“Compassion is what will help you and your side hustle business grow intentionally.”
Q & A with Rochelle from Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy
When did you start Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy?
I started it in June 2019, under its previous name, The Self-Employed Nerd. I sold my first digital workbook to a stranger on the other side of the world via the internet in 2013. From that moment, I knew the side hustle, entrepreneurial lifestyle was for me.
Self-employment forced me to think about earning money in ways that didn’t involve becoming someone else at a day job, working for a supervisor I didn’t respect, or waking up at any time before 9 am. I’m a true night owl, says the girl starting to write this at 9 pm.
I have grown, evolved, and even pod-faded since then (I mean, pandemic living, right?). But I’m holding strong now in 2022 as the host of Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy.
What made you think about starting a podcast?
I started Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy because I was bored with my business.
Self-employed for several years by then, I was doing virtual assistant and account management for a handful of private clients. I thought it would be a good time to shake up my content strategy a bit.
All of my energy seemed to be going into my clients’ brands and I wanted to make some magic for myself.
I had seen research that showed how (for marketing purposes) trust can be built at much faster rates with a podcast than with any other medium. This is because you have the listener’s private attention for much longer.
As a podcaster, I’m literally the only person in their ears while they’re working out, driving, or doing something else. On the internet, the odds of them paying attention to me for a whole minute (much less 20+ minutes) is pretty slim.
For my business, it made sense. If I want to help people learn about how to start an entrepreneurial career, then I may as well show up in their ear buds while they’re on their way to and from their soul-sucking day job.
Plus, I would get complimented a lot on the sound of my voice in videos, and several people had told me that I should start a podcast.
I figured I’d try it, and if I didn’t like it, I could stop. (Spoiler: I didn’t!)
Fun fact: I discovered podcasts and listened to them on my way to and from work at a construction firm in Napa.
I was running out of audiobook options at the library (and carrying multi-CD boxes around wasn’t super portable or inconspicuous, either). Then, I discovered that I could learn more about myself and my desired career path via these things called podcasts. They were created by people just like me rather than from the usual (white, male, cis, het) gurus and their books from decades ago.
It was like a treasure chest in my pocket.
What’s the name of your show and what is it about?
My podcast evolved (as they do!) and has a different name from when I first started: Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy.
It’s a mouthful, I know, but it gets the point across quickly and clearly. And ironically, I don’t actually like to talk that much (despite being a podcaster!), so the faster I can explain a thing, the better.
Ever since that Australian stranger on the internet bought my workbook in 2013, I’ve been riding what I call, “the entrepreneurial roller coaster of emotions and challenges.”
I’m fascinated by us self-employed folks and why we choose to live this lifestyle. If you’ve been devoted to your side hustle for enough time, you know what I’m talking about.
The mindset, the slumps, the highs and wins, followed by breakdowns and drama and yet another algorithm change. Yippee.
Not to mention the financial risk and instability. Why would anyone CHOOSE to do this to ourselves?!
And yet, we love it. Well, some of us who have figured out how to manage, anyway.
My intention with CSHS is to help you infuse more compassion into your business, whether it’s having compassion for yourself as the CEO or for your intended customers.
It turns out that the hustle-driven, nose-to-the-grindstone, SLAAAAY GIRLBOSS culture isn’t what keeps successful small businesses afloat, much less thriving.
What does help? Being kind. Practicing self-care.
Saying no to salesy, sleazy hacks even if they made that one guy a millionaire in like, 42 minutes.
It’s paying attention to the world and the communities that need our help, using talents to make GOOD change, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people who share your mission and can support you along the way.
That’s what it means to run your business with compassion.
Sure, self-confidence, visibility, sales, bookkeeping, and all that stuff matters too (and are what I’ve talked about in past episodes).
But compassion is what will help you and your business grow intentionally.
Describe your podcast set up? Hardware, software, CMS, etc.
- Mic: Samson Q2U, on Elsie’s suggestion for newbie podcasters
- Host: Libsyn, of course
- Computer: An old Razerblade gaming laptop that’s gonna quit on me any moment, I just know it
- Video recording, for social media footage without interfering with my computer’s efficiency: Whatever phone I have (at the moment I have a Samsung Note 9).
- Audio Editing Software: Either Audacity or Descript, depending on how fancy I feel like being that week
- Video Editing Software: Cyberlink Powerdirector 365 to make clips and snippets for social media (it’s basically a less bougie Adobe Creative Suite)
- Audiograms: Headliner. But don’t use their auto feature, it picks the weirdest clips for you!
- Evernote (the free version) for my idea dumps (this is where my idea graveyard is located)
- Google Keep for random ideas on the go
- Airtable for guest intake forms, solo episode planning and tasking to my virtual assistant
- Canva for blog graphics, social media animated graphics, and carousels
How have you promoted your podcast?
My episodes with guest interviews have had the biggest reach. I create a lot of assets for each episode to help them share with their audiences.
In addition to being a business designer and strategist, I’m also an artist and graphic designer.
So I make audio grams, reels, vertical/horizontal graphics, and carousels of memorable quotes from the episode.
Then I share them in the Facebook Groups, slack workspaces, masterminds, and virtual coworking communities I regularly contribute to.
I typically have a full transcript on my website for each episode, and I point all promos to that specific web page.
Someday I hope to hire an SEO specialist to make each page more search friendly.
In the past I’ve been most active on Instagram, where I spend time posting stories, tagging my guests and also re-sharing their social media content, so our interview episode reaches more people.
Right now I’m learning how to do paid ads and use Twitter and Linkedin, so I’m looking forward to incorporating those into my strategy in the future.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Everything in the world of side hustles and self-employment is hard. I knew coming in that podcasting is a marathon, not a sprint.
But I didn’t realize that running a podcast is a lot of work in addition to the work you’re already doing with your business.
It’s definitely not just an “oh, we’ll make some audio content and add that to our content process, too,” type of deal.
No wonder people hire dedicated podcast producers for their show!
I’ve also learned that I love BEING a podcaster. I love saying I’m a podcaster.
I just like having that label. Apparently as an Aquarius Rising (astrology geeks, unite!), I need to feel unique. Saying that I have a podcast makes me feel super special.
Listening to podcasts is trendy (for better or worse) and as an introvert, telling people that I have my own show is a convenient way to make a quick connection.
It’s fun for me when someone pulls out their phone in excitement and asks me what the podcast is called so they can subscribe.
Rochelle Sanchez helps you infuse compassion into your business, whether it’s having compassion for yourself or for your customers and the journey you know they’re going through. Embracing the self-employed, entrepreneurial lifestyle, she encourages paying attention communities that need help, using talents to make GOOD change, and surrounding yourself with like-minded people who share your mission and can support you along the way. Are you growing your business? Give it a listen today on Apple or Spotify!
Self-employment forced Rochelle Sanchez to think about earning money in different ways. She didn’t want work to involve becoming someone else at a day job, working for a supervisor she didn’t respect or getting up before 9 am! What she learned in her side hustle journey she knew could be valuable to others following the same route. Has your career path led you to insight you’d like to share? Use our Start Your Podcast blog series to start your own podcast today. And, when you are ready, we have the best podcast hosting plans around!