Everyday I’m Hustlin’

Being born in a third world country and migrating in a first-world country, motivates you to pursue a financially stable life and fear ‘brokenness’. That’s why, since I was a teenager, I would always find ways to make pocket money so that I wouldn’t have to depend on my parents. By the age of eighteen, I had worked at various call centers as a bilingual clerk. That’s the perk of being congolese, I fool anglophones in thinking that my french is equivalently impeccable to that of a French politician in Versaille. Bilingual jobs paid well at the time, I made $20 an hour, while my friends made $8/hour at mcdonald working longer hours for the same amount of money I made in half of the time. This began my journey as an entrepreneur.

Rule #1 of a Hustler. See how everyone else is choosing to make income; think of a way to do it differently. It is about finding a unique way to generate profit, in a shorter time frame than the average 9-5 worker.

Such odd jobs allowed me to save up, and convince my parents to give me the freedom to travel the world. Luckily for me, my parents give you mad respect when you earn your own coins, and stopped telling me what to do because for them, earning an income is a sign of adulthood, therefore you are responsible for your own life. Then, in university while my peers would depend on government loans to pay for their tuition while accumulating debt, I would approach my professors and sweet talk my way to landing a position that belonged to a PhD candidate, so I obviously didn’t qualify (on paper), but my ‘fake-it til you make-it’ mentality always worked. As a research assistant for my profs, I earned great money, doing work that taught me some valuable transferable skills like, research planning, analytics, execution of projects. On the down side, you quickly begin to realize that your professors are often jerks who are more concerned about paying for their second cottage than they are about the busy work that they are assigning you to do, and at the end of the day they take all of the credit for your work because they can.

Rule #2 of a Hustler. In every professional setting you work, observe and take note of ways that your superiors are moving up the latter and how you can achieve that same level of success in a different way, but get the same if not better, outcome.

After my masters while exhausting myself to apply for jobs, I went back to my notebook of contacts, is that what’s even called? You know, those books back in the days that we would use to write down people’s names, phone numbers and emails, before Iphone contacts did all of it for us. I reached out to some organizations and small companies that I had been in touch with while assisting my professors in their research, and I started to propose those organizations services that I knew they desperately needed but didn’t have the human resource capacity or funds to do. Those services that they needed, were the same as the ones I did as a research assistant for my profs, only this time, I offered those services as a freelancer at a (lower) competitive price.

Rule #3 of a Hustler. Identify what you love or what you are good at, work on developing skill sets within that interest, and find a way to turn into a product or service(s) that you can test in the market to see if people will be willing to pay you for it. Some call this *minimal viable product (MVP)*.

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