895
9 min 17 sec

Fashion-Lover Finds the Right Freelancing Look

A corporate publicist begins to do freelance work on the side—and after getting laid off, she grows her hustle into a full-time career.
Marketing Public Relations Service Transition Story

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What It's About

A PR specialist finds the courage to branch out on her own after being let go.

Business Model
Service
Skills Required
Making Connections & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

In June of 2017, Lauren was let go from her corporate role due to "restructuring." She says that it was the push she needed to start LWP PR and that without it, she's not sure if she would have had the guts to launch.

It’s a great attitude, and it’s not just a matter of perspective—she also took action to be in control of her own destiny. What are you doing now to prepare yourself for a situation like that? Also, you don’t have to wait for something like that to happen to make a change. If you’re dissatisfied, be proactive! That can be even more satisfying than waiting for an external event.

Fun Fact

Lauren's on-the-job experience was with women's and men's apparel, luxury goods, and spirits brands. And her side hustle allowed her to dabble in the emerging fashion maternity space, children's wear, and even for a brand associated with famed musician, Jerry Garcia!

Notes from Chris

Episode 895
Lauren Wilson-Policke had the job of her dreams. After scoring an internship in PR for a fashion brand in college, she was determined to rise through the ranks. She spent years working her way up to the roles that she imagined and eventually was hired by Nautica, a global fashion brand.

But, after nearly five years there, something was missing. While Lauren loved her job, she also needed something different.

She’d always dreamed of having her own business—but she wasn’t sure if she would like it and she wasn’t ready to quit that steady, reliable job in the pursuit of entrepreneurship. So, she settled on something in the middle and decided to start with freelance PR work.

Lauren got her first client from a networking group that she was a member of. She decided to just stick with that one client for a while. Her day job kept her schedule busy, and she wasn’t sure how much time she would have to freelance. She also wanted to be certain she had the energy to produce high-quality work.

After that first contract, Lauren was more familiar with how much time and energy freelancing would take for her. She knew that she was ready to take on more clients, so she started telling friends and peers about her new hustle. She says that one of the best ways to grow in freelancing is to simply let people know what you’re doing.

As her portfolio expanded, Lauren was challenged creatively and learned a ton about business. She knew that this was something that she wanted to keep doing, and could even see it expanding into her own company one day. She made a website and hired someone to design a logo. She named the business LWP Public Relations, after her initials.

By 2016, Lauren had changed jobs again and was also making up to $1,500 a month from freelancing. She wanted to keep growing her clientele, but she was running out of hours in the day. At that point, she was squeezing her work into lunch breaks, her commute, and evenings.

Things were at a standstill for a while, but then, in 2017, something happened that would change the course of Lauren’s life forever. Her employer went through a period of restructuring, and Lauren was let go.

She couldn’t believe it. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before. So, she allowed herself one day—that’s right, just a single day—to feel the range of her emotions. Lauren wore the shock, disappointment, and anger on her sleeve.

The next morning, she woke up ready to roll up those sleeves, buckle down, and get to work. It was time to turn her side hustle into a career.

She currently makes about $90,000 a year from it and has plans to expand even more. She hopes to take on some bigger clients and hire more people to work for her. Although she has a hard time not doing it all on her own, she knows that this is ultimately the way to expand.

Lauren had always dreamed of having her own business, but starting off with a side hustle allowed her to confirm that this was something that she actually wanted to do full-time.

She says that freelancing can almost be like an internship and that it’s “an excellent place to learn and grow.” For those who have a business idea in mind—or who just want to explore—it may be pay off to follow her lead.

 
 
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Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"Always start a business as a side hustle! It's a great way to test the waters and see if it's something you'd like to do full-time—or if it's better to keep as a side project. Like an internship, it's an excellent way to learn and grow."
—Lauren Wilson-Policke #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau