering. Maybe you struggle with explaining to clients why you’re unavailable during “normal business hours” – will they think less of you because you only do this “part time”? You love connecting with your entrepreneur friends, seeking out advice and sharing stories, but you also feel like a fraud – do they view you as an equal since you still have one foot in the corporate world?
The answer to all of these questions is that it doesn’t matter. The best thing about this new wave of entrepreneurship is that there are no rules. You can work on your passion project for as few or as many hours a week if you’d like to. Entrepreneurship means you write your own path. As millennials, entrepreneurship has enabled us to put a bigger dent in our student loans, pursue travel at a younger age than we should be able to afford to, and make more financially sound decisions about our future.
We stand tall, faced with the stereotype that we’re lazy, inept, or both, and we’re able to respond with true examples of what we’ve put our mind to and how hard we’ve worked to get to where we are. The words “part‐time entrepreneurship,” “side hustle,” or “passion project” are just labels. Be proud of what you’ve achieved and know that wherever you wish to go, you belong.