We’ve received many DM’s and comments from our 9 to 5 entrepreneurs expressing having enough living double lives! Of course, we all want to go ALL IN and live off our passion projects! The reality is, sustaining yourself first before letting go of your 9 to 5 is crucial for your business. Why? Having money problems is the #1 creativity killer! So don’t give up! Be patient and gentle with yourself! Hang in there because you can still succeed! We sat down with Instagrammer/blogger traveller and SHWAP CLUB owner (a preowned clothing exchange business) and wait for it… lawyer An Nguyen from the Minimalist Travelers. An has 2 simple golden tips you must remember to keep the #FLOW between your 9 to 5 and your side hustle. Find out what they are…
The Minimalist Travelers
What inspired you to start this travelling journey?
I’ve always enjoyed travelling. You get into different spaces that requires you to shy away from your comfort zone. The water is different, there are language barriers, things get weird… You’re always a little uncomfortable when you travel, but happens when you’re outside of your comfort zone. And then, I also met Prince Charming on a trip to Hawaii. He happens to live in San Diego. That was over 3 years ago. I have since been very inspired to travel!
What solution do you bring to your insta followers?
My followers get to live out strange experiences: capsule hotel rooms in Japan, snakes market in Vietnam, a cliff-hanging pod in Peru, name it. I hope they get ideas for their next adventurous trips! I’m very much focused on experiences. I bring less and I experience more.
What challenges do you face to keep your online presence?
Time is a challenge. First of all, I travel a lot, but I don’t get to be fully present. We’re continuously working on content creation, so we never have time off. We don’t enjoy ourselves as much as we should. There are days when I’d like to sleep in and go out with no makeup, but that only happens when I’m at home! So when abroad, as much as I just wanna hang, I gotta stay focus and committed.
Second thing is, being present on social media requires time. Between the moment you take a picture and post it on social media, a lot was done. From touch-ups to drafting a caption… most people don’t know the work that goes on behind a post.
Finally, my time is split up between my 9 to 5 career, my travels, my new project: a clothing exchange boutique. Yet, there is still only 24 hours in a day!
What’s Your Flow
How do you keep your flow between your 9 to 5 and side hustles ?
I love what I do. That’s gotta be the secret. I sometimes wake up tired, but never unhappy. I have a lot of fun at my 9 to 5 and I have a lot fun with my businesses. How I make a living consists of hobbies. Like yoga or painting. Does that make sense? It never feels like work, it feels like an achievement: I have designed a life that I really enjoy.
Why have you not decided to go all in into your side-hustles?
I like working for myself, but I also like to be part of a team. Working for someone else shapes me. I develop discipline, patience, soft-skills, … I have to figure out how things work, whereas I’d be way too lazy to figure it out had I been on my own (re: how Excel works). I’m a creative person and I don’t lack entrepreneurship. What I do lack is discipline. Having a 9 to 5 really helps. Finally, I find balance in doing both: taking directives from my bosses and taking risks on my own time.
What sacrifices have you made to do what you love?
Definitely my social life. I don’t get to see my friends and family as much as I would like to. I don’t have weekends and evenings to myself. I work from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. every other day. It’s hard to explain to people that don’t have that lifestyle. Not everyone gets it.
The Serial Entrepreneurs & Personal Life
What are your 2 golden tips to handle your side hustle while keeping your 9 to 5?
All ideas are wonderful, but they’re just ideas until…
- You’re willing to put the hours into it, even when no one tells you to do it.
- You want it enough, almost to the point of wanting nothing else but that. You need to be driven by that deep sense of conviction… if not, you’ll never put in the hours!
What’s next in your entrepreneurial journey An?
My latest project is a clothing exchange store. Very much in line with my minimalist travels, the clothing exchange allows you to downsize your wardrobe without sacrificing on novelty. Suddenly, you start owning less, but have access to this never-ending wardrobe. The concept is simple: you bring 10 pieces of clothing, you get to take 10 pieces of clothing. Doesn’t matter what it is. You can show up with three blouses and leave with a pair of jeans, a pair of boots and a dress.
There is no money exchange. It’s a fun community-based activity, it’s good for the environment and awesome for your finances. Other perks: I have ALL the outfits in the world for my IG!
Marjorie: Wow that’s amazing! Most entrepreneurs must watch their budgets. Every dollar spent matters. This share economy biz is great not only for our environment but also for our pockets! What a great business model! Now that we learned about your world, let’s have fun!
Fun Facts, An pick one answer!
Car or bike : Car
Chilling at home or Out with friends: Out with friends
Taking photos with an iPhone or Camera : A camera would never fit in my tiny backpack! So definitely iPhone.
Taco or Pizza : Pizza
Skinny dip or Bikini : Skinny dip (only because I hate bikinis)
Marjorie: Thank you so mucho An, we are looking forward to shop at SHWAP CLUB and to keep following your minimalist travel journey!
Discover the An’s world:
Like her FB page HERE
Follow her minimalist travel stories HERE
Found out about SHWAP CLUB THERE