Which Trend do I Regret Following?

I thought by following this “trend,” I was doing something positive—but I was only hurting myself

And to this day, I see many people following this “trend,” and I hope by sharing my story, I can help at least one person.

Let me explain.

After graduating college, I began to follow a lot of entrepreneurs on social media…

Their posts included “hustle and grind,” “24/7/365,” “sleep is for the weak,” and more.

There was this culture forming online of entrepreneurs working harder than anyone and everyone—nonstop hustle—and there became a sense of pride around putting in the absolute most work

The more I saw posts like this, the more the “entrepreneurial trend of hustle and grind” permeated my self conscious, and while I will never say that hard work was a mistake—

the extremity of the hustle culture is certainly toxic.

I pushed myself towards burnout several times.

I destroyed my mind, body, and soul chasing money, because I felt a certain number would help validate me and my success

Disclaimer: it didn’t

I have started 6 and 7 figure businesses, but at the cost of my mental and physical health

and it took getting to this point to realize that without health, one has nothing

so I took a step back and have begun to build a balanced business, one around my life and family, one that I can take breaks from when needed, and one that I’m so passionate about that it truly doesn’t even feel like work

My Pregnancy Story

Don’t let this photo fool you.

Pregnancy was anything BUT glamorous for me, and even though my daughter is my whole entire life, it is an experience that I’m not likely to repeat…

Let me explain

When I was 27, I had a vivid dream that I was holding a curly-haired baby girl, and in my heart and soul, I knew I would have a baby soon.

At that time, we hadn’t discussed it, but my husband would be thirty soon, and I convinced him that we should begin family planning…

I was never on any birth control (s/o to the my husband’s pull out game), so we began trying.

Two months later, I was pregnant

To mitigate any risk to the baby, I stopped taking my anti-depressants—including Zoloft and Xanax.

These medications are essential for my health, and being off of them (along with the hormonal roller coaster ride that is pregnancy) made me extremely anxious.

Every single day I was convinced something bad was going to happen to the baby.

I think deep down, I felt like it was too good to be true—too miraculous to be real—and I was extremely anxious.

This began to change when I could feel the baby’s kicks…

That became the best part of pregnancy for me. Her kicks were my reassurance that she was okay, and my God was she active!

Soon after that, though, I was diagnosed with Choleostasis.

My pregnancy became high risk, and my nerves were back to an ALL TIME high.

I did not relax until I was in the hospital room, induced, and about to give birth.

That’s finally when I felt I could breathe, because I knew I was in good hands…

And when they put my daughter on my chest…

Well, that was the most beautiful moment of my entire life.

What Courses Have I Taken in College & After?

I have started multiple companies (including a 5 figure, 6 figure, and 7 figure company), been featured in major publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc, Huffington Post, given a TEDx Talk, co-authored 2 books, and amassed over half a million followers for my blog

So, I often get asked, what did I study in school?

I went to the University of Houston to the Bauer College of Business.

There, I got a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, a Minor in Sales, and a Certificate of Entrepreneurship—

Which are ALL relevant to what I do today as a business owner and blogger, but my education did not end when I graduated.

Every year, I’ve continued to sign up for online courses, including—

Advanced Marketing Program by Neil Patel

Get Booked by Kimanzi Constable

Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp by Adrian Brambila

Pinterest Traffic Secrets by Anastasia Blogger

Instagram Domination by Foundr

…And countless writing courses from Gotham’s Writing Workshop

Since business and marketing change so rapidly, these courses and my degrees have been extremely valuable to my career.

9.14.21 of #HappyDays

I hit 60k on Instagram after dealing with a year or two of literally no growth…

But I’m honestly really proud of myself for not giving up despite the difficulties

And now, I’ve had 7 (almost 10) Instagram Reels hit over a million views within a month

It’s honestly so surreal, and I’m so grateful for each and every person that follows my account

What Business Can You Start While Working a 9-5?

While I haven’t truly worked a “job” since graduating college…

I did spend my 9 to 5 working at my family business (preschools), and in the morning/lunch/after hours, I worked on my side hustle (my blog saniakhiljee.com)

I joined my family business in 2013, and in 2015, I decided to start blogging for fun. I didn’t think of it as a source of income. I mostly wanted to build a following to become an author—but it has become so much more.

With blogging, you can work at any time. You set your hours, and there’s many ways to monetize it, including: ad revenue, sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, selling your own products/services, etc.

And the best part? You can build it around what you’re passionate about.

But of course, blogging is not the only kind of business you can start while working a 9 to 5. There’s limitless opportunities on the internet—which never sleeps.

Here’s a list of ways I’ve made one online—outside of my “9 to 5”

  1. Started a subscription box
  2. Offered coaching/consulting services
  3. Social media marketing for companies
  4. Paid to speak
  5. Sold books
  6. Sold “shoutouts” on social media
  7. Charged for “sponsored posts”
  8. Created a digital magazine
  9. Created content that was monetized via ad revenue
  10. Sold online courses
  11. Affiliate marketing
  12. Investing
  13. And more…