Both my wife and I have been talking about it a lot lately. We’ve really marveled at how well our third quarter transition has gone. This past year, in particular, has set a lot of milestones in place for us. When we look back on it, 2017 will likely be remembered as the year we completed our midlife career changes and started to see some serious growth in both of our ventures.
Brenda’s side hustle (JamBusters!) has seen a tremendous amount of success. We measure success in the number of jars of product we sell at each vending event we attend. Because we booked just over twice as many dates this year than we did in 2016, the numbers were going to naturally increase. I don’t think either of us expected to see sales leap to where they got to in 2017.
It has a lot to do with us no longer looking at the vending part of JamBusters! as anything other than a marketing opportunity. For part of 2016 it was a bit of an escape for us and a means to generate income. The stresses related to that are gone so we now enjoy the vending far more than we did. In a way, you could say that now the pressure is off, it can take on a life of its own.
As it turns out, I think it is safe to say that is precisely what has happened. I gauge the success of JamBusters! in another way as well. I observe Brenda when she discovers a new recipe and her reaction when she makes something with it that works out well and is accepted by customers. The feedback from others really contributes to the overall life of the brand and products.
As for my side hustle (Looseink Freelance Ninja) I don’t think I could be much happier with how it has turned out. The smooth transition into more and more writing – something I already enjoy doing – made the idea of freelance work almost a no-brainer. However, I do remember those scary days wondering if I could outbid my way into some work as a relative newcomer.
The tactic worked and allowed me to build a fairly decent portfolio and client base. As much as I had heard about avoiding ‘content farms’ for work, I actually used them to establish myself as a web content writer. Even with a number of long-term clients and a couple of writing team positions, I still use the content farms for additional work. They helped me to complete my transition.
What our moves did – shifting two part-time hobbies into full-time sources of employment – ended up giving us more control over our future. As both Brenda and I work from home, unless we are at a vending venue with JamBusters! it has really made our lives a lot less complicated although they are most likely far busier that they used to be.
I think the point I am trying to make here is that there is nothing wrong with keeping busy. Only the difference is when you are busy working for yourself instead of working for someone else. Both of us are entrepreneurs and we tackle our days like entrepreneurs. The fact that we don’t feel stressed now that we are really just working for ourselves makes our moves truly good midlife career changes.
My name is George Elliott. I have been in the Media Industry since 1978. I spent 23 years in Broadcasting and worked in a total of six different radio stations located in southern British Columbia Canada during my career. In 2000 I switched gears and moved into the Print Media Industry at a small town, local weekly newspaper. In 2004 I bought the paper and operated it with my wife, Brenda until July 2016 when we closed it. I launched a freelance web content and article writing business from my home in January 2014.