Don’t miss this upcoming webinar: Launch Your Side Hustle Like a Rock Star. (Yes, it’s free.)
Starting a side hustle — whether you’re working a designer, writer, coach or whatever — isn’t easy. And one of the biggest challenges is TIME.
How on earth are you supposed to launch a business when you’re already working a full-time job AND spending time with family, working out, reading books…?
That’s exactly what this reader was thinking when she wrote me this note a few months ago:
The thing I struggle most with is having to do my work in very short time frames. I have maybe two hours in the morning during the week before I go to my full-time job, and the evenings are often spent unwinding or hanging out with my boyfriend. I’m not willing to sacrifice my quality of life to start a business ““ especially when the business is supposed to be about a better quality of life!
Let me offer a little tough love here: starting a business isn’t going to be easy, and it’s not going to start itself.
If starting a side hustle were easy, everyone would do it. Instead, it’s left for the go-getters, the ambitious innovators, the cream of the crop. Which makes it easy to spot people who will do great things with their career; just keep your eye out for the hustlers.
And on the flip side — I’m getting on a tangent here, but it’s a worthwhile one, I promise — if you want to propel your career forward, spearheading a smart money-making pursuit on the side of your full-time job is one of the best ways to do it.
Anyway. The truth is, it IS becoming easier to launch a side biz. The Internet’s making it easier by the day to make a name for yourself, land clients and sell your work. That’s one of the main reasons the side gig is gaining popularity.
But it’s still not easy. Like any business, it takes some serious effort and sweat to gain momentum. And that’s going to take time; there’s simply no way around it.
So what should you do if you’re short on hours and finding it difficult to make time for your side hustle?
The truth is, you probably WILL have to give up some of your down time if you want to build a business or project on the side of your day job. There are no shortcuts. You’ll have to spend some evenings and weekends working if your daytime hours are full. (Been there, done that. And still do that sometimes.)
If spending time with family or enjoying a certain hobby is your priority, that’s totally fine — no one will deny those are worthwhile pursuits! But your biz simply won’t take off unless you’re willing to give up something else to spend time on it. (Click here to tweet that idea.)
What that means is this: You have to CHOOSE YOUR PRIORITIES. You have to make choices.
Pick and choose, and then execute. And focus on what you accomplish rather than sulking over what you’re missing. Because you can’t have everything, can’t do everything, and thinking about what you’re missing rather than what you’re enjoying is a sure-fire way to make yourself miserable.
If you’re NOT willing to give up something in your life to make room for a side hustle, you might be better off focusing on what you’ve got rather than starting something new.
Don’t let yourself get distracted by menial tasks that aren’t integral to your success. Focus on what pays, what grows your business and your network, and what helps you learn new skills. Practice saying no and letting small bad things happen so you can get big things done.
I say “practice” because this isn’t a skill you will develop overnight; it takes time to understand and build upon your work habits and strengths, especially if this is the first time you’re giving yourself orders (as opposed to doing what your boss tells you to do). Being productive when no one’s looking at your time sheet requires self-discipline.
If you have a side hustle or are thinking about creating one, how do you make time for it?