Founder & Chief Hustler at Monday Hustle 
I’m one of four girls, which is pretty full on. I grew up in Wellington and lived there until I was eighteen. I don’t think that I was really the right person for school or university. As much as I enjoy learning, I’m a very curious person who likes to explore things rather than be presented with definitive answers as to what’s right or wrong.

My high school always had a strong sway towards going to university. Both my parents and my big sister went, so there was definitely the expectation that I would end up there too. After getting sick of people asking me what I was going to do when I left high school, I convinced myself that university was right for me and moved to Dunedin to study psychology.

I’ve had all sorts of different jobs from advertising to publicity and sales. After deciding that moving to Auckland would be the right thing for me, I worked in the sales team at TVNZ for just under a year before realising it was now or never to do something for ‘me.’ So I resigned and started Monday Hustle three weeks later.

Initially the idea was to create a shop-style blog, because I love op-shopping. But I never felt comfortable enough to have all of these photos taken of myself, in that way. So on a whim I set up a website and wrote my first post, with no intention of actually posting it. Eventually I published it and the post went pretty well, which made me think – ‘shit, maybe this could actually be something.’ 

Two and a half years on, the site has definitely changed a lot. The Monday Hustle tag line is ‘question everything, make shit happen.’ It is an exploration of how the world is. As a society we need to question what we’re told we should be doing and re-think the reasons behind the decisions we’re making. Lets be the best versions of ourselves and then embrace that. Don’t try and fit the mould. When I began Monday Hustle, I took the time to look at the scene. I followed influencers and read blogs to see what others were doing and kind of mimicked them in a lot of ways. It’s only now that I’m truly getting to the point where I’m doing whatever I want to and I’m comfortable in doing so.

My biggest learning has been that you need to make sure what you’re doing is true to your voice and the ethics of your brand. I was always told to never swear in my blog posts, so as to never offend anyone. But in order to be authentically you, you have to let that kind of thing go sometimes. There’s a saying that states, ‘You’ll find your people, they’ll find you. If they don’t, they’re not your people.’ There will always be someone who may not like what you’re putting out there, but at the end of the day, it comes down to owning your content. If it comes back to bite you, then you have to own that too.

We all have our natural talents and it shouldn’t be a crime to embrace and be proud of them. That’s where America has it right. As opposed to feeling threatened by talent, they own it. Maybe it is due to us being such a young country and not knowing where we stand in the world – but we need to build a resilience against Tall Poppy Syndrome. We need to be rid of the idea that sees it as tearing one another down or being aggressive, particularly among women.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of the modern take on feminism. I’m all for women-backing-women, but this current movement seems very forward and dangerous. It’s amazing that women are getting these opportunities in business and life. We have the sexual freedom and power to make shit happen, but it’s still coming from a place of self-interest. Feminism is now celebrated as women finally getting the things that men have had for so long, which I feel is cutting off a lot of the conversations that need to be had in order for us to actually move forward. There are so many barriers that need to be broken down for men in terms of their roles – Can they step back and be a stay at home dad? Therefore, as opposed to isolating men from these conversations, we need to include them and create a space that can restructure our society, so we can move forward together.

It sounds paradoxical, but I’m liking the idea of social media influencers less and less. The ‘comparison trap’ is a real thing that I still fall into every single day. I mean, I’m not the ‘hot girl of Instagram,’ so who am I to be on social media? What value do I bring to the table?’ That’s when I have to remind myself that what I’m putting out there is important. Social media always comes from a place of self interest, it’s unavoidable. As much as any of us can convince ourselves that what we’re doing is good or right, there’s still no hiding that it comes from that egotistical place.

Social media gives us so much influence over people we don’t even know, which is very powerful. It’s a tool that can be used for just as much good as it can bad, so we have to be very considerate of that. I do get worried about the next generation. We have no idea what sort of world we’ll be living in, in a couple of years, which is concerning. I think it’s going to go to one extreme first before it gets pulled back under control, as there are no guidelines or rules and that’s scary. We have the potential to lose touch, which is exactly what is happening. Did you know that getting a text or a notification lights up the same part of your brain as cocaine – It gives off the same hit of pleasure.

Traditionally, no one has had the amount of freedom and opportunities that we as millennials have had. With the world changing so quickly, we’ve been left to work it out for ourselves. We’re the first explorers of this new space in a lot of ways. As much as the older generation don’t understand it, it’s equally as hard for millennials, because we’re constantly being told that we need to tick all of these boxes and the internal pressure is outrageous. Then you add the whole world of social media to the picture and it is the most lonely and isolating experience of all.

While New Zealanders are very open and nice, we’re also relatively guarded. That may be due to that Tall Poppy effect, but we’re working it out along the way. We’re really blessed that this is such a safe space to try new things and fail. I think it takes going overseas or living in another country to truly realise that. We always idolise these other places and think life could be so much better in London for example, but the truth is – New Zealand is very special and unique. We’re a very safe and nurturing country and people.

One thought on “LUCY O’CONNOR

  1. Enjoyed reading this blog thanks. It was insightful hearing your take on the evolvement of the internet and I agree, it’s all happening pretty quickly. In a world where we can have what we want so quickly, I too also question where to from here for next generations.


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