Entrepreneur: Daniella Flores
Biz: I Like To Dabble
Tilt: Side hustle and financial advice for LGBTQ+ and neurodivergent communities
Primary Channel: Website
Time to First Dollar: Within the first year
Rev Streams: Ads (through Mediavine), affiliate marketing, brand partnerships, freelance writing, courses, workshops, coaching, digital products, speaking engagements, consulting
Our Favorite Actionable Advice:
- Keep true to yourself: There’s not one right way to approach anything, and the biggest factor helping your content business stand out from others is you.
- Find others: Entrepreneurship can be isolating, so finding people to advise you and hold you accountable to your goals can make a big difference.
- Listen to your audience: It’s a good idea to try new things, but once you get feedback from your audience, devote your time to developing what works rather than trying to fix what doesn’t.
The Story of Daniella Flores
Daniella Flores wasn’t very good with money. As a software engineer, they earned a high salary but had little idea of how to manage it. Then they got laid off. Twice. Now they earn a living teaching others how to achieve financial freedom.
After enduring the back-to-back layoffs, Daniella (they/them) decided to get serious about their finances. Although they got a new full-time job, they wanted to make sure they would have other sources of revenue if another layoff happened.Daniella Flores started @ILikeToDabble so they would have other sources of revenue if they experienced another layoff. #ContentEntrepreneur #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
While researching other ways to earn an income, Daniella realized two things:
1. Not enough financial resources were geared toward a neurodivergent or queer audience.
2. They loved side hustling.
So, in 2017, they acquired the domain for ILikeToDabble.com and started a blog to help others grow their side hustles, manage their money, and work on their terms.
“When I first started I Like to Dabble, I didn’t know if what I was doing was even going to last,” Daniella tells The Tilt. “I was just having fun creating content and helping people.”
An unexpected offer
That first year, the blog earned $1K. Their first dollar came through Google AdSense (website ads placed by Google), but Daniella also made use of affiliate marketing and brand partnerships. In its second year, Daniella received an offer to sell the site for $30K. No small offer for the young blog.
They almost sold the site, but ultimately Daniella Flores decided to follow their gut and hold on to the business. That gut feeling proved to be right because I Like To Dabble brought in $40K in its third year.@ILikeToDabble entrepreneur got an offer to sell their blog for $30K in its second year. They declined and earned $40K in its third year. #CreatorEconomy Click To Tweet
Since then, the self-proclaimed “Side-Hustle Queen” Daniella has expanded their business to encompass at least 12 revenue streams. Among them are advertisements (they partner with ad management firm Mediavine), affiliate marketing, freelance writing, workshops, and speaking engagements. They say their courses, workshops, ads, and brand deals are the most profitable.
Business allows for life goals
The success of these multiple revenue streams has helped Daniella achieve some of their life’s goals. They paid off over $40K of debt. They and their wife moved across the country to live in Washington state. And just last year, Daniella quit their six-figure job in tech.
Many would be scared to leave such a well-paid position in the midst of a pandemic and economic turmoil, but for Daniella, it was the right decision. Juggling a demanding job and an independent business proved to be a major strain. “Eventually, it became too much and my mind started to be split in two,” they explain to the Tilt. “I had to choose one to move forward.”
As a major proponent of remote work, Daniella’s made the most of their status as fully self-employed. Most days, they work from their kitchen. Rather than keeping 9-to-5 hours, Daniella prefers to work in 90-minute blocks with half-hour breaks. And they make sure to keep work lighter on Fridays.
Daniella believes dictating the time and place for work is an important part of living your best life. In fact, that power is probably more important than the paycheck. As Daniella puts it, “More money is not the ultimate goal here. Time and freedom are.”
Achieving that ultimate goal can be tricky, but Daniella is full of helpful advice on how to get there. Of course, the best way to begin is simply to start. “Jump in and start trying different things,” Daniella suggests. “As soon as you can gather some data for what’s working and what isn’t, ditch what isn’t ASAP.”As soon as you gather data for what's working, ditch what isn't ASAP, says Daniella Flores of @ILikeToDabble. #ContentBusiness Click To Tweet
Focus on the content that succeeds, and see if you can find a way to make it work better. Often you can improve just by listening to your audience. If not, you can always fall back on trial and error.
In the long run, remote work and entrepreneurship can be isolating. They recommend finding a coach to help hold you accountable for your goals. Or, Daniella says, “You can also find a group of folks online doing something similar to what you’re trying to do and form a small accountability group to co-work together, check in, send funny memes back and forth, ask for feedback on your projects, whatever – to remind you that you’re not in this alone.”
More than anything, Daniella believes it’s important to keep true to yourself and your goals. It’s the only path to true success.
“Remember, what will help you to stand out is you, not your repackaged copied version of someone else that you think will please others. Rebel against it and step into the greatest power you have – you.” Daniella advises, “Make it personal and let it rip.”
About the author
Leo Bonacci writes, proofreads, and edits for The Tilt. A student of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, he’s a fan of classical mythology as well as the English language. Leo’s interest in storytelling extends to his great enjoyment of movies and film, from low-budget schlockfests to cinematic masterpieces.