Name: Molly Ramsey
City: Charleston, South Carolina
Main Hustle: Editor and freelance writer.
Side Hustle: Content creator.
I use this term because it’s all-encompassing. Some days this means designing customized Squarespace websites for small businesses, other days it looks like curating content for a brand’s Instagram account, and other days still it takes the shape of photography.
How did you get started?: I’ve forever been a fan of writing and the written word. I attribute a lot of that to having speech impediments as a child—while verbally expressing myself was tough, writing was a glorious land where my Rs always sounded like R’s and my S’s didn’t have a lisp. I graduated college with a degree in journalism and moved to Charleston for an editorial internship in the magazine publishing field. From there, my career advanced pretty linearly; I worked my way up from editorial assistant to assistant editor to editor, all within the same company.
This past summer I left my full-time role at the magazine to pursue a freelance career in writing and editing. I remain editor of a health and wellness magazine (I’m constantly inspired by the field of wellness), regularly contribute to a cache of local magazines (writing about home and event design, businesses, cool movers and shakers, and on), and taking on new work from national brands (like Fodors and Menasha Ridge Press).
While I consider writing and editing to be my “main gig,” I’ve used the newfound flexibility in my schedule to pursue projects that let me flex my storytelling and brand building skills in new ways. I’ve customized and written copy for a few small businesses’ websites; I’ve managed Instagram and other social media accounts; I’m taking on marketing and public relations projects for companies; and I’m exploring the world of photography—all of which, for now, I’d consider side hustles.
Through my work as a writer I’ve interviewed and learned the stories behind so many brilliant brands and people. These side hustles are my way of helping people share their stories and passions with the world. They also let me continue learning and growing professionally in a way I wasn’t able to while working full-time in magazine publishing.
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: The line between my main gig and side hustles is pretty thin and becomes fainter each month. So I work on both from home and various coffee shops, with my schedule and workflow changing from day and day.
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: While my career in magazine publishing prepped me well for many aspects of my side-hustle projects, they also require a good bit of self-teaching, which is a slow process that can be riddled with self-doubt. Speaking of self-doubt … the whole promoting/marketing myself thing is a real struggle. I can promote the heck out of a brand I’m behind or a team I’m part of, but now that the brand is myself and the team is me, I find it challenging at times to market my skills and services in a way that doesn’t feel icky.
An amazing curveball is on the horizon for my career, too: my husband, Will, and I are expecting our first child in June! TBD how becoming a mom will change the scope and trajectory of my current side hustles; I know it’ll shake things up in huge and wonderful ways.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: The ability to pursue new projects and work with new people has inspired and enlivened me. Also: while there are plenty of perks to working in magazine publishing, it’s a low-paying field that often requires lots of overtime. I cherish the control I have now over both my schedule and profitability.
Who is your greatest supporter?: My husband, Will, and closest friends helped give me the courage I needed to take the plunge into a freelance career and continue to support me as I work my various side hustles.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: The teachers at Charleston Power Yoga have impacted my life and career in ways I’m only beginning to understand. Also, podcasts are my jam. When I was considering my career change, I listened to The Tim Ferris Show, The Lively Show, and For When You by Jessica Kenny (a former CPY instructor) on repeat. My current go-tos are The Goal Digger Podcast, The Rich Roll Podcast, One Part Podcast, and TED Radio Hour. Though at times I want to delete the time-suck and comparison-monster that is Instagram and never look back, it really is a huge source of inspiration and introduces me to brands, people, and businesses I’d never find otherwise.
Have you received recognition for your work? If so, please toot your horn below so we can include these details in your profile.: Seeing my byline—whether it’s in print, on a business’s site, or on Instagram—is always a thrill. This year’s highlights including writing a Charleston hotel guide for Fodors (I remember buying their print travel guides when I traveled to Europe in high school!) and co-authoring my first book (a Charleston-area outdoor guide due out later this year).
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: TBD! Perhaps choosing one side hustle to really dive into and become an expert in. Or maybe starting a blog or website that lets me put all my interests and skills into a brand created by me.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
I struggle with imposters syndrome from time to time—the feeling that what I’ve accomplished isn’t relevant or official enough—so I like to remind myself that literally everyone is winging everything in life.
Featured Images by: Molly Ramsey