from What If It Does Work Out?

By Susie Moore


Why Wait?

You don’t have a career, you have a life.”

–Cheryl Strayed, writer



Happiness is the joy that you feel when you are moving towards your potential.”

–Shawn Achor, author and speaker


“Is this all there is?” I contemplated one morning while feeling restless at work. I was a sales director in New York for a Silicon Valley startup recently acquired by a Fortune 500 company. I was on a conference call in my freezing office, doused in artificial light, scouring Pinterest. I gazed through the window at the beautiful blue sky outside. Sigh. Then I saw a pin that struck me: a quote from poet Mary Oliver, from “The Summer Day”:


Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”


    My soul screamed: “Not only this!”

It was time for change. And so it began. My side hustle. Does this sound like you, too? Maybe you are sitting in your air-conditioned boardroom, stuck in another mind-numbing internal meeting where the biggest egos just love to consume another hour of your life that you won’t get back. Perhaps you are waiting for your (bad) drip coffee at 8:45 a.m. on a Tuesday, just aching to make it to Friday at 5 p.m. (Really, how can time pass so slowly?) Whatever your defining moment or moments are to you, you know it when you feel them. . . .

In my case, after more than a decade in sales (which in large part, I loved) I felt ready for something new. I also know that as human beings we are wired for new challenges and experiences. And I’m not alone: a 2013 Gallup survey showed that only 13 percent of employees worldwide are engaged at work.

I’ve read more than 550 personal development books and I am a natural adviser to the people in my life, especially when it comes to connecting them to their purpose, becoming more confident, negotiating, and networking. My side hustle, naturally, became life coaching.

I joined New York University’s coaching program and used my sales skills to pitch article ideas to editors. I wanted to get my work published so I could attract clients. (It’s called a hustle for a reason!) You may find that certification isn’t necessary for the field you want to break into, in which case you can dive right in.


My advice-based articles helped generate a string of clients and within a couple of months I was earning money both writing and coaching. I couldn’t believe my luck! Getting paid to talk to people and give life advice? There is a God! While writing for Marie Claire I even got to interview some pretty incredible people, including Arianna Huffington, Kris Jenner, and Spanx founder Sara Blakely.

Writing earned me between $75 and $750 per article (from the publications that paid) and I wrote multiple pieces a month. I was typing away everywhere: on the subway, in the Whole Foods line, while on a lunch break at the office. Each piece took two to three hours to complete. Writing for major publications with tens of millions of monthly unique visitors not only gave me credibility, it drove traffic to my blog—resulting in additional email subscribers who in turn often sought coaching or advice from me.

I started coaching people at $100 a session in my very first or second week of taking classes and, as demand increased (largely due to my content being shared on social media) and as my life-coaching skills developed, I was able to raise my prices every three months or so in $50 increments. Working around the commitments of my day job, which included travel and after-hours client entertainment, some months I made an extra $4,000 on my side hustle. That was working 12 to 16 hours a week on top of my day job. According to Nielsen, the average 35- to 49-year-old American watches more than 33 hours of television a week. You do the math.

What could you do with those extra hours each week? Think

about that for a second. If you sacrifice some weekly screen time, or give up or reduce any other unproductive habit, what gains could you create in your well-being or your goals? What could an extra income from hustling in those hours do for your life?

I could not recommend side hustling more highly…

But it’s not always a breeze. You will need a combination of creative thinking and hard work to attract your first clients and build your brand. Add onto that the need to manage cash flow, handle various administrative tasks (including outsourcing as appropriate), and look for ways to make these more efficient so your hustle can scale.

You need to be committed for this. You will have to forgo that Game of Thrones binge session you planned and you will often be first to leave the bar. You will have to overcome self-doubt about charging for work that a lot of the time feels like fun. “No” will be your new favorite word. BUT the payoff can be incredible. After almost 18 months of juggling my rapidly expanding hustle, I resigned from my full-time job. This was no mean feat, as my job, in that final year, grossed around $500,000. That is how much I loved my new life-coaching gig and trusted in my hustle’s expansion.

Did people think I was nuts? Yes! Heck—I even thought I

might be nuts. But, long-term, it didn’t seem that risky really. Think about it. There is no security in the employment market. I, like anyone else, could be fired (based on a single person’s decision!) at any time. I considered the value of freedom over my schedule, doing work that I cared about, and losing my income ceiling (especially as a woman—I felt I’d hit it) worth the downside of financial risk from ditching a consistent paycheck. Consider if you are weighing the risks too highly, and whether you can’t shift your perspective.

I bet you’re a lot like me; you just want freedom in your life and ownership of your work. We all want to make a meaningful impact in the world doing work that we love. On our own terms. I encourage you to take the leap of believing in yourself, examine what’s holding you back, and push yourself to step up to the plate and knock it out of the park.



Excerpted from What It It Does Work Out? How A Side Hustle Can Change Your Life, by Susie Moore. Ixia Press. 2017. © Susie Moore, 2016, 2017.



Author's Bio: 

Susie Moore is an advisor to high-growth startups in Silicon Valley and New York City, and a life coach specializing in helping life-curious professionals find their passion and make an impact (and a fortune!)

Her first book “What if it DOES Work Out?” debuted as a #1 Amazon bestseller in Women & Business. In it, Susie shares secrets to transform your passion into cash, honed from her successful career as a Fortune 500 Sales Director. She has also helped build three startups, all of which were sold – the most recent of which for $405 million.

Susie has been featured on the Today show, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Forbes, Time Inc., MindBodyGreen, and is the resident Life Coach and Columist for Greatist. Susie’s insights have been shared by thought leaders including Arianna Huffington, Paulo Coelho and SPANX Founder, Sara Blakely.

When she’s not working, Susie can be found exploring New York City, planning her travels (next up: an extended stint in France!) brewing the perfect cup of English Breakfast tea, and spending time with her husband Heath and their tiny (not very bright but certainly very loveable) dog, Coco.