Name: Akemi Liyanage
City: North York, Ontario
Main Hustle: I’m a marketer for a Finance SaaS (Software as a Service) company here in North York, which is a 40 minute subway ride from downtown Toronto. I do everything from building whitepapers to posting on our social media—a wide variety of anything that touches on marketing. While to some my duties might be dizzying (and believe me, it is to me on some days too!), I love how dynamic and varied my job can be!
Side Hustle: I host a podcast called Quarter-Life Crisis! It’s a show where I talk to people about their quarter-life journey and where it’s taken them in life. Major themes include but are not limited to the lure of perfectionism, healing the pain from our past, and the ups and owns of our career journey.
At the core, it’s an honest dialogue about the reality of being in your 20s that doesn’t shy away from the crazy highs and lows, as well as the crystal clarity and muddling doubt we all experience.
How did you get started?: It’s actually quite a funny story! Through my interest in music, I had a recording mic and software already. While my recorded covers were never published, it occurred to me that I had the equipment to make a podcast. Couple that with the fact that this year I fell MADLY in love with many podcasts (And That’s Why We Drink, Potterless, Spirits, Pottermore!), and Quarter-Life Crisis was born!
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: After work, on the weekends, during the holidays. My podcast is always on my mind, even when I’m not recording or posting!
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: My main challenge, in all honesty, is the question of how to promote the podcast. Should I start a social media page on every platform out there? Should I start a companion blog on Medium? Should I ring up every student group and tell them to listen in? I love my podcast, and our family of podcast guests is ever-growing, but I wonder, what is and isn’t the right thing to do to find our audience?
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: The satisfaction of knowing that I’ve created something I enjoy listening to!
One conversation at a time, we’re creating awareness and generating honesty around what it’s like to be in your 20s, and hopefully it helps our listeners on their journey.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My amazing network of friends!
When I first started the podcast, I thought no one would set time aside from their busy schedule to record a conversation with me. I was dead WRONG! The world is full of generous, open-hearted people who want you and your passion to succeed.
As soon as I started asking my friends to contribute and listen in, they did! I’m so excited to grow the podcast’s friend-network and see where each new conversation will take the pod.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: My favorite podcast: And That’s Why We Drink! It’s a murder-paranormal podcast (totally unrelated to my own podcast’s topic, I know!) that brings a smile to my face every time I listen to it. I never knew a podcast could be so enjoyable and fun until I discovered it!
Have you received recognition for your work?: Listen to our episode with Virginia, founder of the Side Hustle Blog (the one you’re reading right now!) here!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: To become a nation-wide recognized podcast where tons of twenty-somethings tune in, tweet, and chat about the real highs and lows of being in your 20s!
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Thinking of starting a side hustle? Get a notebook and write a step-by-step plan of how you’re gonna do it, and then do it! Be realistic in what you can and cannot do, and also remember that there is no such thing as failure; as long as you’re learning something new, you’re moving forward!