One benefit of having a 5-8/Side-hustle is that it's an excellent experiment lab for doing low-risk tests. In this space that's just yours and you don't have to worry about what your family, your friends, your boss or teammates will think, you can vary so many things: how you interact with people, how you work, how you learn, how you ARE.
This enables you to be a different person in your new environment and try out things you want to try out. No pre-set judgement of how you dress, how you talk, how outgoing you are, what you ask questions about...IF You ask questions at all. It's like when you go on a trip to a strange place alone. You can be EXACTLY WHO YOU WANT TO BE…not who you are in your real life
I have never been a hand-raiser. I would never raise my hand in school, never heavily participated in my classes. I always hung back and watched others. Part of it was that I didn't want to look stupid if my answer was wrong. Another was that I honestly assumed I was the only one who didn't understand something. This followed me all the way into the workplace where I NEVER raised my hand to be in the spotlight.
When I first started in part-time fashion school in 2012, I decided that I was going to try out being different than my usual. Fashion School Dona raised her hand when she didn't understand something. She was SUPER confident and said things like, "I doubt I'm the only one who doesn't get it, but can you describe EXACTLY what draping means in this context?" And it turned out that I was never the only one with the question and lots of people thanked me after for asking the question.
Likewise, Fashion School Dona always raised her hand to try something out first--draping, garment duplication, etc. it was a great way to get hands-on with the projects with the teacher's help...saving me hours of frustration.
Because no one knew me in fashion school or had any notions about who I was, I felt pretty comfortable doing this. They all assumed I was this super outgoing, confident person all the time.
Interestingly, raising my hand and being this person helped me develop confidence A LOT. And confidence is a muscle. Once you develop it, you apply it to all parts of your life. It was no coincidence that once I got comfortable speaking up fashion school, I ALSO got comfortable speaking up at my day job. There I was suddenly raising my hand to present at the All-Hands. There I was, asking a question in front of 5,000 people. There I was, volunteering to do Meet the Company presentations at universities all over the country.
If I hadn't had the safe space to discover my voice in fashion school so many years ago, I definitely wouldn't be outgoing here online and I definitely would not be speaking in public 3-4 days of the week.
Use your side-hustle/5-8 to try out a different skillset. It's a low-risk test. After all, if it doesn't work out...you're right back to where you are now.
Dona is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Prima Dona Studios, a fashion line that helps women achieve economic power. There are a million fashion lines in the world--but how many of them count some of the most powerful women in tech and business as their customers? How many of them have a mission of spreading that economic power to 1B women all over the world? We do. Find us here: https://primadonastudios.com/