Kate Dore is a master of the side-hustle. As a social media marketer for Raven Tools and a self-proclaimed personal finance geek, Dore is well-versed in the realm of balancing a full-time job with freelance opportunities.
“I’ve always had a lot of side jobs,” Dore admits. When she moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in 2006, for instance, she sold beer at local sporting events and worked as a server to fund her unpaid internship.
But it was her first music industry job experience that showed her the practicality of having multiple streams of income.
In September of 2006, Dore landed a position with a classical music publisher, only to be laid off six months later. She hardly knew what to do. “I just got laid off from my first job out of college,” she remembers thinking. “Do I move home? What do I do? It was terrible, but it was a really good lesson to learn because it made me think, I am dispensable. I can get fired or let go at any time for any reason… It really scared me.”
In 2007, Dore got a job at Outback Concerts as a promoter and, eventually, a talent buyer. But in her late 20s, she realized her 70-80 hour work week was taking its toll on her physical and emotional health.
Dore’s perspective on the relationship between work and personal health is very different from the, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” attitude we startup types often feel compelled to live by. “Your energy is finite,” she insists, “You can probably find unlimited amounts of money to spend and earn. But with your energy level, there’s only so much mental space you have on any day.”
Dore wasn’t on a sustainable path to wellness. Her financial situation also wasn’t improving. “I was—like a lot of people in their 20s—spending basically everything I was earning,” she says.
That’s when Dore decided to make a change. She set two goals for herself: the first was to get herself in a better financial situation; the second was to start exploring new career opportunities.
Dore found a free personal finance class on Coursera, which introduced her to the basics of personal finance, as well as the world of personal finance blogging. When she realized people blogged about their financial journeys, she says, “I started… binge-reading all this stuff. I saw other people doing it, and I was like, ‘Whoa! These people are not making more money than I am; they’re living off half of what they’re earning, and here’s how they’ve done it.’ There were so many easy changes I was able to make that made such a huge impact.”
Dore managed to slash her budget, and she began saving close to half her monthly earnings. She also started her own personal finance blog, Cashville Skyline, as a way to keep track of her finances while building her software development, digital marketing and writing skills.
In 2014, Dore had saved enough money to quit her job as a concert promoter. And, thanks to her blog, the freelance writing and media consulting jobs began rolling in.
Despite her current full-time job at Raven Tools, Dore continues to make time for her freelance side-hustle. She’s even studying to become a certified financial planner with the hope of helping creatives like herself take control of their finances.
Dore is co-hosting an event in Nashville on June 30 called The Road to Financial Wellness, which aims to empower people to think differently about money and to build their dream lifestyle.
“It’s gonna be an interesting mix of creative people and young professionals,” Dore says.
Registration is free; space is limited.