I have several friends who are currently building a business on the side of their day jobs. Their goal is to eventually be able to leave the day job and focus on their business full-time. It’s tough as they learn to juggle a side hustle with a day job. They feel like they are working all the time with no end in sight.
I understand. I did this myself for a few years. I’m honest with my friends and I tell them it’s not easy. I also tell them it’s totally worth it once they are running their business full-time. It may not be easy to see that now because they are juggling, but if they remain disciplined they will see the day when they can leave that day job.
If you’re currently in the same situation as some of my friends, I feel you. I also have some tips that may help. Here are X ways you can juggle a side hustle and a day job simultaneously.
Remember it’s only temporary.
Gary Vee often says we’re living in great times. With the power of the internet, people can have full-fledged businesses in a few short years. He’s right. That’s exactly what happened to me.
He also says people need to give up leisure for a few years to make it happen. He is also right about that. You may find yourself working your regular hours at your day job and then from 7 to midnight you’re working on your side business. And then on weekends, you’re working on your side business again.
While it may seem rough now, it’s important to remember that it’s only temporary. You’re putting in the time now so that you can enjoy the fruits of your labor later. As someone who has done it, I can tell you it’s worth it.
Follow the money.
Although I don’t regret how things have panned out in my business, I do wish there was something I would have known sooner. I wish I would have known to focus on making some money sooner.
You see, I did what a lot of people do. I put content out there on a consistent basis for many years and thought the money would just come. Other than using ad networks, I didn’t understand how to monetize my content.
I’m about to save you a lot of time, energy and trouble. Focus on the money. What are you selling? What value are you providing in exchange for money? How is it a solution to someone’s problem?
If you spend most of your spare time on this, then you can start seeing results faster. It’s also a more efficient way to grow your side hustle faster.
Like I said, I don’t regret anything. The content helped me make a name for myself. However, if I had known to focus on the money sooner I would have spent less time writing blogs and more time selling.
However, once I learned I needed to follow the money, I was able to quit my day job in six months. I had a little help, which brings me to my next point.
Find a mentor STAT.
Although I’d been working on my side hustle for years, there was one thing that really made the difference. I got a coach.
At this stage, you’re probably following a ton of people online. The problem is there are many roads to take and not everything will work for you. So, you’re left feeling confused and overwhelmed.
Step one is to stop listening to everyone and anyone. Start becoming more selective about whose advice you take based on what you want from your business.
The second step is to get help. The fastest way to get from where you are no to where you want to be is to find a coach or mentor. It was this one decision that helped me make more money with my side hustle in six months than I’d made in two years.
Even now when I need to take something to a new level I look for and hire a mentor of some kind. For example, last year I needed help in creating a scalable product, so I hired someone to help me do it. As a result, I increased my revenue by 40 percent in a year.
Right now, I need help with creating processes and managing people, so I’m seeking the help of an expert to help me do that. My point is this: If you’re trying to leave your day job sooner, you’ll be able to do that with the help of a mentor.
Focus on some form of self-care.
The years you spend juggling a side hustle and a day job are rough and can lead to burnout. That’s why it’s important to incorporate some form of self-care into your life.
For example, I was at the gym twice a week during this time in my life. Those two hours per week kept me sane as the pressure from working a lot started to mount. I also had a meditation practice. By the way, these are two habits that I still have to this day. I still meditate daily and exercise regularly.
The problem I see with the “self-care” movement is that people are using “self-care” as an excuse not to work. In my book, self-care means you do small things – like take breaks and get some sleep – not avoid working for a weekend in the name of self-care. That defeats the entire purpose of juggling a side hustle with your day job.
It’s important not to go overboard with the self-care to the point where you lose sight on your goals. This brings me to my next point…
Forget about balance (because it doesn’t exist).
When I was juggling a side hustle and my day job, I was obsessed with the notion of balance. Similar to self-care, “balance” is another buzzword that gets thrown around a lot.
It’s taken me a long time to realize balance doesn’t actually exist. What does exist is seasons. For example, you are currently in a season where you are working a lot to make your dreams come true. It’s not forever and you’re doing what you need to do.
Even after this season, you’ll have other seasons where things seem off-balance. For example, I’m currently working more than usual because I committed to getting a podcast out for my audience. It’s only a few weeks of going really hard, then I can get back to having a little more leisure.
By the way, the opposite happens as well. I’ve had seasons where I’m traveling a lot and working less. Or, I often hear of the season where people are juggling small children and a business.
The reality is balance doesn’t exist. In fact, getting hung up on the idea of balance actually made it so that my goals took much longer to attain. What does help is when you accept and commit to the season you’re in.
For example, I commit to my podcast. I also accept that it will be rough for a few weeks until everything is out. I went through the same thing when I was quitting my job and publishing a book. I also know this won’t be the last time I experience one of the seasons.
Rather than fighting it in the name of “balance”, I suggest you accept it and do the work. This will help you find the time and the resources necessary so you can quit your day job sooner.
Amanda is a best-selling author of "Make Money Your Honey", a book that helps freelancers and business owners understand their relationship with money and how to make it more productive. She's driven by helping others live the most productive and fruitful way possible.