So how does that same balance come into play when you are trying to jump feet first into creating your dream business?
While taking the plunge and diving right in is a thrilling option, it’s not always feasible. Maybe you need to start building your entrepreneurial dream while maintaining your 9-to-5. The ability to continue generating income to help support your new business is the most tangible benefit to working while building your empire, especially as some of the biggest costs come from operational expenses. Admittedly, it’s not the easiest path, but I am willing to bet that’s you didn’t sign up for easy when you decided to become an entrepreneur.
So you ask yourself, how do I do both? Can I do both?
After spending more than a decade in corporate retail, I went through a personal experience that moved me to create something for myself beyond a hobby. With some strategic planning, community engagement, and a bathtub of coffee, I am on the cusp of pursuing my passion full-time. Here are four tips I found worked best for turning an after-hours side hustle into a permanent, bill-paying gig.
Block and Tackle
Time management and time blocking is critical for new entrepreneurs, especially those who still have full-time jobs. Setting aside one specific day per week or actively blocking a few hours each day as designated “dream biz office hours” is essential to keep making progress on building your side hustle.
Whether it’s a color-coded calendar or itemized Google Sheet, make sure to figure out a system that effectively lays out the tasks that need to get completed on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis. It’s easy to spin out when you’re starting out because there are a million things to do, so block out time to create a plan and focus on tackling the tasks that make up each project or initiative. It won’t be long before you start to see and feel the progress.
Make Time for Self-Care
Working two jobs is mentally and physically draining so creative burnout is a common reality of entrepreneurship. Because of the sheer amount of work on your plate, it’s easy to fall into the habit of working non-stop without taking breaks. Which isn’t effective when you actually need to function. In order to be the best version of you for yourself, your full-time job and your side hustle (not to mention your friends, family, and the slew of other responsibilities you have), you need to schedule time to rest (see the previous point about time blocking.)
We implemented “slow down Sundays” in our house to find a better work-life balance. It’s a day where we make no plans and allow for pausing and reflecting in the current moment, which helps me go into my week rested, re-energized, and re-focused.
Starting a new business is overwhelming, especially as it’s often a team of one building out every area from operations to marketing. This means you will inevitably find yourself working on tasks that are not your strength, and those weak spots in the foundation can become problematic later on as you try to grow.
Since you are still working full time and able to potentially generate some income to feed your side hustle, think about hiring outside help in areas where you need an expert. Not great with social media creation? Copywriting? Sales management systems? Hire an hourly contract employee to take that task off your hands so you can focus on the part of your business that is most exciting and that plays to your strengths.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Even on your worst days, always remember why you started. Ask yourself, why did I want to launch this dream business? Stick Post-Its around your home with your mission on them. Start your day journaling on the dream, and keep focus on the progress you’re making toward that dream.
And take time to celebrate the small wins! Did you launch your website? Take a walk to reflect on that moment and let it all sink in. Upload your first social media post? You deserve a happy dance, or two, even if you didn’t block out time for it.
About the Author: Kelly Kussman is the founder of Cayla Gray, a luxury line of clean fragrances. Kelly launched her dream business while working full-time as a senior director of a large corporation.