When the Covid-19 pandemic began to spread across the U.S. last March, 33-year-old Shan Shan Fu noticed that none of her friends had access to adequate face masks. So in April 2020, she launched Millennials in Motion, a side hustle selling masks on Etsy. She also kept her full-time job at a consulting firm in San Francisco.
"I would work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the consulting firm and 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. [on my side hustle]," she says. "For the first few months, there was no time off. I worked seven days a week, every waking minute."
By October 2020, Millennials in Motion's income was close to what Fu earned at the consulting firm, so she decided to focus on it full-time. Overall in 2020, Fu earned $115,000 from her consulting job and her business brought in another $111,000, for a total of $226,000.
In addition to continuing to grow her company, Fu has another big money goal in mind: Becoming a millionaire by 36.
And with a net worth of around $700,000, not including the valuation of her company, she's well on her way to reaching that milestone.
One reason Fu aims to grow her net worth is so she can eventually become financially independent, an idea she first came across on YouTube when she discovered the FIRE movement, which focuses on financial independence and retiring early.
The idea of financial independence, or not needing to rely on a typical job for income, resonated with Fu. But she doesn't plan to stop working anytime soon — even when she becomes a millionaire.
Instead, she's interested in the flexibility financial independence offers. "With that flexibility, I can do consulting for companies. I can help others build their business," she says.
One day, Fu would even like to be able to take on more creative projects, such as writing children's books, she says.
For now, Fu hopes to double Millennials in Motion's revenue in 2021, which would allow her to outsource more. That would free Fu up to focus on strategy and growth, as well as allow her more time to branch out into new projects.
Eventually, she'd also like to get into real estate as an additional stream of passive income.
"I want to keep working forever, whether it's helping people or creating stories," Fu says. By achieving financial independence, "I have the foundation, and I don't have to worry about the paycheck."