Five minutes with LC Johnson and you’ll know that you’re speaking to a woman who is deeply connected to her purpose. Since the launch of her flagship blog and community Colored Girl Confidential, LC has evolved into a sought after speaker on business strategy and women’s empowerment, Business Coach and soon to be Author.

These days, LC continues to evolve her brand with the launch of My Sister’s Keeper – an online network and business training academy for kick ass women of color coaches, consultants, and creative entrepreneurs.

Designed to inspire you to start, grow and connect with fellow side hustlers, our second session of #sidehustlechat was packed with wisdom to show you how to not just hustle – but to hustle from the heart.


  • What does it mean to ‘hustle from the heart’
  • What your tribe doesn’t care what you do
  • How to figure out what products to launch to your community


What does it mean to ‘hustle from the heart’ & why is this important as a side-hustler?

Hustling from the heart is essentially the process of making money doing what you love to do.

Some people think that in order to have a business, you need to have all these fancy ideas or credentials. Not true at all. Anyone can be a heartfelt hustler. If you have an interest or expertise, someone out there is willing to pay for it. Whether you’re a sidehustler or solopreneur, you have to love what you do so u can stay motivated during the tough times. #sidehustlechat

After a layoff from your 9-5 you decided to take the leap into becoming a biz owner vs getting a new job. How did you make that choice?
Easy! I had no job and bills to pay that month! Lol I knew I could either job hunt, or hustle. I chose to hustle.

I took on a short term consulting gig, rented out my apartment and made a plan to crash on my bf’s couch for a few months. It was really rough though. I thought that I would have this super profitable biz in six months. Ha! It’s taken two years. In the early months, I took on a lot of consulting & odd jobs. I had side hustles for my side hustle.

I was tired & broke for the first full year. But I had also never been happier or more fulfilled. I haven’t looked back.

What is the most important thing that you’ve learned from building two popular online tribes – CCG & @mymsknetwork?
The most important tribe building lesson I’ve learned is that people want to connect with something bigger than themselves. As @simonsinek said in his famous TedTalk, it’s not about what you do, it’s about WHY you do it. Your tribe connects to WHY.

You’re not a blogger or a biz owner. You’re a tribe builder and your job is to give your people something to believe in.

My brand is about the belief that it is POSSIBLE to do work you love, to live a dream life, to get paid for your passions.

When did you know it was the right time to launch a product to your community?
There is no “right time.” It’s different for everyone but I’d say get to know your community and what they need. My first product #thebloggersmba came because my peeps kept emailing me questions about how to start a blog.

What best practices can you share for side hustlers who want to monetize their expertise?
Give people what THEY want. Get to know your tribe. Learn what they struggle with. Help them with that thing.

A great way to figure out what you people want is to ask them – in your welcome letter, on social media, via free consults. Experiment with different types of products and different price points. Trust me, there’s something for everyone.

For folks who don’t know what a ‘welcome letter’ is, can you elaborate more on how you use this?
A welcome letter is an email someone gets when they subscribe to your community. It tells them what to expect from you. I use my welcome letter to introduce myself to my new subscribers and and invite them to reply and introduce themselves. Not only does it build rapport but I ask certain questions that inform me of the needs of the new folks in my tribe.

The actual question in my welcome letter is: What are you struggling with right now and how can I help?


100% build the community first! I say this for a couple of reasons. 1) So you have someone to sell too. 2) Often we think we know what people want. It’s easier to find people and have then tell you what they want.

It’s hard to charge for what you would do for free but sometimes asking people to invest in themselves is a blessing. Not to mention if you want to make a living, you have to make money. There is no shame in charging for your gifts.


It is possible for a side hustle to stay a side hustle. Make your goals impact based and not project based. A focus on impact forces you to work smarter and not harder, leaving time for your full-time gig. Even hustlers need a life!

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You’ll laugh but I’m pretty low tech. I have a notebook that I carry around with me EVERYWHERE. (When I’m famous I’ll sell it on ebay!) I also heavily relay on gmail, google calendar and evernote. My biggest productivity hack though? Creating templates for emails that I send regularly! It saves me so much time.

Do you have you have any parting words of advice to aspiring hustlers?

The world needs you do the thing that you are being called to do. And YOU need to make a living. Why not combine the two? Be brave, sis. You have the power to transform thousands of lives, starting with your own!




Twitter: @no1doesitlikelc
Colored Girl Confidential:
My Sister’s Keeper:

Did you find this interview helpful? join us on Tuesdays from 8-9 pm ET for #sidehustlechat! Follow @soasidehustler on Twitter.


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