Jilly Hendrix Turned Her Notes App Into a Side Hustle
Why have one job when you can have a bunch of them? That’s kinda-sorta Jilly Hendrix’s motto.
Jilly is a DJ, a podcast host, the woman behind a semi-famous Instagram account, and has recently added acting to her never-ending to-do list.
We talked to Jilly about how she transitioned from a 9-5 job to doing her own thing. Plus she gives us some networking tips and gets real about how @notes2myselfie came about.
You have a dope name, there’s no way that’s your real name, right?
No [laughing], but basically when Facebook came out people were weirded out about putting their real names on stuff. So I just made up that name and then everyone thought it was my real name.
That’s fun. So do you ever meet people and they think that it’s your real last name?
Yeah, everyone thinks it’s my last name, even like friends I’ve had for like, a year, will be like, “wait, I had no idea.”
That’s so funny.
Yeah, I just go by that, it’s easier.
Yeah, it kinda goes well with your personal brand, right?
Yeah, it was easy when I started DJing because everyone was like, “you need a DJ name,” and I was like, “this is perfect. I’m just gonna go by this.”
Totally. So you do so many different things, if you had to give yourself an official title, what would you call yourself?
I don’t even think that I could give myself a title, a feel like personality maybe, but I don’t even know what that really means, you know? I feel like I DJ and I write and then I make funny videos online and then I have a podcast and then I’ve been on comedy shows or different events. And I recently just acted in a TV show that’s coming out in the spring.
So what’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
The worst job I had I guess was when I was working at a flower shop when I was 16. It was a pretty bad job, they illegally sold birds [laughing], so that’s probably the worst job I’ve had. But in my career, I don’t know, I feel like I’ve liked mostly everything I’ve done. After college, I started working at CAA Music and then from there I just started DJing and you know, doing all the other stuff, so I really haven’t had so many bad experiences except for when I was in high school.
So when you were working at CAA Music, was it still more of a traditional 9-5 type of job?
It was, yeah. I worked in music marketing and then I worked in music booking. The first job I worked on all the promos for a lot of the artist tours, and then the second job I did there was to help book acts, which was really fun. It was like the best experience working there and meeting so many people in the entertainment industry.
And I bet it helped you with your DJing.
Definitely. It helped with that and even my manager for acting and writing and everything, she was an agent at CAA. So I met a lot of people that have helped me with my career now, I felt like it was kind of like going to graduate school.
So what gave you the push to go out on your own and pursue a bunch of different avenues?
First, my main interest was just DJing and then I started writing on the side, and I just started writing about my experiences and I actually wrote a book that never got published or anything, but I sent that to a couple different managers and one of them liked it and that’s how I started working with her. Then, from there I just started writing like, notes on Instagram. That was pretty interesting to just start getting immediate feedback from a bunch of my peers online. I feel like that was sort of the turning point that made me want to do more.
So with your notes, why did you choose to use Instagram as a platform rather than Twitter? Because it seems like something that would be on Twitter.
First off with Twitter, I feel like the lifespan of a tweet is like 11 seconds and I feel like it gets pushed down, and notes isn’t like that. And I wanted something digital. Instagram seemed like the best platform for that and there were already so many memes being shared, why not write my own? And then, I write a lot on my phone anyway in that section, so I was like, “I guess I’ll just screenshot this and see what happens.”
So what’s the hardest thing about balancing so many different projects?
I think it’s just remembering to keep up on all of them. Consistency is really important and continuing working on all of the projects is really important and I struggle a little bit with keeping up with all of it because you’re on set so much of the day that you can’t really be on your phone. So I think it’s a lot of planning everything out and keeping up on everything.
So do you have a calendar or a to-do list? How do you keep organized?
I have a to-do list and I kinda try to do two posts a week on my Instagram or three notes a week. I just try to plan things out in advance.
So going back to what you were saying before, about how you met a bunch of people through your first career path, do you have any networking tips that you’d like to share with our readers?
I would say just meet as many people as you can and be social and be positive and if someone has an idea they want to run by you, definitely meet with them. When I was first starting out I was just emailing a bunch of people just for like a coffee to pick their brain. Even if it wasn’t the exact person that could help me, maybe they could introduce me to someone else that could. I think that was very beneficial. I met this guy when I first came to New York and started DJing, and he introduced me to so many people and I kind of worked for him for like two months. I didn’t really wanna be doing that, but it really introduced me to so many people and got me set up DJing on my own. Do everything you can and know that nothing is too small for you to do because it’s going to help you get where you wanna be in the long run.
Do you find that as a woman, it can be tough trying to network with men because men are always creeping?
100% it’s hard. For me, I either go super shy or then I feel like I’m like, too much, and it’s hard for me to figure out where I fit in, but then I realize it’s something that may just be in my head. And if I’m confident and stick to what I want, everything seems to work out.
What does an average day of work look like for you?
Usually, I try to work out in the morning, then, like today, we recorded our podcast, and then I had a meeting because I’m working on a pilot, so I had a meeting with my writing partner. Then usually I have one or two calls and then a DJ gig that night or if I have another event I have to get ready and do that. But I feel like it depends on the day, I try to schedule one day a week to only write and then the rest of the days are kind of crazy.