Side Hustle

Who ever said your side hustle and your full-time job couldn’t co-exist? I’ve seen many people build up their side hustle as they also progressed through a full-time job. You don’t have to have to quit your full-time job cold turkey. I mean a girl’s gotta eat right? I have been working successfully for a company the past 7 years with my side hustles/passion projects. 3 years part-time + side hustle and 4 years full-time + side hustle. It can be done, but I won’t lie, it takes consistency, focus and most importantly an understanding of your ‘why.’

I’ve tried a different things with juggling – from scheduling everything on calendar to scheduling nothing on calendar. I’ve read books on productivity, listened to podcasts on balance, taken classes and attended workshops. I have come to see there is no magic formula. The most important thing you can do for yourself is try different approaches and figure out what ultimately works for you.


How should people go about making time for their passion projects? (Are after work hours or weekends preferred?)


You really need to take an inventory of yourself, your schedule, your commitments, and your life in general. When do you notice you have the most energy? When can you focus the best? How much time do you spend on social media? These are just starter questions for you to hone in on your sweet spot of time for working on your passion project(s). I know people who have children that get up at 5 AM to knock out key tasks. While I know other people who hate mornings and get their juices flowing after the sun sets. There’s no right or wrong. It’s about what works best for you.


Should they stick to a strict schedule?


One thing you don’t want to do is to dread your side hustle. You’re doing it because if you’re anything like me, you have a passion for it. I do believe that you have to be committed and consistent to what you are doing though. But that might look different for everybody. Do you need to blog every week? Or can you do it every month? Are you going to be working on the project every day? Just weekend? Or certain months? You’ll get A LOT of advice about when and how to do things. But you need to create your own schedule. Start where it makes sense for your life and adjust as you see fit. Commit to whatever you set up for yourself and if you have an audience be consistent so that they can take you seriously.


What factors should people take into consideration when making this sort of commitment?


It’s really about understanding your ‘why.’ I don’t think that anything can limit you if you want to invest time into a side hustle. You don’t need to have the money now and you don’t have to have all the pieces together. You just need to start. Of course things you can think about include: your commitment to the project, how much time you want to dedicate, are you doing this as a hobby or something you want to grow later on. Nothing should stop you from starting your side hustle. However you want to make sure to take the time to understand why you’re doing it – because the truth is, the days will come where you don’t have the motivation, time or energy to do it – but your why will keep you going.

What sacrifices should they be willing to make?


Anything that doesn’t cost you your authentic self. Here’s the thing. You might have to say no to going out for drinks with co-workers. You may have to skip that weekend party. You might have to wake up earlier or sleep later. But do I believe you have to sacrifice the things you value? No. Figure out what your truest values are and make the decision that you will work around those things. There’s no denying that some things will have to be redshifted and reprioritized and that is just part of the added responsibility.


How can they find a balance where they don’t feel too overwhelmed?


I’ve read books on productivity, listened to podcasts on balance, taken classes and attended workshops to try and figure this thing out. But honestly I’ve done different things at different seasons in my life. Most recently after reading, The ONE Thing by Gary Keller, I decided to try an approach of it. There are many ways you can do this of course. Daily lists, weekly lists, monthly lists, a calendar of specific tasks, reminds, and I could go on. What works for me is to set a vision of where I want to have accomplished by the end of the year. I then break the 2-3 goals up into quarters. I give each quarter a tactical theme of what I want to accomplish. Then I break that up into months and have a specific focus for that month that ties to the quarterly theme and to the overall vision for the year.  


How can their family members support them?


I was nervous about telling my family and friends about what i was doing outside of work. When I told my parents though I was surprised at how active they became in asking about it, checking in, and holding me accountable. I’ve also told a couple good friends and my boyfriend. I have joined Facebook groups and online communities that allow me to be around others who are hustling in the same way. I say, tell those close to you whom you trust to help hold you accountable. They do care. And if you never tell them how will they know?! Keep in mind when you share what you do people will be watching you. No not in a creepy way, but to see if you’re really serious. Be committed to what you’re doing. It’s not so much about what people see you doing, but what you do while no one is watching.


What (if any) benefits are there from pursuing a passion project, while working a full-time job?


It’s important to build your overall brand. Not just your work brand. Not just your side hustle brand. You need to build a broad brand about who you are and the range of skills and expertise you embody. Sometimes your job won’t allow you to gain the skills in a certain area. Sometimes you side hustle won’t give you the exposure or mentorship that you need. I call it the best of both worlds. Pursuing both a side hustle and full-time job gives you texture. Yes texture, “the feel, appearance, or consistency of a surface or a substance.” It can give you depth, give you the confidence to talk to different types of people. Open up opportunities for new projects in and outside your job, and maybe even grow your network.


My #1 advice as you try and balance the unbalanceable?


Progress is just a bunch of failures. Every step forward is a destiny step. Honestly. Take it one step at a time. Stop comparing your progress to others. Focus on the impact you want to have – in your job, in your community, for your family, etc. Write it down. I repeat, write it down. Celebrate your wins, and your setbacks. Celebrate how you overcame a hurdle. Celebrate your effort. Challenge yourself but don’t overwhelm yourself. Be forward thinking but don’t forget that the decision you make today will impact your future. No, these are not contradictions, these are things that are all part of the equation. The journey of pursuing both a full-time gig and a side hustle. Yes, maybe one day you will decide to stick to just one but remember, there is no ‘right’ way to do it, there’s just accepting that you’re on this journey and embracing it as you go.