it’s time to make things happen
I just wanted to begin by saying that I fully understand that COVID-19 is an extremely serious matter. I’m empathetic towards those who are currently struggling, and those people whose businesses and jobs have been highly affected by this.
I wanted to write this article to share my story about how I’ve been utilizing the time we’ve been given.
I too lost my job due to COVID-19. I was a contractor for Yahoo, and due to recent events, my contract was unable to get extended. I felt sad, and I felt like I wasn’t important enough within the company to be kept on. However, I understood. I understood that a lot of people were and are currently struggling, and I was grateful to my boss for trying so hard. It didn’t make things any less sucky.
The thing is, when situations like this happen, we are always unprepared. We never see it coming, we never imagine it will happen to us. We’re different. We tell ourselves.
In just a short 4 months, Covid-19 shut down the world’s economies.
Anybody who wasn’t an essential business was essentially screwed.
I was determined to make things work.
My side hustle needed to become my MAIN hustle
I was working at Yahoo as a contractor for a little over a year. My contract kept getting extended and extended. The problem with that was I got comfortable.
I got comfortable working a 9–5 job that I knew I had no intention of staying at for, well forever. I kept telling myself, “ok, I’m giving myself X amount of time and I’m going to finally start putting in the work to my blog.” I thought that during my time there I would be able to gain useful skills that would roll over to my other endeavors. Such as blogging, writing, etc, which is why I thought it was the perfect place for me to be.
I had a food blog that I worked on, and while I wasn’t able to go all-in because of my regular 9–5 job, I worked on it whenever I found the time and the foundation for it was built, but the audience was not.
I also had my Medium account, which I had started not too long ago. Writing was always my passion, but I never invested the proper time into it to actually make it work.
Lastly, I had started a Youtube channel. Youtube is hard to weasel into right now, it’s a saturated market. I don’t necessarily think it’s too saturated to join, however, yes there are a lot of people out there that are grinding and working hard to get noticed.
I started working on all three immediately.
I had 3 solid eggs in my basket. 3 side hustles that I was determined to turn into my main hustles.
The goal has always to become a full-time blogger, a full-time writer, and a full-time content-creator, it was always a matter of when.
That’s when COVID-19 came into play.
The second we were self-quarantined, I jumped into action. I realized that this was it. It was either now or never.
I started a writing streak. Every single day, I wrote in my journal. Every single day, I would write articles. For Medium, for my blog, and in general for myself. I was finally beginning to fill my glass that had been empty and thirsty for so long.
I started creating and developing recipes daily for my food blog. I began learning and taking advantage of SEO, I began engaging more with the little audience that I had, and I want to note that I am by no means a huge food blogger, I’m only one year in and I feel like I just started. My food blog takes a significant amount of my time, but the time and effort I have been able to put into it have been rewarding. My page views started going up more than they have ever been before, and every single follower I have gained, I treasured because I put in so much time, and so much effort and each individual that is able to see my content and get something out of it made me feel accomplished.
As for Youtube, I’ve been able to put out more content than I ever was before. I was worried that being self-quarantined and not being able to put out a wide variety of good content out there would hinder me — but people wanted at-home workouts, people wanted to watch other people’s daily lives, and that’s what I wanted to provide in general.
The scariest moment is always just before you start. After that, things can only get better. — stephen king
I put in the work every single day
The only reason I have gained any success on any of my platforms was because of consistency.
I was able to be consistent for two reasons.
1. I had no other option.
2. I utilized my time correctly.
Nothing you do occasionally will get you the results that you want. That is why my food blog was never successful, that is why my articles on medium barely got any views, that is why my Youtube never got any subscribers. I worked on my hobbies in my spare time, whenever I would feel like it. I didn’t treat them like careers, and so they never became my careers.
Now, I wake up every single morning on fire to do what I am doing.
I don’t go to bed without completing my tasks for the day. I refuse to have any tasks unfinished. My priority is to be consistent. To show up for people. To create valuable content that will have people coming back for more.
That’s the only way a business will ever succeed.
Sure, I could be like everybody else right now, binge-watching Netflix and complaining about not having access to a gym, I could be lounging in my pajamas every single day and praying I’ll have some sort of job at the end of this. However, having a job has never been my goal.
I wanted to build a career. And while it’s unfortunate that things had to become like this in order for me to snap out of it and actually put in the work, I am so grateful that this is how I’ve been handling the situation.
I am building my career, I am building my business, and I am putting in the work, every single day without excuses.
Provide people with value
Helping people is something I love doing but oftentimes it’s always been very challenging for me.
I’m an introvert. I get nervous in social settings, I love spending time alone, I love reading books and spending time with myself, but I have always had a passion for people and helping them do what they want to do. I have always found myself wanting to provide help for others in areas they may have been lacking in, and I was exceeding in.
For instance, I love food. I love cooking, I love spending time in the kitchen creating recipes and baking healthy treats.
So many people out there struggle with food. Whether that be a food disorder, or not knowing how to cook, or whatever it is, I was drawn to wanting to help those people. Which is why I created a food blog and Youtube channel. I wanted to show people how easy it could be to create healthy and wholesome meals.
Knowing I was helping someone in an area I felt I was good at, made me feel like I was actually utilizing my talent/passion/hobby whatever you want to call it, for the greater good.
The key to building a career is by providing people with value. A business can’t thrive without support.
What can you do to make the world a better place? What can you offer to help make things better? To make things easier? To make things more simple?
What can you do today that someone tomorrow will be grateful for?
Constantly striving for more
I never want to be that person who settles for anything, and you shouldn’t either.
I understand that you might be struggling right now, but I urge you to utilize this time to your advantage.
If you’re thinking of starting something — go for it right now.
What is your passion? What sets you on fire? What will make you want to wake up to work every single day?
Find it and do it. Come out of this change in lifestyle better than before.