It all starts with an idea, timidly germinating in the back of your mind. Or maybe an inclination towards something you’ve been doing for a while. No matter how it reveals itself, your passion should never be ignored. It’s your drive! It’s what you’d make time for and do even if it doesn’t provide any income. But what if it could? Would you be willing to take the risk?
We’ve all at some point wondered how to make our dreams happen. Often we find ourselves stuck in a job that’s unfulfilling because we don’t have the courage to do what we love. There’s nothing easy about creating a lifestyle you’re passionate about. It requires hard work, sacrifice and consistency.
I’ve talked to a lot of people and their biggest struggle is that they are scared. They know what they want but they hesitate to throw themselves into doing what they love. So, what does it take to make your dreams happen? Here comes Millennial Spotlight, a bi-monthly series that features honest conversations with millennials who are taking chances and creating their own path. They are people from all walks of life who will be sharing their journey – including their ups and downs, challenges and resources.
I went to the movers and shakers and asked them how they are turning their dreams into reality. I hope their stories give you some inspiration to get started and motivation to keep at it.
Tell me about yourself
2. What inspired you to start your blog?
In 2014, after 8 years I resigned from my job at UBS. I had met a guy whilst on holiday in Croatia, and after visiting him for a week in Los Angeles we both decided to spontaneously quit our jobs (he was a lawyer at Deloitte), pack our bags and go on a six-month adventure through South America! On returning to the UK, I battled with re-joining the corporate life or starting my own company, but I wasn’t quite there yet with my ideas and passions, so I accepted a role back at UBS.
Going back after such a long time off was pretty hard. Whilst I put my energy into work, I was still looking for a creative outlet. In October last year, I started working on BeckyvanDijk.com and was thinking of how to get myself noticed in what some might call a saturated market. I quickly realized rather than getting myself noticed, I could build a platform to get others noticed! I decided I wanted to create a place to connect female travelers and promote their blogs, and so We Are Travel Girls was born! I spent hours and hours organically growing a following initially on Instagram and now the website curates and publishes travel stories from our community of over 100,000 followers!
3. How do you manage your time to juggle these projects?
Right now, I have put everything else on hold. I have given up the majority of social activities. My weekends are precious and waking up at midday after a night of partying is not an option right now! But on the other hand, life is about balance and I still try to make time for friends and to get away from the computer screen when I can!
4. What advice do you have for anyone who’s looking to start a side hustle or turn their side hustle into a full-time pursuit?
Do something you truly love! If you try and start a business, even if it’s a great idea, that you do not connect with personally or feel passionately about, having the drive and determination to work on it day in, day out whilst trying to hold onto your day job will be very hard. Secondly, take a risk, even if you are not yet making money from your project or business, you will likely get there faster if you can put all your time and energy into it, i.e. quit your day job. Whilst losing the guaranteed paycheck can be scary, a more frightening thought would be to look back and realize you wasted an opportunity to create something for yourself.
5. What are some resources that have helped or continue to help you along the way?
The main resource that has helped was bringing on a co-founder for We Are Travel Girls. My friend Vanessa had been travel blogging for some years and she was excited about the project and asked to come on-board. Having someone to bounce ideas with and who has different views has really helped us evolve.
Ask for advice and feedback from anyone and everyone, even if it’s critical it will help you to improve your product or service.
I recently resigned from my banking job (yes, for the second time!) and am working my notice period through August. My boyfriend and I are then moving out to Asia to allow me time to work on We Are Travel Girls, get back to painting and other hobbies, put my health first and to see how I can grow what has been my side project for the last 9 months into a real business!