by Tanea Smith
You did it! You survived another year at your day gig. You showed up, you didn’t show out and you put in the work. Yes, even on those days back in the summer & fall when you were an inch from coming unhinged you somehow steeled your nerves, steadied your gaze on the finish line and ran straight through that yellow tape! For all the projects you worked on, meetings you sat in, the annoying co-workers you successfully tuned out, conference calls you took part in, and graphs, charts or presentations you loaned your expertise to, you’ve been rewarded with a bonus. Oh. Joy.
Hmm. What does one do now?
#1. Keep your mouth shut. Yes, you. Get as quiet as a church mouse. Why? Well for obvious reasons. As soon as you get off the phone blabbing to your cousin on your father’s side someone will have car trouble and be eternally grateful if you could help replace the transmission. Or maybe, you know, just a small loan for necessities. And how could you possibly shun your good girlfriend who’s struggling to get her 5 minute old business idea off the ground and reallly needs an investor? I don’t doubt that her business has Forbes list potential but why get your hard earned cash caught up in that fray? Selfish? Maybe. Smart? Oh, Absolutely.
#2. Do a pocket probe: Are you carrying debt? The lint can stay, but the debt must go. Yup, right now. If you have a high interest credit card, apply for one with a 0% rate and use half of the money from your bonus to pay it off. If half is not enough to pay it off completely it will at least help you make a dent. That dent means you’re inching towards the right direction. Debt weighs you down. Free yourself.
#3. Splurge: After you’ve done the righteous thing and paid off or paid down some debt take the remaining 50% and break that in half. And with this 25% go to town! That means buying that thing you’ve had your eye on for months or leaving town, literally. Maybe it’s a weekend ski trip with the family or a solo trip to rejuvenate. Or perhaps you’ll invest in a coaching package with someone that can help you take your side hustle to the next level. The choice is yours but whatever you do make it really good. Why? Because you’ve earned it.
As for the final 25%, that goes into your savings account. I call mine the GOD fund. You know. My “Get. Out. of Dodge.” stash. If your intention is to one day leave your day job and make your side hustle your full time business having savings is not optional, it’s mandatory. If you’re not saving, you’ll never get out. Imagine that!
Congratulations & Happy Hustling!
As a teenager mother living on welfare back in 1994 Tanea Smith made a conscious decision that she would defy the odds and would not become a statistic. She began what has culminated into an 19 year career as an Executive Assistant on Wall Street in New York City. With the acknowledgment that gratitude & ambition can dwell in the same apartment she knew that despite having a “steady” job the click she felt in her spirit to do & be more was too strong to ignore. After the birth of her 2nd child in 2007 she used her creativity & life’s experiences and created a witty & empowering stationery collection, She’s Got Papers.
While the “papers’ are keeping America connected one handwritten note at a time, in 2013 she expanded her platform. As an Inspirational Business Speaker & Side Hustle Expert Tanea motivates, educates and frees other women in Corporate America who desire to start their own businesses on the side.
Tanea has been featured in Essence, More, About.com, American Express Forum & Chase Small Business.
Tanea preaches the “Side Hustle” gospel all over New York City. She has spoken at St. John’s University, City College of New York, & New York University. She has a PhD. in Anything Is Possible. She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.