Amplifying Voices:  Stop using the words “Side Hustle”

Amplifying Voices: Stop using the words “Side Hustle”

Lessons Learned by Listening In 

One of three lessons learned by listening in to an interview with Sam Horn. 

Lessons Learned by Listening In is a new series where Joanna interviews some incredibly impressive women, AKA 100% pure Ladybadasses. And I get to sit in and soak up all the knowledge. 

Hi, My name is Kylie. I'm Joanna's right-hand woman for manifesting all of her crazy ideas. She calls me up, I jot down notes like a mad woman, and then I go make things happen. I jumped on board with Joanna a little over three years ago, and I haven't looked back. You'll learn more about me, my thoughts and ideas as we continue this series.

This first interview is with Sam Horn, author, Founder, and CEO of The Intrigue Agency. Sam shared so much wisdom with us that we've decided to share her interview in three parts. 

Side hustle. It's how we talk about the thing we do that brings in a little extra cash. A side hustle can be anything from playing gigs on the weekends to dog walking. I’m a millennial, and a lot of us have one. 

Some people do it for the money; others do it as their passion project. Either way, I've found that side hustles are often what people ACTUALLY want to do with their lives, even though they invest more of their time doing something else.

So when Joanna asked Sam what she thought about the term side hustle, her response had me squealing "Yeeeessssss" over and over again (good thing I was on mute!)

"You and I both believe in the power of language. And that language diminishes this concept," Sam said. By calling it a side hustle, we reduce the concept to “something we do on top of, or in addition to... but we're still doing our main thing.”

Sam’s most recent book is titled Someday. She’s on a mission to help people create the life of their dreams: not someday, but right now.

"Whether it's Pilates or tennis or singing in a choir or working with our dog or whatever, if we see it as an indulgence, as something we do when our work is done, as something we do in our free or spare time, we will always diminish and trivialize it."

Sam told Joanna that a transformational shift happens when people no longer see what they do on the side as a side hustle. 

Here's a story she shared about her friend, Kathy. 

Kathy was one of the top realtors on Maui, and also an excellent tennis player. She and Sam played about three times a week. Then, the market tanked. She said, "Sam, I can't play tennis anymore. I've got to start making some calls and do some business development." 


Sam told Kathy, “There are two five-diamond hotels right down the road. Why didn’t you go to the concierge and tell them you're a fortified player... let the concierge know that you'd be glad to play with some guests if they're looking for a good game?"

Within two days, Kathy began playing three or four times a week with hotel guests, all affluent people. Naturally, after a great game of tennis, they’d have an iced tea and ask each other, "What do you do?" Kathy would tell them about the new, gorgeous properties on the market. And before she knew it, she’d be taking her tennis mates out to see them. 

You see, Kathy thought playing tennis was an indulgence.

She thought it was something she did in her free time when her work was done. Her epiphany was, no, tennis is my business development.

Tennis kept her fit, healthy, outside and doing what she loved. It also gave her a wonderful opportunity to connect with her ideal people. It was a win all the way around. She didn't do anything extreme.

She kept doing what she loved. She just realized that tennis was a part of her business, not apart from her business.

The side hustle conversation between Sam and Joanna reminded me of one of Joanna's favorite questions, “What were you good at when you were 9-years-old?” 

Those innate things that we were talented at, things we tried and failed and tried some more until we learned them—we should be doing those things today. I learned from Kathy’s story that we can get so much more than pleasure and relaxation from those things. We connect to others through them. Our businesses develop because of them.

I think we all know deep down that there’s no “someday” when we’re getting around to the things floating around in the back of our heads.

So for starters, let's not use the words "side hustle" anymore. Let’s follow Sam’s lead and talk about—and make time for—the joyful things we do as if they were our main thing. You never know where they might take you. You may just find your own "seren-destiny."

More about that to come. Stay tuned.

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PS. As we mentioned above, this is part one of a three-part feature. Next time, we'll be talking all about creating a Significant Emotional Event, or SEE, to jumpstart a change in your life. 


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