In May 2015, Vix Reitano was working at public relations firm PMK•BNC in New York City when she decided to start a side hustle creating digital content and doing social media strategy for various companies.
"When I first started my side hustle," she told Grow, "I just wanted to go to more SoulCycle classes and buy more shoes."
But her side gig grew fast, and by July, Reitano had secured $20,000 per month in annual contracts for clients such as a private medical practice and an online entrepreneur with a video training business. "I had matched my six-figure salary," she realized, so she quit her job and dove full time into what became her creative agency, 6boro (Social + Studios).
Five years later, 6boro has taken on projects for organizations ranging from the United Nations to CKO Kickboxing. Here are four moves that helped Reitano build her six-figure business.
Before deciding to dive into her side hustle full time, Reitano crunched the numbers to know exactly how much she needed to make every month to live comfortably, including how many clients she'd have to take on to make it, and how many referrals she would need to keep the momentum going.
You have to be "confident in the fact that this could be something sustainable for whatever your goal is," she says. "In order to feel confident, you gotta know your numbers."
Video by Stephen Parkhurst
Reitano uses various tech tools like marketing sales platform Keap, Google Docs, and cloud collaboration service Airtable. Those tools boost her efficiency by streamlining her work processes, sending her push notifications to keep her on schedule, and providing data to help her make informed decisions.
"Automation makes you the person that you aspire to be," she says, "so I use a lot of different tools for that."
When it comes to growing your side hustle and business, "you have to really consider how you're going to get the word out," says Reitano. "For me, it's always been something that I've been able to do myself because that is my area of expertise."
From the onset of her business, Reitano divvied up her network into three groups of people: "people who can hire you," "people who know people who can hire you," and "people who can promote you," she says. She'll contact select people personally, while others get mass updates about her work.
Reitano also uses social media tools like Instagram stories and her YouTube channel to connect with her existing audience and grow it even bigger. Leaning into these tools and tactics has helped her business grow entirely by word of mouth.
"When you're building your side hustle," she says, "I think a lot of people get burned out really fast." When that happens, of course, not only can you not further your side hustle and business goals, but you can't do much else, either.
To ensure she's taking care of herself all around, Reitano includes morning workouts, journaling, and walks along the Hudson River with her French bulldog as part of her daily routine.
Reitano has a motto: Treat yourself like a client. That is, take the same level of care with yourself as you do with the people you're serving. "When you treat yourself like a client," she says, "you can monitor that burnout."
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