More Than Just a VA: Do the Side Hustle

side hustle

*cricket cricket*

Hear that?

It’s silence. Beautiful, beautiful silence.

It’s 4:00 am and I am sitting on the couch downstairs. Nobody but me, my coffee, and the dog. Believe it or not, I chose to be here. I willingly get up hours before the sun rises to work.

More than just a virtual assistant | Don't Panic Mgmt

Candid footage of me makin’ podcast magic

I would never, ever call myself a morning person. I love sleep.

Let me say that again.


Yet every day I set my alarm for hours before I head to work and spend time working downstairs. Which begs the question, why? Why would I pull myself from my warm… cozy… lovely… soft… bed to sit on the couch by myself and work before… well, work?

Hustlin’ for Hobbies

Life is expensive and, shockingly, it didn’t get any cheaper when we had a baby last summer.

In between daycare, a mortgage, car payments, and student loans, it is hard to find the cash to have fun with our kid. And I’m not talking about ski trips to Aspen. Think more along the lines of a trip to the zoo, Music Together classes, and swim lessons.

More than Just a Virtual Assistant | Don't Panic Mgmt

Not my actual baby but also, in way, it *is* my actual baby.

The work I do as a virtual assistant for DPM helps me afford to do things with our baby that I couldn’t do otherwise. Thanks to my side hustle, we have been doing music classes since she was 2 months old and tried swim lessons at 3 months. (Turns out neither one of us was swimsuit ready at that point.) We were able to take a trip to Boston so she could meet her long-distance aunts and uncles which would definitely NOT have been possible if I wasn’t earning some side cash.

I get to do these things and my budget doesn’t have to panic (get it?).

Actually Using That Expensive Degree

As a person with a degree in Comparative Literature, you could say that I like writing. Sadly, for the average human such as myself, writing is not exactly a lucrative nor stable career option. But that doesn’t mean I don’t WANT to write… I just don’t want my and my family’s livelihood to depend upon it.

Enter Stage Right: Don’t Panic Management.

More than just a virtual assistant | Don't Panic Mgmt


With the writing and podcast production I do for Don’t Panic, I am able to put that expensive degree to work and scratch that writing itch without risking our mortgage.

Being a millennial that came of professional age during the Great Recession, I don’t remember a time where I only ever had ONE job. I have always had either three part-time jobs or one full-time job and a part-time job.

This is, however, the first time that my second job has been something both rewarding and enjoyable.

I can even entertain the possibility that by building my writing skills and portfolio with DPM, maybe someday I will be able to write full-time for a living. A girl can dream!

Doing My Own Thang

Some people call it Type-A, others say it’s being a control freak. I just like to say that I’ve got everything under control.


Except my career, it seems. With so much economic uncertainty these…well..decades, it feels, working is a little scary. It kind of feels like the economy could tank (again) any minute and who knows what will happen to my job!

It doesn’t help that my chosen full-time profession is in the nonprofit arena.

My side work as a virtual assistant with DPM has given me the experience and confidence to take my career into my own hands if needed. Before this, I had never been a freelancer and had no idea how it worked or what to expect.

Being your own boss is exciting and makes it worth getting out of bed in the morning. Even if it is 4:00am, at least it’s my choice to be up that early.

Now, if you will excuse me, it’s time for this writer/producer/boss to get some rest.

More than just a virtual assistant | Don't Panic Mgmt


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