Should My Side Hustle Be a Secret?

Susan Avondale 01.jpg

Hi! My name is Susan, and I am a teacher.

It’s me, Susan. I’m a wedding and portrait photographer based in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m also a full-time teacher at a small private school. (In case you’re wondering…..I teach physics, chemistry, physical science, and yearbook.)

Should that be a SECRET?

I’ve been advised that, if I want to grow my photography business, I should hide the fact that I have a “day job.” On my personal social media accounts, I’m supposed to highlight my photography and minimize all references to the fact that I’m also a high school teacher.

The logic behind only talking about/showing my photography business life is that my friends and family will come to think of me PRIMARILY as a photographer. Then they will be more likely to recommend me to others in need of my services. They will also respect me more as a “professional.”

But what if that doesn’t feel right?

Honestly, I followed that advise for awhile. I showed a lot of photography stuff on my Facebook timeline–both edited images and behind the scenes work. I didn’t talk about my life at school.

However, it didn’t feel right to exclude a major part of my life. I love my students. I love my school. I love the people I work with.

In addition, I’m a runner, and I coach the cross country and track teams….which is a HUGE part of my life. How can I just ignore that?

I ‘ M   N O T .

The most important parts of my life are my faith, my family, photography, teaching, running. And I have decided that I’m not going to go out of my way to hide any of them. They are part of who I am.

Of course, there are tasteful ways to share. And I don’t have to share everything all the time. But I’m certainly not going to actively hide these areas of my life.

There’s also the idea of “attract and repel.” I seem to get a lot of clients who are also runners. And who also value their faith and family.

There’s no shame in a SIDE HUSTLE.

I have decided that I am not going to let ANYONE (another creative professional or family member or friend) let me feel inferior for only being a “part-time” photographer. That’s just where I happen to be now. In fact, that’s where I may stay for a very long time.

If that’s where God wants me to be, I’m OK with that.

Real is better than perfect.

In fact, I think people in general are more interested in following the life of a REAL person. And by being myself, I can also share my passions and dreams. I am free to create and be authentic. There’s risk in authenticity. You know it. And if you don’t know it…………go find out!

How about you? What is your side hustle? How do you manage your creative passion and your “day job”?


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