Name: Monica Dutia
City: Washington, DC
Main Hustle: Marketing at George Washington University
Side Hustle: Founder & Editor of MonicaDutia.com
How did you get started?: I initially created a blog during the summer of 2012 when I was living and interning in DC. It was food-focused: mostly basic recipes and concoctions I was creating in my apartment. During the following year (my senior year of college), I posted maybe 2-3 times and went beyond just food. During this time, I’d started reading more blogs in my free time and right after graduation, I decided to really run with my blog in a more formal way. I purchased a domain, started posting consistently, and very, VERY slowly, started telling people about the site!
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: I work on my side hustle whenever, wherever! I’m much more of a morning person than a night owl, so I tend to wake up early and aim to get 1-2 hours of work done before heading off to my 9-5. We did recently get a puppy, so the routine has been really off lately! I also make sure to have several hours available on the weekends and work on it most weeknights as well. I’ll also utilize the “Notes” app on my iPhone and knock out written content while on the metro–I’ve found myself to be weirdly productive during this time, and it’s nice coming home with content that’s close to ready to go!
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Making the time to do everything! Having a side hustle means so many more boxes to check, but the other responsibilities in your life still need your full attention, too. Time management is key and while I feel like it’s one of my strong suits, there are definitely times when it feels impossible to get it all done.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: I’ve gained amazing friends and a wonderful mentor through my side hustle! There are so many rewards, but that’s probably my most valued one.
It’s also really incredible being able to see the outcome of your work…I really just started my blog because I loved sharing things that inspired or resonated with me, and it’s really cool that people from all over care about the same things!
Who is your greatest supporter?: This is a tough one! I feel lucky to be surrounded by a very supportive group of friends and family. My family is very entrepreneurial so there has always been enthusiasm from their side, and even my friends who don’t read blogs at all offer their advice, encouragement, and ideas, which means a lot! My boyfriend has been a massive help, too…he helps photograph content, weighs in on the admin side, gives great advice, deals with me when I’m stressed (a lifesaver!), and picks up the slack in so many other ways.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: I don’t know that I have a specific, great source of inspiration because so much of what I see and do on a daily basis inspires me. Travel does play a huge role, though, as do aesthetically-pleasing things and good food. So, everything I guess?!
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I have a few ideas in mind but being able to work for myself full time has always been a goal of mine. I initially wanted to get to that point in my late 20s, but I feel like I still have so much to learn from others that I’d be content waiting a few more years to get some more experience under my belt.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
It’s worth the hard work and long hours! Keep trekking on even if things don’t fall into place immediately, and make sure you’re doing what you’re doing because YOU love it! Also, don’t compare yourself to others. People will always have more followers, make more money, and have cooler partnerships. Don’t worry about them–do YOUR thing!