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Owning your side hustle

Australian ‘side hustle coach’ and social media influencer Ruby Lee inspired UCOL staff, students and local business people when she came to UCOL’s Manawatū campus to share tips on how to get a side business off the ground.

Ruby shone with enthusiasm as she shared advice on starting a side business or ‘side hustle’, the time that goes into it, how to fund it, and having the right mindset.

UCOL Director of Communications Christine Beech said that many students, staff and people in the community were interested in pursuing their own side hustles, and the session was perfect motivation. “Ruby is inspirational, highly motivated and she really resonated with us. Promoting innovation and entrepreneurship with our students and staff is important and aligns with UCOL’s values of transformation, agility and excellence.”

Ruby started her side hustle as a career coach in 2015 while working as an executive recruiter. “I would get home at night and want to do more with my time; I wanted to do something more productive and share some of my knowledge,” said Ruby.

Through her recruitment job, Ruby encountered many people in need of career coaching, so began her side hustle by writing resumes, charging $50 each.

Ruby encouraged budding side hustlers to focus on what they’re good at and what people are asking them for.

“I began with the expertise that I had. People asked me for advice and to help them nail their job interviews.”

“There are so many stories I’ve heard from people, that as soon as they hear what people are asking them for, they’ve recognised what business they can start, and where and how to begin.”



Ruby used the money earnt from resume writing to buy a domain, register her business name, and build a website with the help of a friend. Ruby also sought out the services of a business coach and used social media to build her client base - and now has an online community of over 7000 followers.

Saying goodbye to a 9 to 5 job, Ruby has built her Own Your Hustle brand, with online programmes, a podcast, Instagram, and speaking engagements designed to help people get their side hustles off the ground.

Around 60 people listened to Ruby as part of UCOL’s Public Lecture Series, which has seen experts in fields ranging from sports science to artificial intelligence share their knowledge with UCOL staff, students, and members of the public. Ruby’s appearance at UCOL was her first speaking engagement outside of Australia and kicked off a tour of New Zealand.

UCOL is planning more Public Lectures for 2019.

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