Please check out SKYLISH.CO.UK for the new look. You are currently reading this blog via Bloglovin’ or on my old interface as the new website is integrated to Bloglovin’ (I know I’ve said this for the past month – but I will get it sorted!)
If you’re on the hunt for a grad job… well, it’s application season! And given that (i) before this, it was “(summer) intern season” and (ii) I’ve been working for three years as per my LinkedIn profile (bleurgh); I’ve been spending a bit of time recently chatting to, networking with, and answering the questions of (mostly) uni students who want to know what tips I have to break into banking. A question I get often, particularly from those sweating over the reality of longer hours in the working world, is “so… what do you do outside of work?” …Enter some spiel around having a blog and being really into health & fitness and entrepreneurship.
I’ve always done “something else” outside of my main focus – be it school, university, or work. I’ve been “side hustling” before the “side hustle” became such a widely spread terminology. This is partly because, well, there’s always just been so much I want to do. I mean right now I also want to (i) learn how to swim; (ii) learn a language and (iii) start dance classes, around all the other stuff I’m already trying to juggle at the moment (unlikely that I’ll be able to do all, to be honest…). Also, I’ve always just liked having “stuff” to do. Whilst I also really like sleeping, chilling and spending hours watching YouTube videos about random things, when I’m not lazing around, I like to be productive with my time.
I always encourage people fresh and new to the work world to develop their own side hustle. Or even just their own hobby (if your “hobby” can turn into a “hustle”, then that’s just an added plus). It’s always good to have total control over something you can call your own (e.g. this blog), and honestly given the 9-5 (using these hours loosely) life consumes so much of our times, I find having something else to do with my time to be some sort of relief from the office, something that keeps me going and something that lets me live out some things I am truly passionate about and really enjoy. Of course – it’s by force… but definitely recommended. Plus, you never know when something you’re doing for fun and due to passion will accidentally become something hugely successful – we’ve all seen it happen many times before!
So, what’s stopping you? I hear from people all the time that want to start up something on the side – be it as simple as an Instagram page to a fully fledged business, but often times this comes with excuses. Perhaps there’s not enough time, or said person needs to take out more time to develop their expertise, or maybe they’re simple just worried about perception.
I’ve been there before, too… haven’t we all? This year I started up my own fitness page on Instagram, I started it because I wanted to a platform to share this new passion and mine and also for the simple fact that I felt like it. But I was apprehensive about starting it for some time mainly because I had a very much “who do you think you are?” feeling towards myself around it all. Eventually, I realised I couldn’t let excuses hold me back, so I went for it, and a few months down the line, the page is going very well and I’m happy I took the plunge.
Finding time is always something I think you can find if you really want to. Of course – you can’t do everything. I’d love to have a thriving career, a blog, some social media accounts, learn to swim, learn a language or two, take weekly dance classes and maintain a good social life whilst keeping up going to the gym 5x a week… let’s chuck in writing my own book too. But there’s only 24 hours in a day, and for many of those hours we should be asleep. So – it’s just about prioritising. I write only one blog a week (well, heh, I try to…) because that’s all I have the time for. I go to the gym in the mornings so that I don’t have to stress about going after work. I try to be productive on my weekends but make time for friends, family (and a good turn up ;)), and just general relaxation after what has probably been a very long week. I try to do just one thing every evening that is what I personally want to do – that may be related to a number of any other side hustles (this evening’s one job – dusting off a blog post I wrote on Sunday and posting it!), I’ve gotten quick at filming and editing fitness videos for my fitness page, I make to-do lists, I get help when and where I can. I fit everything, and as much as I can of anything, into different slots. But I proritise what I really want to do the most. I’m not so sure if I’ll ever learn that language, but at some point I will take some dance classes and also one of these days, I’ll learn how to swim.
What’s in it for you? Well, a side hustle can be one of multiple streams of income. Also, the way the internet is set up these days, there are very minimal barriers of entry to pursuing some of your passions. It’s a way to put all of yourself and your creativity into something you can take ownership of.
If you have an idea in your head right now – I encourage you to just go for it. Enough excuses, more execution! Side hustles are what most young adults are doing to stay inspired these days.
Please check out SKYLISH.CO.UK for the new look. You are currently reading this blog via Bloglovin’ or on my old interface as the new website is integrated to Bloglovin’.
I’m reading a book currently called Outliers: The Story of Success – and although it sounds like your typical self help book it’s actually not quite what you’d expect. The book delves into the lives of successful people and asks what factors contributed towards their success? I think it’s typical to see a super successful billionaire business owner and decide that they must be different – some sort of super human super motivated genius that is certainly different to the rest of us normal folk. But this book kind of breaks that down. Yes, super successful people are all that you’d expect – hard working, determined, driven, smart, etc, etc. But there are other factors that contribute to success such as upbringing, being in the right place at the right time and social class that aren’t weighted as heavily when we’re singing people’s praises… the little things.
Now I’m only half way through the book – but it made me think of all the little things (and lucky things) that have seriously contributed to where I am now in my life – that were just circumstantial things I probably never realised would have such a significant impact over the long term.
Some many years ago an anti grammar school campaign meant that all grammar schools were wiped out of the area I grew up in (for those that don’t know – you have to take exams to get into grammar schools). Growing up therefore, I really had not much clue about what a grammar school even was and neither did my parents, until one day they stumbled upon a parent who encouraged them to prep and send my older brother to a grammar school out of the area. A few years and some intense prep later, and all three of us kids had made it into grammar schools and we had also moved areas to be closer to our new school.
Our new area had grammar schools all over the place and it was at school that I then realised most of my peers had been studying to get in for years and prepped by their primary schools, vs. people like myself and my brothers that had to seek out private tuition and fork over a lot of money for it in order to get the right prep to get into the school. Now the grammar school or not debate is one for another day – but without a doubt going to that school and being surrounded by a bunch of bright kids is what initially brought out the hard working nature within me. I was lucky to be afforded that chance that of course not everybody is, and lucky to have parents that were willing to give up a lot of free time to teach us to get us in (and to be able to pay for extra tuition on top of that). There were only 3 of us in my year in my primary school that went on to a grammar school, and it wasn’t necessarily because we were smarter than all the other kids, in my case – it was all due to that one random conversation my parents had many years back, and my parents having the tools to get us to pass the exams.
I have been using computers since the days of dial up internet – the days where you couldn’t use your house phone whilst using the internet. Yup – it’s been that long. I’ve been on a computer either writing stories, making websites, playing some sort of game etc since before I’d even hit double digits in age. It’s one of the reasons I can literally type with my eyes closed. It’s also a lot of what afforded me the luxury of being able to develop this prior addiction into a hobby at such a young age; and both of those are really in my case attributable to the fact that my dad works in IT. Growing up we had 2 computers but also a handful of laptops that would lie around in the living area – just because of my dad’s profession – so we’d all always be using them and up to something or the other. Eventually, my cousin helped me set up a free website, and because I was constantly on the computer, over the years that has led to what you see here. I still benefit a lot from my dad working in IT, for example, if something ever goes wrong with my laptop I never have to call an engineer – it’s dad to the rescue. So whilst it may seem impressive that I’ve been using the computer before it was cool (and wireless), or even that I was able to teach myself to code HTML, the truth is that a lot of that is all down to just the job of my dad. If it wasn’t for my dad and his career choice, maybe Skylish wouldn’t exist at all.
Parents / upbringing play such a huge role in where life takes you and that’s touched on in the book I’m reading. Sometimes your parents may not even have the time to give all the attention they want when you’re growing up as they’re working around the clock tying to make ends meet; sometimes people’s potentials are really never brought out because the situation they are in doesn’t allow it to be.
I had very involved parents – they still remain super involved and I’m in my 20s. Maybe not everyone needs this if you’re very self motivated, but growing up I definitely needed this support as thinking about the future was something I never liked to do – it absolutely terrified me and I only ever wanted to live in the “now”. I never really gave much thought to what I want to do and of course the way school is set up, being able to seek something out and plan ahead can really help to achieve it. I didn’t necessarily get into LSE because I was super ambitious and sought it out, a lot of it was really due to support from my parents.
I met my boyfriend at a club five years ago. And actually, after we met, we had to re-meet a few months down the line. The event we met at was called a “Carnival pre-party”, i.e. just a club night before Nottinghill Carnival the next day. Now it was totally “by accident” because (i) I literally was so close to not even going to the event but also (ii) because when we met again a few months later, now at university, he wasn’t even meant to be at LSE – actually LSE had been his second option. If either of these minor choices happened, then maybe we never would have met at all.
Once upon a time I read a book about how a man had travelled back in time, stepped on a butterfly, and found that this had completely changed how things developed in the future – leadership changed, languages changed, the environment changed. Of course it was a fiction book and maybe somewhat far fetched – but it highlights “the little things” better than I ever could. Often time, there’s little that tears us each apart from eachother, or even a Bill Gates, than the little things such as parents, social class and even year and country of birth, which have such a huge impact on what path life takes all of us on.
Photography: Marianne Olaleye