- Inspiring Startups
The life hunt - Interview with Alyssa Hunt
Alyssa Hunt is the creator of TheLifeHunt.com, a blog that helps busy hustlers work towards business success and financial freedom all while managing full-time jobs. She is currently working towards a Master’s degree in English Literature and she teaches writing composition to university freshmen.
When she isn’t blogging or studying, Alyssa spends her free time screenwriting and watching movies with her husband.
What's special about The Life Hunt?
The Life Hunt is a blog dedicated to helping people chase the life want whether that is with business success, their full-time job, or in finances. So many people give up on chasing their dreams because of their full-time job or because of their finances, but this blog is here to help remind readers that with motivation and dedication, they can still achieve their goals.
Why did you start The Life Hunt?
A few years ago I was sitting in my full-time job feeling extremely down. I had created this ideal picture in my mind of how my life would look after college and none of it was happening.
The thing that brought me down the most was the thought that I no longer had time for my dreams because of my full-time job. I did some searching on the Internet trying to find any advice I could and when I didn’t find what I was looking for, I created The Life Hunt.
How did you start it? Did you have any previous experience as an entrepreneur?
I previously had a blog with a friend, but we gave it up after a year. With my first blog, I did more of the writing and less of the technical stuff, so I had to learn all about building a website. It was hard work. It took me 11 months to actually launch the blog because of the learning curve.
How did you validate your idea?
At the beginning, I didn’t look for too much validation because I was afraid of letting negativity in. However, I had an honest talk with my husband and one of my closest friends and they agreed that the idea was worth a shot. Since then, I have had a lot of positive feedback from readers, so that is the true validation for me.
How did you finance your project?
Everything was financed out of pocket. I had a solid savings account that I tapped into in order to kick start the initial fees.
How did you market and promote The Life Hunt when you were launching?
At first, I used my personal social media account. I later found the most marketing success using Pinterest.
How long did it take you to start getting the first results and see you could create a viable business ?
It took about two and a half years. I’m definitely still not where I want to be, but the growth is encouraging.
You started The Life Hunt as a side hustle. How do you organize to work on your side project while having your day job and studying at the same time?
The most difficult aspect of my business is my current time commitments. I work, teach, and go to school. There really is not enough time to do everything, but since my business is my #1 priority, I always make time for it. Sometimes this means not spending time with friends or staying up until 2am to finish a project.
The only reason I’m able to get everything done is because of how organized I am with my time. I have a planner that I write everything in. Most days I get everything done that is written in my planner because I am realistic with how much I can do in a single day and how long a task will take me. Also, at this stage in my life, there are no off days. When I graduate with my master’s degree, I plan to slow things down a bit, but knowing me I’ll use that new free time to really scale the business!
What are the main ways in which you are able to monetize your blog?
I went into my business with monetization in the back of my mind. For the first two years, I was focused on learning as much as I could about websites, nurturing an audience, taking courses, improving my writing, and so on. I only recently entered the monetization stages. Currently, my monetization consists of ads and affiliate marketing.
Do you plan to switch full time to The Life Hunt or do you want to keep it as a side hustle?
I plan to switch to full time with The Life Hunt in the next few years. Currently, I have a desk job and I teach college writing. My ideal situation is to keep the teaching job as the side hustle and take the blog to a full-time gig.
What do you like most about being an entrepreneur?
I love that any success I have is due to my direct efforts. There is something extremely motivating about working hard for yourself. I’m a great employee at my day job, but I’m an even better employee for myself because I don’t want to let me down.
What has been your biggest challenge/failure as an entrepreneur?
I have such a hard time celebrating my small wins. I am an extremely goal-orientated person, so when I reach one goal I immediately set a new goal and get to work. That leaves me no time to appreciate the hard work I’ve accomplished and reward myself.
I’m trying to change that mentality and acknowledge my efforts more. I currently have a goal posted on my refrigerator and underneath it, I wrote a reminder to treat myself to an all you can eat sushi dinner when I accomplish it.
What are your business goals for this coming year?
This year is all about growing traffic for the blog. There are plenty of caveats that go into traffic building, but I want to focus on expanding the blog.
How can an aspiring entrepreneur start building a side hustle business now ? What would be a good business type to start as a beginner?
Setting aside just 5 hours a week to start building a side hustle is a great place to start. If you’re already really busy it can seem impossible to find the time to add another thing on your plate, but a side hustle has so many possible outcomes for success. It’s worth it to take the time and start now.
I am a huge fan of online businesses because you can work on them anywhere. Obviously, blogging is my favorite business type for beginners. All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection and the possibilities are endless.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
A blogging friend of mine told me that some tasks are hotdogs and other tasks are steaks (meaning some have a lot of value and others done) and that it’s up to me to decide what areas of my business are the steaks and what are the hotdogs.
The tasks that are steaks are the most important and the tasks that are hotdogs should not get too much of my attention. Now, whenever I sit down to work, I make sure that the majority of my time is spent focused on the steaks and this helps me not get distracted by the hotdogs.
In a more straightforward answer, my productivity depends on what I choose to focus on because oftentimes we focus on things that are only distractions and time-wasters.
What's your favourite quote?
“Do not save what is left after spending; instead spend what is left after saving” - Warren Buffet.
Any good book to recommend to an aspiring entrepreneur?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This book inspired me to step out of my comfort zone, listen to the little voice in my head, and chase my dreams. I think it can help other aspiring entrepreneurs chase their best life as well.
Learn more about Alyssa Hunt at www.thelifehunt.com
And check out the resources she offers to help busy hustlers work towards their dreams.
Read another interesting interview of Alyssa Hunt on IdeaMensch
Check our guide on how to start a blog part time and make money from it
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