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Deborah Rogers

The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team. Deborah Rogers is up.

Deborah Rogers

Who are you and what do you do?

I'm Deborah Rogers, living in Minneapolis with a golden doodle, Bear. We walk around Lake Nokomis, greeting the dozens of doodle owners. I have a handful of income streams. Own apartments (48 units) and retail building, adjunct professor, and an Etsy shop. Earnings from the apartments affords buying inventory for the Etsy shop. The Etsy shop started with pranking my kids. I gave my son and daughter a gift box with a fake rat inside. They jumped and laughed after opening the box. I began selling the rat in gift box with "how to instructions" and adoption certificate. Much like the Pet Rock of the '70's, teaching the plush rat to stay, play dead, and keep secrets is easy with a bit of training. But Rat lovers, not pranksters bought them. And Rat owners like tiny teddy bears for their rats to play & take photos with. So little bears were added to the shop. Then little puppies, kitties, pigs and bunnies were added. These 2 inch plush animals are most of the sales.

What did it take/how did you get started?

I opened the Etsy shop in 2008 but did nothing until around 2018 when I started selling plush rats and miniature plush animals. I noticed there are lots of people that like miniature things. I started sourcing miniature things and have slowly added to the shop over the years.

What does the future look like for you and your business?

I'd like to start selling wholesale some time in the future.

What drives / motivates you on a daily basis?

I enjoy being around miniature things. I look forward to the messages people send how happy they are to receive their little friends. I like that it's flexible to work on and the issues are less stressful to fix than a boiler pipe bursting or a clogged main drain at midnight.

What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?

You're never too old to start something new. I'm in my 50's. I wish I started decades ago. Find something to sell on etsy you like buying yourself. Look at your best sellers, and continue to add items similar to those.

What has been the hardest part of your business journey?

Being consistent. Some days I work on it and some days I don't. If I stuck to a schedule, I would get more done.

How have you managed burnout thus far?

I don't feel burnt out. Wish I was in a mastermind group or had an accountability partner to feel part of a community.

What are a few resources that you'd recommend?

Book: Four Thousand Weeks. New perspective on goals and life purpose.

Podcast: Side Hustle Nation. Nick Loper thoughtfully interviews interesting people with side gigs.


List the founders

Deborah Rogers

How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?


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What's the #1 thing you need right now?

Accountability partner


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