March 1, 2021

Changing Platforms

"We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails"

- The Mix personal favourite
Dolly Parton

We’ve all spent the best part of a year adapting to a new world. 

We’re humans. We’re used to adaptation. It’s what’s kept us going for so long.

Thanks to those before us, hustling has become an instinct, which we Brits have embraced at a time we’ve never needed it more.

Platforms have been given the chance to cultivate change or respond to the new world hustlers have been carving out.

We’ve used them to keep our dreams from flickering away in the light of harsh realities, or sometimes to keep the electricity in our homes from doing the same.

Music streaming services are among platforms that have both listened to what consumers and creatives want for the new world and helped fashion it.

Bandcamp’s really got something going for both the hobbyist and the royalty strapped side-hustler of DIY music.

They know having a good time with your mates and cultivating an audience that really connects with you is what matters.

That’s all fine and dandy, but those roses quickly turn to stone when you flip your pockets to find lint.

The hustler needs money. And the main source of income for independent musicians are physical merchandise sales and live shows.

So, where does the rowdy, sincere and grippingly intimate grass-roots community go when live music is off limits?

Sure, Instagram Live and Spotify come to mind, but the real hustlers' hero, breaking the alienating conventions of streaming is Bandcamp.

Although the pandemic has caused streaming to go up 20%, it has also put live shows on halt.

Bandcamp has sought to help fans and artists on both fronts.


Unlike other streaming giants, only new artists use Bandcamp, meaning hustlers no longer compete with the last 50 years of the music industry, fighting for the crumbs of a rapidly shrinking pie.

Thus, Bandcamp uniquely levels the playing field for hustlers.

Notably, at the start of the pandemic, Bandcamp ushered in a tradition of waiving or lessening fees with Bandcamp Fridays.

This monthly event encourages fans to keep supporting artists, with an average of 93% of your money going to the artist/label directly, a stark contrast to streaming giants Apple Music and Spotify’s £0.004 pay-per-play.

They’ve also created Bandcamp Live, helping the bridge between fans and artists through an integrated gig streaming service, which replicates going to a pub gig, complete with merch table and all.

Including a chat function for those reminiscing on post-gig interactions and charitably continuing to waive fees.


Considering almost universal disillusion with the music streaming economy and increasing scrutiny from UK parliament, other streaming giants would do well to pay attention to Bandcamp.

Rather than idly hoping for big platforms to become supportive of both consumer and creative, forever inventive and adept at adaption, hustlers have been using bigger platforms to cultivate a fanbase to then communicate more intimately with loyal followers on smaller platforms.

YouTubers get paid through advertisements on their videos… If only it was that simple… As YouTube has made this difficult by demonetising videos for disputable reasons.

They’ve sought to rectify this issue with a Partner Programme.

Its requirements, specifically having over 1,000 subscribers, deter anybody with their eyes on YouTube as a hustle, squeezing out the little guy in favour of established, clean-faced content creators.

Perceived lack of care and dwindling pay incentives changed the way hustlers both see and use YouTube.

Many still use Youtube to post content but utilize Patreon to supplement income.

Patreon is a platform that allows direct support from followers, offering tiered subscriptions with both the price and benefit set by the creator.

A helping hand to creative freedom in spite of YouTube’s demonetisation.

Platforms do not have to be another tale of the rich getting richer.

Although we may miss the days of watching backyard wrestling on YouTube, taking a picture of the heart-shaped foam in your coffee on Instagram and being proud of three likes or carrying a sweaty guitarist through a dimly lit pub, the world has changed.

Whether we like it or not.

One thing we can all agree on is that life is hard as it is. Wouldn’t it be better for everyone involved if platforms helped the hustler?

February 17, 2021

New Successes

Look, I don't dance now

I make money moves (ayy, ayy)

Say I don't gotta dance

I make money move

If I see you and I don't speak

That means I don't f**k with you

I'm a boss, you a worker, bitch

I make bloody moves

- Cardi B

Cardi B grew up in the Bronx, NYC.

At 19 years old, stuck in an abusive relationship and with no money to pay for university, she became a stripper.

"The first time I stripped I was really embarrassed, I felt like I could hear my parents voice in my head… After a while I didn't even care anymore. I was seeing money that I feel like I would've never seen ever."

By the age of 21 she'd saved $20,000, and two years later dropped out of university and quit the stripping hustle to focus on her music career.

Which in retrospect paid off, as she’s now the first female rapper to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in nearly 20 years.

All while racking up an estimated worth of $24 million.

So no, Cardi B doesn’t dance for dollar dollar bills anymore.

But her well-documented origin story, hustling as a dancer, has found new parallels in recent years in unexpected places.

Coinciding with Cardi B’s stardom in the second half of the last decade has been the meteoric rise of social media network Tik Tok - So much so that there are now roughly 10 million users of the app in the UK alone.

And one of the most notable trends on the platform are the millions of people dancing.

By themselves, with their friends, sometimes coming up with something new, but mainly copying one of the dances that are popular at the time.

The algorithm means that an uploaded video can be seen millions of times.

Which means being famous now feels like a tangible goal for younger generations.

So much so that today’s kids are three times more likely to aspire toward a career as a social media influencer rather than an astronaut.

Addison Rae is one of the most famous Tik Tok stars.

She was named the highest earning Tik Tok star by Forbes in August 2020 and is reported to earn thousands of pounds per sponsored post.

For many, it is surprising how dancing into your phones front camera can be so lucrative… but that’s #ad #spon #influencer for you.

And while some hustles seem to take off overnight, others take time to build and become successful.

Some have goals of making money from the outset, while others are built on passion and having fun.

Sustainable Fashion

Grace Beverley saw a gap in the market for good quality, but moderately priced, resistance bands.

In 2017 she set up a company B_ND while she was at Oxford University.

In 2019, she launched a sustainable gymwear company called Tala, with a competitive price point to Nike and Gymshark, offering an alternative option to fast fashion, at similar prices.

Grace recently won Drapers 30 under 30 2021.

A pretty successful side hustle turned full hustle!

Reducing food waste

Olio is a food sharing app that started as a side hustle aimed at reducing waste.

Today, the app allows people to give away, collect and ultimately share food that would otherwise be thrown away.

Tessa and Saasha tested the idea using a WhatsApp group of just 12 people who lived close to one another.

It was such a success within this test group, that just 5 months after incorporating the company, they launched the app.

Although it was initially only available in a few postcodes in North London, it quickly scaled to become a UK wide offering.

A side hustle that identified a problem and used technology to do some good every day, and give people another option besides the bin for their excess food.

Tracking Coronavirus

Not all side hustles are about making ‘money moves’ or addressing changing values.

Some side hustles are about taking your hobby to the next level.

Guillaume Rozier is a 24-year-old French data scientist who created the website CovidTracker.

Initially sharing a graph of the number of COVID cases in France on social media but this escalated as he created graphs for other countries and his posts generated more and more views.

Soon a website was born very gradually, with no original ambition of creating what was soon to come - a site with millions of views.

He now has 5 volunteers working with him to manage the tracker, which is used by hospitals across France, and the French government has even integrated his work into their vaccination campaign!


Whatever the motivations for side hustles, there are so many examples of new successes, all capitalising on our ever-changing technology, values and world.

And success isn’t always monetary, or about creating the next $1bn brand from your parents garage, like brummie Ben Francis did with Gymshark.

So whether you have aspirations of Tik Tok stardom, have spotted a gap in the market, or simply want to leave the world a better place that you found it, there’s one thing to do.

Define your ‘success’ and get hustlin’.

February 8, 2021

More Ca$h or All Passion?

In 1973, Karen Nussbaum worked as a typist and office clerk in Boston, USA.

At 23 years old she was relatively new to the world of work.

Yet already one thing was made pretty clear to her.

“You were just part of the wallpaper - the most common task for most clerical workers was probably getting coffee for the boss”

Women at work in the book-keeping room at the Bank of America, Los Angeles circa 1970

Although her working years were just beginning, she’d spent years involved in activism, protesting the Vietnam War and campaigning for civil rights.

Getting together with friends they started a newsletter called 9to5, to fight injustice in workplaces like her own.

Soon the newsletter became a movement, and the movement began to gather momentum.

Before long the story made its way to actress and activist Jane Fonda, inspiring her to write a movie of the same name.

A retribution fantasy of sorts, for working women fed up with being overlooked and underpaid.

The film was a box office hit in 1980, but the real lasting legacy was the original theme song, written and performed by Dolly Parton.

It reached No. 1 on three different Billboard charts and earned an Oscar nomination.

Dolly Parton’s “Working 9 to 5” was about calling out bullshit.

A demand for equality and recognition. For fairer pay and more rights.

Now fast forward 41 years.

Through periods of war, peace, prosperity, recession and currently a global pandemic.

It’s unquestionable that a lot of progress has been made since the hard work and activism of Nussbaum and her peers began campaigning in the early seventies.

Though the gender pay gap is still a large unresolved issue, along with equal representation.

In January 2021 Dolly Parton re-recorded her famous hit as part of a Super bowl advert for Squarespace.

This time with a whole new set of lyrics:

Workin’ 5 to 9

You’ve got passion and a vision

Cos it’s hustlin’ time

Whole new way to make a living

Gunna change your life

Do something that gives it meaning

With a website that is worthy of your dreaming

The anthem for workers rights and equality is now about working an extra job on top of your job.

About turning your passion project into a business on the side.

Finding meaning outside of the 9 to 5 grind, or finding a second source of income.

Now you may find it inspiring, a new call to arms - empowering and encouraging the masses to never settle with their status quo.

Or maybe you see it as a cynical capitalist cash grab, going against the very ethos and intention of the original.

For us more than anything it’s illuminating a phenomenon we’ve seen developing for years, brought to the forefront with the chaos and uncertainly caused by the clusterfuck that was 2020.

The Side-Hustle.

A steady yet fundamental re-assessment on the way we want to, and need to, earn a living.

In 2018, 40% of the UK national workforce had a secondary source of income, generating £72 billion extra income across the year.

Everything from gig-economy work to selling on Facebook marketplace, delivering for Amazon on an evening and running YouTube channels.

Through choice, aspiration and necessity we’re quietly becoming a nation of side-hustlers.

But what do we gain, and at what cost?

We’re exploring the landscape of work, the implications for health and relationships, how our aspirations are shifting, what work/life balance means now, and crucially what are the commercial implications and opportunities for brands and businesses.

Join us over the next twelve weeks as work from 5 to 9, diving deep into the world of side-hustles.

Sign up below and we'll send you a free copy of the HUSTLE report we release in April.

© Copyright The Mix 2021. All Rights Reserved.