If you’re reading this it is likely you’re categorised as a ‘millenial’. Born somewhere between 1981 and 1996, and have grown up with a high speed of change happening in the world.
If you’re like me, you grew up with a chunky PC which lived in your lounge and you shared with your siblings, spent a stupidly disproportionate percentage of your teenage years on MSN messenger and are now trying to figure out the crazy confusion of the working world.
So many of us millenials have side hustles or ideas we’ve been debating taking to the next level for some time. You’d love to progress your side hustle but you’re not sure how to tie it in with your existing ‘real job’ and are questioning whether you should quit that ‘real job’ all together or try to do both simultaneously for a while to see whether that side hustle has legs…
I’m there too and it is certainly a fun yet somewhat daunting at times place to be. You’ve got an idea but:
- How much time do you dedicate to it?
- Do you tell your boss what you’re working on too?
- When do you start telling friends? What if they think it’s silly or not worth my time or that it’s already being done so I’m better off focusing on my ‘real job’?
I’ve felt all of these ‘growing pains’ over the past couple of years and although I’m far from having all my sh** together, I’ve learnt a lot on the way about juggling my day job with various side incomes and passions. I’ve made a lot of mistakes, especially over-doing it and feeling exhausted, also with not being bold enough about my asks to my employer despite having no lack of confidence that I work hard and produce the results I need to.
I’ve also needed to seek a lot of advice from others and despite having this great advice I’ve deliberated over it and in doing so, wasted time. This has led me to put together my top learnings from the past two years to share with you.
Hopefully a few of my tips below will help you work out your next steps with making your side hustle happen and from my particular area of expertise, to help you gain the flexible working you need (if you want to carry on working for someone else at the same time) and the ways which have helped me to ‘get out there’ in order to get your side hustle off the ground…
1. Do I Drop My Full Time Job Completely To Spend 100% Of My Working Time On My Side Hustle?
This is certainly an option which works for some people and works particularly well if you have the financial and emotional support behind you. For some of my entrepreneurial friends they have been able to live with their parents for a year or so rent-free and had family and friends willingly investing in their projects. This has allowed them to fully focus on their business idea. Fantastic.
However, for a lot of us this isn’t realistic. If you’re like me, you enjoy your ‘real job’ and don’t necessary ever want to say goodbye to that side of things. Along with my yoga business and house renovations, I work part time for a consultancy, I love it….I love being part of a team, helping to grow a business, meeting several new businesses each week. I don’t want to step away from that, not just for the financial security but for all the other stuff which comes with working as a team.
It is a case by case basis and only you will know for yourself which of the above options are suited to your current time of life.
2. Don’t Be Scared About Asking For Flexibility In Your Role
There are always a million reasons people will tell you why they can’t have flexible working – ‘nobody else does it in my team’, ‘it would mean my salary would decrease’ ‘it’s just not the done thing in my industry’ …. however I’m pleased to tell you that it’s now 2018 and things are changing. If things aren’t changing in the business you work in, then you need to change them!
If you’ve been in a business for a while and you’re doing well (hitting your targets, collaborating well with others, you are well liked) then this business will want to keep you. It is HARD to hire good people and the cost of doing so is far far more than most people realise. Therefore, retaining existing talent is top of the agenda for most companies.
Be organised about what you are asking for – is it an afternoon each week to work on your side hustle? Is it Friday’s off? Work out what you need and how this will affect your day to day work. For a lot of people I speak to, they don’t have to be available for client interaction Monday to Friday 9-5 anyway. Studies have shown that if we have less hours in the day to work (6 instead of 8) or are working 4 day weeks rather than 5, we get the same amount of work accomplished!
It seems that Sweden is at the forefront of these trials, finding that employees were happier, took less sick leave, increased employee retention, had better health and were more productive. More info on this link. So if your boss isn’t happy with the idea of you working less hours – show them some stats!
Show your boss the quality of work you produce, how you have helped others in the team, that you’ve hit your targets & KPI’s and want to continue to do so and having this flexibility will allow you to grow as a person and bring these side hustle skills into the workplace.
This flexibility could also be around more time working from home. Let’s face it, a lot of the time we spend in an office, we are unproductive – let’s change that!?
3. Dedicate Specific Times To Working On Your Side Hustle Each Week
Schedule in these times as if you’re scheduling in time with your friends. Don’t allow this time to shorten or become de-prioritised. I know myself that sometimes I’m working on writing blogs, social media or marketing or emailing endless businesses with no responses. No immediate ROI for my actions can be demotivating. However, it sometimes DOES feel like this when growing your side hustle. It’s all part of the journey!
For me, I generally schedule 4-5 hours over the weekend to get my head down, normally in coffee shops as I know that’s where I work best. Also I work half day’s on a Wednesday so I ensure to get my head down for a solid 2 hours on that day.
4. Use Your Network
You’ll be suprised about who you have around you and also who your friends have around them who may be able to help you.
My most important piece of advice here is: don’t be scared about asking people to meet – ALWAYS get your card out to buy them coffee and always be very thankful for their time.
More often than not, people love helping others. I am forever introducing friends to one another, and the more you do this, the more it will come around. Keep helping others and keep asking others to help you!
4. Find Somebody To Keep You Accountable
Without having somebody on our side to keep us going, it can be hard to keep momentum high.
Therefore, finding someone else who is on your journey to progress their side hustle too I’d suggest is a great way to gain the accountability you need. Perhaps set up bi-weekly conversations with one another and track one another’s progress!
Best of luck and message me with any questions around progressing your side hustle, I’d love to help! xxx