She works as a Communications Specialist at Rogers and has her own business as a wellness and business consultant. For the last several years, Chivon has been working eight hours a day at her “9-5”, and spending another four to five hours a day managing and running her own brand, ChivonJohn.com. Chivon's careers keep her busy. Checking her social media platforms on lunch breaks, completing projects after work, and working evenings and weekends at her side job, or rather what she refers to as her “side hustle,” is routine.
“Don’t wait for opportunities, if you have a skill use it. Start now!”
For this modern day superwoman, being a “side hustler” is about more than securing a supplemental income. It is about learning, having new experiences, finding an outlet to express one’s passion, and creating opportunities rather than waiting for them. This past winter Chivon ran “Self Love Academy,” a program inspiring women to identify and manifest their desired goals. Her purpose was simply to help people take care of themselves, so they can in turn take care of business.
“Do a great job all the time!”
Taking care of business is something Chivon has mastered. Time management and discipline are skills that enable Chivon to be an effective worker in both her employee and independent contractor positions. To achieve similar results, Chivon recommends scheduling free time to complete personal projects. Google Calendar is her tool of choice for tracking meetings and appointments. Chivon also uses an online project management tool called “I Done This” to record daily accomplishments, and uses Hootsuite or Buffer App to schedule her social media marketing. Of equal importance is following through with scheduled tasks, which can prove challenging without external motivation or incentives typical in employee settings.
The biggest challenge for Chivon and the other side hustlers she mentors is not discipline itself, but having the energy to carry out and sustain long hours of work. Sacrificing sleep, skipping meals, and pushing oneself beyond physical limits are against Chivon’s beliefs. According to Chivon, the secret to being a successful side hustler begins and ends with wellness. Wellness involves eating nourishing food, exercising, getting a good night’s sleep, and unplugging from the online world nightly.
Each morning Chivon grants herself quiet time to journal, walk, or workout. Between creating presentations and organizing town hall sessions at her day job, taking ten minutes to leave the desk and regroup is commonplace. In the evening, before retiring to sleep, Chivon is careful to remove her computer from her bedside to avoid being disturbed and distracted. Accordingly, a successful side hustler will need to make similar personal adjustments on a rolling basis as these small changes help to mediate the external stressors associated with having a side job.
“Don’t get to the point where you feel like the things you love are becoming a burden – take time to nourish yourself.”
Managing one’s own business and having a day job is by no means an easy task. In some cases, it may not be appropriate to disclose one’s side hustle to an employer. When in doubt, she suggests not giving one's employers a reason to think company time and resources are being used to complete a side project. Strive to be commended on your accomplishments both at work and outside of work because keeping both your employer and yourself happy offers a unique advantage.
Chivon refers to her own day position as the silent partner, or angel investor in her life, and it is this perspective, which allows her to be efficient. Chivon’s side hustle does not take away from her role as an employee and the skills she learns at her day job are translated back into her side hustle. The two aspects of her life exist in harmony.
“Having a side hustle should never come at the expense of living your life”
On September 18th, Chivon is giving the motivated public a behind the scenes look into the lives of five successful entrepreneurs who are following their dreams with one foot firmly planted in the corporate world. Attend an informative question and answer session featuring a panel of experts including:
Camille Dundas, CTV News writer and editor of ByBlacks.com
Cher Jones, personal branding coach, social media trainer and the host of the Lori and Cher Show
LC Johnson, brand strategist, founder of My Sister's Keeper and Coloured Girl Confidential
Ainsley Miller, IT consultant, web developer and creator of Unu Fund and
Heather Payne, CEO of Hacker You, and founder of Ladies Learning Code
Click here to buy tickets!