Welcome to Don’t Hide Your Hustle, a new series on Finding Delight that explores the myriad of ways to make a living in 2017. I’m asking folks to share how they hustle over the course of one work-day (which usually extends far beyond a 9 – 5 situation).
Today, I present you with Kelsey’s story (whose hustle changes so drastically from day to day that we just had to include two!). Kelsey has been a licensed cosmetologist in Texas for many years and she also has a social media management and virtual assistant business. Let’s check out her hustle!
Hey ya’ll! My name is Kelsey and what I do changes from day-to-day and seasonally. The one consistent in my life is lots and lots of coffee: black with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a coconut milk latte with light foam. Monday thru Thursday I am a Social Media Strategist and Marketing Manager. I create content for other businesses including: blog posts, brochures, email campaigns and press releases. I also create “less fun” content including Annual Reports, Investor Relations presentations, and Proxy Statements. Like many I sit in front of my computer for hours answering emails and typing until my nails are blue. Friday, Saturday, and some Sundays I am a stylist. I have eleven years as a licensed cosmetologist in Texas and absolutely love working with brides. I book wedding parties across the state as well as across the country and internationally. I love that every day with a new client brings new challenges!
A recent Thursday working as the Marketing Guru at Styled Startup:
5:30 am – Wake-up and immediately check today’s calendar. Looks like it is going to be a busy one!
6:00 am – Drink my first cup of coffee and check emails. I have eight (!) email accounts so this can take a while. I delete the spam, try not to get distracted by shopping deals, and favorite the emails I need to respond to.
7:00 am – Reach out to Virtual Assistants to discuss the daily to-do list.
7:30 am – Get more coffee. Fix my hair and put on makeup. Usually I only straighten my bangs and throw the rest of my hair into a messy bun. I contour, put on eyeshadow, eyeliner, two coats of mascara, bronzer, and a burgundy lip color.
9:00 am – Skype with a client to discuss new materials and social media strategy for the next month. We are amping up her email campaigns to make them look more exciting. I take notes outlining upcoming events and promotions.
9:30 am – Time for morning Instagram posts. I schedule my Instagram posts for a curated feed and to track hashtags across my accounts and client accounts.
9:45 am – Respond to 165 emails. Trade secret: I have auto-responses set for most occasions but there are some responses that require a non-template response.
10:30 am – I head out for brunch with a local photographer. We enjoy crepes and lattes. I like savory crepes with lots of veggies and feta but she opted for sweet. This sort of networking is a huge part of all of my businesses! I use photographers to style and shoot flat-lays for my websites. Plus, photographer referrals are my favorite way to book brides.
noon – More emails!
1:00 pm – I work on marketing materials for a client. I create brochures and update their website. Of course I have to link all these new materials to social media, too.
4:00 pm – Touch base with Virtual Assistants to make sure all their work was completed. If any tasks are remaining by this time of day, we discuss options for finishing in the evening or the next day.
4:45 pm – Afternoon/Evening Instagram posts.
5:30 pm – I hit up Happy Hour with a bride I’ll soon by styling. Since it is winter I opt for red wine but during the hot, Texas summer you can find me with a French 75 or margarita on the rocks! I meet all of my brides for coffee or drinks prior to booking their wedding. This has helped me significantly reduce “bridezillas” and make sure that I’m compatible with all my brides. A bride should feel comfortable on her wedding day! Since she and her bridesmaids will spend a significant amount of time with me, it’s important that I’m someone she wants to hang out with on her big day! She also needs to make sure my portfolio is able to accommodate the hair and makeup aesthetic she’s looking to achieve.
7:00 pm – Another round of emails.
8:00 pm – I have a good friend who is a small business owner in another state who acts as my accountability partner. We have a nightly call or FaceTime to discuss our daily wins and losses. I call her now to discuss our daily activities.
8:45 pm – Final Instagram posts go up. I scroll through the feeds and correspond with like minded creatives. Did you know for a comment to gain traction with Instagram’s new algorithm it has to be at least three words? I try to be genuine and only comment on pictures I can directly relate to or that tug at my heartstrings.
9:00 pm – I fire off a Facebook chat to my photographer friend. The convo started out personal but quickly turns into a business discussion. This leads to me scrolling through the friend’s Instagram account to perform a quick audit. We discuss where disconnect with potential clients may be.
9:30 pm – Now I am performing hashtag searches to determine which hashtags will drive the most traffic to her Instagram. I create a list of twenty hashtags to use in every Instagram post and send it over to her.
11:00 pm – Scrolling through Instagram, I find a few more accounts to interact with before checking my email one last time and then heading to bed.
A recent Friday working as a Concierge Hairstylist and Makeup Artist:
5:30 am – Wake-up, check the calendar, drink coffee, and attend to emails.
6:45 am – Check that hair and makeup bags were properly packed and make sure we have enough applicators and lashes for the bride and all her bridesmaids.
7:00 am – Drink more coffee while fixing my hair and doing my makeup.
8:30 am – Fill up my 30 ounce Yeti with (more) coffee, grab the bags, and head out the door.
9:00 am – Arrive at the venue, meet with my team, and unpack hair and makeup bags. It is crucial to get everything organized right away to stay on schedule throughout the day.
9:15 am – Airbrush Makeup for Bridesmaid #1.
10:00 am – Hairstyle for Bridesmaid #1.
10:45 am – Airbrush Makeup for Bridesmaid #2.
11:30 am – Hairstyle for Bridesmaid #2.
12:15 pm – Airbrush Makeup for the Bride.
1:00 pm – Hairstyle for the Bride.
1:45 pm – Hair and Makeup for the Flower Girl. This doesn’t take long as flower girls usually just get a little shimmer eye shadow, blush, and some lip gloss. Just enough to feel like a princess!
2:30 pm – I collect any outstanding payments, Square has made this a huge time saver. Before, I had issues with checks bouncing or bridesmaids forgetting to bring cash. Luckily everyone always has a card on them and Square has my back with transaction protection.
2:45 pm – Pack-up hair and makeup-bags. The team leaves together and heads their separate ways.
3:15 pm – Arrive home and unpack the bags. I inventory all the items and make lists of those we are running low or out of.
4:30 pm – Payroll for the day in Square dashboard.
5:00 pm – I deep clean and sanitize all the makeup brushes.
5:15 pm – I fire off a response to an email from my dream venue for Wedded Weekend 2018 and book a follow-up call with the owner. Proceed to do a happy dance around the townhouse!!!
5:30 pm – I work on the budget spreadsheet for Wedded Weekend 2018. I created Wedded Weekend, a three day creatives retreat and styled shoot workshop for wedding vendors, in 2016. The weekends are filled with collaboration, learning, and lots of fun. But the prep is a LOT of work. I try to carve out a few hours on weekend evenings to check a few items off my Wedded Weekend to-do list.
Thanks so much for sharing your hustle, Kelsey! Do you guys have any questions for her? Do any of you completely switch professional gears between weekdays and weekends?
(Photo by Nicki Evans Photography.)
P.S. Are you a hustler willing to share your story? Let’s chat! I would love to know how you’re making money while following your dreams in 2017. Shoot me an email — firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!