My Side Hustle: “If you are passionate enough, it doesn’t feel like you’re working”

- September 17, 2019 4 MIN READ

Joe Giuffrida’s side hustle combines everything he loves about his ‘day’ job with all the things he loves outside of work. Sounds pretty great, right? Here’s how he makes it happen.

When did you start your side hustle?

I’ve been pursuing creative projects  from an early age, but I officially started my side hustle in February this year. 

Why did you start it?

A friend of mine had encouraged me to create a website so I could upload photos that I had taken for promotional usage for bands and was encouraging me to start doing something with the content I was making. I pushed back with a ton of excuses (I didn’t yet have the equipment for the upkeep, I wasn’t experienced enough and so on) but having that extra push allowed me to take the plunge and put myself out there.

How much time do you spend on it every week? And where do you fit this in?

Not nearly enough as I would like to, at this stage its a couple of days a week. I fit it in as much as I can between spending time with my wife and my full-time job, so mostly I will spend one or two nights during the week and then one day on the weekend. 

What’s your main source of income – how many hours do you spend doing that a week and why do you do that job?

My main source of income comes from my job as a Content Creator for a production company, the hours fluctuate based on the current project that I am working on, at times I work up to 65 hour weeks and other times it can be 38. I do the job I do because luckily enough it lines up with what I’m passionate about. 

What’s your favourite thing about your side hustle?

The favourite thing about my side hustle is that it combines pretty much everything I love, being a musician who has an interest in things visual – I get to work with bands in a lot of different capacities, whether it be creating album art, shooting music videos or taking promotional shots, I love being able to be immersed in the music scene. I think another thing that is enjoyable about having a side hustle is that the work you decide to take on is completely up to you.

What’s your favourite thing about your day job?

The most exciting thing about my day job is that not one day is the same, some days I can be doing digital illustrations, animating, video editing or writing music. 

What’s the most challenging aspect about balancing the two?

The challenging aspect about balancing the two is always time, I know a lot of people who run their own businesses that just don’t ever clock off because there’s always something to do, whether it be in admin, client follow-ups or creating content – I would definitely not say I’m a business owner but I can understand that the balance is always tricky, even managing your own Instagram is very taxing on time – you have to regularly be putting out content that engages with your followers otherwise you sink into their feeds.

How do you stay motivated to do both?

You have to love what you do, or you’ll never find motivation. I think another thing that motivates me is that there’s a difference between the two jobs, if you are passionate enough about your side hustle – it doesn’t feel like you’re working so there’s never really an impending thought in the back of your mind saying “Ugh, I have to go to work.”

What’s your end goal? Do you want the side hustle to become your full time job or are you content to straddle the two?

I think the latter is more ideal for me. I love my full-time job enough to want to continue that as my main source of income and I prefer the security of working for a business rather than for myself, so I’m not constantly having to look for clients and worry about when the next paycheck is coming in. 

Who is your inspiration when it comes to your side hustle?

There are a lot of creatives in the scene that always leave me in awe of their work and the people they get to work with. I’d have to say a main inspiration of mine is Billy Zammit, his work is phenomenal both in regards photo & video and he has done really well for himself in the industry. I’d love to shadow him sometime and see how he works. I don’t believe his work is his side hustle, but what he has made for himself to pursue full time is incredible. 

What’s one thing that would help you the most to create the working life you want?

More time in the day to shoot, edit and deliver the quality I would like while being able to maintain a work-life balance.

What’s the #1 thing you do for your well-being while you run your side business and a job?

I don’t do it as often as I should do, but I think I’d benefit from time away from the screen. I need to start prioritising that – one thing my bosses always say is “fresh eyes!” – step away from what you’re doing for 5 – 10 minutes, not only to get away from the screen, but do something physical and come back to what you’re doing so you don’t get lost in the project and overlook your mistakes, and so that your brain is stimulated – it’s so easy to go into zombie mode when you’re so deep in a project. So in short, I’d say taking breaks and not working myself into the ground because that’s when I come up with my best ideas.