The Millennial Side Hustle Series: Melinda Jackson

What happens when your side hustle becomes your day job? Well, that it’s time to get another side hustle! That’s the story of Melinda Jackson. Melinda started her own non-profit, traveled the word, then quit her day job to pursue it full time! She is the true definition of a side hustler who manages to do it all and more!

Read how she makes an impact while growing her businesses to success!

What is Your Day Job?

My primary day job is working as the executive director (ED) of my nonprofit organization, The International Youth Leadership Foundation (IYLF). We are a youth development focused organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of culturally aware and socially responsible global leaders here in Cleveland and beyond.

As the ED, I’m responsible for the day to day operations, programming, fundraising, and capacity building, and developing relationships that will help propel our organization forward. Starting this organization was a passion project of mine, so I’m happy to have the opportunity to dedicate most of my time to it’s development and success.

What is Your Side Hustle?

Well, I have a couple of side hustles right now, but my main one is my athletic-wear company Everybody En Forme. The idea to formulate this company was birthed out of a need for amazing quality athletic-wear for women of all shapes and sizes that isn’t going to drain your wallet.

My business partner and I found strategic ways of keeping overhead costs low and the buying experience simple and straightforward so that we could pass savings onto our customers. Our overall health can help or hinder our ability to live life and follow our dreams. Its my hope that Everybody En Forme will help make fitness accessible, and by doing so, help people live their fullest lives.

Does your primary hustle and side hustle work together/one benefit the other?

Although it would appear that my primary and side hustle do not intersect, I think the common thread between them is the idea of providing access. A big part of the work of IYLF is to provide access to global experiences to youth that might not otherwise have these opportunities, largely due to their socioeconomic status. Everybody En Forme also fills the niche of access by providing high quality, functional products for prices that are affordable.

What’s your advise to other side hustlers?

Never underestimate the power of networking. Make sure that you are constantly putting yourself out there and building good business relationships.
Make good use of resources like Google, YouTube, etc. to supplement your business knowledge. There is so much fantastic information online, that can help you grow and help your business grow.

If you have a side hustle or idea that you haven’t started on yet, make sure to get something with the name of your future business and future title on it. It serves an an awesome reminder of what you’re trying to create, and helps you manifest your dream.

Related Post: The Millennial Side Hustle Series: Brittny Pierre

How do you manage both?

Its can be a difficult balance to manage both, but I’m able to make it work through planning out times where I work on specific things, and setting deadlines and reminders in my calendar so that I can always see what’s coming ahead. It’s also resigning yourself to the fact that you will have to make some sacrifices in the now. But, they will greatly pay off in the long term.

Why do you love it?

This is going to sound strange but I love being busy! If my schedule isn’t packed, I feel like there’s something more that I could be doing. I also love being my own boss and making my own schedule. I love having the flexibility to go to the movies in the middle of the day or staying up until 3 AM to get work done.

Anything upcoming that you’re excited about?

I’m super excited about a few things that are coming up for both my primary and side hustle. For my nonprofit/primary hustle, We will be hosting a leadership conference for high school students on Saturday, November 4th. We will explore the topics of climate change and environmental stewardship. This event is not to be missed! Students can get more info and register online here. I will also be doing a fast pitch presentation about IYLF at this year’s SVP bigBANG competition on October 26th.

Finally, for my side hustle, we have just released our Any-Which-Way Athletic Legging. It’s a comfortable, breathable, meticulously constructed legging that will surely be the perfect addition to any athletic wear wardrobe. This legging is on limited release so to get a pair before they sell out!

Melinda is making strides in business and in making a difference in the lives of others! How does you business make an impact?

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