I’m really lucky to have supportive parents that have left me with no college debt, and supported me as I took a leave from school. However, I’ve been figuring out methods to slowly stop relying on them.
One of my goals in the next few weeks is figure out how to put myself in a position where I’ll better manage myself and become more self-sustaining.
I’ve done various random hustles to earn money over the past few years. Here are some:
~$12,000 from my internship last summer with state farm
~$5,000 throwing money at stocks and crypto (thanks ens)
~$4,000 from being a 5-star seller with 250+ reviews on Mercari
~$3,000 from hackathons (iPad Pro, cash prize, art tablet, trip to Dallas)
~$1,000 teaching 80+ classes with iD Tech in Photoshop, Python, math, Snap Lens Studio, Roblox, video editing
~$1,000 doing various research experiments at CMU for cash/gift cards, including
controlling a ball on a computer with my brain in eeg
pathfinding in minecraft
taking user experience surveys
sleep study relating to stress
~$1000 from miscellaneous art competitions in high school
~$500 selling clothing on my own closet on Instagram
~$500 selling makeup on r/makeupexchange on Reddit
~$500 earning money for my non-profit from various fundraising events with restaurants
~$500 literally labeling video data of construction workers for a research professor my freshman year
~$300 creating and selling my own button pins and commission art in high school
~$3.40 from medium… from my USC IYA article :’)
Most of this was alongside school as I was figuring things out and I never really had that stable of a revenue stream besides my summer internship.1 I would not have a difficult time finding a job that pays me well2, but I don’t want to do something I don’t like just for the money. I don’t like working just for money and want to put it off as much as I can to work on what I enjoy.
I make money not because I like money, but because I don’t like others paying for me.
I always venmo people back immediately after, almost never keep a balance in credit, and find it hard to take compliments or gifts from others. When certain friends describe how they go out and eat with guys just so they can pay for them, it sickens me.
Even while dating a guy in college while in high school and I was making no money, I found ways for us to be equal. I started a closet account on Instagram to sell my old textbooks and clothing and gathered enough money to go out and eat comfortably with him on dates. Part of this comes from how I was raised — my mom taught me to never use other people, always give back when someone gives to you. No one owes you anything, and we want to be able to help others like they help us.
Money and numbers put a very particular exact value on things, and I think much of relationships have become transactional as a result of this. Some things don’t need to be measured down to the cent, and our time should not be valued as a number.
I believe handling money is telling of how giving a person is. Going back to how we bartered in the old days with seashells or with goods, a good person would always ensure they’re somewhat equal, whereas someone you’d not want to do business with again would find a way out of paying you.
Right now, I rely a lot on my internship money and money from my dad to sustain myself. I’ve been thinking about how I could balance what I love with monetizing my work, without creating a selfish Ponzi scheme that scams others. I want to be able to make enough to sustain myself so I don’t go back to school, but don’t care for living a lavish lifestyle or acquiring status symbols.
I don’t desire dating someone rich, I don’t want to use anyone, and I don’t expect to get anything in return from giving.
Back when I bought and sold makeup, I learned that money wouldn’t make me happy as I slowly worked my way up to possessing the highest end makeup. With makeup, there’s tiers to quality of makeup: drugstore (walgreens, target, walmart), mid-tier (ulta beauty), and high-end (sephora). I strove to constantly buy better makeup to replace my old makeup and resold my old makeup to not feel about buying the new and better ones. Eventually, I had collected so much higher-end makeup and experienced what it was like to have the best tools at my disposal and there was no much runway left. I had reached the point to which none of it was making me more happy.
This reminds me of how Kevin Systrom and Justin Kan describe what it’s like being on the very top. Just like how having high-end makeup didn’t ultimately make me happier, I don’t see myself getting rich to realize that’s not what life is about.
In all, I think money is really just a number that we’ve constructed to have a very absolute view on how goods or services should be exchanged.
Optimizing for numbers will never have an end that will make us happier, so instead we should seek to live to impact others positively with our actions rather than having money as a sole goal of success.
I hope to find a medium between monetizing what I love and am good at and continually learn while being able to support myself enough for basic necessities, and then branch out to help others and the system be more equitable.
what i’ve been up to ✨
helped make clay figurines of everyone in the house
began turning a closet into a recording room / call booth (ty riley for helping me)
went to miami this past week for art basel & went jetskiing for the first time (tysm ami)!
got a lot of free makeup with ipsy while in miami, literally enough that it’s worth more than twice my plane ticket
have tried to get back into drawing more mushrooms 🍄 and started a shroom waifu collection on opensea
minted my first nft with cryptocoven
thinking of learning how to generate random mushroom art
going to go back to california dec 17-24 (and will be in LA for ~3 days in between)! hmu to hangout 💖
I confessed to a guy I like… and it didn’t work out. but was so nice finally facing my fear of taking the leap + hearing that my feelings were reciprocated and know what baseline to look for going forward
thinking of going to hawaii 🏝 for a couple weeks before the uk
been getting acupuncture for my face and it’s been getting better!
Always exciting seeing everyone’s responses to my pieces / thoughts and really appreciate the support, love you all ❤️
I really didn’t like having a full time job, especially online it felt super draining
I’ve rejected several offers from YC start-ups that reached out, part-time work, or contract work to focus on myself, and generally just don’t care to be making money off every single thing I do for others