“I have never been happier”

James Whittall, 23
Side Hustle: Web designer


James was helping set up his friend’s business when he started his side hustle. As a designer of logos, websites, and a consultant on all things marketing, he decided use his skills to try to make some extra money on the side.

He started by designing branding and websites for friends and family. After 12 months of doing it as his side hustle, he could no longer do both that and his full-time job so he decided to go full time on his own, and he was 100% sure he could make it a success.

James admits that some days he would question his decision, but the desire of wanting freedom and control over his work is what made him commit to leaving his full-time job, so he was determined to work hard at it.

The first six months were difficult for James – he lived in his overdraft and couldn’t afford to go out and socialise. He did everything himself: worked out how to set up a business, learned how to manage the accounts and set up the tax returns.

“Some days I’d think, ‘What are you doing? You could have a cushy office job!’. But then I would speak to a couple of my closest friends and realise that this is all part of the journey, this is what I want, and, to get there, this is what I will go through from time to time.”

James’ typical working day

  • 7am: Go to the gym and do most of his emails while he’s there.
  • 9:00-9:30am: Get back to the office, have breakfast, and answer any more emails.
  • 10am-4pm: Work time! Nitty-gritty design work, meetings, and calls with clients.
  • 4pm-7pm: Relax, have dinner and visit family and friends.
  • 7pm: Continue with work, emails, set tasks for himself and the team for the following day.
  • 10pm: Reading and self-development for an hour before going to bed.

Don’t let work get in the way of life.

One of the main reasons James wanted to become his own boss was because of his family, especially his grandparents. They’re all in or around their 80s and James didn’t want to let his job limit the time he could spend with them. He now sees them all the time.

On top of that, he felt his job was getting in the way of his everyday life. Now, his job works around his schedule, instead of vice versa.

“I have never been happier! The work is more fulfilling and having control over your life/schedule is incredibly satisfying. Working hard all week (including weekends) means I can go see my family any day I’m free. I see more of them now than I ever have done. Family is my top priority.”

The long-term plan

Helping brands start their journey is James’ passion, and so he finds helping them with everything from branding to marketing very enjoyable. He sees himself doing this job until he retires, alongside other things – but he’ll always do what he loves.

James’ pros and cons


  • Control: You’re in control of your life and destiny
  • Benefits: The harder you work, the more you directly benefit
  • Being your own boss: When “real life” things pop up with family or friends you can go and sort them without worrying about your boss
  • Love of the job: You do something you love every day
  • Seeing businesses grow: he works with some very talented people and brands and he finds helping them see success and being apart of their journey very rewarding
  • Money: In less than 12 months he has already eclipsed what he was earning at any of his previous jobs, which gives him even more freedom to do more!


  • Stressful: Sometimes at the beginning if money is tight, it can be stressful
  • Not enough hours in the day: There is always something to do and not always enough time to do it, fortunately he thrives under pressure


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