Meet courageous entrepreneurs who followed their passion

Learn to work smarter, not harder, from those who started a business while working a full-time job, but never lost sight of the need for balance.

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    Mastering social media to help other small businesses

    With a creative writing and data analysis background, Lauren Ramsey brings her skills to the table as the founder and Chief Engagement Officer at Betsy Bash. Founded in 2010, Lauren and her team help local businesses get more leads and make more sales using social media. She’s taken her business from her hometown of Houston to her new home in Chicago, but her passion has stayed rooted: helping small businesses make a bigger impact.

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    Keeping her side hustle while starting a new full-time job

    Jennifer Bourn has been self-employed for 17 years. She started her creative services agency, Bourn Creative, in 2005 and added on a side hustle, teaching courses and workshops in 2017. When Jennifer’s best friend offered her a full-time job, Jennifer was intrigued but also had conditions. She would accept the job, but her side hustle had to stay up and running. A compromise was reached, and now Jennifer has the best of both worlds.

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    How a pandemic-forced pivot paid off long term

    Michael Cox has been in the corporate sales recruiting world for 20 years. But when his recruiting side hustle yielded more profit and control, Michael realized he could open his own business. He founded Zag Worx in late 2019. Starting a business in the wake of a global pandemic with few companies hiring, Cox was forced to innovate. He transitioned from full-service recruiting to offering highly-specific services tailored to his client's needs.

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    Selling sneakers as a side hustle? Possible and profitable

    Chris Casseday always loved collecting shoes. Not just shoes in general, but really, really nice sneakers. Twenty years ago, he began selling collectible sneakers on eBay. As his experience and sales volume grew, he founded 513 Kicks. Since 2017, Chris has managed 513 Kicks solo while working full-time as a Director of Operations. For Chris, selling sneakers isn’t just a hobby. It’s a fun — and profitable — side hustle. 

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    How simplified product offerings helped business Liftoff

    Joe Casabona started Podcast Liftoff in 2017. He helps his clients transform their podcasts from a hobby to a revenue-generating machine. In 2022, Joe realized that he was providing too many services to his customers. Instead of a jack of all trades, he wanted to be known as the guy who eats, sleeps and breathes podcasts. He adapted his product offerings and is now learning that, when it comes to your business, sometimes less is more.

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