Let’s start with your side hustle—or hustles—what do you put time into after hours?

By day, I work in IT for a fortune 500 company, but outside of that I devote most of my time to music. Being in a band takes a lot of energy—practicing, writing music, scheduling and performing shows, trying to build a following behind our music, etc… It’s a demanding passion, but it rewards whatever you put into it.

How do you make sure you stay motivated after you’ve had a long day, or if you just don’t feel like you have any energy left in the tank? 

I’ve discovered that being a modern-day musician means matching your creative aspirations with business savvy. I’ve had to invest in social media ad campaigns, negotiate with venues and contractors over payment and manage difficult people

But, the benefit of my side hustle being an art form is that when something is burning me out, music relieves the stress. Whenever I’m worked up, I usually find relief by picking up a guitar. Before long, I feel reenergized and can get back to the grind.

Are there any habits or practices that have been crucial to you finding time and energy for your passion projects?

Honestly? Just making lists. A year ago one of my coworkers told me that they make a list every day in order to accomplish what they needed to. I was skeptical at first, but I tried it out. It really works.

Something about physically crossing items off your list makes the process more fun and gives a nice sense of accomplishment. Even on a sleepy Sundays, I’ll make a list of the most basic things (i.e. “make breakfast”) and that’s been a really positive habit to adopt.

Turning your dreams into a side business is often romanticized. What’s the biggest misconception you’ve encountered about following your passions on the side?

Nothing happens overnight. When I got into music, I looked up to the stories of people being discovered, going viral somehow, or just getting lucky. While those things do happen, the internet makes it seem way more common than it actually is. Good things take time.

What about the biggest hidden gem? Or benefit that you didn’t see coming?

Most days being in a band require some level of communicating change to someone in a way that’s positive and agreeable. Whether it’s determining a set list, booking out-of-town gigs, or hiring extra help for the band, I’ve found that being a leader in the band translates directly to being a leader in most business settings.

Could you run through a typical day (or at a high-level, week) to give us a sense of how you schedule out your time?

Each day we rehearse, I wake up at 6:45am and try to get to the office early. When I get home, I’ll grab a quick dinner (I love PB&Js!), fill up a water bottle and double back through rush hour to be at the practice space by 6pm. We practice for a few hours, and then when I get home I’m eating a proper dinner, sending emails to venues to get gigs, drafting social media posts, or trying to build our following a bit until I fall asleep. Whenever I can throughout my day, I also listen to local radio stations to help brainstorm ways I can engage with them. Getting shared or acknowledged by a station can be really impactful.

Read how NoDoz caffeine pills help Joe DeFranco power through in NoDoz's After Hour Series.


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After Hours: #200mg of Throttle with Meghan

See how Meghan makes it all happen in After Hours, our showcase of creators whose hustle mentality takes them from profession to passion. Got a side hustle? Share it with us on social media (@nodoz_200mg). Wanna see how NoDoz stacks up to other forms of caffeine? Check out our caffeine comparison tool!

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