Detox to Grow Your Businesses & Creativity with Wellness Blogger Lina Lopez DONE

Lance Interview with Freelance Content Creator & Wellness Blogger Lina Lopez
Lance profile interview with Lina Lopez the Wellness Blogger
Lina M Lopez Wellness Blogger

Creating great content is critical to succeeding in any business today. When Lina Lopez’s recent posts caught our eye (not to mention our appetite), we reached out to get some first-handed insight on what helps her thrive. As a content creator, photographer, and wellness blogger based in NYC, Lina is all about working the balance between work, life, self-care, and growing toward her healthiest self! In addition to Lina’s great tips for you as an individual, she also shares what keeps her clients happy, ensures she’s learning more, and ultimately how she runs her business like a pro!

Hope you enjoy learning more about what it’s like to be an ace blogger and content creator! If you’re stuck in a social media vortex btw, we really recommend her blog post about taking some time to unplug.

Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur, Lina?

The ability to create solutions for any problem that may arise. That is a skill I had to learn in order to survive in this industry. I feel like I have been able to figure things out on my own. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but oh so rewarding when you create solutions for your own challenges.

What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelancer/side hustler?

Please know when to ask for help. As a freelancer, I thought I could do everything myself and I ended up spending a lot of time and energy doing something I could easily delegate to someone else. Don’t be scared to invest in your business and in yourself. Hire people to help you when needed, buy a course to learn or better your skills.

My other advice is to please know your numbers. This is something I had no clue about for a long time. I estimated how much I was making per month. I didn’t have a clear understanding of how much money I was making or how much money I was investing back into my business – and how much of it was going out. Once I started treating my business as a business – and not as a hobby – my business grew 10 times more.

Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?

I am struggling to maintain a unique voice. We are so overstimulated and influenced by social media. Staying true to myself can be challenging sometimes. When I feel I am losing myself in the crowd, I do a social media detox. Taking a break from social media helps me to start creating without the influence of other people. I recently took almost two months off and it was incredible. I was able to come up with different ideas and also to create a new business venture which I am so passionate about.

As a wellness blogger and content creator based in NJ and NYC, what challenges and advantages do you think are unique to each city?

NYC is advanced in terms of healthy food stops and wellness centers. NJ is a little bit slower in that sense. I am so lucky I live close to the city so I can take advantage of all its opportunities. New Jersey is slowly getting better at offering more healthy alternatives. I take it as an opportunity for growth and I am not shy about offering my food photography services to any new healthy restaurant in my area.

We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses?

I want to keep growing my content creation/blogging business because it is a great creative outlet. I love photography and helping brands share their message. I am being pulled towards sharing a different message (not only healthy eating). I’d like to maybe do some life coaching for women like me who feel lost and have no idea what they want to do as a career. Financially, I’d like to keep sharing my skills with people and make a good living doing what I love.  I believe once you follow your heart, the money will follow. I have so many personal goals but I don’t have any expectations. I just got engaged and am currently planning a wedding for next year. Hopefully, babies in the next 5 years – who knows?!

Freelancer Blogger - Lina Lopez
Lina Lopez creative blogger
Lina Lopez, Wellness Blogger and Content Creator
Lina Lopez Lance Interview

Inspired and want to learn more? Follow Lina on Instagram and her website.  Thanks again for your time and sharing more about your freelancing, Lina!

Should You Start a Side Hustle? DONE

Side hustle tips business
Are you ready to juggle and get ahead with a side hustle? Photo courtesy of Brad Neathery

Whether it’s through Instagram posts or conversations with friends, you’re probably hearing more people talking about working a side hustle. In addition to holding down full-time jobs, your friends might be spending their nights or weekends walking dogs, renting out their apartments or consulting for corporate clients. And they’re not alone.

Working a side hustle has become a way to both make some extra money – if your full-time job allows it – and test the waters with whether you’d like to turn a skill or passion into a new full-time job on your own.

Just like with freelancing, side hustles allow for more flexibility and freedom in how and when you work – as well as space to negotiate your rates with various clients. Over the last couple decades, there has been a significant and growing shift amongst people moving from working more traditional, 9-to-5 jobs to freelancing full-time for themselves. In fact, freelancers and side hustlers account for 57.3 million Americans today. In the next decade, freelancers will account for over half the workforce in this country and others around the globe.

Who Should Consider a Side Hustle

The type of people who pursue a side hustle do so for multiple reasons. Often they are motivated financially – to start making multiple incomes streams to save for a big purchase, secure more retirement savings or pay off debt. But just as often they’re now looking to further develop passions, expand upon budding skill sets and reinforce their hireability across multiple job types as well.

When pursuing financial reasons, people are now largely looking to diversify and add to their full-time income. They’re not alone – one in four people in the US already have a second source of income. Side hustles and the gig economy are not only for people of a certain income range. People making over $100,000 in annual incomes are using gig employment to quickly boost their retirement nest egg – and now able to do this much more flexibly thanks to online platforms, like EtsyLyft and Airbnb.

When passion-driven, people typically feel their full-time job isn’t aligned with their interests or not very purpose-driven. Side hustling allows for people to keep their full-time job along with its stability while allotting some time to these passions. These side hustles may include picking up writing, photography or house sitting for animals on a regular basis.

Increasingly, people are also looking for a way to further develop their personal growth. When surveyed, 40% of freelancers reported they got into side hustles and freelancing to keep learning and supporting themselves through new skills. These people often look to side hustling to also expand their network and reputation through these new or additional skills.

A demographic increasingly taking to side hustles is baby boomers. They’re often looking most immediately to increase their retirement savings, having experienced the impacts of the last recession and often still paying off their children’s student loans. Along with the financial benefits though, side hustles allow baby boomers to stay involved in their communities through this part-time work or develop skills they can take and charge for along their upcoming travels.

Why Side Hustles Are Beneficial

All the reasons side hustles are taken on as listed above are the reasons they’re beneficial. They can net immediate and long-term increased income. Side hustles allow for someone to keep a day job as well as pursue passions and interests without having to go “all-in”. These gigs can help grow social network and create a forcing function to learning new skills. These benefits are particularly invaluable to growing a resume and keeping it fresh. And by working in another environment or context, there are constantly new opportunities to learn, expand and get exposed to different people and ideas. This final point is significant to what is now being referenced as the future indicator of success: adaptability quotient. Defined as the ability to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing environment, this is quickly replacing long held respect for IQ and EQ.

When Side Hustles Can Pose Challenges

While there are many benefits that come along with side hustles, there are also disadvantages. Side hustling can leave one with very little down or free time. Once a side hustler is done with their full-time job, it’s off to the side hustle – creating an almost non-stop work life. If not monitored, a side hustle can also begin to intervene on a full-time job. Time management skills are critical to balancing a full-time job or pursuits along with a side hustle. It’s often best to wade into the side hustle waters slowly, so there’s the opportunity to increase or decrease the workload as needed around a principle income or family needs. Stress or feeling a sense of overwhelm around juggling jobs should be monitored and adjusted for accordingly.

What to Ask Yourself Before Diving Into a Side Hustle

Given the pros and cons  of taking on another job or set of clients, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before determining this is the right time to start a side hustle:

  • Do I have an idea or passion?
  • Do I have the time to learn? Whether it’s a new skill set, platform or networking medium?
  • Am I willing to fail a little bit along the way as I learn?
  • Do I want more freedom and flexibility in how and when I work?
  • Could I use some extra cash?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you’re ready and capable of taking on a side hustle.

It’s going to take a lot of elbow grease but if you apply yourself and search out the right communities, you’ll start gaining more than just another income stream. Whether it’s those new skills, turning your side hustle into your main income or growing your AQ, you’ll be well on your way to joining the growing ranks of side hustlers and freelancers. Throughout this week, we’ll post more about how to setup your side hustle using all the online platforms available to manage your invoicing and even marketing yourself through various social media channels.

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Freelancers We’re Watching: Hairstylists DONE

freelancer hairdresser stylist
Effectively marketing your hairstyling and coloring in the right channels can grow your business considerably. Photo courtesy of @Element5_Digital on Unsplash

Becoming a great hairstylist requires at the very least a ton of schooling – as well as learning new techniques over the years – and consistently marketing yourself to new clients. While you have utter control over how much schooling you undertake, it can feel daunting to stay on top of evolving your unique style and marketing it effectively. Especially today, when there are so many people posting regularly to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and everywhere else. Separating yourself from the pack can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible.

To give you a sense of how to market effectively, we wanted to highlight two hairstylists we came across who we think are doing this well. They both have upwards of 29k followers and have learned through their trials and tribs what it takes to keep advancing as a top hair stylist. You can tell they put a lot of effort into their online presence but clearly they’re having fun and enjoying their professions too! Take a look – we’d love to hear who else you enjoy learning from or following in this industry.

Ambrosia Carey (@ambrosiacarey)

Ambrosia Carey is based in Portland, OR. As she details in her blog, her rise to fame was challenging but her ability to persevere and keep her mind right was what helped her succeed over time. She’s someone who doesn’t believe in following established boundaries or expectations set on you by others. She believes, “the only expectations are those you have of yourself.” She encourages her followers to create and pursue their own expectations.

Developing Her Style

When it came to growing clientele, Ambrosia did it in a way anyone can admire. She made a decision she wasn’t going to let other hairstylists out work her. She came into the shop early, stayed late, worked consistently, and surrounded herself with the stylists she admired. Ambrosia learned from them, grew through watching them, and took notes on what made them so successful in her eyes.

It’s a principle so many other successful people follow: Surround yourself with the people you want to be like.Doing this gave her all-access passes into what these stylist were doing with their time to climb to the top. Ambrosia also entered into hair competitions which further developed her style and grew her network among top talent. Not to mention, these competitions also helped build her confidence.

Growing Clientele on Social Media

When it came to growing clientele via social media, Ambrosia did this again by putting in the time. She’s focused on posting meaningful and inspiring work that makes her followers feel more connected to their passion and her style. Ambrosia also always makes sure to respond to anyone commenting on her blog or Instagram feed, whether it’s sharing the technique she used or just thanking someone for their compliments. Being active on your social media channels is so important because it’s where you get to connect with people who you have something in common with regardless of where in the world you are in that moment.

Ambrosia has been able to put all of this work and dedication into her craft because she loves it so much. You can feel it throughout all her posts! She loves being a hairdresser, she loves interacting with her customers, and she loves knowing she’s made a difference in someone’s day.

Neal Malek (@Nealmhair)

Neal Malek is based in Orlando, FL. He has a whopping 84.5k followers on Instagram. He started from humble beginnings, working at a booth rental salon where he assisted some great veterans of the industry for six months. Like Ambrosia, this allowed him to grow and learn a lot from the people around him. He was then able to work in a Ulta Salon and start climbing towards getting a full book within a year’s time. He continued growing his network, taking to social media to show people what he’s up to and how his style continues to evolve.

Tips For Upcoming Stylists

One of the most consistent tips Neal gives – and lives – is to be confident. Always be confident in the work you do and in your abilities to work with anyone and everyone. Neal has said the reasons for his success is his confidence. He is confident enough to walk up to anyone anywhere and talk to them about their hair. Talking to potential clients like this is risky but certainly gets their attention.

Walking up to anyone not only allows you to grow your network, but also allows you to market yourself. You can market yourself by handing out your card, giving tips, and proving you know what you’re talking about. You are able to illustrate your love for hair and being a hairstylist, which people enjoy seeing. When people see the passion coming through you, it makes it a lot easier to trust someone. You see they are not just doing it for the money, but doing it because they can’t control their passion! They want to be styling your hair in that very moment.

Using Social Media

Neal believes you need to regularly change what you’re doing and step outside of your comfort zone, if you want to be successful. One of the changes he made in his own business was committing to having each of his clients stay an extra 30 minutes to make sure styled their hair exactly how they wanted. This showed his clients he was truly invested in them,and would do whatever it took to make sure they were ecstatic leaving his styling chair. Neal believes going above and beyond leads to a world of success.

Why He Loves Being a Hairstylist

Neal loves that the lifestyle allows him to work on his own time. It allows him to be creative everyday and follow his own rules. He has said he was never a fan of school and would get into his fair share of trouble growing up. Learning he wanted to become a hairstylist was an amazing relief; he could finally set upon something that kept his attention.

Neal also loves the inspirational aspect of his job. He knows after he is done styling someone’s hair, their self esteem goes through the roof. Knowing he has the ability to help people find their beauty is truly amazing. Everyone should feel beautiful and he feels it’s his gift to show people their beauty.

Standing out in the hairstyling industry can be challenging, but these two hairstylists are great examples of everyone’s potential to start from the ground level and become inspiring influencers. Key is tapping into your passion, and then chasing that passion with hard work everyday as soon as you wake up in the morning. As a freelancer, it’s such a gift that we get to do what we love everyday and are able to positively affect the lives of so many people around us. With a little bit of confidence and perseverance, there’s no reason you can’t be the next Ambrosia Carey or Neal Malek.

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