We were lucky to catch up with Jessica L. Williams recently and have shared our conversation below.
Jessica, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today. Let’s start with the story of your mission. What should we know?
In 2011, I was working on a client project and feeling burnt out and lost in my career. So I went to Spark & Hustle, a conference for women entrepreneurs. There, I realized that while I didn’t consider myself an expert, my business and tech background gave me the knowledge and experience to help in this space. A week later, I bought the domain for techbizgurl.com. My goal was to create a space for folks to go after their online business dreams without technology holding them back.
My business has evolved and shifted as I have changed jobs and learned more about myself. It hit a real turning point in 2016. After helping co-manage a program for women startup entrepreneurs, I realized how important the side hustle was. Not only is it a way to test an idea for entrepreneurship in a low-risk way, but it is also an opportunity to pursue a passion.
Also, for many women, especially black women, quitting their job and going “all in” on being an entrepreneur is not always an option. Not for me, as a caregiver, for example. I wanted to provide another option. As I had a lot of experience and resources to add to the conversation, my messaging and content shifted to connect side hustlers with resources to get started. And to keep their side hustle a side hustle if they so choose.
Jessica, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I help those who love their 9-5 and want to be entrepreneurs by giving them the resources and support to make their businesses more manageable while juggling other things. Think of me as a Side Hustle Cheerleader.
There is a lot of pressure out there to entrepreneur a certain way. But businesses, side hustles, newsletters, and passion projects come in all shapes and sizes. I truly believe that you don’t have to quit your day job to be an entrepreneur. And I want to help folks build a business in a way that works for them.
Most recently, I published the 300th issue of my #jesspicks newsletter. It was an experiment I started in 2016 as a way to provide value to my audience, as I needed time and space to figure out the next steps with my business. It took advantage of a strength of mine: curation. And I have been able to grow it over the years to 1,500 subscribers.
It has become a place to share lessons I’m learning, experiments I’m trying, and how I’m managing (or not managing) all the things. Each week it warms my heart to see and hear entrepreneurs, creators, and freelancers walking away with a tip or nugget to keep moving forward in their lives and businesses, having grace with themselves through it all.
Do you have multiple revenue streams – if so, can you talk to us about those streams and how your developed them?
My business currently makes money in a few ways:
I have two options for sponsorship in my newsletter at different price points.
People can buy me a coffee or contribute monthly if they so choose. I love this option as it allows folks to support me easily. And it helps keep my newsletter free as well.
3. Affiliate Marketing
I love recommending products, courses, and even other newsletters that I’ve found helpful to my audience. Then in some cases, I can make some money from those recommendations through commissions.
I’m also experimenting with mini-courses and coaching as additional income streams.
Are there any books, videos, essays or other resources that have significantly impacted your management and entrepreneurial thinking and philosophy?
Here are some books that come to mind:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I have re-read this book many times, and this lesson always sticks out for me: when you want to achieve something, the universe conspires with you to make it happen.
Chill & Prosper by Denise Duffield-Thomas. This book encourages you to create a business on your own terms, keeping ease in mind so you can work less and earn more. Her super simple marketing advice has stuck with me: share what you know and make offers.
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg. Most folks identify as go-getters. This book invites us to be a giving person who adds value to other people’s lives. There are five laws told in story form. My favorite: “The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.”
- Website: https://techbizgurl.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/techbizgurl
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/techbizgurl
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessicalavernewilliams
- Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/techbizgurl
Gregory Rothstein, Collette B. Rogers