The side hustle. It's for those of you that dare to dream of working for yourself, owning your own business, making your own rules, running your own game, spending more time with your kids, and working from wherever the hell you feel like it while still earning a sure income at the job that pays the bills but may not necessarily feed your soul.
It's OK. As unglamorous as it sounds, not every successful mompreneur suddenly up and quit her full-time job to focus 100% on her own business. Most of them had to side hustle for what seems like forever before making it. That means cramming in as much work on the side hustle as possible. That means smart and strategic planning to maximize your day to do both — the full-time and the part-time, and still include the family time you crave. It can be done.
Below, I'll outline three different side-hustle strategies and personas to help you inch your way towards turning your successful side hustle into a thriving business. And get ever-so-slightly closer to handing in that two-week notice to your boss.
The Morning Glory
You are the early riser. The one that sneaks out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to tackle content creation, emails, Tweets, Facebook posts, and lots more. You might even upload a video while the sun is slowly buffering below the horizon. Your dog doesn't even bother moving from under the covers to follow you. Some people call you crazy, I call you driven.
The benefits of morning work are well documented, with some of the most successful people getting up early to work. You might find that the quiet hours of the morning offer a time to think deeply and more clearly than when you have more distractions and the evening hum of a full house. You might even find that your creativity flows more fluidly in the morning when your brain is fresh.
How to make it happen: If you're used to jumping out of bed and scrambling to get to the office in a mad rush, don't try to get up at 4:30 a.m. in one go. Start setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier every day for a week, then 15 minutes earlier every week until you hit your target rise time. This will help your body adjust slowly, but just remember to get to bed at a decent hour as well!
The Power Hour
William Blake once said to "Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night." Your lunchtime power hour is the time to act. Taking a break from your day job to put into action all the things you've been planning could prove to be beneficial at lunch — your brain is awake and you've already been solving problems for hours. Now's the perfect time to shift gears and focus on making moves for your own business.
Bring your laptop to work with you, take the full hour you're allowed to take, step away from your desk and get a change of scenery. If you're working in the cloud, find the nearest Starbucks, grab a coffee, plop down at the communal table and pound out some content, fire off emails, or plan your editorial calendar. You might even find the break makes you more creative at your full time job, too. There's nothing wrong with being successful at two jobs, right? Try this once and you might fall in love. Make it a habit.
How to make it happen: Are meetings keeping you chained to your desk at lunch? Engineer your schedule so you can get away. First, decide on your power hour time. If you want to start off slowly to get fellow cube-mates used to the idea of you actually taking a lunch hour, start blocking off that hour in your calendar two or three times a week. After a few weeks, block that time off five days a week. Make sure you're marked "BUSY," cause you will be very busy making your own success.
The Night Ranger
You have a hard time falling asleep because your brain has conflicting ideas on when is the best time to be creative. While the rest of the world drifts off into a food coma after dinner, you're itching to work again. To crack open your laptop and write. To draft new product descriptions. To solve marketing problems. To make connections with other entrepreneurs. To be creative. But with a household full of people — husbands, wives, children, dogs, parents, siblings, whatever — it's nearly impossible to get a quiet moment alone.
You could wait until everyone goes to bed to start working, or you can carve out some time before then to work. Your power hour might come at 8:00 p.m. or midnight. Either way, if you find your brain is most alert after the sun goes down, invite it to perform at its best and be there to download all the info.
How to make it happen: Nighttime work might be the most difficult to accommodate. You could work from the kitchen with a firm Do Not Disturb policy for one hour. You could find a little extra space in your bedroom. You could work from the back seat of your car parked comfortably in the garage (please do not turn the car on — I don't want to hear about some poor woman on the news who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while she was working on her side gig). Or you could find a neighborhood coffee shop or diner with WiFi, introduce yourself, order a decaf, and put your head down to work feverishly before bedtime. Still, starting off slowly is good to help get your family acclimated to your new routine. Start off doing this a few times a week, then increase to every night, or just every weeknight. Weekends should be family time anyway, right?
How do you make time for your side business in your day? I'd love to hear two things:
- What strategies and tactics do you use to make time for your side business?
- How has it worked for you?
Share your successes and lessons in the comments or on Facebook. Let's discuss!