How well do you really know your coworkers? At AdAction, our team is made up of individuals who have an innate entrepreneurial spirit that drives them to follow different interests and ambitions beyond our office walls. We wanted to learn more about our go-getter team, so we sat down with some of these employees who are pursuing their own passion projects and side hustles outside of AdAction.
Brooks Hurbis, Personal Trainer
How did you first get started in personal training?
I started teaching group fitness about two years ago and loved it. When I moved out to Colorado I wanted to take my passion for fitness to the next level so I became personal training certified as well. I’ve been personal training for about seven months now.
How do you find time to work on this?
I’m really bad at sitting still and feel like I constantly need to be doing something, so I work on my personal training stuff when I get home from work and on weekends. I love working with my clients and seeing them win, so it’s easy to find the time to fit it in!
What are your future goals?
Right now I’m just training individual clients but eventually I’d love to build out my own app or website where people can subscribe to on-going training programs and plans.
How has AdAction embraced your passion project?
I love that AdAction empowers me to embrace personal training and gives me the flexibility to succeed at both my nine-to-five and this side hustle. They have me lead a daily stretch to get everyone up from their desks in the afternoon, and they’re understanding if I need to come in late after teaching a morning class.
Myles Becker, Web Designer and Teacher
What are your main side hustles outside of AdAction?
My two main side hustles are teaching computers to middle school and high school students, and helping small businesses with web design and development. The former I’ve been doing for almost five years now, and the latter I’ve been doing since the late 1990s.
How do you incorporate your side hustles into your day-to-day?
My web design and development skills dovetail nicely into my everyday work, as many of the companies I’ve worked for have had a need for someone to administer the corporate website, including AdAction. I’ve launched several other company sites, and we have two more coming later this year. My side hustle definitely helps keep my skills fresh for my everyday work and vice versa.
The teaching also pairs nicely with my work here at AdAction, because one of our core initiatives is to groom the newer folks for moving up and into other roles as a natural progression of their career here. I’ve taught web design, content management, graphic design, and even video editing to quite a few team members.
How is AdAction accommodating to your teaching and web design?
Through it all, AdAction has been incredibly supportive, especially for the teaching gig. As long as I’m taking care of my responsibilities, I have the autonomy and flexibility to make my schedule work for me, including teaching a few mornings a week before I head into the office. AdAction has confidence in their employees to get the job done, however that needs to happen. It’s just part of the soul of the company.
What’s your favorite thing about these side hustles?
The web design stuff has just been a part of my life for a long time. I love researching and playing with new technology. Always have. It’s a fun way to keep my skills fresh, while making some extra money to support my family.
Teaching, on the other hand, threw me for a loop. I didn’t know I would love it, or even like it. But near the end of my first year of teaching, there was a student who had a “light bulb” moment after a class. Seeing them fully grasp a tough concept because of how I explained it was magic. Those are the moments where you can tangibly see that you made a difference, which is all I ever hoped for.
Kevin Brogan, Banana Products
Tell me about Banana Products
My brother and I started Banana Products back in 2013. He had the original idea of the Banana Cone when he saw a large number of people coming into the hospital he worked at with back injuries due to slip and fall accidents. He thought there had to be a better solution and came up with the Banana Cone, a “caution, wet floor” cone shaped like a banana peel. The concept is that the warning message is inherent in the shape of the cone because people instinctively think of slipping on a banana peel. We got a manufacturer out of China and took off from there. The Banana Cone has won the award for most innovative product of the year and is now in over 60 countries!
Are you still actively involved in Banana Products?
Recently, I haven’t had to be as actively involved in the business. Last year we reached a deal with a company for an exclusive licensing deal in all of North America, which was the most time-consuming part of our day.
How is AdAction accommodating to this side hustle?
AdAction has embraced Banana Products (we even have one in our Austin office) by allowing me to spend whatever time I need to get my work done. The general feeling is, if you get your work done for AdAction, you can spend time to follow your side hustles. When I was spending more time on Banana Products I would wake up early to send any emails, pack up any orders, and get everything ready for the day. Often times I would drop off shipments at UPS during lunchtime to make sure our customers receive their packages in time.
What motivates you to keep up this side hustle?
Banana Products is our baby. I spent years during college trying to help keep it up and running while also attending classes. The best feeling is when I’m traveling the world and randomly come across a Banana Cone or have my friends send me photos whenever they see one.
Mitch Carter, Sports Blog Writer
What kind of writing do you do for this side hustle?
I write about the Denver Nuggets for two sports blogs, FanSided and Armchair All-Americans. The topics range from in-game analysis to opinionated scenarios of how I think the team as a whole can get better. Under FanSided, I write for the Denver Nuggets’ affiliate account called “Nugg Love” and I’m the main contributor for Nuggets-related material for Armchair All-Americans where sites like Sports Illustrated or Bleacher Report occasionally pull articles from to share on their website.
How did you get started in this?
I am a sports enthusiast. I love everything sports-related, but my true love is for the Denver Nuggets. One day I stumbled upon an interesting article from “Nugg Love,” but I didn’t necessarily agree with the writer’s take on the topic. As I reached the end of the article, a notice popped up that said, “Do you wish to write for Nugg Love?” I applied and sent in some writing samples, and a week later the head of content emailed me and offered me a spot. After about six months of writing for “Nugg Love,” I had a few articles picked up by Sports Illustrated, then the director of NBA content from Armchair All-Americans reached out about an opportunity to write for them. After a sample project, I was hired on their staff to write Nuggets-related content.
When do you find time to write?
Recently I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. After moving departments and changing roles into the BI environment, I’ve been using spare time from my day-to-day tasks to further expand my knowledge of our product tools. However, once I feel more comfortable there, I’ll be returning to using my free time after work to write. Before college, I dreamed of being a sports journalist, so hopefully writing for these blogs could be some form of a stepping stone for a jump into that industry sometime in the future.
Liz Paschen, Vegan Cookbook
What can people expect from your cookbook?
My first eBook will include entrées and sauces in a way the user can mix and match and create endless combinations. All recipes feature nourishing food using plant-based ingredients. My philosophy is that good food doesn’t need to be elaborate or take a long time to make, so I’ve tried to limit the number of special ingredients and each meal will be on the table in less than 30 minutes. My goal is to release my book by the end of this year!
What inspired you to write your own cookbook?
Cooking and trying out new recipes has always been a passion of mine. I consider developing new recipes a form of art and creative expression. I love to cook for friends and family, and for years I’ve had friends suggest that I write a cookbook — I thought it would be a fun passion project and goal for myself.
When do you find time to work on your eBook?
It can be really tough to find the time. I never want this to feel like work but rather want it to remain something I truly enjoy. So I work on it when I’m feeling really inspired or after I just had an amazing meal with my husband.
What is your favorite part about creating your own cookbook?
Experimenting with new and unexpected flavor combos. Ultimately, the reward really comes from the reaction my family and friends have to what I cook and to know that the meal I prepared is also healthy and nutritious.
Lukasz Lebensztejn, Ecommerce Website
What is your side hustle?
I run an ecommerce website that sells medical equipment to professionals who are seeking to sanitize the equipment. I got involved in this side hustle a few years ago when I worked for a medical distributor during my college days. The company would trash old equipment and I would pick them up, refurbish them, and sell them on eBay the next day. I always was fascinated on how people monetize online and thought I could give it a shot as well!
How do you make time for your website?
I allocate time after work and work weekends to learn as much as I can.
What are your goals for your website in the future?
My future goals are to learn as much as possible and apply it to my current role at AdAction. Ecom is very similar to the affiliate side of business. The cross between the two spaces has given me a better understanding on how to effectively handle campaign management, working with publishers, and much more.
Our team doesn’t slack when it comes to their nine-to-five, so we encourage all of our employees to embrace their passion projects and side hustles without having to “squeeze” it into their schedules. We know that when our team is able to follow their interests beyond their role at AdAction, they’re fulfilling work-life balance on their own terms. If you’re interested in learning more about our driven and inspired team, check out our Careers page!
About AdAction Interactive
AdAction leads the mobile app industry with custom, performance-based marketing solutions and data-driven technology, optimizing acquisition campaigns to drive quality installs and downstream engagement for maximum ROI. AdAction is the premier, full-service ad platform that delivers over 8 million monthly installs for elite agencies and Fortune 100 companies, leveraging exclusive partnerships with top publishers to reach target users in more than 180 countries worldwide.