How I Turned a Passion into Cash in just 2 Days
Updated: Feb 8
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been creative and enterprising when it comes to making money. I’m not sure if I was born with it, if I learned how to be this way by observation, or I became this way out of necessity. It’s most likely a combination of the three.
As a kid, I watched my mom work random jobs after her day job as a teacher to make ends meet. Money was always tight, as it is with many families in a single-parent home. Out of necessity, my mom had to get resourceful and think of additional ways to bring in income, so that my sisters and I had what we needed and could go to the best schools. She’s an incredibly talented artist, and would paint murals in people’s homes and businesses. She used her gift and passion for painting to bring in that extra income that our family so desperately needed.
By observing her and experiencing a financially difficult situation from an early age, I learned how to get creative and use my natural gifts and passions to make money.
Fast forward several years later. I was a junior at Penn State and fell into the bucket of “broke college kid”. I worked all through college and had a steady gig at the on-campus computer store. (Ironically, I couldn’t afford to have my own computer in college.)
It was a quiet, long holiday weekend in State College. Most of my friends went off for weekend trips, and I stayed behind (with no money to travel of course!). Two of my girlfriends, Krista, and Jessica, took me to Penn State’s most popular dance club at the time. It was my first time there, having recently turned 21. We arrived early to snag a table, and the club was pretty empty still. As I peered out onto the dance floor, I noticed a small group of girls with matching black t-shirts dancing.
“Who are they?” I asked my friends.
“Oh, they’re the club’s dancers. They dance at the start of the night to get the crowd going…”
“I’m going to do that”. I said boldly.
I LOVE to dance! And when I saw this group of girls dancing and having an absolute blast, AND getting paid for it, I knew I found my next side hustle to make some extra cash while doing something I love.
A few minutes later, I found out who the club manager was, and waltzed up to him and tapped him on the shoulder. I told him I wanted to dance, and he asked me to come back in 2 days to try out - which meant getting on the dance floor to get Saturday’s crowd going.
Two days later, I nervously showed up. I went out there and danced my ass off. Krista and Jessica were there too and were cheering me on from the sidelines the whole time. 30 minutes later, my new boss came up to me during a break and handed me the signature black club t-shirt. At the end of the night, he gave me some cash for a job well done. Dancing - something I loved to do - became my new gig on Thursday and Saturday nights at Penn State.
I made all this happen in just two days, and it took five key things to accomplish this:
When I peered out onto the dance floor, I saw myself there. I knew I wasn’t the best dancer in the world, but I loved to dance so much, and that's all that mattered. Having a vision is where it starts. From there, anything is possible!
It wasn’t easy to walk up to the club manager and tell him I wanted a job. But I knew if I didn’t introduce myself, I’d never have the opportunity. I swallowed my pride and knew life would go on if he laughed in my face and rejected me. But the opposite happened and pushing insecurity and fear to the side paid off.
To this day, I love to dance. Whether it’s hip hop, salsa, or my own goofy moves I only do in the privacy of my home. It’s something I’ve loved to do since I could stand in my diapers, and it’s something I will always do until I can’t stand anymore. My passion for dancing was the fuel I used to go for it!
I doubt I would have gotten this job if Krista and Jessica hadn’t supported me when I told them I was going to go for it, or cheer me on from the sidelines when I tried out for the part. Having the right support system is key, and knowing someone is cheering you on can give you that extra confidence boost you need to succeed.
5. And most importantly: ACTION
Once I had the vision, I knew I needed to take action. In this case, it was walking up to the manager and telling him I wanted to work on his team. This action took about 2 minutes of my life and made all the difference. Taking action is how you achieve results, even if it's as simple as starting a conversation! (I find, this is usually where many good things in life start).
What passion do you have that could add something to your life - like special “me” time or even as a way to make some extra cash as a side hustle? Share below!