LC Johnson wants women to turn their “mess” into their “message”.

She stressed this at the Dream, Launch, Hustle event that took place at Toronto’s Daniel’s Spectrum during Side Hustle Week.

According to Johnson, founder of highly successful blog, Colored Girl Confidential, and web series “Black, Married and Hu$tling”, no matter what walk of life you come from, if you’re passionate about something you shouldn’t be afraid to turn it into action.

Chivon John is the founder of Secrets of a Side Hustler. // Photos By. Chantal “Rose” Gregory © Urbanology Magazine

It’s this underlying message that founder of Secrets of a Side Hustler, the organization behind Side Hustle Week, Chivon John, had in mind when she launched her initiative.

By definition, a side hustle is a passion or dream that a person works toward outside of his or her full-time job.

Whether it’s an online store, shoe line or event planning company, John believes that women have the power to fulfill all their side hustle dreams.

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Johnson, who went from having $2.47 in her bank account to being a blog connoisseur and author, is proof of this.

“I have a belief that a world in which women, especially women of colour, are taught to dream big, completely disregard the status quo and build lives and careers as fabulous as they are is a better world for everybody,” Johnson told the audience, who were very much in agreement.

The idea of dreaming big is something that Katie Zeppieri, founder and chief empowerment officer of Make Your Mark, a social enterprise that provides leadership development training to youth, also emphasizes the importance of.

“It’s really important to surround yourself with other people who believe as you do that it’s possible to make a change in the world.”

“Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith,” advises Zeppieri, while reminiscing on how her year-long stint at Coles landed her a meeting with the founder of the bookstore chain who went on to sponsor her corporation.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to stop side hustling,” adds Zeppieri, who used her other passions, a.k.a. side hustles such as participating in pageants and running marathons to get her voice heard and build her vision for her brand.

She explains that when building a brand having a “full of life” attitude and a little spunk are essential.

For Johnson, the must-have element is community.

“I think that when you decide that your dreams are worth pursuing, it’s really important to surround yourself with other people who believe as you do that it’s possible to make a change in the world,” says Johnson, “and to do the things that you want to do.”

Photos By. Chantal “Rose” Gregory © Urbanology Magazine

Gabrielle Austin is a writer who is passionate about all things film, TV, music and culture related. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Humber College after receiving her Advanced Diploma in 2016. When she’s not looking for her next writing idea, you can probably find her watching some kind of reality show or reading a book.

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