How to Build a Successful Web Design Side-Hustle Without Working to Death

Stay updated


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

Every week, I write an article and release a podcast episode. Sign up if you want to get notified when that happens.

Most people begin to build a web design side-hustle without thinking much past the “How do I get started?” phase.

There are a ton of resources out there all about how to learn web design or development, how to land your first client or build your portfolio. And, all of that is super important to build a successful web design side-hustle.

But, something that is equally as important is thinking about your end goal.

If you start a web design side-hustle without having a clear idea of where you’d like to see it go you run the risk of accidentally ending up working a ton of extra hours and not really knowing why.

This week on the Self-Made Web Designer podcast I talk to an awesome side hustle couple: Craig Clickner and Carrie Bohlig.

Craig and Carrie have built multiple, successful side-hustles and now they’re teaching other folks how to do the same in their book: So You Want to Start a Side Hustle.

Start Your Side-Hustle with the End in Mind

The main way to build a successful web design side-hustle without working to death is to start with your end goal in mind. The more specific you can get the better.

It’s important to know if:

  • You want your web design side hustle to help fund a full-time job that you’re passionate about but don’t get paid to much for just yet
  • You just need a little bit more disposable income to fund certain aspects of your life
  • You want to build up your web design side-hustle to take over your full-time job one day
  • You want to use your web design side-hustle to get out of debt and eventually go back to only working on your full-time job

Knowing the answers to all of those questions can really help you determine the path you take with your web design side-hustle. Without those answers, your web design side-hustle could really morph into something you never wanted it to be and you could end up feeling stuck.

For instance, Carrie was passionate about doing work that made a difference. She loved working as a teacher and impacting the lives of kids BUT she needed more than a teacher’s salary to build the life she wanted.

Craig on the other hand loved the idea of being his own boss one day.

Both two very end goals BUT they were able to use a side-hustle to accomplish them.

Build Relationships that Will Help Your Web Design Side-Hustle Succeed

No one builds a successful web design side-hustle in a vacuum.

What does that mean? You can’t do it by yourself. You’re going to need to build relationships in order to really succeed.

Having a solid community that you can lean on or be mentored in is an essential part of becoming successful at whatever you do really. So, if you really want to have a successful web design side-hustle you’ve got to be willing to go out there and meet new people.

This can be a bit nerve-wracking but Carrie mentions that in order to build a side-hustle you have to learn how to put yourself out there and face rejection. A good way to know whether or not you’ve got it in you is to start building personal relationships through networking.

This will get you used to putting yourself out there AND it has the added benefit of finding help along the journey.

Adapt Your Side-Hustle to the Different Seasons of Your Life

Carrie and Craig have had side-hustles in every season imaginable:

  • When they were single
  • When they were newly married
  • Now that they’re parents

If you’re going to build a successful web design side-hustle you’ve got to know how to adapt it to the different seasons of your life. Sometimes you might have to scale back in one area of your life while you build up another.

The great news is you can take your family on the journey with you. Your spouse and your kids don’t have to keep you from being successful at your side-hustle they can work with you to make it even better.

Craig and Carrie talk about how they have a family slogan every year AND they encourage their kids to have an entrepreneur mindset.

You Don’t Have to Work Yourself to Death to have a Successful Side-Hustle

The idea that if you’re going to be successful you need to kill yourself and do nothing but work is 100% wrong.

You can have a balanced life while also building something amazing on the side. Thankfully, Carrie and Craig have done that themselves and they give a lot of solid wisdom on how you can do the same.

In this episode:

You’ll Learn

  • Why it’s important to have an end goal in mind with your side-hustle
  • How to use a side-hustle to make space for a full-time career your passionate about but don’t make a lot of money from
  • Why it’s important to determine what type of lifestyle you’d like to have when starting a side-hustle
  • Why it’s important to find other people who can mentor you in your new side-hustle
  • How to create relationships with people in your side-hustle space
  • How to have a side-hustle but maintain healthy family relationships
  • How to adapt your side-hustle to different seasons of your life


Chris: [00:00:00] This week's guests have built multiple successful side hustles. Without having to spend every waking minute working and they're teaching us how you can do the same this week. Are you ready?

Is up self maters. Welcome to another episode of this self-made web designer podcast, a new episode. Did you miss me? Because. That I missed you these past few weeks, but it was for good reason. I was working hard on finishing my Upwork for web designers course that I am hoping to launch really, really soon.

If you'd like to know more details and get on a waiting list to be notified. Upwork for web You know, most people begin to build a web design side hustle without thinking much past the, how do I get started phase, right. But if you start a web design side, hustle out, having a clear idea of where you'd like to see it go, you run the risk of accidentally.

Up working a ton of extra hours and not really knowing why. Well, this week on the self-made web designer podcast, I talked to an awesome side hustle. Couple Mr. Craig click there and Mrs. Carrie bowlegged and Craig and Carrie have built multiple successful side hustles. Not, not just one or two or three, but they're on delight.

They're 27. Okay. And now they're teaching other folks how to do the same. So you want to start a side hustle and listen, they didn't start a web design side hustle. Okay. But the advice that they give is just so relevant to web designers. I know that you're going to love this episode. Are you ready to hear from Craig and Carrie?

Okay. Let's do it. Well, Craig and Kay, thank you so much for being on the self-made web designer podcast. So good to have you.

Carrie: [00:01:59] Yeah, thank you. It's good to be here.

Craig: [00:02:00] Yeah. Thanks for having us. We're looking forward to it.

Chris: [00:02:05] And you guys are the first married guests that I've had on the show. So this is, this is an inaugural married guests conversation. So I'm excited.

Craig: [00:02:13] I think you said you had your wife on as well once, right?

Chris: [00:02:15] Well, you know, I wasn't considering myself a guest.

Craig: [00:02:20] I was going to stay otherwise, your marriage is “no mas”

Chris: [00:02:22] Yeah, right? No, it was a very short-lived marriage. This podcast killed it. Um, so tell me a little bit about, uh, y'all's background, who you are and where you've come from and where you are today.

Craig: [00:02:33] Yeah, sure. So, um, you know, by background, I studied finance and econ got the good job out of college doing the finance thing. I worked for Deutsche bank and GE capital. You know, it was actually a risk analyst and realized it was actually risky to have one way to make money. Uh, and so don't do it, you know, not recommended.

And so I started deciding I wanted to do something more, one have more autonomy in life and got into the stock market, buy my first piece of real estate at 24. And then did the answer is everything in the early mid two thousands was get an MBA, right? So I enrolled in MBA school. Um, and unfortunately none of those things were really going to create the leverage that we wanted or buy us back time.

Um, unless you have a lot of capital because it's hard to scale a real estate empire. If you make, you know, 50, 60, 70, 80 grand a year, right. It's going to take a really long time. And so, um, I felt frustrated and fortunately was able to run into some entrepreneurs who'd focused in building online communities and driving revenue that way.

Um, and they'd built several million. Silva several millions in revenue in companies, uh, that allowed them to step away from corporate America. And it was in a more low risk, uh, you know, scalable space. And so I started to follow them and learn from them. And that relationship, uh, totally changed my life and, and our life because, uh, through them, I actually met, uh, the woman sitting next to me.

So maybe I'll kick it over to her for her part of this.

Carrie: [00:03:55] Yeah, so very different from Craig ax. She studied sociology and women's studies. My goal is how do I make a really big impact? How do I be fulfilled and happy in life? And so I went into teaching and coaching. Everything I did was child-related and.

I loved it, but it came at a huge cost of lifestyle and having choices and having autonomy and security. And so I got pretty open-minded and realized, okay, like I have a good job, but what can I do outside of that? What can I do on the evenings and weekends and leveraging what we call more moderate entrepreneurship.

So there's very few people in the world that are like the mark Zuckerbergs and the Elon Musks. But I think there's way more people who are converting from like wanting to. Forever. You know, they think that's the only, the only path or the only way to do it. And now more people are operating more in that moderate space of realizing maybe things aren't as secure as they used to be, but there's more opportunity than ever.

And so I was really one of those people didn't have business expertise. Didn't have really, even a resume at that point because I was 22. So it was, Hey, how do I kind of realize everything's a skillset, jump ship, you know, jump into the entrepreneurial space, put my toe in the water and just start really leveraging that compounded effort of like evenings and weekends to build something up over time.

So, yeah, that's where I met Craig. Most of my financial thought process stems from Craig actually. So I've learned a lot from him. Sometimes in a frustrating way. Cause he's definitely a lot more of like the fiscally conservative type. I was not that way. So it's been a fun learning curve, but you know, if you want to learn how to build a business, you have to learn how to manage your own personal finances first.

And I think a lot of side hustlers are, you know, solar preneurs kind of missed that altogether.

Chris: [00:05:42] Yeah, man, you guys just hit on so many good things that I, I don't think we have enough time to talk about all of them, but, but I think one of the things that you mentioned, Carrie, you having kind of a passion for making the impact, but realizing that some of those jobs don't necessarily come.

Uh, sustainable salary. And, uh, and that's, that's what it was for me. You know, I was a musician for, uh, you know, the better part of my adult career and, um, passion, passion jobs come with passion pay, which is very, very little. And so I, I had to learn my side hustle in order to. Provide for my family. So, so, so talk a little bit about that.

And Craig, you had mentioned, um, the danger of not diversifying your income streams, which I think a lot of people are feeling from the pandemic. So talk about how a side hustle can, can really enable you to be able to do the things that you love and it doesn't necessarily have to take over your entire life.

Craig: [00:06:42] Yeah. Why don't you start? You got the first question there, cause that's a loaded one. That's like a 40 minute answer, but yes. Great questions.

Carrie: [00:06:49] Yeah. I mean, what's interesting is, is for us, we decided, Hey, let's build something for ourselves and let's make it very practical, um, and practical in the sense that we could scale it and actually create really good income as a function of our growth, but also create more time in our life.

And the reason that I was willing to do something entrepreneurial and practical. Coming from my background is because I knew that if I. Created a successful thriving business. And I was able to walk out of my 40 hour teaching career. I would essentially buy back a lot of hours to do whatever the heck I wanted in a given week.

And so that was really the vision is like, if I've got 168 hours in a week to play with, I can do a lot. Pretty cool shit. And so now we've done a lot of, more of the passion projects. We started a nonprofit last year. We started our own podcast, which has been so cool to just shine the light on other people, doing really remarkable things and creating good growth.

Um, we wrote a book, we published a book this last year. It just released about a month ago. So. Had I just gone from teaching to trying to start a nonprofit, write a book, all these things like it would have been a mess. And I likely wouldn't have really been able to create this scale of, of bigger wins and fulfilling wins that I was looking for.

So there is really a rhyme or rhyme to the. And the reason we took that approach is so we just could have a lot more control and security and choice over a lot of like the passion projects

Craig: [00:08:13] ultimately. Yeah. A few things we want to dispel. Number one, you don't have to be passionate about a side hustle for it to enrich, right.

Right. Like, just like you don't have to be passionate about your job, um, to have, have a good one or to make income. Um, but if you have a clear goal of like, why you're engaging in a side hustle, you can use it as a tool to enhance your lifestyle and to Carrie's point, you know, give you that freedom to choose and, and ultimately be able to customize the way you want to live and how you want to live.

Not just like, what do I want to do? Because a lot of people, like, what do I do? What do I do in, in, you know, our thought processes? Well, number one, how do you want to live? Create like a, what we call life, vision, and then number two, figure out like who already lives that way. Right? And then when you do those two things, now you've got like real life examples.

And then when you start to get into the diversifying and why you should have a side hustle, we say that there's, there's less job security than there's ever been, but there's also more opportunity than there's. And not only should you be diversifying income streams, but we recommend diversifying skill sets because most of us ultimately are more dynamic than our jobs.

Like, right. Like, wait, like whatever your job title is, there's things you can do that the job title will not allow for, especially if you're in a big corporation because you get very siloed. And so that's all the more reason you should have something outside of the day job, um, that you, that can fuel whatever kind of lifestyle you want to create.

So in your case, that's inverted, right? Like, so I've got a ukulele in the corner, but there's no one on planet earth that would pay me money to like, listen to me, play it. But I would love to, I love to play. So I had like the day job, practical stuff, and then the side hustle, which now allows me to play ukulele full-time I guess if I wanted and not get paid.

But, um, but the idea you did it, the inverse you started with the passion as the job realized, oh, this is really tough because I think anytime you take your passion and you try to monetize it, It does. It can not always, if you're really successful or you, you know, somehow you hit it really big, but a lot of times it can really strip the fun from it.

And so like, Carrie, we talk rose into photography and is loves to do photography, but to build a career around that and feed her family with that, you know, a lot of times you end up doing weddings or headshots and things that maybe aren't as exciting if you're into photography, right. I think there's just about a practicality behind all of it and realize that you can have more than one way to make income and making income in new environments is usually just a skillset that needs to be learned, right?

Like in your case, you know, if it's web design or whatever it is, there's just a skill. And if you just go out and attack the skill, you know, you'll figure out how to, how to monetize it over

Chris: [00:10:48] time. I love this idea of. You know, having, having the vision first, like what, what do you want your life to look like?

Cause I think a lot of people, when they start with the idea of getting a new skill or starting a side hustle, it, it, it starts off like you're really passionate and it feels awesome. And everything's, you know, you get that first gig and you're like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. But eventually four or five years later, you're like, My side hustle and I want to die, but now I have to keep doing it right.

Because I have all these financial things that I have to account for and all that kind of stuff. So, so how do you keep from letting you know, what is a little, a little fun, little pet project grow into this monster that is consuming your life?

Craig: [00:11:31] Yeah, we can answer this really specifically. So we say that there is an epidemic of people starting side hustles, but an epidemic of people who are not finishing.

Hmm, you can't finish something if you don't define what the finish line looks like or what it is. And so when you start the side hustle, they're like, oh, I want to make a little extra money or I have an interest in this. That's great. But then map that out a little bit. Like where are you trying to go with this?

And do you want to create passive income? Or create ongoing income. Do you want to just replace your job income and you'd be happy doing it 45 hours a week? Or do you want to create progressive passive income? So you at least have a little more lifestyle, but you don't have to do all the work all the time.

And so there's a lot of different ways to do it. And last, last option too, is like, do you want to flip it and sell it? Because that's an option that a lot of people don't think about when they start a sentence, like, is this a sellable asset? That I can then exit from and like take all the money and, you know, buy the pink helicopters or at least have enough where I don't need to work for someone else, or I could work 20 hours a week or something.

And so defining what finishing looks like, how that plays into your life is really critical. Um, because then you now have a clear target and when you have other people who've created that you can chase them down. You know, as, as I rarely mentioned, do you want to anything on that? I mean, that's my high level, high level stuff.

We can go more tactical, but that's the thing. Bigger picture. Yeah. No, I think that's spot on.

Chris: [00:12:52] Well, tell me a little bit about that for you guys. Cause, um, I'd love to just hear what, what, what does finishing look like for y'all or, you know, it sounds like you've started and finished multiple side hustle projects.

So walk us through how you guys determine that and then how you put, you know, step one, step two, step three. And until you get to that finish

Carrie: [00:13:13] line, well, for us, the big, big Paul was how do we. Scale out of our careers. We both wanted to be full-time parents entrepreneurs. Um, I am a huge travel person. So unfortunately, or fortunately traveled takes both time and income.

And most people have either only one or neither, which makes it problematic. So it was how do we get to that space where not only can we scale out of a little bit of the work of building our businesses, but also, you know, have half good lifestyle and choices. And Craig always jokes like in his twenties.

He's like I could live in a cardboard box as long as I didn't have to go to a job, but then he married me and I'm like, I have a little bit better taste than that. So, you know, then the goals had to, had to increase. You know what one of our first rounds of side hustles was in the, um, affiliate marketing network marketing industry.

We built that up to several million in sales. Um, in the process, I was able to walk out of my teaching career because our part-time businesses were making us more money than my full-time job. So I said, Hey, I'd rather take that time jamming into anything else. Like family travel, helping other people in our industries.

Um, about five years ago, Craig just had his anniversary. He was able to scale out of his six-figure banking career, which he could have done it earlier. But being the conservative banker that he is, he, the last couple of years, he just banked 110% of his salary. So again, when he walked out of his job, we actually had really good lifestyle.

Our lifestyle didn't have to like reduce just because. You know, have the security of his full-time paycheck anymore. And I think that's where there's sometimes, um, a lot of wiggle room for people. Some people are up for living in their mom's basement, having a way smaller means, right way smaller paycheck coming in.

But the financial freedom part is more important for us. It was kind of finding that happy medium of lifestyle. And income and choices, um, and security. So,

Craig: [00:15:11] yeah. And then if we go to the next step, so then here's where I think a lot of people make a mistake. They go to Google or they have something they're already skilled at, let's say it's web development or being a musician.

Right. And so then they just stick with that and they're like, well, let me monetize this because I already like it, or I'm good at it, or what, or what are those things? And that's okay. But what we recommend doing is taking a step back and I was like, okay, like, what do I really want to accomplish? And is this industry, this vehicle the best, just because I've been doing it, or I know it for the last five or 10 years, big mistake, a lot of people make.

And then when you start to think about, well, how do I make progressive income from this? Well, if you're going to do Airbnb. You know, I would recommend a management company if you want to make passive income, because then you can scale easier. Otherwise you just end up working your face off and cleaning rooms all the time to maybe make an extra 500 or a thousand or $2,000 a month that doesn't create the lifestyle that you really want in the end.

And so thinking through some of these things is really important. We actually have on our website, we have. What's called a business evaluator where you can just go in and start to quantify like a monitor, like, like basically figure out how much value you're going to get from each of those buckets and what the likelihood is of accomplishing it.

Like, do I want to travel? Do I want more time? Do I need to get wealthy? Like, do I need to make income fast? I mean, so all of these things, you can start to wait and figure out where do I really go? And then we mentioned this already, but I can touch on it a lot, but who we are. The way we think how we live is very, very deeply impressed upon us by our associations.

And to think that you're going to grow a multi-million dollar business. When you hang out with other employees who have random ideas like you do is nonsensical, right? Like you don't get into web development because you don't know anybody in that industry. And so yes, certain skills you can learn from the internet and Google.

But I guarantee anybody says they want to launch a podcast and they call you and they're like, I want to launch a podcast. You have 50 things that you could give them that would save them so much time. Right. And energy, because you've just been down the path. And so really seeking out intentionally people who are already where you want to be, or really close to that, that result is massive in, in difference in your results.

And that's one thing we do. And we do it now, even like in meditation or kickboxing, Carrie picked up or like, I went to a Brazilian jujitsu class this morning. They didn't show up. So it wasn't my fault, but like, I'm not going to watch a video on Brazilian jujitsu and start punching things or wrestling things in my living room.

I'm like, I'm going to go talk to people. Who've known how to do it. So, um, I think those are two of the big steps. Where do you want to go with that? And then, you know, who are you going to use?

Chris: [00:17:49] Yeah, I love that. And as a side note, you guys pick really aggressive ways to exercise.

Craig: [00:17:56] No, not normally. It's just like in the last few weeks.

Carrie: [00:17:59] Yeah. Apparently we've got some aggression to work out.

Craig: [00:18:04] We’re usually pickle balling it. Like we picked up pickleball like two months ago. Somehow she ran into boxing

Carrie: [00:18:10] We went from dorky to really aggressive.

Chris: [00:18:14] I love it. That's awesome. Well, I, you know, I had, um, uh, a friend of mine on his name's Tom Ross, and he, he talked about the importance of community when you're, when you're trying to build something and, you know, um, my podcasting.

Self-made web designer. Um, I actually have a cover yet too. Most of the time when I talk to people to say that nobody's honestly self-made, you know, like there's, there's no such thing as you being go, going, being able to go into a room, learn everything that you need to learn and then come out successful.

Right. It's it's gotta be done in community. So how do you encourage people to, to find. To find that community. Cause I know for me, it started with friends of mine who encouraged me to say, you really should look into web design so that you have enough money to pay for your bills. Right. You can't live on your music, musician salary.

And so I was like, okay, cool. Will you help me? And they said, yeah, call me anytime. Right. So, so what's the step. If somebody is out there and they're like, I don't, I don't know anybody. In the web development or web design community, like what's my, what's my pathway to actually getting to having, uh, some solid relationships that I can build

Carrie: [00:19:20] from, I would say, network network, and then do some more networking.

Most likely the people who can help you the most and can empower you the most are not the people in your current sphere. Which means if you're like a shy preschool teacher or more of an introverted person in your industry, like you're going to have to step outside of your house. Maybe even jump on the internet, um, get to know people, share your story, share a little bit of your life vision.

Assuming you've also already identified your life vision, um, because you can generally network, but the more specific you are on what you're looking to get and the type of relationships you're seeking out, it makes it that much more efficient in finding those people. Um, I know a lot of people are doing great content creation, but even putting yourself out there in that regard.

I mean that just in the last two years alone has led me to all sorts of people. I mean, Craig is, co-founding a tech company and that's actually a function of networking on LinkedIn. So I think being bold, knowing what you want. Knowing that you're worth finding good people and that when you do find the right people, you're actually teachable and you're in a space to be humble and learn from those folks because you could have the ant data combos of basketball coaches, but if you're not ready to show up and like, do good work and learn and change and unlearn.

You, you can just have the dude down the black teach you like the same difference, right?

Craig: [00:20:45] On top of that, don't feel like you need to scale up to Warren buffet. If you want to get into investing. Like sometimes people are just like, oh, I need to talk to a billionaire. You just need to talk to somebody who knows how to invest and makes decent money doing it.

If you're just getting started, right? It's like, I don't care. Anybody could teach me about Brazilians. You gets you. Cause I literally know nothing. I don't know a single term, so like anyone could help me. But then as I get a little further, along than I need to be even more intentional, more particular about who can empower me.

Um, so, so that's one thing to think about, and then just being willing to ask and put yourself out there, because I think there most people who are successful want to help, they want to give back, but they also don't want to waste their time and help people who aren't serious. So it might recall require a couple of follow-up emails or a couple of followup calls, a couple of DMS on social.

Maybe you like their content. Maybe you offer to work for someone for free or offer to help them do some service or skill that you have. Like you could offer to just support someone for free or help support a nonprofit charity cause they love. And all of those are great ways to like get in the circle of people who are successful in community, who has already moving in that direction.

Chris: [00:21:51] I think the thing that a lot of folks struggle with when it comes to networking is just the social anxiety. You know, and also feeling like, you know, you're trying to get something with it without giving it, um, you know, like I'm going in looking for the opportunity and, you know, people don't like to feel like they're being transactional with a relationship.

So, so how do you, how do you get around that? How do you coach people? Um, to not number one have social anxiety, but number two, to look at the relationship is more than just what I can get from them. Even if I don't have anything to offer.

Craig: [00:22:26] Yeah. Great. That's a really great, great question. Um, I think there's always something that you have to offer.

I mean, it could be free labor, like for their company, like I just mentioned it could be Goodwill or a nice post about them. Um, I think a lot of people want to help. And so if I have somebody I'm mentoring, it's a good feeling that I get when I help people. Um, I've tried to give, ask my mentor who's who helps me in meditation a lot.

What I can do for him. And he's always like, just being able to mentor you is like the Goodwill that I get back. So there's some people like that. Now there's other people at different parts of their career or whatever that they need to be more focused. Um, so I think thinking creatively ways that you can give and then also being willing to pay it forward, because I think that that's part of the chain, right?

It's like, Hey. Hey, if you are willing to help me, I'd love to teach other people how to do this particular skill or be successful in a particular industry. Um, so those are a couple of things in terms of social anxiety. I'm a hardcore ambivert. So like right on the line between extrovert and introvert. Um, and so I love to talk to people once I've met you and I get to know you, but I, I tend to like, be not like to meet, go meet strangers and say hi and all that kind of stuff.

Um, so I think a couple options that you have is to number one, get over it. Right because you want that to be a limitation your entire life. And just because you have to be extra, not, not even extroverted, but outgoing or talk to people at a certain point doesn't mean you have to do that all the time. So I think there's a, there's a book or a theory out there of like five seconds of courage or 10 seconds of courage.

Like you don't have to be brave forever. You have to be brave for five seconds to say hi to somebody and ask them a good quality question. Right? Like, and then once that conversation gets going, most people enjoy that. Um, then you have to be a lot more hardcore, introverted to really like, be, feel like that's painful, but it depends on where you're at and then figure out ways where you can decompress.

Because if being around people sucks, energy away from you, which is more of what an introvert is then figuring out your time. That is self-care and you can do work that doesn't require that. So you can offset it. I

Carrie: [00:24:25] would also add. Networking to find good association or mentorship or coaching is like a great test pilot.

If you can handle entrepreneurs, because if you're unable or unwilling to just like go shake some hands or put yourself out there to find someone who can help you. Good luck building a real company that creates like ongoing revenue and supports a big lifestyle. So I think it's a litmus test, right? And know that, you know, every person you ask for support, isn't going to give it to you.

That doesn't mean you're a bad person or that you approach them in the wrong way. It might mean your approach could be tweaked or, uh, you know, improve for sure. And like, I always look to myself for that reflection and feedback. Um, when I'm reaching out to people. Or have in the past, like, it's good to do your homework on people.

We've done certain podcasts where the host clearly knew nothing about us. And then we've done some where they're like, have all this information. You're like, wow, that leaves a really different type of impression. Right. And now having your own podcast, it's a really good learning tool for us to like amp up our game about doing, you know, some background search and work on the people that we're hosting.

So I think. When we talk about how do you be genuine? You're like, think how it would feel on the other side, if someone reached out to you, like how do you build somebody up and make them feel important? And like, there's a real reason why you're reaching out. Not just because you, they came across your profile online, LinkedIn, and it was convenient.

It's like, why are you seeking someone out? And what's the value that you think they could help you with and how can you pay it forward too? So I think those are a couple of big tips I would give.

Chris: [00:25:59] Solid advice we should probably just end and wrap it up and just say, no, I'd love to talk about, cause you guys started your side hustles.

Um, you know, it sounds like before you were even married, then you got married, then you, then you had kids. So, um, and Craig, you mentioned earlier about how you'd be willing to live inside of a box, but then you got married and then all of a sudden the standards of living change. Right. And so, you know, A family can be a catapult for success, but it can also be a barrier to success, you know, because you now have more limitations on your time than just what you choose.

So how do you guys navigate that? I mean, you guys have way more going on than the average person. Um, so how, how do you, how did you navigate that in every season and how do you maintain that healthy rhythm of life to spend time with your kids from now going?

Carrie: [00:26:54] Yeah, there's a, there's a small section in our book about AQ adaptability quotient.

And I think that something is entrepreneurial. We've had to grow in and myself stretch myself around. It's like, how many plates can I have spinning at one time? How can I build my threshold? But also as the environment and circumstances change, I E a pandemic or having children or the economy shifting or AI taking someone's job.

It's like, how quickly can somebody actually shift gears and adapt? And I think one thing that's really helped me as a mom is my time is more limited. But with the time I do have, I make it count in a totally different way than I ever did before having kids. So I actually feel way more effective and way more productive doing the right things.

The things that actually move the needle, the things that actually create, you know, real revenue or net profit in a way that it just wasn't on my radar when I had a lot more time. So I would say when life circumstances are, you have like a phase of life that gets a little bit Rocky, you know, talk about life, set this concept of.

Um, kind of the foundational way your life plays out. Like your mindset is how you think your attitudes, your belief, your life set is how that actually translates into your life and those foundational areas of relationship health, um, spiritual walk, finances, all these different things. Your business is your job.

And so a lot of times what happens if those pillar areas are shaky, the first thing people drop and go put in the corner. Is their side hustle. And so we just didn't want to necessarily have that aftershock of like situations happening. And then everything gets the pot gets stirred so much, that business really takes a hit.

And so for us, it was how do we really create a strong enough foundation by investing time into all those pillar areas and taking the success principles that we've learned from growing up. And really letting them seep into all different areas because they are so transferrable and that in itself has helped us strengthen our threshold and our resiliency.

Um, and you know, I had health challenges after having our first child, um, I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease, so that's just given me more variables. I have to work around, um, But knowing that like there's a time to work hard. There's a time to play hard and there's a time to real. Self-care hard for me has given me the right environment to be able to thrive for the most part.

Not always thrive, like there's tough times, but thrive overall, you know, being a mom and an entrepreneur.

Craig: [00:29:24] Yeah. I think the biggest thing is, um, You value your time more and so you should take it more seriously and being able to evaluate, okay, is this an activity that I should really be doing? Or is this something that can be delegated or automated or deferred?

And what is the best thing that I can be doing? Because I think in my twenties, I just worked really hard, really, really hard, and definitely not smart, you know, but I just, at least that would, the effort was there. And then in my thirties it was like, okay, I need to start to like, not do this cause I have a daughter that I could be spending time with.

So hopefully it challenges us to all elevate. I mean, I'm sure you feel that on some level, right. That you've been able to elevate your time. And so that has to happen. Um, and then I think the other thing is compartmentalizing, which admittedly is something I'm probably particularly poor at. But, um, I know Carrie, I feel like she does a much better job of just saying like, okay, this is my work time.

This is my kid time. And then you're not like paranoid about the other when you're doing that. Right. Yeah. Cause like the day was a little funky day. Cause I had to like a random legal call and then another random call that just like popped up last minute. And so I was with my son and then I left. I was with my son and that was harder for a four year old than me just saying I'm busy.

And then I come back and I give them a whole chunk of time. Um, I think there's ways to manage to all of those, those things. If you're smart and intentional, that can create a much happier, healthier home life, um, than if you're just sort of chaotic about it.

Chris: [00:30:46] One thing that I learned about you guys is that I think is, is really, really cool.

And something that we try to do is, is bringing your kids on the journey with you. And your side hustles, you know, like I, I remember hearing that you guys kind of set your family goals at the beginning of the year and talk to your kids about, you've got a slogan that you have for that year. Um, so, so what does that look like for y'all?

Do you guys. Keep your kids abreast of what's happening and, and bring them into the conversation or as much as they can. I know, obviously they're young, but, um, how does that play out for y'all? Yeah, I

Craig: [00:31:22] mean, I wouldn't say that it's perfect because when you're we had a family meeting the other day and we had a four year old and seven year old and I was actually pretty proud of like Augusta and did like the four year old did like a pretty good job.

He didn't leave. He tried to leave a couple of times, but like, I think it's just about talking about it. And verbalizing it, you know, and like we talk about rewards and rewarding work together as a family, but reward as a family. So like, we're going to go to Disney world later this year and it's like, Hey, if we do X, Y, Z, then we can all go to Disney world together.

Right. And so when they feel a part of the journey and the rewards, I think that that's really important versus like, we need to pay the bills, like stop bothering me. Right. Because then that, that puts them here and you here. Right. But when you can figure out how do we merge these goals, because we all want to be successful and happy together.

Um, then I think that that can go a long ways. And I do think the family slogans we had have been super awesome. Although, um, yeah, the one we had last year was we can learn anything if we work hard enough. And I think I made the kids say it so many times. They just, I hate it, but. So much power in that and like a family kind of rallying around something.

So, um, we have, again on the website, we have like a life vision document that you can go in and start to fill out and it will push you to work on some of these things in ways that you otherwise wouldn't. And it's like of all the things we could do in our life. Like don't we think like clearly defining how we want to live seems like important.

Yeah. We're we're rarely ever asked to do that, or we certainly don't challenge ourselves to do it. So I think those are some things that come to mind.

Carrie: [00:32:53] Yeah. You know, in regards to parenting and sharing some of that entrepreneurial thought process. I think our kids in so many ways are learning the most from the hard things that we've gone through as business owners, like them watching us write the book this last year, cheer, like they saw how intense that was, because yeah, it was just so mentally grueling and such an endurance run for us.

Um, you know, I told Eloise our older, our older child before the book even launched. Just so, you know, some people aren't gonna like dad in my book and she was like, like, no way, that's impossible. And it's like, I love talking about that hard stuff because when your kids can watch you be resilient, it just sets a very profound example and they know we're not perfect.

They know our lives. Aren't going to be perfect or easy either. And like, if we can get through hard things as their parents, that's just a pretty sweet level of modeling. Um, That I love talking about. And like, even between Krieger, I like, it's fun to succeed together. We've had a lot of successes together in a lot of different industries, but it's also pretty unifying to fail together and to have to rally together and like be on the same side of the table, looking at a problem or solution.

And I think a lot of couples don't have that experience of kind of nine to five, they're going in different directions, but figure out some way. Through a side hustle or at least a hobby that you can like have that experience of failure and victory together. Cause I don't think you can put a price tag on that personally.

Craig: [00:34:20] I want to add one more to this real quick as like giving them some of their own entrepreneurial goals. Like Carrie helped Eloise make like a little dog sitting sign and branding and stuff. Cause she's going to do some dog sitting at seven and then Eloise. And I started writing like a book together, but it's like, we're writing a book and it's just like for fun.

And who knows if it'll make it all the way to like a finish line or published or anything, but. She saw us do it, and now she like wants to do that stuff with us. And so I think being the example and then talking about it and verbalizing it is. Really

Chris: [00:34:47] important. Well, we've got a few minutes left. I wonder if you guys could just share a little bit more about your book.

I know that it was released in LIS last June and it sounds like it could be a really helpful tool to a lot of people who are listening. Yeah, totally.

Craig: [00:35:01] So we. Pumped about the book. Hopefully it helps people. It really talks about everything we've been chatting about today. Quite frankly, how to use a side hustle or start a business, not just to make income, but to enrich the quality of your life.

Right. And to create more choice and more autonomy. And so we've had a lot of fun with it. Um, I think that it's philosophical foundational enough on the front end and then gets more tactical. Ideas of revenue and how to fund your business and branding and stuff is on the backside. So, um, you know, the feedback we've gotten so far has been great publisher weekly featured it, and booklets just said it should be in every high school curriculum on some of the financial management stuff.

So we've just felt really blessed that a lot of that stuff is, is in the book and it's been fun to write and hopefully it helps people and yeah. If it does and somebody gets it, please let us know. And if it doesn't, please let us know. I mean, we're happy to take the feedback on how it, how we could have done better.

I mean, we're a first time author. So it was, it was a cool process to go through and learn how to communicate. We've done a lot of public speaking, but not a lot of like formal writing. And so, um, so yeah, it was neat to do a new means of communication and, um, hopefully it's empowering to folks. So a there's anything you want to add to it, but yeah, I mean

Carrie: [00:36:08] the, the motivation for me just being on social media the last couple of years, it's just.

Abundantly clear that like so many people are side hustling. There's a lot of matte, moderate entrepreneurs out there, but in terms of content and books, it's mainly for front hustlers or idea books for side hustlers. And we wanted to give something much more comprehensive and more of like an adventure guide for people that we feel like we see a lot of people struggle to actually scale and use a tool to like create a great life.

So how can we actually really get in there with people and give them what we've seen as patterns for failures and successes? Yeah, it was, it was fun to put it all out there in terms of our background and experience.

Chris: [00:36:49] Yeah, that's so true. When I started seven years ago with my side hustle, I was looking for anything and everything and there was hardly nothing at all.

And so the fact that you guys have created something, I think, I think is great. Can you, can you just real briefly mention, what's the name of the book called?

Craig: [00:37:04] So you want to start a side hustle? And it is available in every major channel that you would buy a book, a Barnes and noble, Amazon, 50 books.

I think it's on good reads. It's on all the major spots and you can do you have a local bookstore? You can order it and go pick it up. And, uh, yeah, that's, uh, that's where you can get it anywhere pretty much. Um, our website is tandem Uh, you can also go there. There's a few freebie downloads that are actually in the book.

Um, and I think a little bit of a sample chapter on the life, the life vision that we talked about. Uh, and also talks about some of the consulting that we do. I mean, we help people launch and scale businesses if they're looking for sort of prebuilt platforms. Um, and then we do some financial consulting coaching and then some public speaking on how to, how to side hustle properly for different, you know, types of entrepreneurial environments, which is a ton of fun.

We love doing that. So, um, any ways that we can be of service, people can feel free to reach out and ping us on, uh, is very active on LinkedIn and. Instagram is You

Chris: [00:38:01] got it. Yeah. That's awesome. Well, I, I so appreciate you guys coming on this self-made web designer podcast and just sharing ya’lls journey.

It's certainly certainly inspiring. So I'm just, I'm going to try to summarize everything that you guys are doing right now. We've we've we've got the, we've got the book. We've got, we've got consulting, um, for side hustlers. We've got your, you, you do presentations, you speak, um, you've got a podcast that I think you kind of briefly mentioned.

What's the PA it's tandem talks. Yeah, right up there. Yeah. Oh, perfect. That's that's a great product placement. Um, and then there's also, you're also starting a tech. Company and you're doing real estate and you've got a family and you're just going to take over the world, I think is what's going to happen next?

Craig: [00:38:48] I heard once. Why do one thing? Well, when you can do a bunch of things in mediocrity, so that's not the goal, but sometimes I feel that way. Cause it had spread a little thin, but yeah, it's a blast. It's fun to wake up. And like we talk about treating life more like a playground than manufacturing. Right.

Like I have to do this and then I have to earn a right versus like, oh, there's the jungle gym. Let's go jump on that. Or let's go plan the swings. I think buying back a lot of your time and creating multiple streams of revenue allows you that freedom to like literally wake up and chase what you love, which we feel blessed to do, and hopefully pay it forward.

Chris: [00:39:22] Well, you guys have been awesome guests. I want to encourage everybody listening, go to tandem check out their books. So you want to start a side hustle and all of the other things that they're doing. Carrie and Craig. Thank you again. I'm going to have to have you on when you started four or five more businesses and.

Craig: [00:39:39] Please we'd love to come back. That was a great discussion. We'd love to hear more from mark from your side too. And I'm sure people, hopefully it was helpful for web developers specifically, but most of us pretty general. I think so. Yeah.

Carrie: [00:39:51] Thanks for having us

Chris: [00:39:53] such awesome insight from Craig and Carrie. I love it.

The idea that you've got to think about the end goal. What is it you're trying to really accomplish with this side hustle, thinking about it in that way will help, you know, the steps that you need to take to be really successful without doing that. You never quite know. Been successful or, or what it looks like.

And so your side hustle can kind of just morphed into this thing that you might not even really want it to be. And you can look up five, 10 years from now and go, what am I doing? But if you start going, Hey, what's my long term vision. Then you'll know that every step along the way is calculated and it will help, you know, what success actually.

Looks like, well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the self-made web designer podcast. I know. I really enjoyed the conversation. Check out Craig and Carrie's book. So you want to start a side hustle and I know that you're going to love it. Well, next week, we've got another amazing episode. It's coming at you hard and fast.

It's going to be new again, guys. We are gonna have some fun. So until then have a good week. And don't forget if you don't quit.

A woman working on a laptop in bed at night to symbolize the importance of knowing how to build a web design side hustle without working to death


Hi, I'm Chris and I'm super glad you're here. 7 years ago I taught my self-web design and freelancing. Now, I do my best to teach others what I've learned so they don't have to struggle as much as I did.

Every week, I write an article and release a podcast episode. Sign up if you want to get notified when that happens.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join 1,000s of other web designers, web developers, UX designers, product designers and freelancers and get a weekly email that will help you grow.

Invest 5 minutes a week & Improve your freelancer/web designer skills

Come learn the same steps I use to land projects for $6k+ on Upwork. You'll walk away knowing:

• How to stand out from other freelancers
• A cover letter template that wins
• Profile MUST HAVES that most freelancers miss

3 Simple Steps to Land High Paying Projects on Upwork

This free, 4 video course will give you all the tools you need to start freelancing as a web designer and earning extra money.

• How to get started from scratch
• How to find your first clients
• How to charge higher rates

Become a web designer and land high-paying clients