Jiawa Liu admits her day job as a busy Perth lawyer is as polar opposite to her role as the creator of minimalist style blog Beige Renegade as you can get.
But she says both satisfy different parts of her personality – the law her methodical approach to everything in life, and the fashion, a side to her that always craved a creative outlet.
“I never felt torn as such, because I always viewed the two sides as co-existing, rather than mutually exclusive,” says Jiawa, one of a growing number of Australians embracing the Side Hustle, the pursuit of a passion or part-time business online outside of your day job.
“I started small just by sharing casual images and stories from my life, but as I delved more into the online community, I gradually improved the quality of my content and strengthened my brand.”
Although she’s happy with the balance she has now, Jiawa says the speed and grunt of the new nbn™ network is a “game-changer” for future growth.
“The possibility to work in the cloud with fast broadband has brought about incredible efficiencies for instant sharing of content,” says Jiawa.
“And access by viewers to fast internet means that there are no longer the traditional concerns about loading time as a barrier to publishing higher volumes and higher quality media.”
Jiawa is not alone in her exuberance over the world that the nbn™ network is opening up.
The nbn™ Side Hustle Report reveals that the global trend is taking the nation by storm.
The study shows that 80 per cent of Australians are looking for fulfillment outside of work, with one in four admitting to already having a side hustle up and running.
“Fortunately, we’re not limited to our day job to feel challenged and fulfilled in life,” says Christian Stenta, the How To Find A Job You Love faculty leader at The School of Life.
“Fast broadband proves a platform for us to seek inspiration, pursue dreams and even make some extra cash on the side.”
To help Australians find fulfillment in the New Year, nbn™ has teamed with The School of Life to create a Side Hustle Guide, which provides the online tools they need to take their passions to the next level.
“The research shows that Australians are obsessed with having a better lifestyle and looking for ways to find fulfillment outside of work,” adds Christian.
“For those looking to make a side hustle their New Year’s resolution, access to the nbn™ network could be the answer.”
The Side Hustle Report also revealed that over one in three Australians have made money using the internet, and almost half (41 per cent) of those connected to the nbn™ network are already bearing fruits from their side hustle.
In the long-term, Jiawa hopes she too can use the nbn™ network and Beige Renegade as a base for a more traditional business model.
Meanwhile, her advice to others toying with the idea of realising their online dream is to just jump in and get started today.
“Of course, as with any endeavour, online or offline, perseverance is the key to success,” she cautions.
“But with so many online-based business models that require little, if any start-up capital, you really have nothing to lose.”
Jiawa’s secrets to success:
1. Have a plan, any plan
The biggest struggle for a side hustler is a limited time outside business hours and weekends to run their business. Therefore, it is so important to have some kind of plan of where you want to go. This will enable you to identify the most important. For me, I often set a series of short term goals from time to time, for example, ‘reach 20,000 followers on Instagram’.
2. Find out how to monetise
For bloggers, the world is increasingly recognising the immense power of social media, so charging a fee for advertising products on our platforms is our bread and butter. How much brands will be willing to pay will depend heavily on how many followers you have, and how much engagement you receive on your posts, so building a strong following is a top priority.
3. Employ the 80/20 rule
In business, an interpretation of the 80/20 rule is that 80% of results come from 20% of the activities. In other words, there are a small number of key activities that generate the greatest benefit for your business, and when time poor, these are those that you need to concentrate on. As I mentioned above, social media following yields, by far, the most significant benefit for a blogger, and therefore I allocate a lot of time to planning and creating content for social media and engaging with the community. As such, whether my house can access fast broadband via the nbn network was a key deciding factor when house hunting.
4. Take advantage of technology
For a blogger, get yourself good photography equipment that takes perfect photos every time, a powerful computer that can handle image processing without lag, and of course, fast internet. I am always surprised how many of my peers haven’t taken up cloud storage. As I back up my entire business to cloud, I can access it anywhere, and can instantly transfer my content to any of my devices to, for example, post an image taken on my DSLR to Instagram. As I am syncing many gigabytes of data at any time, the nbn network makes this easier than ever before.
5. Import skills from your day job
In many ways, there are unique advantages of being a side hustler, because of the skills and resources you can import from your day job. For me, as a lawyer, I am more confident in navigating the regulatory and legal environment of the creative industry. The general professional skills and experience that come from my day job, such as communicating professionally and persuasively have been invaluable.
6. Be organised
Having good systems for your workflow and filing are as important in an office situation as in an independent business (perhaps more so). From imagining the concept, and styling, shooting and post processing, to drafting the copy and publishing on my various platforms, I am guided by my workflow to know what to do next and how long it will take. Also, as I catalogue all my image content logically, when publications request high resolutions of images from six months ago, usually on an urgent basis, I can find these instantly.
This is a sponsored post by the nbn™ network.