987
7 min 41 sec

Foreign Correspondent Launches Career App

A globetrotting journalist builds financial independence through a career-coaching app aimed at promoting gender equality.
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What It's About

Journalist creates an app empowering women to combat the gender pay gap.

Business Model
Coaching
Skills Required
Teaching & Coaching
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Meggie has some great encouragement for anyone seeking a side hustle idea, "Think about what can you do that no one else in your family can do. What makes you unusual and awesome? Then lean into that and work out who can pay for it."

Fun Fact

Meggie's first client from her first side hustle as a media training consultant is still a client today, with her media training agency.

Notes from Chris

Episode 987
As a foreign correspondent and journalist, Meggie Palmer knew about the hardships people face around the world. Working for outlets like BBC News, the Discovery Channel and more, she could be in Syria one week and in Zimbabwe the next.

While the breakneck speed and globe-trotting adventures were exactly what she wanted for a lifestyle, Meggie soon realized that journalism as a career would not lead to the freedom and financial stability she also craved.

Her first look at something different came when she appeared on a panel for how executives and marketers can work with journalists. A rep from one of the companies attending came up for her after the discussion and asked if she ever offered media training directly.

Though she had never done such a thing, she had put in a fair amount of thinking and research before appearing on the panel. Maybe she could use it to her advantage elsewhere? She decided on the spot to say yes.

Her first private training went so well that word spread, as media training from an award-winning journalist was an experience many companies craved.

So Meggie continued to build up clients and training programs, fitting them in around her travel and research schedule. Since the only real costs were her time and intellectual property, the business had minimal overhead to start. A few hundred dollars into materials and a website, and she was able to start stockpiling the profits.

Meggie realized that her mission to get more women on media programs and into e-suites would never work if she was constantly the one who had to provide the training, support, and encouragement. It just didn’t scale.

One night, while talking with a friend about how people can feel disempowered when they don’t know how to advocate for themselves, she commented on how great it would be if she could offer everyone a “career coach in their pocket.”

Within two months, she had a minimum viable product, an app that would allow users to input their own milestones and successes for reference when negotiating new salaries or promotions — or to add to their resumes and bios when attempting to garner more media and attention for their accomplishments. She called it Pep TalkHer.

Within the first 6 months of the app going live, it had already been downloaded by a few thousand users. A partnership with Vogue Australia allowed her to build a new email list of more than 15,000 interested people.

The side hustle that got her out of her full-time gig is now the full-time gig that led to her new side hustle. This project will not only make money for her, but also fulfill her greater mission to help women stand up for themselves.

 
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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
"Surround yourself with a support crew, because it can be very lonely. That can be really painful. To me, having a crew of other people that have their own businesses around me that I can message or text has been a godsend."
—Meggie Palmer #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau