Recently we’ve written about the importance of having a side hustle, how to find a suitable hustle and reasons why you should start one. This week you’ll learn how to keep your side hustle in check.
Sufficient Fundz is my side hustle. We began planning its launch about 12 months ago and in February last year we had lift off. We’ve been blogging, emailing and aiming to provide massive value for you, our readers, ever since.
Not only can side hustles impact, and in many cases, eventually supersede current full time roles, side hustles are super taxing on many areas of your life. Now, my version of a side hustle is slightly different than many others. Mainly because I didn’t start it to create a way out of my current role.
Sufficient Fundz is highly complementary to the gratifying work my co-founders and I do with our full time clients and our financial planning and home loans business. It’s a way of channelling some creativity, and adding extra value – the key reason I do what I do in the first place.
However, creating weekly content still puts the same pressure on our time and life as any other side hustle. So, I want to highlight the ways we’ve learned how to stay sane with a side hustle and how to ensure that it won’t blow you up.
It’s all about balance
While your side hustle might be more enjoyable than other areas of your life, it’s important to not let it take over your current commitment to:
By definition, having a side hustle means you already do something else during your full time hours. So, your side hustle has to be done outside of that time. You can be incredibly proud of your side hustle and enjoy the creativity and exploration involved, but don’t let your regularly-paying career (and in turn your personal cash flow) suffer as a result.
Money is crucial when it comes to a side hustle. Mainly because starting a business isn’t free. With Sufficient Fundz, we bootstrapped everything. We built the website ourselves and only spend a small amount each month on email distribution.
We’ve also shied away from outsourcing too much work. Initially, this was to learn it all ourselves and know our business before other people worked on it. But secondly, it came down to cost. We wanted to see if we could do it at a very low cost while we focused all our energy into our personal lives and building Sufficient Funds.
Health and fitness
This one is pretty obvious. Finding time for your side hustle means spending less time doing something else. Health and fitness can usually take a hit when side hustles are started, but it’s just as important as any other area and you need to find a way dedicate time to it. Otherwise, the benefits of having a side hustle will soon be eroded by you being unhealthy, both mentally and physically. This won’t help anyone.
Family and friends
Generally, people work 9 to 5. Hanging with our peeps usually takes up a good chunk of the rest. So, make sure your side hustle doesn’t take up too much of your family/friend time if this is something that’s important to you. For me, having a ten month old daughter has made this juggle that much more important and challenging.
I have a lot of fun with my work and creating content for our readers, but I always make sure I’ve still got time to let loose. For me, that’s surfing, yoga and travel.
Having fun is important, especially when you have a side hustle. This is because side hustles are tough to get off the ground. It’s going to take blood, sweat and tears. You’re going to need that down time more than ever to make sure you’re living a balanced life.
If you’re not smiling or enjoying yourself, it’s going to be very difficult to put the required effort into other areas of your life. So, don’t leave fun off the list and always make time to do the things you love.
Learning to say no
You’re always going to have loads of opportunities to choose from and events to go to. If your life is anything like mine, you’re constantly coming across and being pitched options and ideas to get involved in. But, always remember to stay focused. One of the keys to creating a successful side hustle, is saying no to anything that doesn’t align with your purpose and mission of getting your side hustle off the ground.
Don’t waste your valuable headspace going to events, hanging out with people or considering business opportunities that don’t align with your vision. This will only take away your time and attention from what you could achieve if you truly focus on your mission.
I went to a conference recently and heard from the amazing Erin Chase, from 5 Dollar Dinners. One of the things she spoke about was time blocking in your calendar. I’ve been playing around with this concept ever since and it’s working incredibly well.
Allocate every minute of every day from when you wake up to when your head hits the pillow again at night. This exercise obviously covers your work but it also forces you to block out time for all of the enjoyable things too. You block out time for family, working on your side hustle, getting your personal finances and budget in order and of course, some fun.
Social media management
Create time for your side hustle by cutting back on social media.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fair chance social media is going to be crucial for your side hustle, so I’m not saying don’t go there. But do cut the crap. One tip is turning off all your notifications. Then you go in when you want and aren’t tempted by the pings and half-messages that always suck me in.
Another change I’ve made recently is moving all my social media apps into a single folder on the last page of my phone. I’ve also deleted the Facebook app all together, which was taking up about an hour and half of my day, especially when we use it so much for business. Try using the browser version instead. It sucks, so you won’t be there long!
I’ve also moved all my work apps (Evernote, Genius Scan, Voxer etc) onto the front page. This means I don’t see all the distractions further in. I also recommend deleting any unused apps. The latest iOS even has an auto-delete app function that automatically deletes unused apps for you!
Side creativity tip: move your apps around every month. This way you don’t get stuck in your ways. Sounds simple but it’s these small things that keep you on your toes.
So, there are my tips to not only keep focussed and on track, but make sure your side hustle survives without blowing up the rest of your life. As I’ve said, the most important thing is to just start, but keep some of the above in mind as you pave the way.
Have you now read all three blogs in the Side Hustle Series? If not, here are the first two:
Let us know your plans in the comments. Go get ’em!!