If you’re anything like me, you find it difficult to focus on just one single thing.
It doesn’t matter if it’s side hustling, hobbies, or just life in general. It’s incredibly easy to get excited about a new project or goal and to have a thousand different things on the go simultaneously.
Personally, I never feel as if there’s enough time in the day to get everything done. I don’t mind this feeling since I spend my days doing what interests me (freelance writing, blogging, spending time outdoors etc.) but the feeling is there regardless.
Now, what I love most about the entrepreneur we are about to hear from is just how many amazing projects she has on the go and how she manages to balance everything. I think it can be easy to let entrepreneurial pursuits fall by the wayside as life becomes busier, but this story is certainly an exception to this!
So, if you want to learn how Leila runs a successful blog and not one, but two YouTube channels, stick around for this Young Money interview. Leila shares 5 crucial tips for other aspiring side hustlers at the end of this interview as well, so don’t miss out!
Extra Reading – Checkout Other Young Money Interviews!
My name is Leila (pronounced Lay-la), I am 26, and I am a microbiologist by day and a small online business owner by night!
I live a pretty simple and routine life that I’ve grown to enjoy for the time being. I love working out, taking walks, cooking, reading, writing, and planning.
I strongly believe and encourage personal development and it has become my greatest passion. Additionally, I’m passionate about finances, veganism, and health.
While I value my full-time job and the impact it may have in Public Health, my dream is to become an entrepreneur. The ‘9-5’ life is not for me and I’m so grateful to live in a time where we can make a living off of the internet.
What Side Hustle Did You Start & Why?
I’ve dabbled with plenty of different side hustles or ways to make money online, but I definitely have a few main hustles.
After graduating high school I started a YouTube channel dedicated to beauty and other lifestyle topics. However, since I was in college and going through a new stage in life I wasn’t very consistent with it.
YouTube was kind of just fun for me. While I wanted to make money from it, that wasn’t really happening. Eventually I stopped creating beauty videos and started to focus on more lifestyle videos (workouts, meal prep, money, vlogs). While I am consistent with my uploads, I still treat YouTube as a fun hobby.
I’ve also created a second YouTube channel, which focuses solely on personal finance content. You can checkout my most recent videos for that channel here!
Extra Reading – How To Make Your First $100 On YouTube.
Throughout my life I had always loved writing, and I had even created a blog through Blogger in the past. Again, I wasn’t very consistent with this and it wasn’t my best writing work.
I would upload videos and write posts every so often, but wasn’t earning money from blogging at the time.
About 3 years into college I knew I didn’t want to live a “mediocre” life. This was when I started listening to Tony Robbins and Gary Vaynerchuk and learned that I can actually become an entrepreneur one day.
So, in 2015 I created my blog, LivinglikeLeila.com. I remember being so scared to tell anyone that I had started my own blog.
At the time, I knew I wanted to make a profit from my blog, but I don’t know what I would do with my free time otherwise. I love writing, I love creating, I love a finished product. I blogged and made videos basically for free for years, and that is how I know these things are just my passions.
Living Like Leila now earns income. My blog was accepted into Mediavine, meaning my blog generates advertisement revenue every single month now.
More recently I launched a self-discipline course, self-discipline/time management/productivity coaching, and a second YouTube channel dedicated to finances.
Each of these things mean so much to me and my goal is to help people truly live their best life. I expect the most growth in these 3 areas this year.
Other Side Hustles
I’ve dabbled in multiple side hustles: Patreon, flipping, Etsy printables, working as a Pinterest virtual assistant, etc. I constantly think of new ideas and I like to try things out.
By experimenting with them, I usually find that I don’t love doing them and then I can stop. I never invest too much money into these things so I don’t feel bad giving them a shot!
How Did You Scale your Side Hustles?
I grew the most on both platforms by being consistent.
I publish my content and send my emails on the same days every week. For my blog, I also noticed more growth when I started writing longer posts (1500+ words) and creating multiple Pinterest images for each post.
For YouTube I have grown the most by sharing more of my life and just being myself. People just like to watch other people’s lives!
For my second YouTube channel, I’ve noticed my channel is growing much faster. I believe this is because it covers one specific niche rather than branching out on multiple topics. Promoting a second channel is also easier once you have established an audience on social media and YouTube initially.
I would say one of the most exciting parts about being a blogger and YouTuber are the people I get to connect with. It still amazes me that strangers around the WORLD watch my videos and read my blog posts.
Kind and supportive comments are still priceless, and I love when people tell me that I inspire or motivate them, since that ultimately motivates me.
I know that one day I will be a full-time online business owner and that’s really exciting. In 2019 I made about $6,000 from my online work and that’s pretty incredible to me! That money allowed me to reinvest back into my business and pay off a bit of my debt.
From 2018 to 2019 I increased by income by 6x. In 2020 I am hoping to do the same but I am aiming to make about $24,000 from my online business.
Wins, Losses, & Challenges?
I wouldn’t say I have any huge wins, but I’ll never forget those big moments throughout this journey such as: reaching 100K pageviews for my blog in a month, getting my first coaching client, and getting accepted into Mediavine.
Throughout this journey I’ve faced many challenges. The internet is filled with information and stories of other people achieving success from blogging or YouTube at a rapid rate, but that has not been the case for me.
There have been multiple times where I’ve thought about giving up, but I never will.
My growth has been very slow and often plateaus. However, I have gained so much patience from this process and I’m so grateful for what I have accomplished.
Because I am multi-passionate AND someone who likes to do 10 projects at once on top of maintaining my health, relationship, personal development, etc., I’ve realized that the success I want to achieve will take longer to reach and I am OK with that.
I have many goals in life but in relation to my business and finances…
My long-term goals (next 10 years) include:
- Become completely debt free.
- Reach financial independence.
- Work as a full-time entrepreneur.
My short-term goals (for 2020):
- Earn over $24,000 from my online business.
- Get my total debt well under $40,000 (I’m at about $57,000).
- Have a successful “No Spend Year” to save money and pay off more debt.
Tips For Other Entrepreneurs?
There are so many tips I could share but I’ll try to keep this brief.
1. Be yourself and don’t compare your success to others.
I know this is so cliche but it’s so true. If you try to be like someone else you won’t be able to maintain it. You’re also going to come across so many blogs or videos talking about, “How I made $100,000 in my first 6 months of blogging.”
It’s not impossible, but that’s not how it works for most people! Don’t get too caught up in those articles, just focus on your own actions.
2. Commit to consistency.
Success takes time, and consistency/perseverance is a big part of that. If you only publish content once every few weeks don’t expect much growth.
3. Have patience.
Online work comes with many setbacks and struggles. From slow growth to my website being hacked to losing a whole blog post, I’ve experienced it all. You have to get used to failing and failing fast.
4. Take advantage of this generation we live in.
It still amazes me that I can come home from my full-time job and work a few more hours at my desk and make more money. There are so many opportunities on the internet world to make money and we should all take advantage of that. And no, the market is not too saturated! Most people who start an online business give up pretty quickly, so if you’re willing to commit you’re more likely to succeed.
5. Have a plan.
Create a clear plan including your niche, target audience, content, product to sell, sales funnels, and so on.
I would recommend learning a lot, but implementing what you learn even more. There is no need to buy a million courses. Just learn the basics and then create a clear plan for your business. That’s definitely something I wish I did better when I was first starting out.
Extra Reading – How To Start A Successful Blog.
Personally, I found Leila’s side hustle story to be very relateable.
It is absolutely true that the internet is full of overnight success stories (true and fake) of bloggers or business owners who started making 5 or 6 figures in a short amount of time. Between everything we see on social media and sheer noise of self-promotion, it is easy to feel as if one’s own success is lagging.
However, the blunt reality is that most people fail their first several online endeavors or businesses. Or, at the very least, most people do not find success until they have made many mistakes and learned what they need to do to succeed.
This is fine.
The point of starting a side hustle or business isn’t to become an overnight star. If you ever feel as if you are stagnant and aren’t reaching your goals as quickly as you’d like, take a step back and consider how far you have come since starting out.
When I started This Online World, I thought I’d get into Mediavine and earn $1,000/month in under a year. In reality, I was stuck at under $500/month for 17 months. Then, before I knew it, my blog made more than $7,000 in a year and is back to growing.
Leila’s story is similar. She started blogging in 2015, but in 2019, she increased her online income by 6x. That’s incredible growth in a very short period of time. The fact that Leila can balance a blog, two YouTube channels, and a busy life full of other hobbies is also a feat in and of itself.
It’s 2020, so there’s no better time to follow the 5 tips Leila outlined. Make a plan, be consistent, and have patience. If you work hard and work smart, you’ll inevitably see progress.
I’d like to thank Leila for taking the time to share her story. Be sure to follow her blog and both YouTube channels if you want to keep tabs on all of her entrepreneurial endeavors.
That’s all for now! Catch you guys in the next post.
Leila is a microbiologist by day and a small online business owner by night. Leila also runs the blog Living Like Leila and a successful YouTube channel. In her spare time, Leila enjoys working out, taking walks, cooking, reading, and writing.