A Practical Guide To Managing Your Side Hustle
The idea of running in the rat race is becoming less and less appealing for millennials. The tradition of doing one job is becoming a thing of the past as it is gradually replaced with the emerging trend of portfolio careers. ‘Slashie’ titles are becoming more prevalent – bankers are now bloggers, and accountants are becoming artisans.
Whether it’s a hobby or a Plan B, it takes a lot of work and discipline to effectively manage a side hustle in a day and age where 9-to-5 is actually 8-to-7 and requires you to be constantly glued to your smart phone.
We spoke to some successful side-hustlers who have shared some key tips on how to juggle your own “slash” career.
Set your goals
When you’re staring at your computer on a Saturday for the eighth hour in a row while the sun is shining outside and all your friends are out sipping on cocktails, you will need a reminder as to why you’re there. Goal setting is important, as it acts like a source of motivation for those moments when you think ‘what the hell am I doing?!’
Articulating your ambitions in the early stages is a helpful way to keep you on track and stay motivated. Ask yourself – is your side hustle something you want to create into a full time job? Is it a way to get a financial leg up? Or it is simply a passion project?
Defining these answers will help pave the way for you to reach your goals. Be clear about what you want to achieve from your side hustle and put a note somewhere as a constant reminder; create a mood board or simply list your goals and set it as your screen saver.
Create a routine
Time management is everything when you’re not only managing two gigs at once, but you’ve also got that thing called a social life to consider.
Find out when you’re most productive and block out time each week to work on your passion projects. Perhaps it’s waking up at the crack of dawn every Wednesday or reserving your weekend for ‘side hustle Sunday’ to ensure side hustling becomes habitual.
Compromise will be key, as your new working hours will sometimes come at the expense of your social life. Jasmine Garnsworthy, a freelance editor who recently launched a line of beauty oils called The Buff, suggests letting your loved ones know your plans.
“They should understand if you go MIA for a few months while gearing up your side hustle,” she says. “Set their expectations while you’re getting started, and make sure the people around you understand why you’re suddenly declining their invitations to brunch.”
Build yourself a team
When you’re at the start of building a business, hiring full time staff is usually unachievable. But you don’t have to have employees to get help. That’s what friends, family and freelancers are for, says Garnsworthy.
“I’m pretty practical when it comes to working out what tasks to outsource,” she explains. “Whether it’s printing labels (a task my boyfriend has largely taken over), graphic design (which I’ve outsourced to an amazing freelancer and former colleague), or taxes (I always use an accountant).”
Alex Thompson – legal counsel by day, and founder of The Bedhead Co. by night – also agrees. “I ask for as many people’s help and opinions as possible. My friends have expertise in PR, interiors and sales so I find their opinions and advice invaluable for The Bedhead Co.’
If you don’t have the cash or you’ve exhausted your immediate network there are plenty of online groups which can be a wealth of knowledge. Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine has turned into a brains trust of successful businesswomen and side-hustlers who are always willing to dish out some advice or help for free.
Even if you have sensible and achievable goals, an amazing team to outsource to and you’ve got time management down to a fine art, passion is everything.
Alex finds that her side gig keeps her interested, which has been key to its momentum so far. “I think after a busy day at work most people like to switch off and sit in front of the TV. I have found that because I am learning so much and exploring my passion, I actually prefer spending a few hours before bed building the business,” she explains. “If I didn’t have that passion I wouldn’t get the work done and The Bed Head Co. would just be another idea rather than a real business.”
Jasmine agrees. “I’ve also earned a living obsessing over natural beauty and wellness for many years as an editor and writer, so this space is absolutely my passion,” she explains. “If you’re going to be working on a side-hustle until 3 a.m. (and not hate yourself for it!), you may as well be having fun at the same time.”
Have some downtime
Burning the midnight oil is inevitable when you’re essentially working two jobs but it is important you make some time to recharge. If you’re on the brink (or in the middle) of a burn out you’re unlikely to be producing quality work, which makes all those long hours pointless.
Whether it’s getting a massage, going for a walk, meditating or even just a night of Netflix and chill, add some relaxing time into your routine. Not only will your mind and body appreciate it, your output will be leaps and bounds above what you do when you’re frazzled.
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Hannah is a corporate manager by day and freelance writer by night. Her work has appeared on websites like Virgin Australia, AWOL and Broadsheet as well as her own travel blog, Tales and Trails. You can follow her adventures and admire cute photos of her dog Marvin at @talesandtrails_