You’ve probably have heard of the side hustle before. Maybe you even ended up on this page when you were Googling how you are going to combine your side hustle with your (full time) job. It’s maybe your passion project or hobby right now you really enjoy and you just thought ‘f•ck it, I want to do this fulltime’. I know that feeling. I had that feeling. And I did it.
However, it is not always as easy as the internet makes it out to be. Yes it can totally work but you need to put in the time. You need to WANT to put in the time. Especially if you already work 40 hours a week, you really need to WANT this.
To give you a little head start or something to think about — and the reason you even clicked on this link anyway — I’m going to give you my tips on how to combine your side hustle with a job and other responsibilities (like paying bills). Do you have any follow-up questions? Let me know in the comments below. I’m always up to help you go after your side hustle.
BENEFITS OF KEEPING YOUR JOB
So first I want to say is that you don’t *NEED* a side hustle.
It’s okay if you have no interest in starting a side hustle. Working 40 hours a week is already enough. You really need to love to work on your side hustle — which I think is the most important thing. A side hustle is a great way to work on a passion project or to dip your toes in the self-employment waters. But just because a lot of people are doing it, doesn’t mean you also have to have a side hustle. Maybe your job is already your passion or you like working on your passion project as a hobby. It is all good.
However, this post is for people who do want a side hustle. But before I go into my tips on how to combine your side hustle with a job, I want to make a case for keeping your job if you are thinking of quitting.
The most important reason: it is a great security blanket. Especially if you have bills to pay. Being self-employed comes with a lot of uncertainty for a lot of us and having a little bit financial breathing room makes all the difference. It will keep your side job fun and it keeps a roof above your head.
Secondly, it gives you room for trial and errors. You can try something out without having to worry that you will lose a client and having to worry about rent or phone bills. And you can be so much more creative when you have a back-up plan. It’s great to have this space to grow.
So before you think ‘f*ck it, I will quit my job’, think of the benefits of a job next to your side hustle.
CHOOSE A COMPLEMENTARY SIDE HUSTLE
The best side jobs are the ones that have something to do with what you are doing right now. When I first started out I worked at an online marketing agency where I created visual content. It wasn’t exactly what I was doing with Fiona Gobbo Creative — which is brand design — but at least I was still busy with honing my skills during the day.
Maybe you are working in brand development right now but you want to start a jewelry business. You might not know all the ins and outs of how to deal with suppliers but you do know how to create a brand. Or maybe you work in a clothing store and are managing the social media of a couple of clients. You can use your people skills and customer service experience to make their online space enjoyable for their clients. In other words, use the skills that you have and use in your day to day job for your side hustle.
TIP: Always check your contract before you start on your side hustle within the same industry or job if it is permitted. You don’t want to get into legal troubles.
PRIORITIZE YOUR TIME
How to combine your side hustle with a job always starts with prioritizing your time. If you are bad at time management, now is the time to get you sh*t together.
First up is creating focused time slots to work on your side hustle. As human beings we spend most of our time during the day at our job. When you have a side hustle, you need to make time around your job to work on it. This doesn’t just mean you need to be motivated to do it — also important — but you also need to create certain times in your day that you buckle down and do the work.
Think of using your commute to work on a project for a client or reserve half a day in the weekend to create new art or strategies. Use your time after work to plan content. Make a plan with focused time slots that works for you. If you see that your original plan doesn’t work, pivot.
Secondly, you need to learn to say ‘no’. There will always be moments when someone asks you to do something for them or asks you to do something fun. You need to be focused and strict with yourself and say no when it’s interfering with your focused time slots. Is this helping you get further with your side hustle? If the answer is ‘no’, then say ‘no’.
A SIDE HUSTLE IS A BUSINESS
Most of the time. Which means you are also running a business next to what you enjoy doing. And that is not for everyone. Make sure you know the basics of running a business and have your legal ducks in a row. I recently wrote a blog post about the starting your own business that is a must to check out before you start your side hustle.
STAY CONNECTED & TAKE CARE OF YOU
Although you should say ‘no’ and keep your eyes on the prize, you are not going to go anywhere when you are doing a half job. So make sure that you at least take a chunk of time in your week to spend or talk to people around you. And take time for yourself.
Your work is only as good as it can be when you are in a great place. A burn out is never worth the side hustle.
TIP: Write down the three things you are looking forward to that week that has nothing to do with your work or side hustle. This will get you in the habit to plan things for yourself and get you excited to not focus on work.
FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES MONEY & BRINGS YOU JOY
There are two things a side hustle should do for you: make money & bring you joy. And the two definitely go hand I hand if you see your passion project as a side hustle.
Firstly, your side hustle is a business. And businesses need to make money. They at least need to make enough money to cover the costs of the side hustle. Money might not bring happiness but it can definitely create unhappiness.
So focus on the things in your side hustle business what will make you money. This is a tip I got from a webinar — it sounds like a ‘duh’ but I do see a lot of business owners (including me) who can get swept away by a new, cool idea. Focus on your core income making service or product first. Then work on a new concept.
Most of all, your side hustle should bring you joy. You are spending your own free time next to your (full time) job on this project. It is very important — and humanly — that you enjoy what you are doing. Yes, there will be things you don’t love about it but overall it should bring you joy. The whole reason to have a side hustle is that it is something you enjoy doing and can monetize at the same time.