Balancing a 9-5 and a business is truly an art form that was not meant for the weak-hearted. In fact, referring to your business as a “side hustle” can be quite cringe-worthy when you know you put in so much more than the title implies. Regardless, we all start somewhere and while growing a business and working a job can be tiresome, it’s often necessary during the beginning stages of most ventures.
Is working for yourself & someone else easy and/or ideal? No. Should you plan on doing both forever? Preferably not. While you probably often daydream about the day that you’ll be working 100% for yourself, the truth is that balancing both worlds can grant you more freedom than restriction. So many think that propelling yourself into full time freelancing is the way to go for everyone, and while we should raise a glass to all those who’ve pulled it off, some of us are meant to take a different journey. With that said, here are a few tried & true tips behind the art of balancing a job & a business.
As entrepreneurs, we definitely go through a ton of highs & lows. Sometimes we will be insanely inspired and churn out a ton of projects, while other times we’ll just want to lay on the couch and pretend we don’t have a business to run and a job to work. Of course, balance is essential—but keeping your entrepreneurial spirit consistent is a major key for success as well. There’s no need to force the creative juices if you’re just not feeling it, but slacking off definitely isn’t an option when you have some major goals to reach. Be sure to consistently set aside time for all the behind the behind-the-scenes action that it takes to efficiently run a biz, such as bookkeeping and marketing strategies. While it’s tempting to do these tasks sporadically, maintaining a consistent workflow will help maintain your sanity in the long run.
Another essential you’ll want to keep consistent is your dedication. Mentally prepare yourself for the fact that you’re probably going to miss out on a few social events because you’ll be too busy working on your craft. Know that business isn’t always going to be an easy ride, there will be a lot of bumps and you may even reach certain points that make you want to give up altogether. Don’t forget that often what you put in, is what you’ll receive in return—so consistency is really your only option if you’d like to see success in your side hustle.
Treat your side hustle with the same amount (or more) discipline that you put into your routine at your 9-5. Creating a set schedule for your work hours and for your business hours will help you stay organized & efficient. Invest in a planner if you haven’t already, or simply utilize your Google calendar to implement your side hustle schedule.
Aside from scheduling daily tasks, it also helps to schedule & automate more mundane tasks, like social media for instance. Many busy business owners find it best to plan Instagram posts ahead of time by setting one day aside to dedicate to batch planning posts for the month ahead. Even if you’re not working a job and running a biz simultaneously—automating & scheduling your social media activity in one way or another will still be a game changer for your efficiency.
Know When To Take A Break
It’s so easy to get burned out when you’re working for yourself, let alone someone else on top of that. While staying disciplined & consistent is a priority, know that self-care should always come first. As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably been guilty of working yourself into exhaustion more times than you can count, which isn’t going to do you any favors when it comes to your well-being. Remind yourself that it’s okay to take a break, shut down the computer for the evening, and to even take a weekend off here and there. We’re humans, not robots—as much as we may feel the opposite at times!
Make An Exit Plan
Obviously you launched a business because you saw a bigger picture and a better future for yourself. Setting intentions and creating a vision for life after the hustle & bustle of juggling both income streams will make your path that much clearer. It can be so easy to get stuck in the same routine and end up wondering why haven’t you made it yet. As they say, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again while hoping for different results. Prepping and planning to make a change is the first step towards actually making it happen.
Hoping to take your side hustle full time one day? Start crafting your vision into an action plan for the steps you’ll need to take before you get there. Maybe you’ll need to have 6 months worth of savings to fall back on, perhaps you have a monthly income goal you’d like to reach consistently, maybe all you need to do is launch a website for your business! Whatever it may be, taking the time to plan this process will help make your transition so much smoother. Good luck!