I recently read a Facebook post in one of my women’s groups asking about side hustles. While perusing the comments I was surprised by the number of women who have full time careers and families but also have a side gig. I happily shared my own hobby business, Barton Bird Care, with the group and reflected on why I continually invest time and energy into my bird boarding hobby. Frankly, I am glad that I am not the only one doing this because at times it seems a little crazy.
Let’s be real here. After a full work week with late night training, all night feedings with my 8 month old and the dinner and cleaning second shift that begins when I close my home office door, I would have to be some kind of energizer bunny not to reflect on why I picked a hobby that requires legal contracts, business insurance and so much cage cleaning. For gosh sakes I already have my own parrots!
The first reason is that I am continually curious about entrepreneurship and have learned so much about starting a business in this process. I am a molecular biologist by training and, despite having a Ph.D., when I started I didn’t even know the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship. I find the challenge of navigating this new world delightful. I google silly things like how to evaluate profit margins, what is an RSS feed and what steps are needed to properly post to my blog. It keeps me curious, even though it is just on a small, hobby business scale.
The second and even more impactful reason is that it adds a little something to my life to join the Michigan bird community and continuously meet local bird owners and parrots. Few parrot lovers have only one bird, and if you are not careful you can end up with more parrots than you intended to! I discovered a loophole to the ever expanding flock that burdens many parrot lovers by sharing custody with these special creatures while their caretakers are away. In short, Barton Bird Care allows me to have the perfect, rotating flock and brings people who share my hobby literally to my front doorstep. Pretty nifty when you think about it.
Do you have a side hustle or interest in starting one? What is your why? I would love to hear it!