If you’re like me, you may not have a “typical” resume because you have tried many things. Even if you are not like me, you have likely done many things in your lifetime, some for money and some solely for fun, but the best things for both money and fun.
Many of the things I have done failed and many have worked by traditional standards. In my eyes, they have all been successful because of the stories they have become and the experience I have gained.
Some hustles just came naturally. Let me give you a good example.
One time at grad school (not band camp, but man, the stories I could tell you!), I was in a class with an assignment to create an educational video. I knew what the content would be and I knew what I wanted the video to look like, but also knew that I did not have enough time to learn and mess with the video making software. So, I ended up paying $30 for someone on Upwork to make the video for me. I recorded the audio on my cell phone and sent it to a young man in Pakistan, who then created the video for me.
A few days after the video was done (by the way, it rocked), the Pakistani man contacted me again via WhatsApp because he wanted to discuss a “business proposal.” Obviously, I was intrigued, so I talked to him on the phone that day. He complimented my voice and asked if he could hire me to record voice-overs for his other clients. Who knew that the voice of an American woman was in such high demand!
I thought this was kind of a hoot, so I agreed. I recorded at least 15 audios for random companies all over the world.
Some other side hustles taking honorable mention have included selling insurance, meal-prepping, selling and designing calendars, dog walking, house sitting, nannying, horse feeding, and waitressing (aka the time I was fired).
Here’s the thing: It’s a lie that you must and can only do one thing in your lifetime. I’m not sure why our society has planted the idea in people’s heads that it is scary and troubling and must mean you are going through a midlife crisis if you change careers or even just want to earn some extra money doing something different. God forbid you are open to creative possibilities for earning money.
Which leads me back to the connection with LinkedIn. This week, I tried to update my “headline,” and it hit me like a brick wall: I am not living a life that fits into a neat little 100-word limit box. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the importance of being an “expert” in something and having a focus. But for the love of all things holy, don’t put me in a box. It has never worked.
And here is where we get to the tizzy.
Since when do we have to be known for only one thing?
What I know for sure: I don’t want to be the kind of person or live the kind of life that fits into a neat little box LIMITED to a certain number of characters. I’m bored just thinking about it!
No one ever said you could only do one thing. You are only limited by your own imagination. And guess what? You are a multi-faceted, infinite being who likely cares about many things.
Society loves to categorize us, to put us in a box and politely tell us to stay there, and then shame us if we decide to step outside the box or beat the walls to hell.
The thing is, it’s good to have a focus. And it’s great to be known for something. I just hope that you’re not limiting yourself out of fear. I hope your motivation for not trying something is not “Oh, that’s just not what I do,” when in your deepest heart of hearts, that’s what you know is meant for you.
The people who are also trying new things, the people who you want to be like, they’re never going to judge you. The people who are scared, who wish they could do new things, those are the haters. But you never wanted to be like them anyway, right?
My wish for myself is that I continue to pursue those things that excite me, wholeheartedly and with fire blazing. My wish for myself is that I never allow the fear of judgment from other less imaginative, less passionate people to hold me back. I hope that this is your wish for yourself too. Because now more than ever, the world needs you to step into the fullness and realness of who you were designed to be. Now more than ever, DON’T HOLD BACK.
So, in the meantime, my LinkedIn headline is vague, but I don’t really care. If you’re judging me on my headline, then you’re not a big thinker, and frankly, we’re not a good match.
I’m living my life for my “about” section, and that’s evolving and growing by the minute.
And yes, I feel better already.