When you really invest yourself into something, there is nothing stopping it from fitting into your life.
Daniella Flores is a 29 year old side hustling to pay off debt, live a more sustainable lifestyle, strive for a future of financial freedom and help her readers do the same at iliketodabble.com.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Well I started out in my career as a web engineer back in 2011. Over the years going from developer to analyst and working my butt off, I realized I didn’t know what I was even working for. Working for someone else, regardless of if they care or not about it, until I can ‘comfortably retire’ seemed like a dark future for me. I wanted more so I started iliketodabble.com as my passion project; a side hustle about side hustles.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting thing that has happened on this journey so far is the people I have the pleasure of meeting and networking with. The blogging community is amazing and everyone is so supportive and willing to help anyone else with anything at a drop of a hat. It is really inspiring and a relief that there are communities out there for people of all different backgrounds, countries and companies that are there for each other, no matter what.
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
When I first started my site iliketodabble.com I was laid off from my job. Since my site was still very new and there was no way I could rack in the amount I was making with my job at the time, I had to look for a new job. So I had to take about a month to two months off from working on my site in order to find a new job and adjust to that new change. I still have that job today and very much enjoy it as my full time day job. My site is still my side hustle until I am comfortable moving away from my current position to pursue it full time.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership is most about empowerment to me. Leadership means the ability to empower others to step into their own power. Once they do that, they can do anything.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I am extremely grateful for my number one supporter and helper, my wife. My wife has been there through the very beginning of the inception of my company. She has never discouraged me away from any of it. Instead, she empowers me!
She helps me with some of my site issues at times and is my rock. At the time that my site started she also started our guitar flipping side hustle. She has grown it so much over time and being able to side hustle together is amazing. We get to share our passions with each other and is a very rewarding experience. As I grow, she grows and vice versa.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
At first it was quite difficult with having to juggle my day job with my new site and still find time for somewhat of a social life, self care, etc. Over time I was able to manage my time better by setting aside certain time slots in the evenings, mornings and on the weekends to work on my site and anything related to it. At first it was very overwhelming because I didn’t know if it was worth the time I was putting into it. I guess I reached an ‘ah-hah moment’ somewhere in middle of this year where things really started kicking off with my side business and I knew it in my bones it was going to become something great. When you really invest yourself into something, there is nothing stopping it from fitting into your life.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
Of course, as my blog continues to grow so do the responsibilities that come with it. I realized I have to make an effort outside of my career and business to stay connected with friends, family and most importantly myself. If you don’t water a plant, it won’t grow. The same thing goes with all aspects of life including my blog. As I ‘water’ my blog, I need to keep ‘watering’ all areas of my life.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
- Organization and communication. Keep a schedule either in your phone or a planner. I link all meetings or any commitments I have to my google calendar so my phone reminds me when I have something coming up. Keep an editorial calendar for your business so you can stay on top of things and organized. Stay in contact and keep clear communication about commitments you have so you don’t keep the people in your life out of the loop.
- Journal. Every morning when you wake up, try journaling during your morning coffee. I recently started this ritual and it has helped me in all areas of my life. I write down anything I can to help me get in the right mindset for the day. Mostly I like to start off the journal entry for the day as ‘I am so happy and grateful for-’ or ‘I am so happy and grateful now that-’ and go from there. I also include random thoughts for the day, maybe dreams I can remember the night before, any wishes I have for the day, goals, lists/to-do’s, how I am feeling, etc. This has helped raise my awareness and connection with both myself, the others around me and the universe. It is one of the most beneficial habits to get into.
- Meditate. This is another new thing I have added into my morning routine. Along with some basic stretching in the morning I will try to set aside 5–10 minutes to meditate. Sometimes I use a meditation app, look up meditation videos on youtube or just try to sit in silence and clear my thoughts to focus on my breathing. This really helps with starting the day with a clear, positive mind. I have noticed it has improved my focus and decreases stress as meditation helps to not get so overwhelmed with thinking about everything at once.
- Self care. I exercise 6 days a week with a combination of running, weight lifting, kick boxing and pilates. I am trying to also get into yoga. Exercise is the best thing you can do for yourself. Physical activity releases ‘happy’ hormones like serotonin, endorphins, and dopamine. This might be hard to believe but our body actually craves it. It also helps to keep my mind strong as well as my body strong. As I sit a lot during my day job and side businesses, it is important for me to stay active.
- Travel. I love traveling and every time I visit a new place, I also learn something new. It is important to take time off and it is just as important to keep expanding your mind. That is what travel does, it gives us a chance to see other ways of life, other areas of the world, and do things we might have never thought of doing before or thinking in new ways while also taking time off from our hectic lives to do that for ourselves. Luckily for me I have a job and a side business that makes it very easy to take the time off that I want to travel and even work a little while traveling.
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride?
My site iliketodabble.com. I created it 100% from scratch, by myself. I 100% maintain all aspects of the site as well as write, design and work on all areas of and related to my blog. I have no help besides a girl on Fiverr I hired to help with the site performance. I am proud of where I have gotten this site in the last year and a half and that it actually helps others. I created that and that is the coolest thing to me.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I come from an immigrant family and the way I have seem immigrants treated recently in America is heartbreaking. My mother is from the U.S. but my father is from Venezuela and is a U.S. citizen (became a citizen in the 90s). My mom and dad use to tell me how lucky I am to be growing up in the ‘greatest country in the world’ and the land of opportunity. They told me I could do anything. Imagine if it were now that he was trying to immigrate here, I wouldn’t be where I am at now.
I wish there was something I could do to help these people. I want to create something like doctors without borders but instead along the lines of ‘life without borders’ where there are resources they can reach out to for help in their situation. Obviously it would be a bit more complicated legally and it’s a larger idea to hash out on an international level, but something has to be done. People are not defined by where they come from and we need to stop treating eac hother like animals. We need to evolve above this, together. Not side vs side, right vs left, but people helping people.
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
You can follow me on Instagram at https://instagram.com/iliketodabbleblog, Facebook at https://facebook.com/iliketodabble, Join the Iliketodabble Save & Side Hustle Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1990750817901726/ , Twitter at https://twitter.com/iliketodabble, and Pinterest at https://pinterest.com/iliketodabb0327 !