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Achieving Financial Independence through the Side Gig Economy

Achieving Financial Independence through the Side Gig Economy

Women are more career-driven, educated, and independent than ever before. We are prevailing and making our own paths and finding new ways to earn more money and independence outside of the traditional 9-5 office.

Chances are, you’ve probably engaged with or contributed to the side gig economy yourself. Ride-hailing through apps like Uber and Lyft, dog sitting with Rover, and even e-commerce sites like Stella&Dot are revolutionizing an entire workforce of women and mothers with flexible hours, plentiful advancement opportunities, and a level playing field, all without a brick and mortar office.

Take Dana Hanna, accomplished saleswoman and entrepreneur, for example. Dana started her career in sales and quickly fought her way up the corporate ladder and became a top salesperson in a male-dominated field. She and her husband decided it was the right time to start a family together, and soon after, Dana was on maternity leave and caring for her first child. Dana was proud to have earned her spot alongside other top salespeople in her company and planned to return to work shortly after her maternity leave. However, despite being a top earner for her company, when they found out that Dana had become pregnant again with her second child, they were unwilling to discuss a modern approach that would allow her to continue working as a new (and expecting) mother.

Many women like Dana find fulfillment in their accomplishments as a businesswoman and as a mother, and they shouldn’t have to choose one way or the other. That’s where the side gig economy really shines. Shortly after giving birth to her second child, Dana sought out a new way to use her sales expertise in a new role without having to sacrifice time at home with her children, and that’s when she found Ever. Ever Skincare is part of the Stella&Dot family whose mission it is to empower women to “…make their own choices, run their own business, and have what matters most,” no matter their circumstances.

Stella&Dot carved a new path in the side gig economy as a company “For women, by women” designed to give women more ways to earn extra money, balance their family life, and build a successful career as their own bosses. Through their platform, women can become ambassadors and online sellers of a variety of goods from cosmetics to jewelry, from wherever, whenever.

Dana is now a mother of three children, ages 15, 14, and 10, and has advanced to become Vice President at Ever.

Ask anyone working in the gig economy for their story; why did they start making the gig economy work for them? You’ll find that their stories are incredibly different, yet they’ve used side gigs to open new financial avenues that have gotten them closer to their individual goals.

Recent studies have found that more than a quarter of workers participate in the gig economy in some capacity. It could not have been more timely in the midst of this precarious, seemingly endless pandemic. Caregivers, new graduates, and mothers who now have to help their children through homeschooling are using this time and remote technology-based side gig employment to earn a little extra income for themselves and continue to build their professional portfolios.

Currently, there is a cumulative lifetime earnings gap between men and women at the retirement age of roughly $1,055,000. A smaller retirement fund means fewer options and a shorter retirement. More financial independence and security could make all the difference in starting a business, taking that trip to a country you’ve always wanted to visit, or providing more choices as your progress through life – Ellevest helps women achieve just that.

Ellevest is a digital subscription-based platform that is designed to help women accumulate wealth for retirement through investing, banking, and personal coaching. Ellevest’s platform is “The only investment algorithm that factors in important realities of women’s lives, such as pay gaps, career breaks, and longer lifespans.” With a nominal monthly subscription fee – starting at just $1 – subscribers are given a personalized investment portfolio, workshops, and other personal coaching opportunities to help women achieve their short and long term financial goals to live your best life.

As Dana put it “[through the gig economy] you can make some extra money to have choices and this will take away one element of fear – the financial fear.” The burden financial stress places on your health, confidence, relationships, and freedom to choose your own path as a woman can be crippling. However, the gig economy and tools like Ellevest are helping women to take their careers and financial independence into their own hands through flexible, entrepreneurial work options not bound by gender discrimination, timestamps, or office walls.

When looking for a new “gig” to earn extra money, whatever your story may be, Dana offers this advice on choosing a company that will work for you:

  • Choose a company that has a strong technological focus and that sells a variety of products.
  • Company has strong leadership and a mission statement you believe in.
  • Company gives you the opportunity to create friendships.
  • Company doesn’t use spam in advertising its products.
  • Company is authentic and its products work.

Dana Hanna has been nationally recognized for her work as an advocate for the health and wellness of women. A sales and team leader in the Pharmaceutical, Biotech and Medical Device industries, she has always specialized in the field of Women’s Health. She later found her passion in Nonprofit Development and Fundraising impacting the lives of women and girls in the Pittsburgh region. She serves as President of Women Leading Women, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower leadership and elevate lifestyle. Dana has experience running a successful network marketing business and loves how this platform helps to balance family and finances. Dana Hanna lives in Fox Chapel, PA, with her husband and three children ages 15,14 and 10.


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