You want to successfully balance your day job with your side business. The good news is that it can be done! But it may not be easy; scratch that, it will not be easy.
Building a business on the side of your day job is tough for a variety of reasons. You not only need to develop superhuman time management skills, but you must also learn to manage your emotions as well.
This means keeping meltdowns to a minimum. It means not comparing yourself to others who are further along in their journey than you are (try learning from the experiences they can share instead!).
If you want to achieve your dreams of balancing a full-time day job and a business on the side, it takes work. And this means absolutely no whining about having to work hard, you simply have to.
So without further ado, here’s how to successfully make room for your side hustle alongside your day job.
1.Understand that your full-time job still requires attention and energy.
Yes, you will have to work hard. If you’re like most of us who haven’t made the switch, you’re holding down a full-time day job as you slowly nurture your side hustle into a side business.
No matter how badly you want to ignore your day job in favor of your new side business, you still have to give it the time it deserves. You need to develop the skills to cope with your day job, even when all you want to do is quit and focus only on your own work.
It’s time to learn how to deal with your day job when all you really want to do is focus on building a side business.
2.Don’t let your day job suffer for your business and vice-versa
You won’t survive if you’re not passionate about what you’re creating. But losing the drive for performing well in your day job can kill your self-employment dream just as fast.
I know. As a budding entrepreneur, this is not what you want to hear. The reality is, your day job is necessary to your future success as a self-employed business owner.
Why? Your day job provides a steady source of income, benefits, and compensation for your work. And some of those benefits will disappear when you quit, so take advantage of them for as long as you possibly can, I’ll suggest till your business can provide that sort of compensation at least, 50 percent of it.
Also, your day job matters as much as your side business because it’s removing the financial pressure to immediately succeed away from your creative work. In other words, you don’t have to pimp out your creativity in order to make a buck. You may carry a heavy workload, but that burden is preferable to dealing with crushing debt and other money problems.
Money isn’t everything, but smart business owners know financial security is important to success in other areas of life.
3.Ensure you don’t just go through the process, grow through it.
Managing a day job alongside a side business provides better lessons than business school. You’ll learn a lot as you launch your own career and create your own opportunities.
“If you can survive a few months as both an employee and your own boss, you can handle anything once you officially work for yourself full-time.”
If you’re at the point where you you’re working two jobs (one for someone else and one for yourself), think of this as your transition phase. Right now, your day job is serving as a bridge between two important pieces of your career. Your success lies in crossing that bridge and ensuring you do not jump off of it as soon as you come to it.
4.Ensure your day job and side hustle are interrelated
We get so caught up in busyness that we forget to enjoy what we’re doing. However, it will be a day in hell if your business and your day job don’t have a meeting point. Of course you probably took that job out of the need to pay bills of plain frustration but you will agree with me that the time and energy you’ve putt into that work has made you a master at it, even if you do not necessarily like it. Now I’m not saying you should go out there and invest your hard earned savings into a business you don’t like, the point here is that it shouldn’t be far-fetched.
Always ask yourself: What can I do to spend more time enjoying what I’m doing?
The goal should be to align your day job and your side hustle in a way that you’re happy living out the details of your daily life, even while you’re working really hard on both.
This may sound like a pipe dream, but it’s more possible than ever in today’s world. Be curious. Be open to opportunities. Know yourself. Embrace your passions.
5.Intentionally make room for your side business
There are two elements in life that most of us feel we will never have enough of. The first is money, second is time and these two make up the list of things you need to be mindful of. Especially when running a business alongside working a day job.
The good news for side hustlers is that you don’t need to have much money to establish a side hustle alongside your full-time job (and some get the ball rolling without any upfront investment at all) but you need to manage your time meticulously.
Finding the time to work on our businesses while having a full-time job is the biggest challenge that you as a small business owner will have to overcome.
Which brings me to my next point.
6.Invest in honing your time management skills
Time is trickier to handle than money.
If you want to take your side businesses full-time it’s crucial that you learn to manage your time wisely. You have to do everything within your power to maximize what is available.
We all get the same 24 hours in a day, and that’s it. But you can make it feel like it’s 48 with the way you manage the free time you have, bearing in mind that when you finally decide to settle for your side business, you will need this time management skills. Here are few pointers that have helped me:
1. Get organized
Really organized. Setting schedules, maintaining a calendar or planner, tracking your ideas, and managing tasks are all essential to success while you still have your day job.
Personally, I use handwritten planners and notebooks to schedule out my time. There are apps for this; Asana,Trello, etc. but I’m a bit old school.
2. Ask for help with your side business
You may be 100% responsible for your position in someone else’s company, but you call the shots in your own business. Consider outsourcing any tasks you don’t like or can’t do, so you can focus on the big, important stuff, also to avoid frustration.
3. Ask for help with non-work-related tasks
You can reach out to people to help you with more than just work, as well. Make sure you have a support group made of friends, family, coworkers, or like-minded folks in a similar situation that you can lean on when you need them.
This may mean having someone to talk to when you just need to vent, or it could be asking a friend to run an errand every once in a while or a significant other to bring you a meal, because really, you cannot afford to pay someone to do it.
4. Make use of all your time
This is as important as it is delicate. If you receive breaks or lunch periods at your day job, consider taking that time to work on your personal projects. However you have to familiarize yourself with your company’s rules and policies first.
5. Prioritize what matters
Just because you need to continue taking your day job seriously doesn’t mean you need to give 110% in every area. You don’t need to feel obligated to volunteer for extra work or assignments in the office. And don’t be afraid to say “no” to additional projects if you lack the bandwidth. On a good day, that would have been wrong for career growth, but currently there’s a lot on your plate, so give your best and leave the rest, but remember, you only have your side hustle because your day job is paying you. Try not to lose it.
6. Look for alternative work arrangements
Ask your boss about setting a new schedule or allowing for some remote work. This can allow you to save time on commutes (or avoid wasting time sitting in the office when you’ve finished the days work, doing nothing but twiddling your thumbs until 5pm). You may also want to discuss working 30 hours per week instead of 40 if that’s an option in your position.
7. Set goals and timelines
Keep yourself focused on what’s really important by creating a detailed action plan that contains specific goals and timelines. This can help you eliminate the noise and concentrate on progress.
And it can also signal when it might officially be time to hand in your notice and make the leap to working for yourself full-time.
Finally, understand that wonderful things will happen. You will grow in your career and your business will yield profits, enough for you to scale even. So best of luck implementing these tips, and let’s know if we can do anything else to help you.