What is UP my friends and fellow busybees. ALRIGHT, today we’re getting into some real talk. I always try to keep it open and honest here on the podcast and sometimes that’s going to mean being upfront and maybe bringing up some harsh realities that you’ve been trying to distract yourself from or ignore. Not to worry, this is a safe space where you can take the time to reflect, be thoughtful and inquisitive with yourself and work through some mental blocks you may have been experiencing.
It’s funny- I always have people reach out and let me know that they find the podcast so relatable and say that it feels like it was made for them, and that’s because I have been right where you are. Everyone has different experiences, but I have had the same fears that you have, I’ve had the same confusion and not knowing what to do next, I’ve had to learn similar lessons along the way.
So for those of you who are sitting on the cusp of that Dabbler and Hobbyist stage of the Furniture Refinisher’s Success Spectrum (check out this post if you don’t know what that is), you may be sitting there and looking at the Side Hustlers that you see around you or online and feel a tinge of jealousy or a desire to be there. You would love to take this hobby and passion you have for furniture painting and refinishing and turn it into that side hustle that will keep you learning and in the workshop and bringing in some substantial extra income for you and your family. But something is holding you back, and maybe you already know what that something is or maybe you haven’t taken the time to explore it much yet, but today allow me to propose some things that you may be thinking or feeling that are holding you back from getting there.
One thing that I see a lot of the time in the people I coach and I had it myself too, was the fear of failure. You’re worried that if you really try to do this and decide you’re going to start up that side hustle and pursue it to its fullest that you will give it your all and it won’t be enough. That you’ll put yourself out there, announce to your family and friends and followers online that you’re going to really give it a go. And then what if you fall short? What if it isn’t a success? What if you fail… and people notice you failed?
This was something that held me back when I first started out. I had started a separate Instagram page to post about my DIY projects and then eventually my furniture makeovers and I knew I wanted to grow it (before I even decided to make the furniture refinishing a side hustle and business) but I was so stubborn and refused to try and grow it by letting people I actually knew about it. Because I was nervous and embarrassed to be doing this thing that I didn’t even know if I was actually good at yet, showing up on social media and talking to a camera like some fraudulent wannabe influencer and being vulnerable about this new thing that I was learning and would probably end up making mistakes on along the way. Does that sound relatable to anyone?
So instead of just putting yourself out there and giving it a try, you can instead stay where you’re at, where you’re comfortable and just refinishing FOR FUN and not have anything tied to it. You can play around and do projects and maybe even sell a piece here or there but not be treating it like a business, not looking to advertise it or grow it or anything like that. And then you can sit in the fantasy of it, of one day pursuing it and how that would look and how easy it would be and how successful it would be but.. You don’t do it.
And you’ll keep living in that daydream of it until one day you actually no longer have the choice of whether or not you can try to pursue it due to some other obligation or responsibility like a busier job or having kids to take care of or parents that require help in your free time. Or you’ll have some other restriction like a health issue or physical restrictions that no longer allow you to be able to do refinishing as often. So then you’ll never actually end up trying to pursue it and it will be one of those things at the end of your life that you look back on and think “damn, I really wish I had just tried that out and seen what would have happened”. All of that will happen unless you make the decision to just try.
And you know what the most annoying part of sitting in this mindset is? We sit around and we have this negative self-talk telling us that we don’t have what it takes and so we don’t pursue this thing we are literally dreaming about and know we would enjoy and the worst part is, we have nobody to blame but ourselves. Isn’t it so much easier when you have someone else to put the blame on? It’s such a handy way to remove that responsibility of the decision from our shoulders, but it’s just a matter of us holding ourselves back in this case and the reality of that is pretty frickin’ annoying. I know it because I essentially annoyed myself out of it eventually.
I have mentioned before that I listen to the Mindset Mentor podcast– highly recommend for anyone looking to get into the personal development space and find some motivation and tips for approaching life– and he talked in this one episode about a mentor of his who was speaking at a conference or training or something once and someone said to him something along the lines of “you seem pretty full of yourself”. And his response was “who the fuck else should I be full of?”. Think about that for a sec… we’re taught that it’s such a negative thing to be full of ourselves, to believe in ourselves, to think that we are capable and adept and fearless and able to tackle these goals and challenge we want to pursue. That being full of yourself and your abilities is a bad thing, it makes you a narcissist or someone nobody would want to be around.
But if we shouldn’t be full of ourselves, who the fuck else are we supposed to be full of?! The minute I decided to switch that script in my head and say fuck it, I can do it and I don’t really care what people may think of me when I do it, was the minute I was able to wholeheartedly pursue my side hustle and give it my best shot and run with it. And, spoiler alert, it’s been going pretty well, because I essentially told myself to turn all the negative thoughts in my head into positive, aspirational messages that keep me going forward. Highly recommend giving it a try, there’s literally nothing bad that can come from it.
Because what we forget when we’re sitting in that self-hatred and that self-doubt and those negative and limiting thoughts is that the people around us– the people we are so scared to fail in front of– are actually the people who will be cheering us on the loudest when we decide to throw the shitty thoughts into the Fuck It Bucket and go for the things we want. We forget that they love and support us and that means wanting the best for us. We forget that they will probably notice that we are pushing ourselves past our typical comfort zones and know that we might need a little extra boost of encouragement to keep us going. We forget that in pursuing our own dreams and goals and aspirations that we may be reminding people of, or encourage and motivate people to, pursuing their own.
Another thing you may be thinking if you’re sitting in the Hobbyist and Dabbler stage, or honestly even in the Side Hustler stage but just teetering on it because you’ve kept things super unofficial and off the books and lowkey. You may be nervous to wholeheartedly pursue having this as a side hustle because you don’t have a background in business and so have no idea where to even begin with creating and maintaining and growing one. The thought of that makes your heart beat a little faster, makes your palms a little sweaty and gets your mind flying a million miles a minute at the prospect of it RQ (that’s real quick for those who didn’t know).
And that is a totally valid concern to have. You have it because you want to do things right, you don’t want to miss anything important or fuck anything up or accidentally not know what you’re supposed to be doing and then get in trouble. That is responsible thinking and I respect that, however, might I remind you that we live in the year 2023 and you have the literal entire existence of knowledge available to you in a single click on the Internet? If you have been telling yourself that you don’t have a business background and so you can’t run a business, think again chicky. Grab a book from the library. Hire a coach. Do some intentional Googling. Connect with your local business bureau. Read your local tax agency’s FAQ documents. The answers are out there, my friends, you are just convincing yourself that it would be too much work to find them and I am here to bulldoze that assumption from your psyche.
I came from the world of victimology and social services, I knew how to talk people off the ledge when they were wanting to kill themselves and how to administer first aid after an overdose and how to untangle messy life situations and help get people on track finding housing and getting replacement IDs and learning how to grocery shop for the first time. But I didn’t know about business expenses and how to send invoices and what goes into creating a website for your business and what profit margins were and how you would go about getting a business identification number. But you know what I did when I decided I finally wanted to? I made a list of everything I thought I would need to know and I started researching from there and along the way I discovered other unknowns that I added to the list to research and eventually all of the information started becoming redundant and I knew that I probably had the basics down. I connected with some professionals to address any remaining questions I had and validated that everything I learned was accurate and TA DA! I was ready to hit the ground running and get my side biz going.
Another fear that I also experienced and I have heard from a few people along the way is that if you do decide to make your side hustle official and register it as a business and treat it as such that it will create more pressure. You think that the minute you register for a business number that all of a sudden there will be big expectations of you and things you will need to maintain and all of that pressure will build up and become overwhelming and stressful and you’ll start to hate what you’re doing and you’ll lose sleep at night and it will affect your health and that will affect your full-time job and your family and your relationships and then everything will go to shit. But why do you think that will happen? Has anyone ever told you that if you go official, you need to put those expectations on yourself? Chances are, these are just things that your brain is making up and are completely untrue. The reality is that if you decide to lean into your business and get things set up to see where you could take it, any expectations that follow are ones that you’re making up in your own head. And since you’re making them up in your own head, you can choose what those expectations are. Because you are a full ass grown up with agency and your own free will- it’s great!
The way that I counteracted this and let myself push past the fear was created parameters for myself that would make the experience enjoyable for me, and I check in on those parameters and expectations often to make sure I’m still aligned with them. When I first started out I told myself that I never wanted to let things get so busy that I started hating the work I was doing. So you know what? That allowed me to take a look at a bird’s eye view at the things that I said yes to moving forward and put it through that lens or that filter: if I do this, will it make me not enjoy this thing I’m doing? Or looking back on the thing I did say yes to, how did that thing go? Did I enjoy it? Should I say yes if asked to do it again? Or was it something that caused more stress or required more time or effort than it was worth and so I will file it under the category of things to set a boundary around next time. The great thing about being your own boss and running your own business is that you get to make all of the decisions– sometimes that can feel exhausting and annoying because you just want someone else to do it for you, but in these kinds of instances it means that you get to curate and create the reality that you want. You can create the side hustle or business that you’re currently daydreaming about, with the levels of time or stress or effort or whatever else that you decide it should have.
Another thing that is very much worth noting when we talk about the prospect of getting official and finally actioning that side hustle selling your painted and refurbished furniture makeovers is that you are under no obligation to do it forever if you do decide to try it. You could give it a go, give it your best shot and then if things don’t take off the way you hoped they would after awhile or if you lose interest or excitement with it, guess what? You can wake up the next day and decide not to do it anymore. Crazy, right? Like I said, you’re the one making the decisions, calling the shots and setting the expectations.
So although I recommend sticking with it and not expecting immediate success right out the gate, if you no longer love it and truly want to be rid of it, you have that power. Again, you have freewill. Which is exactly why I always tell people that if they have been thinking about it and think they want to try out starting a business or side hustle and selling their pieces, then what’s the harm in trying? On the other hand, if you really do want to try it but you hold yourself back for one reason or another from taking the chance and trying it out, that could be something that you look back on your life and wonder what may have been. Don’t leave yourself wondering, my friend, and take that leap today! You never know what could be waiting for you on the other side.
And if you are interested in finally tackling that side hustle selling your refinished furniture and want some accountability and someone to guide you through to launching it, you are in luck! If you are listening to this when it’s first released, I have an upcoming free Furniture Refinisher’s Bootcamp: Two Weeks to Launch Your Side Hustle that you will not want to miss! Starting June 19th, over the span of two weeks I will be teaching and providing support for a group of people who are eager and interested in getting that side hustle launched. I will be covering all you need to know about getting things set up and the official channels to look into, getting seen and thinking about ways to market your side hustle, and getting a GRIP because like I’ve discussed today, that mindset piece is so integral to you actioning things and feeling confident as you go into this exciting new venture. If you’d like to join me in the bootcamp, click here to register and I will see you there!
And something you may not know about me… I love little motivational messages. They literally always get me fired up, and I keep a running list of ones that are especially catchy or speak to me in the Notes app on my phone. So I’m going to end every podcast episode with one of those that I have noted down over the years, in hopes that you leave our time here each week feeling inspired, motivated, and ready to take on whatever comes your way that week.
So this week’s Mel’s motivational message is: Fortune favours the bold.
Alright, that’s it for now, I hope to see you in the bootcamp with me! I appreciate your time, and I’ll catch you guys next week!