How a 29-year-old built a career and two side hustles

by Romana Greene
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Destiny Adams has built a successful career on the advice of a mentor who said once you decide what you like to do for free, you’ll have a life-long career. At age 29 she makes about $158,000 a year from a mix of jobs including her salon in Grand Rapids, Michigan. At night she words as a child welfare specialist for the state. She pads her income with money from her YouTube.

Destiny’s struggle on the path to success

Growing up was not easy for Destiny, whose father was killed when she was a toddler and her mother worked at a factory overnight to raise three kids in a low-income housing area. Destiny saw her retired grandmother also struggled with money with little savings and no retirement account.

Reinventing herself

The turning point in Destiny’s life when things began to change was when she enlisted in the Michigan National Guard in 2012. This experience taught her budgeting, saving and investing for retirement. Destiny learned to be open to new opportunities and do hard work, which put her on the road to success, giving her the ambition to start her own business. She attended Grand Valley State University from 2009-2013, when she developed interest in hair salons.

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After making 150-mile trips to Detroit to get her hair styled on a regular basis, she became aware of hair extensions that weren’t available in her region. After graduating from college she developed a business to sell hair extensions and wigs online in 2016. She started out hand-delivering the products in her town but within two years had made enough income to open her own salon in 2018 to showcase her products.

The salon cost $685 per month to lease, as Destiny also rented space to two hair stylists. In January 2021, however, she decided to move on and transfer the lease to another operator while rebranding her hair line of products.

A day in the life of Destiny Adams

She currently rents a 2-bedroom/2-bathroom apartment for $1,350 per month in the Kentwood area five minutes outside of Grand Rapids. From her home she can conveniently visit nearby grocery stores, malls and restaurants. She drives a 2011 Mercedes Benz E-Class, a high-end luxury vehicle. When making videos, she gives advice on writing business plans, how to build credit and insights on branding.

Having control of her work schedule is important to Destiny’s lifestyle. She says working a 9-5 job restricts income, whereas entrepreneurs have more potential to earn the income they want. Her passion is in teaching others about business success and she’s looking to expand these efforts.

Keys to Destiny’s high income

Working around the clock has been the secret to Destiny’s 6-figure income. Her main state job pays $60,000 a year plus benefits. Her small salon business selling wigs and hair extensions called Destite Hair Collection bought in net earnings of $86,000 in 2020. Additionally, her YouTube channel earned $12,000 for the year, thanks to the support of about 10,000 subscribers.

Maintaining a monthly budget of $6,283 has allowed her to save and invest $1,500 per month and still have $1,715 left over after paying bills. Her regular expenses include rent, food, insurance, gas, utilities, phone and subscriptions. Eventually she plans to purchase a home with a VA loan. She still has student loan debt of $44,000, which was put on hold during the pandemic, as the military pays a percentage through its Student Loan Repayment Program.

Destiny’s advice to those aspiring to follow her path is to develop multiple revenue streams “because it helps you live the life you want to live.” The salon gives her backup income in case something ever happens with her state job. Meanwhile, she considers her YouTube business consulting channel to be backup to her two main jobs.

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