If you are reading this, then you probably are an entrepreneur boss lady or you want to be an entrepreneur boss lady. You go girl! When you are an entrepreneur though, you are the boss and the buck stops with you, which is both exciting and scary. Because being an entrepreneur also means that it is ALL on you. That’s why so many women start a side hustle while still working a full-time “day job” with intentions to develop their side business into a full-time role.
So how does one manage maintaining both a full-time job and a side hustle until you can develop your side hustle business into a full-time position that supports your lifestyle and your family? As a side hustler myself, I have some words of advice and suggestions on how to manage that.
First and foremost, SCHEDULING IS KEY!!! I cannot stress this enough! In fact, this may be the most important key to success in managing both. You need to schedule your work time on your side hustle just like you would schedule your full-time job and meetings into your schedule. Take care that you don’t overschedule yourself, and at first, overestimate how long things take until you know what to expect in your timetable. That doesn’t mean there is no room for flexibility, but make sure you schedule it out with the planning method that works best for you (check out last month’s blog on what planning system is best for you).
Make sure you schedule in downtime for yourself to rest and rejuvenate because expert research has shown that side hustlers who have the most satisfaction are those that schedule a break between their full-time job and their side hustle. For most women, this looks like working their normal full-time job during the day and then working on their side hustle during their evenings and weekends. There is definitely nothing wrong with that, but make sure when you get home from your full-time job that you take time to workout or eat dinner or rest and relax a bit so it doesn’t start to feel like your side hustle is just an extension of your full-time job. Anyone who would work that many hours in a day would get burnt out! This will also help you to stay positive and excited about your side hustle when times get tough.
What is not in your “zone of genius”? When it is feasible, outsource things that just aren’t your forte so you can spend those hours on truly bringing in income for your side hustle. Many balk at that idea because when they are just starting out because they think “oh, I just cannot afford that!” But, if you are able to generate much more money during the hours you would have to spend doing that thing that is outside your zone of genius, then likely that outsourcing will end up paying for itself. For me this has looked like outsourcing my website design. It takes me hours to navigate such things, hours that I could be spending on writing articles, blogging, or consulting, things which actually do bring in money. Outsourcing that has definitely paid for itself!
Having a support system is also key. Try to enlist a spouse, partner, or babysitter on some evenings or weekends to create some uninterrupted time for your side hustle and use that time wisely, i.e. don’t procrastinate and end up going down the black hole of social media!
Another key element is to be passionate about your “why.” It’s the only thing that will get you through the tough times, the times where you are tired and unmotivated. If your “why” you are doing this side hustle is strong enough and motivating enough then you will be able to push through those roadblocks. What I have done is put my “why” on an index card on my mirror where I get ready every day and where I usually do my writing. That way when I am feeling down or unmotivated my “why I am doing this” is right there as a reminder. This helps me keep on plugging away.
Lastly, find a mentor or niche community to support you and where you can ask questions. I know this has been MONUMENTAL for me in developing my side hustle! In fact, I probably wouldn’t have one if it weren’t for the support I have received from the women in the Sparkle Hustle Grow group and from other entrepreneurial communities I am involved with.
One great thing about social media is that it is easier to connect than ever before, and I consider some of my SHG ladies as close friends, even though I may not have met them face to face before! How awesome is that!?!? Find a community (AHEM, SHG!) that does that for you, and you are bound for success! Not to mention, it’s great to have people who understand what you are going through and who you can bounce ideas off of and ask questions. They will also help you celebrate your successes which is also important. Your niche community will really understand how exciting it is to get your first sale, or first published article in a certain venue, or an award that no one outside the industry might know but that is incredible for you!
Take these tactics and develop your own and you will be able to balance that side hustle and full-time job and develop it into a full-time position of it’s own if that is what you want to work towards.
So how do you balance your time?
Danielle Lively Neal is a former professor turned entrepreneur who provides brand strategy consulting, career coaching, and marketing services for clients.