Don’t think I forgot about the Inspiring Girl Boss series! These past two months have been so incredibly busy, but I promise you this Inspiring Girl Boss series is far from over! I love hearing from all of you about how much you enjoy this series, so if you know a girl boss that you think would be a great feature – nominate them here (and it’s totally okay to nominate yourself)!
Now, onto the newest girl boss feature! Today I’m featuring Andrea from Hustle and Hearts, a blog that can seriously inspire you to hustle hard and look beautiful while doing it 🙂 Andrea is also a freelance writer and her story of how she got started in her career as a freelancer is so inspiring. Andrea and I have been “insta” friends for awhile now, so I was super excited to include her in this series because I love her posts!
Photos are from Andrea’s Instagram account
#1 Where did the inspiration come from to start your blog, Hustle and Hearts?
Andrea: Oh boy, oh boy, this could be quite the lengthy answer, but I’ll try to keep it short (ish) 😉
Like most bloggers, I had been thinking about starting a blog for some time before actually taking the leap. I had blogged pretty extensively a couple years prior (not on Hustle and Hearts), which meant I was fully aware of all the struggles that come along with blogging. ‘Ya know, the self doubt, comparison, time consumption, etc. etc. For whatever reason, though, I just couldn’t get the idea of blogging out of my head. As a freelance writer in the fashion/beauty niche, I was putting so much content out there for other people, I kept wondering why I wasn’t doing it for myself.
I specifically remember on my 26th birthday, I had this revelation that starting Hustle and Hearts was something I had to do. With it being my birthday, it felt like the perfect time to launch something new. I wasn’t entirely sure what it would be or how it would progress, but I just knew I needed this creative outlet. I had the itch to blog, so I followed it. Now here I am 🙂
#2 How did you get your start as a freelance writer?
Andrea: Again, a bit of a complicated path, so I’ll try to give the closed notes version.
So my schooling is in English Literature and Fashion Marketing and Merchandising. Writing has always been my thing, which is why I went to school for English. Fashion, on the other hand, was more of an interest that stemmed from my love for…well, basically all things pretty. When I was in University, my boyfriend suggested to me I start a fashion blog. He’s a big side project kind of guy who has a lot of experience with online entrepreneurship, so I owe a lot to him for getting me started on this path so early on.
Anyway, so once I got into fashion blogging, I decided I wanted to be a fashion writer. I wanted to write for major magazines, live in a big city, live a glamorous life, the whole deal. Long story short: I ended up in school for fashion…
I wish I could end here and say my schooling is what I attribute to my position as a freelance fashion writer, but I honestly don’t give my schooling any credit. I hated my school. It felt like a waste of time, and to this day, I couldn’t tell you what I learned.
School was coming to a close and I felt totally lost in my path. I knew pretty early on that the fashion industry was so not for me. I wasn’t the girl who cared about major designers and “the industry.” I realized I’d rather read my favorite fashion blogs than flip through an issue of Vogue. My dream of being this major fashion writer for big magazines was no longer there. What still was there? The desire to create. And so, I took matters into my own hands and opened an online boutique selling women’s fashion and accessories. I absolutely loved it! It was my ultimate passion project, but unfortunately, as most small business owners know, funds don’t always support your dreams, and so I had to close shop.
Once I had got the taste of that entrepreneurial bug, though, I knew I had to work for myself. I gave myself a deadline for when I had to have a job by. If I didn’t make that deadline, I would apply for something full time, probably in an office. The race was on. I spent a summer brainstorming and researching potential ideas for what I could do, and that’s when I came across freelance writing. I never actually thought it was going to turn into my full blown career, but it has, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all its given me!
#3 What is the most challenging part about being a freelance writer and blogger?
Andrea: Oh lots of things! But I’ll give the biggest lesson I’ve learned this year…
You HAVE to prioritize.
For a couple months, I totally let my blog take over. As somebody who is a big dreamer, I got caught up in the idea of my blog growth, to the point where I basically put my freelance writing on the back burner. I stopped writing proposals, and was basically just doing the bare minimum. And it showed in my bank account. While my blog makes me a small amount of money, it’s not even comparable to the full time income I make from my writing.
While dreaming big is good, it’s also so, so, so important to prioritize. I often find in this world of online entrepreneurship, we’re told to go for our dreams, above anything else. But ‘ya know what? Sometimes that’s not realistic. There are bills to pay, experiences to be had, and income is just…well, necessary.
I now try my best to prioritize. While I would always prefer to work on my blog, I realize I am not at that point yet. I hope one day I am, but until then I have to prioritize and keep work hard. Keeping myself accountable to that is by far the hardest part about being a freelance writer and a blogger.
#4 What are some time management tips you recommend to other women that freelance and own a side biz?
Andrea: Really to anyone who is trying to make income from multiple streams (which is always a good idea btw), again, it has to be about priorities! I start every week with an overview of all the things I have to accomplish, and then each day I break the day down into specific tasks, and then I go even further by breaking it down by hour.
Breaking everything down by hour has been a game changer for me. Instead of just picking and choosing which projects I handle based on my mood, I go into each day with a concrete plan. The schedule doesn’t always go as I set out, but having it in place makes the day seem much more manageable. Not to mention, I’m a firm believer in writing things down: goals, ideas, schedules, anything! Writing things down cements them in your mind and keeps you more accountable.
#5 How did you come up with the name and mission for your blog, Hustle and Hearts?
Andrea: Funny enough, Hustle and Hearts is a domain I bought a year prior to ever having the idea for my blog. I bought it because I wanted to launch a t-shirt line, and that’s what I was going to call it. When I decided I wanted to start a blog, I figured I already had this domain, I might as well use it!
The mission for Hustle and Hearts has changed a bit as my blog has evolved, but now it actually amazes me how well the name for the blog fits with what the mission has become. Basically, with Hustle and Hearts, I try to write lifestyle content that suits the female entrepreneur (blogging, freelance writing, productivity, etc.), but I also try and add a dash of more fun, lighthearted topics (fashion, beauty, wellness). The blog focuses on not only the hustle, but also the heart. I really believe having that balance in life is so important, and sometimes neglected, which is where that mission comes from!
#6 What is your favorite way to spend your weekends?
Andrea: Got to be honest, I’ll sometimes work on my weekend, but I often work on the things I really enjoy, so it feels like a treat. It boils down to I reserve my weekends for blogging activities, while my clients know I keep regular office hours, Monday-Friday. For fun outside of content creation, though, I’ll spend time with my boyfriend, friends, and just taking it easy. Ou! And going out for food. I think going out for dinner is my favorite activity…lol! #noshame 😉
#7 How has freelance writing helped you with your blog/biz?
Andrea: So much! I’ll mention the biggest one, though.
Like I had mentioned, writing has always been something I’m pretty comfortable with, but since making writing my career, my writing has improved so much. When I sit down and really focus, I can pump out work like a machine, but still keep the quality. My writing voice also just comes out extremely naturally, making the writing process even easier. Not to mention, I just see writing differently now. It’s a muscle that I use every single day, and it undeniably has changed the way I think. I honestly find myself writing in my head sometimes. It’s actually become a bit of a problem for my sleeping habits…working on that one!
#8 What’s one quote that really inspires you?
Andrea: Ou that’s easy! “Good things come to those who hustle”
I’m not even sure if that’s something somebody said specifically, but it’s been my desktop background for over a year now. It’s the first thing I see when I power up my computer, and it’s the last thing I see when I’m done for the night. It’s also just something I really, truly believe in. Nothing good is ever going to happen if you just wish for it. You have to put the work in, which is why everyday I try my absolute best to push myself and hustle hard.
#9 What do you love most about being a freelance writer?
Andrea: The freedom! No doubt about it.
One of my main motivations for freelance writing was about being able to work from anywhere, on my own terms. My boyfriend has this ability, and more than anything I wanted a job that would allow us to experience that together. This summer we went to Montreal for the month to live and work, and it was honestly the best experience of my life. I can’t wait to do more of that, and I absolutely love that my job guarantees I’m able to.
(oh, I’m also a control freak, so being in control of my day, my jobs, and my time is a big bonus)
#10 Walk us through your typical weekday!
Andrea: I am constantly experimenting with my schedule. If I get too much into a routine, I tend to get unproductive. I like to switch it up!
In general, though, I try to get up relatively early. I’ve experimented with 6am (too early), so I now aim for 7:30, but as somebody who has the ability to adjust her schedule to suit the particular day, I have no problem taking an extra hour or two when I didn’t get a lot of sleep from the night before. I also try to get my workout in right in the morning. This is a relatively new thing, but getting it done right away makes me much more productive throughout the day. It also ensures I don’t skip it. I then basically just work, depending on what projects I have going that week. I’ll have some days that are totally client focused, and then I’ll have other days where the client work is light and I can focus on the blog. It totally varies!
When I stop working also varies widely, but in general, I will work until I can. Some days that means I’m done at 6, and some days (like right now), I work till 10. And hey, some days are an absolute disaster that consist of a nap and being completely unproductive. I’ve learned the most important thing is just to show up everyday, and try to put in the work.
#11 If you could have lunch with one girl boss, who would it be and why?
Andrea: I think this is the first question I’ve really had to pause over…
So, I had an answer here, and just deleted it because I realized the actual, true answer! I would have lunch with all the amazing women I’ve connected with through this online community! There are so many women I want to meet in real life. Seriously that would be the best lunch EVER!
#12 Where can we find you on social media?
Want to know how you can make money being a freelance writer like Andrea? She is releasing an eBook all about how you can make it in the freelance writing world! Read more about it here.
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