Taking the stage in front of a crowd of over 95 side-hustlers, passionpreneurs and curious onlookers, Secrets of a Side Hustler Founder, Chivon John opened their signature panel event with a bold affirmation about the common trait that all side hustlers have:

“We don’t wait for opportunities. We CREATE them.”

Hosted at Shopify’s Toronto headquarters on September 19, Chivon moderated an informative and inspiring panel discussion featuring current and former side hustlers who shared the secrets of their hustle in front of an engaged crowd of folks also walking the path of doing work that matters.

In an informative, candid and often times hilarious discussion, panelists Television News Writer, Media Consultant and Editor and Chief of Byblacks.com Camille Dundas, IT Consultant and Creator or Ou Nu Fund Ainsley Miller, Creator of Ladies Learning Code and HackerYou Heather Payne, Personal Branding Coach and Social Media Trainer Cher Jones and Brand Strategist and award winning blogger LC Johnson share how they started, tips for taking your passion project to the next level and words of encouragement.

The discussion opened with each panelist sharing how they got started and the driving force behind their motivation. textThroughout the evening attendees also got a chance to get in on the action by sharing their thoughts on questions such as should you tell your employers about your side hustle and how to handle multiple personal brands by choosing their response via text message.


Seizing and creating opportunities was a major theme throughout the evening with panelists advocating the importance of forging your own path. With Heather Payne, who was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2013 saying “Find something that you wish existed, find people that agree it should exist and build your community.”

The topic of the ethics of side hustling brought many insights from panelists Camille Dundas and Cher Jones who reminded us to ensure you keep your side projects ‘off the company clock’ and to use your judgment on what and how much to share about your side hustle with colleagues.

The event also doubled as the official launch of the Secrets of a Side Hustler Community as Chivon shared details about membership, the launch of our Twitter #sidehustlechat series beginning on October 14, The Wisdom Circle – a private mentorship program for side hustlers  and an exciting pitch competition designed for Side Hustlers called the Passion to Paycheck Challenge launching in June 2015.


Attendees were so inspired by the conversation that long after the event ended, many stayed upwards to an hour after the event concluded to network with fellow attendees and panelists. The energy of the room was one of collaboration, inspiration and newfound possibility.

Here are are a few of the inspiring ‘secrets’ that the panel shared…

On transforming your side hustle to fulltime:

“If you plan is to go full-time with your side hustle, have some contracts lined up” – Cher Jones

“Have a strategic plan and if you have to cut out Netflix!” – Heather Payne

On Branding:

“Your brand is not your logo. It is the promise that give to someone when you interact with them” – Ainsley Miller

On entrepreneurship:

“Humble yourself because your business will humble you” – LC Johnson

On asking for payment for your work:

“Have a resentment number to help you identify the boundaries you should create with your prices” – Cher Jones

On authencity:

“You don’t have to be somebody you’re not to be successful” – LC Johnson

On the power of asking for help and community:

“Amazing things happen when stop trying to do everything yourself” – Chivon John

The read the highlights of the full event and discussion visit our official Storify Page which shares the major insights from the #SSH2014 tweets.



Founder + CEO at Secrets of a Side Hustler
Chivon John wants to live in a world where individuals feel empowered to create their own opportunities instead of waiting for them. In 2014 she founded the Secrets of a Side Hustler community to inspire, educate and connect individuals who have or want to start a business in addition to their full time employment. You can connect with her at @chivonjohn