A side hustle–an extra gig you explore during your downtime from your main job– is a great way to flex your skills, earn extra cash, pursue your passions, and more. And since “launch my side hustle” is on more than a few 2019 goal lists, Joy will be bringing you articles on side hustles each week for the first few months of the year. Get ready to get inspired!
In 2013, I was a full-time elementary school art teacher. I loved teaching! It was rewarding and exciting. But while I loved my job, I was plagued with escalating stomach issues. I was in pain constantly and it was really interfering with enjoying my life.
After doing a ton of research, I decided to make some major changes to my diet and lifestyle, and eliminate foods that are known to cause inflammation. Once I began cleaning up my diet and our home–I cut out certain foods and swapped in cleaner versions of home and beauty products–I started to feel so much better. And creating new recipes that worked with my new way of eating was so much fun! The teacher in me wanted to help others and share everything I’d learned.
So, I decided to start sharing my recipes on Instagram. Within six months, I’d launched my site Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, and it quickly exploded. Hundreds of new people were following me daily, and all of a sudden, I had a serious side hustle that I was beyond passionate about.
Trying to do it all
Things just kept growing from there. Within a year I was blogging and sharing my recipes a few times a week, immersing myself in the health and wellness community, connecting with new readers all the time, developing close friendships with influencers and bloggers I had admired for years, and loving every aspect of it. I began to see that my side project had the potential to make real money. I was so psyched at the prospect of teaching, running Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, working with brands I truly believed in, and helping people. Essentially, I thought I could do it all.
And for a little while, I did. Blogging occupied my time before and after work, late at night and early in the mornings, and I developed and photographed recipes on the weekends. I landed my first partnership deal with American Express, which led to more press and more partnerships. I was learning the business side of things, while also healing what was going on in my body, helping others and myself along the way. And, I was still teaching full-time.
At this time I definitely was spread thin. I wanted more quality time with my partner (now husband), family, and friends. And Lexi’s Clean Kitchen had started making money–I was earning more from it than I was from teaching. Then, I was approached about doing a book. When the book deal started to become a reality, I knew it was the sign I needed to go full steam ahead with Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and really see what it could be.
Making a major change
The decision to leave teaching was a really hard one. It’s always scary taking a leap. I was leaving a job I truly loved, as well as the security of a steady paycheck and benefits. But, I knew I was ready. With the finances in place, the new book deal, and my supportive family and friends in my blogging community, the transition became less terrifying and beyond exciting. (Though, I won’t lie, I was still pretty scared!)
Since then, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen has transformed into a full-on website and content platform, where we focus on things I never thought of back then, like SEO, Google trends, video, content development, branding, and so much more.
Building this took, and continues to take, a ton of work. I pour my heart into my brand every single day. It’s an extension of my life and I truly have never felt so blessed and excited to do what I love, share it with the world, and help others live a healthier, cleaner and happier life. We are growing majorly in 2019, and we have a passionate team, something I pinch myself about every single day. I can’t believe I can support others and give them a place to work that they enjoy every day. It’s a dream come true.
Lexi Davidson is the founder of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen and the author of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen: 150 Delicious Paleo-Friendly Recipes to Nourish Your Life.
Image courtesy of Lexi’s Clean Kitchen.