My guest this week is the groovy American musician, Cliff Beach, who has just published his book ”Side Hustle & Flow” which chronicles his music career journey as well as giving readers a detailed and realistic approach to how people can run their passion projects alongside the day job. And Cliff certainly knows his stuff – he is a successful musician but his full time day job is actually VP of Digital & Operations with online beauty company, BeautyTap. So, how does he do it all? I caught up with Cliff recently to find out… Hi Cliff, and welcome…
Hi! I am a musician and author based in Los Angeles, CA. I have a 10-piece funk band which performs regularly in Southern California and toured the West Coast this year.
Your book, “Side Hustle & Flow” is a detailed & realistic approach to how you can successfully run your passion projects alongside your day job, as well as providing practical productivity ideas and real-life techniques. What was the initial inspiration for writing this book?
It was my bucket list, pandemic project. Originally the book was titled “From Full to Fulfilled” as I wanted to learn why some people had full lives that were full of busyness, and some had fulfilled lives that were about their business. As it progressed, I realized that I had inadvertently curated my life to be able to work full-time and work on my side hustles full time by becoming very good at goal setting and time-management.
I loved the questions at the end of each chapter – they really helped to frame idea and to sort out priorities – and it made it easier to feel that having a successful side hustle is certainly achievable! What do you feel is the biggest hurdle people face when trying to run their passion/side hustle alongside their day job?
First, many people do not think it is achievable, because they have an all or nothing mindset or have self-limiting beliefs or have never learned how to make and set goals. The biggest hurdle is facing your fears. Fears are triggered by anxiety and stress that set in, and we don’t want to look foolish or fail publicly so we talk ourselves out of it. I am trying to live by a rule “Love the idea for 5 mins” that I learned from Mel Robbins because often in life we kill our own ideas before we even have time to believe it could be possible. If you try, you might, achieve it but if you don’t try, you won’t achieve it.
Were there any aspects of writing “Side Hustle & Flow” that surprised you, either by being harder or easier to write about than you expected?
The writing of at least the first draft moved right along, but it was the ten rounds of editing that almost killed me. I never thought I would hate my own ideas or reading my own words, and now that I have done the audiobook it was torture all over again, but once you have some distance from it, you get graduation goggles on and think ‘it’s not so bad.’ I didn’t know how much I didn’t know about the English language until my editors humbled me in the process. But it did make the book better each time, it is a labor of love.
Your full-time day job is VP of Digital & Operations with online beauty company Beautytap. Do you feel that your side hustles/passions – music, TEDX speaker, Toastmaster, author – have helped you to be productive in your day job too? If so, in which ways?
Yes, I think many firms should think more intrapreneurial. Just today I interviewed a person for a job at our firm and they expressed that outside of their normal work they owned a few Boba tea shops in LA, which was very impressive to me. Without telling me I can understand that for a person to work and have a side hustle and manage not, 1 or 2 but 3 locations, plus other endeavors, that person is a go-getter, that person wants to continually improve, and they can set goals and time manage while dealing with a high level stress. I’d take a person with soft skills and hustle any day over someone who looks good on paper. They used to say the proof is the pudding, but I say the proof is in the output. What your produce matters.
What attracted you to the role of Toastmaster?
I learned Warren Buffet displays no degrees on his wall, only a public speaking certificate. I think people think they speak well but can still improve, while others are afraid to speak in public. Effective communication is what changes someone from good to great and not just at work and career but in interpersonal relationships. In the world of texting and shorthand, people are not using as many words, and we have a more passive than explicit and direct nature when we speak now. In Toastmasters practicing persuasive, humorous, impromptu, and succinct speeches have helped me immensely, by having a warm, supportive environment to practice and a methodology that has evolved over the past 90+ years to be tried and true.
Music also plays a very big part of your life – having a hit song “Confident”; winner of 2 Global Music Awards and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest Grand Prize; House-band leader for Josh Gates Tonight on Discovery Channel; and host of Deeper Grooves on 88.5FM KCSN; plus, a spell on “American Idol”. So, growing up, did you want to have a career in writing or in music or did you actually have other career aspirations?
When I was young, I wanted to be a chef. I used to love watching cooking shows. I almost became a doctor, but I decided last minute to go to Music Conservatory at Berklee instead. It worked out in the end though I do love to cook, I can’t stand the sight of blood.
Are you a bookworm? What is your favourite genre and/or authors? Kindle or actual book?
I used to read a lot of books, but I am more into audio books and book summaries now. I read mostly self-help. I love Tim Ferris, Tim Robbins, Jim Rohn, Les Brown, Zig Ziglar Brian Tracy and more, but mostly I read Success Magazine, which is all substance and no fluff and over 100+ years old.
Is “Side Hustle & Flow” available to purchase worldwide?
Yes, on Eyewear Publishing, it is available worldwide in hard cover first edition and will soon be available on audio and eventually digital.
Have you got a passion project bucket list of activities you would love to try but haven’t as yet?
Yes, I am working on a lot of music projects at the moment, one more contemporary project, three jazz projects, a soul project and possibly a blues project. I created a legacy document at 30 almost 10 years ago on my first ep info and beyond and now I am looking to plan and plot out the next decade. I said I would make ten albums in 10 years, and I have done almost that in nine so far.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Depends on the day sometimes more casual, sometimes dressy but always in my brand/band colors which are red and black. I liked the White Stripes, who wore red and white so I chose red and black. Red is the first color you see, so it makes me stand out in a crowd.
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?
I shop a lot at Ross Stores and Amazon. I am not brand specific, and I do like a bargain. I never go to the mall.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
You can never have too many hats. I just got a wide brim red fedora, but I’d like a regular brim red fedora as well next purchase.
Boots or Shoes?
Shoes, because boots are too heavy and unlike the song they are not made for walking.
Links you would like to share e.g., website/facebook etc
Red is one of my favourite colours to wear also – it definitely sends out a powerful message – and the colour suits you too, Cliff 😊
Photo Credits: Sheldon Botler. Header photo: Linda Hobden. All photographs published with kind permission of Cliff Beach.
Book cover credit: Image Stricken
Thank you to Cliff Beach & Ben Cameron (Cameron Publicity & Marketing) for the review copy of ”Side Hustle & Flow”. All opinions expressed in this article are 100% my own.