Having a side hustle has always been part of my everyday life since I was 17 so I tend to think of it more as my creative break from my daily routine rather than a chore or an extra thing I have to worry about. It keeps me motivated, helps me develop my skills and progress in my career.
Juggling side projects and a being committed to a 9-5 is not very uncommon nowadays, I see it happen very often especially among people of my generation and I feel like it has become second nature to us, after all millennials have been dubbed the Slash Generation. And I'm proud to say that I'm a blogger slash social media consultant slash founder slash creative director. The more slashes the merrier, I couldn't imagine doing one thing for the rest of my life. There are so many podcasts dedicated to #selfmade businesses that started on the side, I have listened to some rather inspiring success stories which have stuck with me (I will be sharing my favorite podcasts on a separate post). Another great example of how a side hustle can be a lucrative source of income is all these amazing bloggers who started from the bottom, now they (t)here (smirking).
After graduating from school my schedule used to be: uni by day / part time job by night and it was around that time that I had made my jewellery making hobby "official" by making a top notch page on MySpace for it. Oh yes. Free marketing at its best, those were the days. That was over 10 years ago and I still have the same passion, if not more, to continue to grow my little jewellery business as well as adding another brand, my blogging and my social media consultancy services to the rotation -all of which I have been working on whilst having a 9-5. It's doable and I still have a life. These are my top tips for staying on top of it all and making it work.
You can't be running a side hustle (or more) and a full-time job without being organized. Even if you prefer a more flowing do-as-you-go type of working, you need to allocate time slots and set deadlines for yourself. Whether you like a good ol' notebook/diary situation to keep track of all your to-do's or are techier and prefer your iCal for keeping up with meetings and tasks, find what works best for you and stick with it. I would suggest trying different ways of working, in the beginning, to figure out what works best for you. It's important to know when work time ends and play time starts and find a happy balance between the two.
My first ever manager who is a very wise, kind, generous soul and an avid traveler (shout out to you P) taught me how to prioritize my tasks and manage my time -in other words, the key to getting shit done. She introduced me to the Eisenhower Matrix which made my life easier and my to-do list manageable. The logic behind it is simple and to the point, tasks are divided into 4 quadrants: Urgent, Important, Less Urgent, Less Important, place each task in the appropriate box and voila, you have figured out where to start. Find out about it in more detail here. I still have the paper which she drew the table on for me :)
The brilliant Alex Stedman wearing a VIDEO knit / The Fisherman, one of the knits I designed for my family business VIDEO clothing.
Having a side hustle can work wonders for your confidence. Hell you brought a business to life! You organize, design, source, ship, market & advertise, handle customer service, post on social media -the list is endless so I'll stop here- it all happens because of YOU. You are the source that powers this whole operation and making shit happen. Remember to always give yourself a pat on the back and set up a reward system to congratulate good little you and celebrate your achievements.
Tiny bits of bling, my Little Darling handmade brand.
The reality is that your 9-5 wage will pay off your rent, utility bills, food so you can keep being alive, perhaps your travel to show up at said 9-5 and hmmm what's left? Are these copper coins I spot at the bottom of my purse? So you really have no option here but to get resourceful and creative with how you do things. Don't have mulla to buy a marble table top for your Instagram flatlays? A marble adhesive paper will do the trick! Can't afford a photographer? I often ask friends and family to be my Tim Walker for a day! There's more that I can think of but I'm TL;DR-phobic so I'll keep it nice and neat. For now! I will unleash the beast at a future post. Also I like to keep a list of all the things that I have accomplished, milestones or collaborations on my phone to look back to when I feel overwhelmed.
I'm still the same person that I was 10 years ago when I joined the side hustle life but now I'm an upgraded version, I have leveled up! I'm more experienced, knowledgeable, resilient and a little more seasoned. I'm not claiming to have done it but I sure am trying to reach my goals and dreams by working hard every single day and sticking with it all even at challenging times when finding time to write a blog post or planning content in advance seems impossible. Being a freelancer, I have learned to adapt my schedule and find pockets of time whenever I can. Just think that your humble side hustle could be the key to a career you have been dreaming of but don't have the skills for, it's is a great source to gain experience in your chosen field. I know that I wouldn't have landed the opportunities I have in my career if it weren't for my side hustles.
I want to hear about YOUR side hustles, do you have any? Are you itching to get started with a new project? Have any helpful tips to make all of it happen? Let me know in the comments section.
In case you were looking for some home office inspiration.