Welcome to Episode 4 of the first Sparking Growth Podcast season! I got to chat with Douglas Humphries, a writer and editor I met through the #createlounge Twitter chat. His writing is currently a side hustle, but he would love to make it his full-time job eventually. In today’s episode, we explore ways that he can move towards writing full-time, how to leverage the opportunities that come your way while side hustling, and being patient while growing your business. If you’re building a freelance career or thinking about entrepreneurship, this episode is for you.
Here is a cheat sheet of some of the episode highlights:
Douglas’ intro, 0:26
All the plates are spinning, 2:16
Douglas’ current big project, 3:40
Time management, 4:11
Finding alternative revenue streams, 7:17
Leveraging viral opportunities, 8:55
A place for your creative process, 10:17
Being patient while growing your business, 11:32
Where to connect with Douglas, 14:12
Let’s dive a little deeper into a few solutions for expanding your audience, though!
1 | Finding alternative revenue streams
A 9-5 job is necessary for many, but it isn’t always the most fulfilling option. For Douglas, he’s okay with where he’s at for now, but he wants to find ways to make an income doing something he LOVES: writing. Many folks consider writing to be something you do for fun, not for profit, but it doesn’t have to be that way! Yes, it’s hard to ‘make it’ in the publishing world, but there are other ways to make a living writing. In this episode, Doug and I explored alternative writing revenue streams, including tutoring writing students and offering post-NaNoWriMo editing services.
If you think outside the box a little bit, you can find new ways to make money doing what you love!
2 | Leveraging viral opportunities
One of the big projects Douglas takes on every year is NaNoWriMo. This is a huge event in the writing community and could be one of the keys to his success. Back when I was running The Spare Room Project (now Scintilla Studio), I had a series of NaNo blog posts that I shared strategically on Pinterest. Even though The Spare Room Project is now on permanent hiatus, those posts are still bringing in a surprising amount of traffic. Douglas could capitalize on this recurring seasonal virality to drive traffic to his website and draw in his ideal clients!
Knowing what the viral events in your niche are and leveraging them can be key to your success. Go find those opportunities and make them work for YOU!
3 | Being patient while growing your business
So many small businesses fail in the first few years. It’s hard to start a business from the ground up! You have to wear all the hats, find clients, and you may end up feeling like a headless chicken. Don’t give up, though! Douglas and I talked about why it’s important to be patient while growing your business. Even if it feels like your business isn’t going anywhere, you may be in the seed planting stage. Sow your crops and then tend them diligently and they’ll bloom eventually. That person that you helped with a business problem out of the goodness of your heart? They might refer your best client at some point. You never know what can grow out of the smallest projects or helping hands.
Let your business grow at its own pace. You can push it a bit harder, but don’t get discouraged if it takes a bit of time. If you want a boost, apply to be a coaching guest on the Sparking Growth podcast to overcome your business obstacle!
Want to connect with Douglas?
Find him at DouglasHumphries.com and join him in the #createlounge community and Twitter chat on Wednesdays at 7 pm CST/8 pm EST. You can also find him and #createlounge on Twitter at @createlounghq and @Douglas_AmongUs and on Instagram also at @createloungehq and @Douglas_AmongUs. Don’t forget to subscribe to Sparking Growth for more episodes and share your biggest takeaways from this episode in the comments.