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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Jade Merrihue


For as long as I can remember I have always has a side hustle.

A side hustle is the thing you’re doing on the side for some extra $$ to fund your dreams, your fun, your purpose, your snacks, bills, lacy undies...whatever floats your boat.

Here’s the extensive list of all the side hustles I’ve hustled in- not in order of when I did them:

I had a pot brownie business in college.

I have babysat dogs + puppies of all sizes.

I did house-sitting for epic apartments/ mansions in LA while I was studying.

I have babysat.

I have arranged + designed + set up a wedding… even a bar-mitzvah once.

Designed art sets for movies.

Been an extra in movies.

Done a voice over or two.

Cooked feasts for events.

Helped prepare the daily raw vegan diet for Jake Gyllenhaal when he was losing weight for a film.

Helped set up plays, concerts, festivals.

Translated documents, presentations, speeches.

Tutored children and adults.

Made raw vegan hemp chocolate (Goodbites).

Research. Then more research.

Written articles.

Ghost wrote for Cosmo Magazine and Glamour Magazine for my old boss.

Worked in a hospital as a MOHS technician screening for cancer cells. (Scrubs are the best uniform in the fucking planet).

Made an entire article series for the Sex with Emily show called Sex and the Brain.

Was someone’s live-in coach.

Was someone’s private personal health + wellness assistant.

Hosted interviews.

Made jewelry for people.

Knit huge blankets for people.

Single handedly cooked and catered for a wedding. (I do not recommend this).

Managed my dad's Italian restaurant.

- I honestly can’t remember the last time I didn’t have a side hustle. Sometimes I’d have 2 or 3 (though it’s been a couple years since those days).

There was always a theme to my side hustles- cooking, baking, arts and crafts, events, workshops, education, coaching in some form or another, writing. These are all things I love doing anyway. They are what bring me peace and pleasure and it’s always brought in a little side $ or opportunities/ experiences through work-trade. It always felt exciting and safe to have side gigs.

In August 2019- I decided to drop all of them. To go 100% into my coaching and ditch the habit and crutch of side gigs.

It felt like I was quitting some major addiction. I felt crazy and like I was making a dumb decision.

There’s a rush with side hustles.

A sense of freedom. Of diversified risk.

When you get good at having them, it’s fast paced, creative money.

This cultivated a sense of doing my hobbies, relaxation, or fun, always with purpose towards $ or education or experience. The positive side to this is that you always feel like you’re working towards your dreams. The negative is you are literally working all the time.

Earlier this year my coach @jordan_gray_consulting challenged me to practice something I had very very little experience with: trust.

Trust that I didn’t need to diversify risk.

Trust that I could have one job and channel all my creative energy into the thing I love the most on this planet- coaching + writing in service to people loving themselves, each other, and/or their life with more understanding, support, and ease.

I was invited to see all the things I used as side hustles, like cook + bake, arts + crafts, as things I channeled into my life for pleasure only. As actual hobbies and relaxation.

The goal was to simplify and practice trust.

To remove the preconception that I had to always be at it to be successful and make money.

That I had to wake up at 5 AM, go on a run, ice shower, show up at my whatever jobs I had and work myself dry. Rinse and repeat everyday. This is a well practiced strategy.

Could you believe that the way I got any success was the opposite?

I woke up when I had enough rest. I worked out depending on the intensity that felt attractive to my body that day. I took baths. I slowed and softened. Ate homemade snacks and treats. Made art and shared the process of it. Wrote and created stuff at 11 PM, at 1 AM.

When ever inspiration hit.

The first few weeks last year, y’all saw me post about trauma. You saw my journey documented. I stopped saying yes to things. I stayed indoors for weeks. To some it may have looked like depression but for me it was permission.

Permission to slow down.

To process and feel all the things I had bypassed by being a hustler. I learnt to spend more quality time with myself and take baths, and process, I learnt more about myself and how to handle my shit than I’ve ever known was possible.

I grew boundaries for myself that in 5 short months have changed all of my relationships for the better and made them easier. I show up now because I want to 1000%. Not because I should, though I relapse from time to time.

I’ve lost one friend who took these boundaries personally.

I don’t do things I don’t want to do. I cancel plans because I am honest with myself about not wanting to do them anymore. I hermit for days if I feel like it, I go out and feast with good friends or interesting strangers, and dance, if I feel like it . With so much time to charge myself up, I learnt what it feels like to have enough energy to WANT to drive 45 minutes at 8 pm to have dinner at a friends house once a week.

And here’s the kicker:

I have made more money in the 1st 2 weeks of 2020 than I made in an entire year at the Red Cross or The IRC- with side hustle income included.

I have made more money in the past 5 months from doing the one thing I’ve devoted the last ten years of education to, than I made in my most professional of years.

And I share because talking about money is taboo. I share this because I did not know that things could be easy. That you could just pour all of yourself into work you love and if you were patient enough, if you were trusting enough you would eventually inevitably get a result.

This was a terrifying journey to me. At first. Every day I spent on the couch processing or relaxing felt like I was wasting time. Being lazy. On the days when I was in the thick of processing the burn out from years ago, friends lost, past pains, the general weight of life, I had shame that I should be doing more and being better. But it led me to here. To a place where I have so much confidence in what I’m doing that I’m not afraid to tell you with absolute certainty that the life you want is possible for you.

That it might be fucking terrifying at first for you to believe that and know what to do with it but that even five months of living it 100% can change your life forever.

What ever shitty job or relationship you’re stuck in, I see you and I’m with you and I’ve lived it. I promise you there’s a different life for you.

And when you quit whatever job you are in you are forced to find a solution. It might take you a little longer if you’re committed to a certain job or life style, but you can do it.

Thank you to every person out there who mirrored to me that this life was possible through posts like this because it got me here (@jordan_gray_consulting @demetranyx @juliamotherfuckingwells). It helped me ask for guidance and coaching on how to get here, it helped me rip the bandaid off and go all in. And all that being said, I still have a long ways to grow and hope that never changes.

If you’re struggling through anything in life. We’re in this together. Reach out. I offer 1-1 coaching online over Skype/zoom- in the pantsless comfort of your own home.

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