Ya know when you meet those people and you kind of just click? That was instantly me and Jenna when we met during my time at ASU. We went on to have multiple classes together and always found each other when we were assigned group work. I was always very impressed (and slightly envious) of how organized, professional, and just down right cool Jenna was. She was always traveling and going on fun adventures all while still kicking major ass at school. When she started freelancing and collaborating with different brands, I always found myself stalking her Insta page. Everything was so inspirational and very creative! I am beyond happy that she decided to start a blog and share her life journey with us. Here are some questions I asked her that I think my readers would like to hear! She definitely has some tips worth reading!
1) Do you feel like there is pressure to join the fitness world at this point in life because of its strong influence on social media channels?
I think joining anything through social media creates a pressure + intimidation, especially the fitness world! To be honest: my biggest struggle that I’ve been dealing with is what people are going to think of me. At first, my social media channels were for personal use. I’m talking all my followers were friends from high school + college and my dad (lol but true). I had a hard time opening up about my passions because what if they judged me? what if they didn’t like what I was into? what if no one wanted to follow me anymore? I soon realized this super profound statement: WHO CARES. It was when I started listening to myself + my desires that I saw so much support from the social media world and the pressure was gone!
The best part about joining something like the fitness world IS that there are tons of people doing it. There are so many supportive people, groups, pages, blogs, you name it. Don’t get me wrong, there are the haters still BUT I have met + collaborated with some of the best people through social media and made a genuine connection that it makes everything worth it. If you want to live your best life, then you truly need to put yourself out there!
2) Tell us a little about how you started freelancing and how it encouraged a adventurous lifestyle?
Sooo during college 2 things happened to me that pushed me to steer away from the 9-5 job:
- I started interning with a super flexible company near my college &
- I met my lovely boyfriend, Mark.
In my sophomore year, I interned with a marketing company in Arizona that gave me great experience + a flexible schedule (I mean I needed enough time off for the important things like classes, homework, taco Tuesday, wine Wednesday…). Also in my sophomore year, I met a Cali boy, who was in town for a business event, and we really hit it off (hit it off like we both felt we had known each other for years + this was something more than a good time). As our long distance relationship progressed, I decided to move to California for the summer!
Somehow all the logistics worked out: I found a really cool roommate with a place in my price range + the marketing company in Arizona loved me so much that they said I could continue working for them remotely while living in California for the summer! As a 20 year old, I completely lucked out more than I should have lol. Anyways, during this summer I was able to work whenever I wanted + wherever I wanted as long as I got the work done by the end of the week. This is where I fell in love with freelancing. You truly get to make your own schedule and have the freedom to do things at your leisure. The number 1 above is the first thing that steered me into a freelancing lifestyle but the number 2 is what encouraged me to live an adventurous lifestyle.
My boyfriend, Mark, is an entrepreneur. But more than that – he owns his own company, is a consultant, an international speaker, a best-selling author, and is good at pretty much everything (annoying, right?). He is always traveling for speaking gigs, business events, or vacations that his clients want to take him on. The more I dated him and lived his lifestyle, I just knew I wouldn’t be happy working a 9-5 job + missing out on the fun. So, I took the freelance route and hustled hard to live the way that I desired. I didn’t want to rely on Mark for financial support (& wanted to use my college degree or my dad would kill me) so I started doing freelance work as a social media + content manager for brands and started a blog. The rest is history!
3) What tips do you have for those who are interested in freelancing? Or what about those who are interested in beginning their fitness journey?
I treat the word freelance as one encompassing statement: doing anything to make money outside of the 9-5. Whether that is truly a freelancing gig (remote work for a company), starting a blog, creating a fitness journey through social media, etc. There are 3 tips that I like to remind myself of:
- Hustle Hustle Hustle, even when you’re on vacation. You don’t get “paid time off” so if you want to make money from something, then you need to treat it as your full-time job. Being a freelancer means you get a flexible schedule, but then it also means you need to have an incredible amount of discipline.
- Connect + Network. A lot of the jobs I have gotten or brands I have worked with is from word of mouth. So make strong + genuine connections with people. Tell randoms what you do, have an elevator speech, give before you take, and stay in touch. These will help you create a good base of business.
- Always be on the look out for jobs, what’s happening in your industry, etc. You never know when you will lose a client because something came up in their business that you couldn’t foresee. There is nothing worse than taking a pay cut and not having something in the pipeline. So if you hustle, make good connections, and keep them in the pipeline, then you will create a steady income from freelancing.
Jenna Stahnke is the author of The Modern Dew, a health + freelance blog helping millennials maintain a happy, healthy, and financially free life. A graduate of Arizona State University, where she received a B.S in Marketing with a concentrate in digital + integrated marketing communications. Jenna hopes to impact other millennials to live their most desired lifestyle. When she is not writing or creating content for brands, you can find her upside down in yoga poses, grabbing a cup ‘o’ green tea with friends, or bumming it at the nearest beach.