1 – What inspired you to start your side hustle, and how did you come up with the idea?

I had a knitting side hustle which I started in 2021 during lockdown. It was going OK, but it was very time expensive, the more sales , the more time I needed to spend on my side hustle, I couldn’t scale it. I did another free challenge with Julie using Chatgpt. That helped me look at all my skills and passions. At the same time, my husband was retiring, and we were intentionally looking at what we could do to make the most of our later life. So the idea and the time of life came together.

2 – What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when launching your side hustle, and how did you overcome them?

This was much more of a personal mission that knitting headbands. I was going to need to share much more of my personal story, create a deeper relationship with my clients than a simple business transaction.

I had never written a course before. I had run in person groups but not online and not paid.

I had never had an email list. I needed training in these areas that I couldn’t scrabble together for free. I needed to invest , financially and personally , and face the fear of failure or ridicule.

3 – How has your side hustle positively impacted your life, both personally and professionally?

So I am not your usual side hustler. I don’t need a second income that I can fit around the kids. I don’t have a paid job.

Having a side hustle connects me with people. I love learning and putting new skills into practise. I have rediscovered a love of telling stories and linking them to an idea or a need. I get to mix with people of all ages. I am rarely without anything I want to do.

4 – What do you think sets your side hustle apart from others in your industry?

There are programs to be happier, there are retirement networks which often focus on diet, fitness and finances. There are groups to support carers but they don’t focus on happiness or on the future. Within happier later life, there is a sweet spot where those who are carers of elderly parents are supported now, but also empowered to make changes so that their life is happier now and their later life will be happier and easier for them and those who may care for them in the future.

5 – Can you share a success story or proud moment from your side hustle journey so far?

It’s very early stages. I am proud of the way that my Linkedin posts empower others to speak up. I get daily messages from business owner who tell me they care for parents alongside running a business, raising family etc.

When I get shout outs from people I don’t actually know because the things I am writing about resonate with them.

6 – What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting their own side hustle?

Do it. If it doesn’t work out, do something else. With hindsight it makes it so much easier if you are passionate about the people you are helping. I had a great idea to knit dog jumpers, but I do not own a dog, I am not in any doggy groups, they were very difficult for me to market.  But I can post about being a carer, being 60, being retired until the cows come home because it is who I am.

7 – Did anything almost stop you going ahead with a Happy Side Hustle?

Definitely the financial investment. Up and until now I have hustled for free. I scratched around for free advice.

What changed your mind?

I knew I needed to, to make the project happen, and to do it well.

It was the most freeing decision ever. And particularly ironic as a carer of elderly parents we are often frustrated with parents who won’t spend money they can afford on things that will make their life easier. I wish I could describe to my old self how much more invested and supportive the women in The Hive are compared to the free community. It really isn’t a case of either investing energy or money, the two go together.

8 – What’s next for your side hustle, and where do you see it going in the future?

I am about to publish a journal for carers, to write as a  self care just for them. I am going to offer this as a mini membership so I can offer support and as a taster to what the membership will be like. I plan to launch a monthly membership in September where we will have training material to work through together and in the future, guest speakers. I am also offering myself as a guest speaker in online groups and in real life. I have done one of these and one booked in.

9 – How has being around Julie and part of the Happy Hustle Hive helped you achieve your goals?

I did my first free challenge in spring 2021, I only joined Launch squad September 2023, closely followed by Happy Method November 2023. The happy method material is so good, and the monthly coaching and the support of the other women in the program keep me moving forward. I am inspired by them.

10 – What’s your favourite thing about being a side hustler, and how has it impacted your life in a positive way?

I love the look on people’s faces when I tell them I make Instagram reels and go live on Facebook. They don’t expect it from a smiley grey haired lady.