These days, if you don’t have a side hustle, people might think you are lacking in #careergoals. The mark of the millennial is working a full-time job while building your own business on evenings and weekends. Because you never know when that day job could disappear, and because working for yourself has become the gold standard. No one can take your job away from you when you are the boss bitch.
But managing such a busy work life is easier said than done”they call it a hustle for a reason. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re currently struggling to have a life while working through most of your waking hours.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew
Since your day job is still how you pay your rent, don’t jeopardize it by working through the bedtime you require to be a normal functioning human at work the next morning. Yes, your goal is to one day make a living off this side gig, but you still have to ensure you aren’t burnt out and bring your best self to work every day. Only take on extra gigs you know you can complete without sacrificing sleep and some level of self-care.
Merge your hustle with your social life
Between working for a paycheque and working a side project, you might find very little time for your friends. Welcome to the hustle life. Instead of finding time, make time: invite similarly creative friends to collaborate.
It is likely you know someone who is getting into photography, web design, music, graphic design, art, social media, writing or something else that compliments what you do. Your friends have skills you can use, and you have skills they can use. Work together to build your individual businesses. Trade services and hang out at the same time. The support and encouragement will help you both stay on track and see it through. With that being said, make sure you schedule some quality friend time, too.
Manage your time wisely
You will need excellent time management skills to maintain a full-time job and a side gig without disappointing someone. Scheduling your outside work time is key. Know when you are going to be working when you are not at work, and stick to those hours. Make sure the people in your life know this is also work time and that you are not available to hang out. This goes hand in hand with self-discipline. After a long day at work, you probably want to put your feet up and go on a Netflix binge, but if you really want to escape the 9-to-5, you have to do the work.
There are some tasks that are low-value time suckers (scheduling travel, creating invoices, email, social media, etc.), that don’t require your particular expertise to be completed. These tasks are best outsourced to a virtual assistant. These days, you can hire a virtual assistant for a very reasonable fee for a few hours a week, and the money you spend will be well worth the time you save. This hack can ensure your side gig becomes sustainable faster than if you blow hours of your precious, limited time doing these things yourself.
Promote your skills at the day job
There are likely a lot of people you already work with who you love and trust”let them know what it is you are working on, and invite them to check it out. You never know who might need your photography skills for their upcoming wedding, or whose cousin could use your web design skills. Tell people what you do, and they will market your skills for you.
Also, consider letting your boss know about your side interests. They will likely be happy to hear you are so ambitious, and it could lead to a promotion at work. It’ll also help when you reach the point where you are ready to leave for your side hustle”if you have skills they can use”they might keep hiring you as a freelancer.