To understand what it means to be driven by your passion, one need only speak with Sarah Osman, a successful account executive by day and an ambitious entrepreneur and creative by night (and on weekends!). Basically, whenever Osman isn’t making things happen at her day job, she’s devoting time and energy to her side gigs.
Yes, that’s plural gigs: Osman is the founder of Made Simple by Sarah, a lifestyle and nutrition program, and, more recently, she and Jenna Sands, a friend she reconnected with, co-founded Wellness Meet Up NYC—more on that later.
Osman’s sales background has come in handy lining up sponsors for the events, suggesting the powerful impact transferable skills can have on your side gig.
The following is an edited excerpt from our conversation:
You’re Currently Wearing a Lot of Career Hats. You Work in Sales, but You’re Also a Nutritionist? How Does This All Work?
Yes, I’m an account executive at a media company, and three years ago I went back to school and I got my degree in nutrition, so I’m also a health coach—on the side—and for a while I was seeing clients and posting and sharing recipes. I’m still doing that, but I’ve tapered my nutrition clients to focus on the Wellness Meet Up events.
Tell Me About That: How Did You Conceive of the Meet Ups? And What Are They Exactly
I became connected with an old friend, Jenna, who was working for a granola company, and we got to talking about how there was this weird world of social media, where people know what someone ate for breakfast or what their favorite workouts are, but they’ve never actually met in person.
We sought to bring the community together: connect the influencers and the community members outside of the social media world and into real life. To do so, we started in-person events, based on a different wellness theme and influencer.
How Do the Wellness Meetups Work?
We started Wellness Meet Up NYC back in October 2016. Since then, we’ve been doing monthly meetups with a different curated theme and host. We’re doing multiple events per month now and are branching out into different cities. It’s a nice extension of what I was doing on my own from a nutrition space [with Made Simple by Sarah], and a way to reach more people with the limited time I have. Because this is very much a side hustle.
If Money Were No Object, Would You Be Pursuing This Full-Time?
Before this job, I would’ve said yes. I was in another sales role I didn't like, selling a product I didn't like. It would've been no question. But now, I love what I’m selling. It’s such a cool time for me to be in the industry. Besides food and nutrition, I love media, and it’s a great fit.
For me, it’s not about money, I just need more hours in the day. It’s not if money were no object; it’s if time were no object.
It Sounds Like You’ve Had Some Not-So-Great Work Experiences? What’s the Worst Job You Ever Had?
An intern in fashion. I’d sit there and glue stuff that had fallen off of clothes. I’d wait on Fridays for a delivery guy who often never showed up! Thankfully, it was just a summer stint.
What Advice Do You Have for People Who Want to Pursue a Side Gig?
Give it your all. Give it 100%, and you’ll know if it’s something you truly and really love. If you have absolutely no free time, and you’re making sacrifices, and it still feels worth pursuing, you’ll know it’s what you’re meant to be doing.
I’ve accepted the fact that I have no free time, and that’s what my passion is worth to me.
Well, our next Wellness Meet Up—a females and fitness event—is on June 21st in New York City. More info here if you want to learn more.
Osman’s path is one way of understanding how a side gig functions. Deciding whether to return to school, however, is a big decision and not one to make lightly. In fact, you can often gain experience in a new field without seeking another degree. In this article, career expert Scott Anthony Barlow explains how to do just that.
And if you’re simply unsure of a side hustle’s potential, this article, “Here’s How I Made $10K on Side Gigs (and How You Can Too)” may be just the thing you need to read.