How ‘Broke But Hustling’ Was Born

So, if you know anything about me, you know I have plans. BIG plans.

My goal is to become a successful serial entrepreneur. And, before you start dramatically rolling your eyes and thinking: “ok, so she’s some kind of lady start up bro? Is she going to start telling us about synergy now…or like, swiping money from orphans with her corporate depravity?” know that I’m not a Wolf of Wall Street wannabe.

I just have this insatiable desire to build things, and I know that I would never be content building just one thing. I honestly have 4 businesses in mind that I want to start right now, but you know, I kinda have to sleep at some point.

So, I decided to focus my attention (that wasn’t already being swallowed up building my freelancing business) to start the online retail company that has been rolling around in my head for the last 5 years. And I decided to do it with the help of my graphic designer sister.

We really are the perfect combo; I have experience writing copy, creating marketing plans, and helping businesses grow, while she is an amazing artist with experience building visual identities for brands. Ying, meet yang!

Our concept has had many iterations in the idea notebook that I keep by my side at (almost) all times: Beeline Graphics…Entitled Millennial…I honestly can’t find any more than that right now, but there were other ideas, trust me.

Each iteration came with its own issues: it wasn’t as original as we wanted, or it didn’t capture what we were envisioning, or some jerk already owned the domain!

When ideas we loved fell through, it really sucked. Feeling like my ideas were pedestrian, that other people had already turned them into something before I could really sucked. But, we weren’t about to let a setback like a name stop us. At the same time, we knew that if we were literally going to be branded with this name across our chests, better find something we believed in.

So we got to thinking!

I remember a three day period where we just sent name ideas back and forth constantly. Some had promise, some were absolute garbage, but none of them really worked for us. I became a woman obsessed! No one could talk to me without my eyes glazing over, while trying to string words together in my head that sounded good.

But it wasn’t happening.

Suddenly, like a lightning bolt, it came to me: Broke and Hustling!

I called my sister and told her that I determined the name, no room or need for rebuttals! Then, I excitedly built her up and let her have it!

I waited in anticipation for her inevitable praise and awe, which – in fact – turned out to be not-so-inevitable, because she said something like (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Yeah, I guess. If that’s what you really want. It’s up to you”.

  1. Couldn’t. Believe. It.

This was my first aha moment in days! The first thing I felt passionate about since my last big idea went bust. And here she was, delivering little more than a luke-warm response.

As it turns out, my phone is kind of crappy, and she thought I said “Broken Hustling” which means exactly nothing at all. Although, I must give her props for being willing to go with such a garbage name based on my excitement alone. That’s the definition of a true ride or die!

Anyway, once she figured out what I was actually saying, her excitement picked up, and with the sound of relief in her voice, she said: “Let’s do it!”

Am I editorializing my life? Maybe. But, this is my blog, so you can just calm the hell down!

So, with my sister fully on board, I told her to buy the domains (.com and .ca) post haste so that no one could get a chance to rob me of something else I loved. She gave me kind of a ‘yeah, yeah I’ll get to it’ answer and my palms began to sweat.

Somehow we were gonna lose one of these domains if she didn’t do it this very instant! By the way, if you haven’t checked out my post on anxiety, now may be a great time to catch up and put this reaction in context. Ok? Ok.

Now to be clear, my sister worked for the company we were using to set up our domains, so she was the only one who had access to the free account at that time. Meaning, I was forced to just sit there and think about it…and text her to see if she had done it yet (and she still talks to me, bless her heart).

With each no, I could feel my anxiety growing. We HAD to make this one work.

That evening, I decided to curb my nonsensical thoughts by relaxing and watching a bit of TV. I let my mind wander – let’s face it, probably watching something by Shonda Rhimes – when it occurred to me that Broke and Hustling was a good name, but Broke But Hustling would be a great name!

Take this as proof that evening those lightning bolt ideas can use refining.

My anxiety flip flopped, please tell me she didn’t already buy the domains! I called her immediately, and to my luck, she had been procrastinating.

Score!

We both decided the change made all the difference, we were 100% happy with the name. And that night, she bought the domains. They were ours, and we could start building our brand.

Then, yadda yadda yadda, it is now an actual online store where you can buy actual goods for actual money! That you can find here! *cough* shameless plug *cough, cough*

Don’t worry, I am fully prepared to fill in what happened in those yaddas if people are interested in me turning this into a series. Please let me know in the comments!

Otherwise, my next post will be on the stability of 9-5s!

Till then,

XOXO

Jenn

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