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37 WAYS to motivate your hustle

Cindy Rangel

Nowadays it’s all about the side hustle. The new trend is entrepreneurship? Right?

Yes and no.


Entrepreneur life is for some people but not all. Yet I can see how it’s appealing in today’s world.  Everything is at your fingertips. Learn all you want on the internet. Right? Sort of but the daily discipline is key.


To me, I have been doing the side hustle for some time and well, I’ve had good days and not so good days.  I’ve started an eco-fashion t-shirt start up before the financial meltdown, rehabbed homes, and decided to continue my passion in the sustainable fashion world.  (*I’m an entrepreneur not a life coach.)


Yes, I am pursuing entrepreneurship again because it’s calling me and I can’t ignore it.  Full speed ahead, right?  Well, kind of, just pace yourself.


So here are major 37 tips to keep your hustle strong. 


1)    Healthy body, healthy mind:  I can’t stress this enough and over and over.  Health is your number one ally.  Trust me, I ran the Chicago Marathon.  I am not trying to brag but that feat takes major discipline and time.  But I wanted to invest in a healthy body.  This is a great analogy to the entrepreneur life.  Training for the Marathon requires dedication, it’s painful and it is a very time consuming goal.  The day of the race is a challenge but there is a finish line.  So, let me correct myself.  Entrepreneurship seems more like Ultra Marathons, yes, I stress more than one. An ultra-marathon is a mammoth marathon that’s more than 26.2 miles: 30 miles, 50 miles, and 100 miles.  You don’t have to run a marathon, just keep moving to get you at a healthy state is my point.

I am not saying run a Marathon but take it seriously like you are going to run one each week. 



2)    Eat right:  I know, who has time to eat when you are building your dreams?  I am the one who has skipped meals and then gets cranky.  Well, if you are building a business, you should eat right and keep your body happy especially if you are exercising regularly.  I am not a nutritionist or personal trainer but I have find myself the most productive when these two elements are in synch.  (P.S. It gives you more energy.)


3)    Sleeping well:  I know, I know, life is so demanding but in order you to be at your best, get your number of hours in to deliver the best results otherwise, your day can run you. That’s not pretty and certainly not good for the skin.



4)    Never Eat Alone: The author, Keith Ferrazzi, states how to connect and create a win/win relationship with one person at a time.  Who can say no to lunch with likeminded people?  Lunch with a friend or a co-worker? Go. It’s better than eating alone.


5)    Never stop reading and learning: What are you reading should be your next questions after how are you? Well, I am all about leadership and self-improvement that I can’t stop reading and learning from books.  They are epic.  What are you reading?


6)    Tune internally: What does that mean? It’s different for everyone.  It can mean so much: silence, praying, meditating, enjoying time alone or going to church, temple, synagogue, or forest.  I find meditating very useful to quiet the mind.


7)    Network: What does that even mean today?  It means connecting with other people with intention.  I know, people cringe when they hear the word networking but it’s a necessary part of business.  You never know who you will meet.  “It’s a small world after all…”


8)    Take a fun break: I am a creative so this is very important to me.  This can mean playing ping pong, walking, or just having a beer.  I say no technology for this one.


9)    Write it down:  I know, it sounds so basic but it’s part of the process. Trust me.  I have written letters to myself, and made vision boards but creating a deadline for a goal was by far one of the most effective things to do.  You have a goal.  Write it down.  Then, write that deadline.  Then, it’s on paper and it stares at you until you do it.  Write it on a big piece of paper is even more effective and post it so you see it every day.



10) Mission driven statement:  Write your company’s mission on an index card and post it visibly.  Now say it out loud.  Perhaps it will change or improve but having out and visible is paramount.


11) Thank YOU cards:  Never underestimate the power of gratitude especially if you start meeting a lot of people.  That’s the most important part of the process.  Thank them for meeting you.  Thank them for their advice.  Thank them for being them.   I love this habit because gratitude is a mood booster for you and the other person. 


12) Travel:  Who has time to travel?  You do.  Traveling is such an important part of your journey.  It doesn’t have to be expensive or across time zones.  Get in your car and drive to another place you have never been to because there you will learn something about that city, yourself, and the process.


13) Organize:  Get on yourself with that messy drawer or those financials you have been meaning to tackle.  How about your investments? Are all your documents in order? Housekeeping and accounting has never been so important in your business.


14) Make a Call:  Call your friends. Ask them how they are and go out to lunch with them. Don’t forget about them.  I find it especially refreshing and motivating to get together with likeminded people who are going through similar experiences. 


15) Collaborate: Ask others to collaborate with you on a goal/campaign.  Create a win/win for you and another person in similar field.  Who do you admire? How can you help them?


16) Keep writing: Do you have a blog? Are you writing a book?  All I must say is keep writing no matter what.  Enough said.


17) Wish them a happy birthday:  I know this sounds lame and like a no brainer but a happy birthday to your friends, co-workers, boss, family and peers is paramount.  Remembering them helps them appreciate you. 


18) Go outside and do something extraordinary: It can take 10 minutes or 10 hours.  Just sign up for something that will take you out of the ordinary.  Stand up paddleboards, hang-glide, jet-skiing, or even go for a bike ride. Whatever, go outside for a while and forget the work.


19) Focus on your hardest task: This is the Monday tackle list.  Don’t forget to do the hardest thing first no matter what. 


20) Laugh at yourself: Life is short.  Share your story with someone.  Laugh with your friends.  You never know who is listening.


21) Pitch to podcast:  Here’s a challenge.  Share your story with a bigger audience.  Pitch to a podcast and tell them your story.  I know, it’s kind of scary to share your story at that level but like I said before, you never know who may be listening toyou. 


22) Watch your data:  What do I mean?  Track your goals. Take note on your financials and make your goals data focus.  No one else will do that for you.


23) Support people you admire:  This can be person your find inspiration from on your journey.  Support them with a nice email or kind compliment.  This can begin a great relationship together. 


24) Learn a new skill to enhance your next goal: Want to know more about leadership, communications, or social media? Take an intro course as refresher to enhance your skills.  As you move closer to your next goal, you are already in a better position.


25) Enhance your passion:  Is communication your thing? Bank on it with a video presentation.  There’s no better medium to reach your audience.  Not ready? Practice makes perfect and there’s no better way to practice in front of yourself. 


26) Stay away from the sugars: Raise your hand if you had that extra cookie or muffin?  I have and it’s fine.  I am not perfect.  Just try to stay away from the sugar.  It’s kind of like caffeine the more you have the more you want it.  Yikes!


27) Drink water:  This is a healthier option and it’s no joke your body will thank you for it.  Skin is the biggest organ that craves the hydration especially when traveling or at speaking engagements.


28) Smile often:  This sounds so cheesy but if you read, Presence by Amy Cuddy you know that non-verbal communication plays a major part of your success.  Check out her Tedtalk here.


29) Journal: This task goes back to the write it down but it seems to catapult your productivity even more.  So, what I do each day is give thanks.  It instantly puts me into a state of possibilities that creates urgency.  Try to give thanks to 10 things each day.  No matter what is going on in life.  This will help you.


30) Write that letter to yourself: Feeling stuck? Got a challenge that won’t budge?  Write a letter to entrepreneur yourself.  Time it to 5 minutes.  Put it in an envelope and then place in a where you can come back to it when things are going well.


31) Make a list of your challenges: Realizing a theme here? Write it down.  If you see your challenge, then you can visualize your feat.  Find your solution from there. 


32) Visualize:  Visualize your goal.  Then, write down all the necessary steps to get there backwards.


33) Make a list of people you admire:  This can serve as motivating list to make your goals align with that person and why you admire them.  This can be a work-in progress list. 


34) Practice your pitch: There’s nothing like improving your pitch.  Ask for critical feedback with friends/family.  There’s always room for improvement.


35) Breathe: This is especially important for the challenging moments.  Whatever you are doing at that moment.  Breathe and check your reaction along with it.  Breathing slowly puts you in a calmer state.


36) Listen to people’s success but also failures: People often romanticize the success.  I find the obstacles and failures a great opportunity to listen and learn from their experience. 


37) Take time to remember your path: Recall your greatest feats, failures, mistakes, progress and today’s moment of success.  Tell a friend and share your story.


What’s your number one tip on staying motivated during your day? Share with me on the comments below and join us on our community with sustainable fashion players and creatives here.  I will be writing more behind the scenes on this handbag collection and the main product of the collection in my e/newsletter.  Sign up below to know what is happening in the process and how we can connect to keep each other motivated and collaborate on a project. 

Day 23: California dreams and my trip home

Cindy Rangel


California dreams.  They taught me to dream big... like jumping off a cliff big.

Who would have thought I now considered California my home? I proudly consider myself a global citizen.  I love traveling but I always thought Chicago could be home forever.  Life is funny like that.  One day you pass up opportunities and the next day you are left wondering about that opportunity.  I suppose I happen to be the in the right place and the right moment but often I believe it's really a matter of this: Are you ready to make substantial changes for significant gains as well as losses? This is my story how I made California my home forever.

So let's go back in time and consider some events in Chi-town.  Home sweet home, Chicago, was the place I'd return to after each life transition.  It all began with summer vacations in South America as early as three years old. My parents were originally from Quito, Ecuador so I'd travel with my family and my three sisters to visit more extended family members. Then, we'd all return to Chicago to a three flat Victorian white home with black shutters in the suburbs.  Those experiences abroad were unforgettable.  

Other years included indulging in outdoor summer camps and library walks every day to distract my wandering mind. The outdoors was truly home away from home. I loved riding my bike far enough to my neighbors house five blocks away then back again to the local park district pool for an evening swim until it closed.  I ventured out with my sisters but most of the time I was with neighborhood friends or alone.  At twelve years old, I loved coming home in an exhausted state because I was outside running, biking or swimming in the blazing sun.  The outdoors felt like home. I played so much outside to tire me out and re-energized me like nothing else in life.  This routine would repeat itself every summer with travels and outdoors excursions literally ALL DAY which equated freedom to me as young child.

During college, I traveled to Europe and finished school down state at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign ready to start my first job in Chicago. The city of big shoulders was also where began my first e-commerce business in sustainable fashion. I became the entrepreneur I knew I was in Chicago. At 32, I gained insight to what made me tick and I found out what I could do well in that business. I learned from my mistakes, I gained valuable insight, and unforgettable experiences with my first business. It was truly the city where a lot of lessons were learned and I finally understood the right direction for me. 

After some smaller real estate investments, I realized I was outgrowing the city and the current job I took left me questioning my purpose more.  That's what I call "the pull" happened again. Perhaps you can say it was my calling but I believe it came to in a series of subtle "pulls".  This pull catches your attention and was intriguing but I seemed to be dismissive about it for some reason. The pull can be so subtle.  I am here to tell you to pay attention and don't dismiss it if you happen to experience this pull.  The pull is so important to listen and work through no matter what happens in life or what season.  

During the winter of 2015,  I finally reached a point where I needed a change and it took the polar vortex of Chicago to tell me I could no longer live in this city.  I could NOT stand the long winters. In fact, my hands started to go numb outside in the cold no matter how much I layered and the gloves I wore. It was quite alarming.  With 50 miles per hour and 10-15 inches of winter snow in one particular snowstorm. I was done telling myself this was the last winter in Chicago.  I began really planning my next move out west.  And this change was going to be a big shift.

But Did I mention I love change? I actually crave it.  I know, it's kind of strange but I have felt change always kept me on my toes and it created this urgency to keep growing despite all the challenges. But the chance to move to out west or to California did not presented itself for months. So, here I was absolutely ready for it and now the chance was stalling on me.  I looked for some jobs and so did my husband.  But it was quiet.  I realized California had been calling my name since WAY back after college graduation. Yet for some reason or another you often don't listen to your gut or get distracted or just plain get shocked at the thought of a major and positive change; that you put it in the back of your mind.  But with all change comes growth.  And with growth comes major lessons and lifelong gains.  So I continued to wait for the next opportunity.

I understood I was wanting more of what was in alignment with my calling but I seemed to have lost direction along the way. Maybe this was the universe's way of telling me, "I told you so. Why didn't you listen to me?"  After all, life is a series of constant change, right?  And like the adventure soul that I am, I waited for that prime opportunity.  With two clients waiting to close an investment, I waited what seemed an eternity along with the winter woes of cold season. 

That's when my husband received a job offer in Carlsbad. He had received another job in Chicago but this was the chance to move out there. This was the news we were waiting for and we were so grateful for this offer.  Let me explain.  It had been a lifelong dream to move to California but that dream seemed so far off in the distance. Like, oh yea, "Blah blah (dream) would be so awesome...and living in California and starting my own business had been one of them. In fact, it was THE dream.  But I don't think I took them seriously enough and I am here to remind you DREAM big and don't let it scare you. Work with the fear and pay attention, write it down, draw a picture, travel, sing about it or talk to a trusted friend.  I know it sounds cheesy but don't let it freeze you.  Leverage the fear.  It's there for a reason.

Here's what I learned: Dreams should scare the shit of you.  Yes, it should really make you feel like wow, if this happened I would would cry and laugh myself into happiness.  But fear is funny.  I learned it has different dimensions.  It scared me into silence. I never knew I could be scared of this kind of change.  I ignored the idea and I became indifferent. I became so indifferent of a culture that has become completely in synch with my mission in life .   Feel that fear and listen to it carefully because it is trying to tell you something real, something essential about YOU.  My advice? Run after them but prepare yourself. Push yourself and go beyond your comfort zone. Evaluate the circumstance and decide the best options. Besides, who has control of everything in life? You do your best and you just go for it.  

I was so excited that I could pick up and leave again.  You see I loved picking up and taking off for a new adventure.  I loved the thrill, the ability to be mobile, the thrill of change because I knew positive change and growth would follow.  At least that's how I felt in my thirties for the most part but when I arrived it was time for major change and transitions.  And I had to put my  big girl pants on because I had a toddler in tow and not much family/friends around to help out. 


So we arrived to San Diego airport in the middle of the night.  It was so serene and the night was quiet but I felt so welcomed even in the airport.  We came from a Chicago freezing winter weather to a placid evening in Southern California.  I loved the smell of the midnight breeze with all my winter layers on me. I took off the layers and felt the familiarity of the atmosphere as I looked up the palm trees swayed almost saying welcome.  I could smell the fresh brewed coffee and bread as it was already being served in an outside kiosk!  Amazing.... not to mention how tired I was from the trip.  This is what I have been waiting for and the I finally listened to my gut. Instantly, it just felt like home. 

It was the middle of the night and I was completely exhausted from running around tying loose ends with the moving company in Chicago and all of the logistics with the trip.  All I wanted to do was sleep because of the time change and all the stress but so worth it.   I guess that's why I like change so much.  I know it will be difficult but the end result will be something I can look back on and say, Yes, I did this!

Where have you traveled that made you feel like home? Did you struggle with a life transition  to know it was the best option for you? Sign up for my e-newsletter and get more inside scoop and details of my journey as I take you behind the scenes on the process of my making a vegan hand bag for today's woman travel.