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With how the media portrays millennials, I had a very tainted view of this age demographic in my head.
Because of this brainwashing, I pictured all this generation did was go around eating avocado toast, shirking responsibilities and avoiding work at all costs.
However as I have dove deeper and deeper into the blogosphere it became more and more evident that this was indeed not the case.
I have now read many blogs by millennials and there are strikingly similarities between this generation and mine.
Yes there are some individuals that epitomize the caricature that mainstream media portrays a millennial to be (to be fair there are some in my own generation that could also fit that bill).
But I have also seen hardworking individuals in their early 20’s really make an impact on their own financial life, showing wisdom well beyond their years.
I was impressed when one such millennial, Cole, took the initiative and contacted me about doing a guest post on his side hustle.
Side hustling has definitely gained popularity in the FIRE community and a great physician blog, Side Hustle Scrubs is a testament to that trend.
I am hoping that Cole’s story will be inspirational, showing that anyone can start a side hustle regardless of age or profession. [Disclaimer: We have no financial relationship]
Having a passion for sharing information that’s been helpful in finding success in life, Cole founded YoungSuccess Books, an independent publishing brand dedicated to teaching people how to be successful.
He recently launched his first book, One Month MBA, where he talks about how he was able to get a regionally accredited MBA in just a few months while working a full time job, and spending less than $4,000 in the process.
I will now let Cole tell his story:
Why I Decided to Start a Side Hustle
I started YoungSuccess Books out of passion and a longing for freedom.
I have a huge passion for learning and teaching.
When I’m convinced a topic can help me find success in my life, I find myself searching for hours on end.
Be it relationships, personal finance, digital marketing, psychology, philosophy, cooking, or career advice, I love it all.
Once I learn about a topic and find it contributing to my goal of living a successful life, the first thing I want to do is share it with people.
While it’s exciting to finally embrace my passion, YoungSuccess Books was also created out of my longing for freedom.
From an early age, I decided I wanted to retire early.
Dumping money into my 401k and living frugally have become a natural part of my life, and I’m finally in a position where I can retire in my early 40s if I stay on track in my career.
But freedom in my early 40s isn’t want I want.
While I don’t hate my job, every morning I have to leave my girlfriend and my dog peacefully sleeping in bed, and it kills me.
My favorite days are when I can sleep in on the weekend, enjoy some nice coffee, practice piano, exercise, read, indulge in my hobbies and relax all day.
I want those days to be every day, and I don’t want to wait on 20 years of compounding interest to make that a reality.
So in June 2018, I combined my passion and my longing to be free to create something that could help me earn passive income and retire early — YoungSuccess Books.
Fun Lifestyle Changes
While it’s only been a few months in the making, I’m already experiencing some fun lifestyle changes.
The first thing I noticed is how I felt proud of myself.
Every step I’ve taken in beginning my side hustle has been met with thoughts like “oh, this won’t work,” “this won’t make money,” “this is a waste of time.”
However, for the first time in my life, I followed through on a side hustle and brought it to life.
That feels amazing.
The second thing I noticed is that I can work on something without daydreaming about freedom the entire time.
Reading about people who are financially independent but still work a 9-5 job, I seriously thought they had Stockholm syndrome or something.
But for one of the first times in my life, I found myself exercising the skills I’ve gained in my career for me and my projects.
I feel like if I could work on this side hustle full time and support myself financially, I’d feel freedom close to what I strive for with financial independence.
Also, I can put whatever title I want on my resume and show there’s a legitimate business I’m working for with that title.
Including my hustle, I have two jobs, so (depending on employer perception) I’m gaining work experience twice as fast, and I have a kickass website and content to show off in my portfolio.
Not-So-Fun Lifestyle Changes
While a side hustle is very rewarding, you need to be ready to pay the price.
Maintaining extracurricular activities outside of work is already difficult.
Before YoungSuccess books, I comfortably practiced piano for 40 minutes, lifted weights for 20 minutes, and did chores/ran errands for 45 minutes every day.
Now, on top of all of those things, I have 1.5-2 hours of side hustle work to do before I can finally relax.
My current employment has a great work/life balance, so I have a pretty reliable 40-hour work week to plan around, and my weekends aren’t taken up by my primary job.
Since weekdays are so busy, I’ve had to accept that most of the time I spend living my life will be on weekends.
This sucks, and if I had a long work week I would have to probably save all my YoungSuccess Books work for weekends.
I’ve been able to maximize the productivity of my work by using websites like Fiverr for formatting books, creating covers, and providing a few other services.
But right now I’m the sole content creator, and running a publishing company with a blog requires a whole lot of content.
While it might sound impossible to grind through this work on a daily basis, take a sigh of relief in hearing that gratification comes very fast.
Figuring out the process to get information from my brain into a formatted, legitimate book in my hands took a lot of work.
But being able to hold a physical product that I wrote, with my name on it, is an excellent feeling.
After two weeks of my book being on the Amazon store, I had sold five copies!
If you think that it would be disappointing to have a side hustle earn only $20, with only five different people putting down the money to buy your book, you’re very wrong.
I did a jump for joy in my living room after realizing I had created a semi-passive income stream with my own legitimate business and self-produced content.
My next book is a lot less niche, and is much longer.
I’m expecting it to sell better, and the excitement to release my next product is enough to keep me motivated.
Having a side hustle is exhausting, but a lot more rewarding than I thought.
I started out seeing it as a necessary evil in order to be free from the rat race, but I quickly discovered that I could be content with my 40-hour work week if I could do it on my own terms, for my own business.
Also, shout out to Xrayvsn for having me on his blog. [It really was nice of him, wasn’t it? 🙂]
This is my first guest post, and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share my story with this community.
How You Can Support Cole and YoungSuccess Books
Right now, YoungSuccess Books only has a couple blog posts, and one book [at the time this post was submitted].
I’m working hard to grow my brand and produce content, so keep an eye on my Success Blog for free resources to find success in your career and daily life.
My next book, “How to Start a Digital Marketing Career” is expected to launch early September 2018.
Thank you Cole for guest post.
What you have already achieved at an early age is remarkable and I wish you continued success in your side hustle.
Hopefully you have inspired some of my readers to take similar steps in pursuing their dreams.
If you or someone you know has an inspirational story that can be of benefit to my readers feel free to contact me.
As always, please consider subscribing to this blog if you haven’t done so already.
NOTE: The website XRAYVSN contains affiliate links and thus receives compensation whenever a purchase through these links is made (at no further cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Although these proceeds help keep this site going they do not have any bearing on the reviews of any products I endorse which are from my own honest experiences. Thank you- XRAYVSN
A side hustle should be something that you enjoy in addition to make extra income.
Congrats to a Cole for pursuing an interest – I wish you the best of luck. Thanks to Xrayvsn for letting him share his story.
Thanks Financial Verdict for the kind words.
For me starting a blog was quite a task and it was the help of a lot of great big name bloggers that even put me sort of on the map. Thought I could pay it forward some (plus it was a really nice ego boost for me that someone would actually contact me to do their first ever guest post on my platform)
I hear you on starting a blog! I just launched mine last month. I have the basics set up so that I can put up content, but have a way to go in getting it into final form. I’m trying to learn from following helpful blogging posts put up by others.
Welcome to the blogosphere! 🙂 It really is a great community to be a part of. My advice is to be patient, keep writing good content and hopefully you start building an audience. I started in April 2018 and I am amazed at what has happened over several months as it continues to grow. Wish you much success. There is a lot of great pointers out there helping people start out.
Welcome to the blogging community Financial Verdict. It’s great to have more lawyers in the blogosphere. There’s only a handful so far. My wife is an attorney too. And congrats on being a new father. I’m a new father too. My daughter is almost 6 months old. I’ll admit it is hard to maintain a blog while being a new dad and progressing at your career at the same time. But you make it happen. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the warm welcome to blogging, and congrats on fatherhood! It really is amazing. Your daughter is very fortunate your wife is able to spend so much time with her. Mine can only have 3 months off.
I launched my blog less than 2 weeks ago and am really enjoying getting a chance to interact with others in the personal finance space. I’ll look forward to checking out yours soon.
Having a practice and juggling new family routine limits my blogging time, but I will put out a post a week to start.
I’ve written a book myself that is now in the revision phase. I’d love to hear more about the resources you used to self publish. What worked? Whar didn’t?
All I have right now is a Google doc with 45,000 words. Did you like your experience with Fivver?
P.s. I love my side hustles. They rarely feel like work and I always look forward to them. That’s when you know you are passionate about it.
Hey TPP thanks for stopping by. I am sure he is checking out the comments but if not I will send him and email and hopefully he can respond. That has to be exciting getting near the end to publishing a book.
Physician Philosopher, Createspace and KDP are a given for self publishing. They are currently merging into the same service, and I’m not 100% sure what that will look like once it’s finished in the next few weeks. I don’t think much will change. I’ve been happy with Fiverr for interior formatting and book covers. You just need to make sure you really analyze whatever deliverables you receive. Mistakes are pretty common. When trying to get a measure for what quality cover you’ll need, I suggest looking at high ranking competitor books in your niche. I’m hoping to expand into platforms… Read more »
“oh, this won’t work,” “this won’t make money,” “this is a waste of time.”
I thought those things too about my graphic design side hustle, now it makes $300-$400 a month. Still not making me rich (I’m already FI) but it pays all of my utilities, internet, and car insurance plus more.
Keep plugging away. Four books will turn into 7 then 12 then all of a sudden you’ll have some steady income. These things happen like a tide, they build slowly but with hard work they will build!
Great advice AF. In the beginning any side hustle seems to have a low ROI based on amount of effort it takes to do it. But like compound interest effect there is a tipping point and then the magic happens.
Thanks for the motivation, congrats on your side hustle as well.
Hi Cole! Great story and I wish you continued success. Yeah, side hustles can be time consuming and certain sacrifices will have to be made. That’s why it’s so vital that your side hustle is something you enjoy with a passion. A side hustle can complete your Ikigai – “reason for being” or raison d’être. Thus, if your primary hustle makes some money and you’re good at it, but you feel like there’s a lack of passion and need for your work in the world then your side hustle will certainly fulfill your Ikigai and lead to life fulfillment. Cheers!!!… Read more »
Hey DMF, thanks for the great commentary for Cole (who really did impress me with his initiative). That is wild, I never heard of Ikigai until today and this is the 2nd time I came across it (read Financial Samaurai’s post on it this morning). I love that concept that you should be fulfilled more than anything.
Oh wow! Thanks for sending me over to the Samurai. I had no idea he had written about it. What a coincidence!
I honestly thought you used that term because of Sam’s post, lol. Kind of like the word of the day. I am going to try and use it now too. Ikigai. 🙂
Very interesting perspective I’ve never heard about Ikigai before. Looks like I have some reading to do 🙂
I would have jumped for joy in the living room that day too. Great job your hard work will payoff far more in the future I am certain. Great post!
Thanks for stopping by Andrea. Appreciate the comment and your support