Balancing Your Day Job With Your Side Hustle(s)
For so many of us there is a dream to work for ourselves and run our businesses full time, but in reality, many of us work a day job. We need the stability of a paycheck every month, or hey we might even like our day jobs and just have multiple passions! No matter what people say there is NOTHING wrong with doing both, but I know I’m not shocking anyone by saying it’s hard. It’s really freaking hard sometimes.
When I started my dinner party & event business a little over 6 years ago I knew it would be a side business. I was doing something I love but in a season of life where a few events and dinners a month was perfect for me. I wanted something I could do on the side and a few dinners/ events a month was perfect. I could prepare and plan the week leading up and once it was done, it was done. On to the next project! I still had a life. It wasn’t like I had to come home every single day and work. Yes, there were months and stretches where it was dinner after dinner with a few events and florals thrown in but I felt like I had really mastered it. time management.
It wasn’t until I decided I would open an online store that my world was turned upside down. Last July I was DIY-ing welcome tote bags for my upcoming wedding and thought to myself “hmm, maybe I could try and sell these!” Maybe I will just throw a few designs on Etsy and see what happens.
Little did I know that a few designs would turn into close to 300 and now I average over 100 orders a month. And yes, I still work full time. Those first couple months I thought it was overwhelming to have maybe 5-10 open orders at one time but now that number sits around 30-40 open orders. Scary right? How was I going to have time to fulfill ALL those orders? Well, I pretty much was a mess in the beginning. I had NO workflow, no routine, nothing! I wasn’t prepared to actually sell more than a couple of things. I was a girl flailing around pretending like she knew how to run a product based business but really, I had no idea.
Thankfully sometimes the best way to learn is to just get in there, do the work, and mess up. The first few months it was trial and error in ordering, in my workflow, in how to manage my time, packaging, shipping, and customers. Things I had never even thought about before. I quickly learned I could not do this alone. So one of the first things I did was hire someone to come in just once a week and help me for a couple of hours. She by far was the best business and life decision I ever made. Having two extra hands I can trust to do the job, even if it’s only a couple hours a week made all the difference. It also helped structure a workflow. I knew that Monday’s and Tuesday’s were for prepping orders so that by the time Wednesday rolled around we could strictly produce and package. Having one night dedicated to getting as much done as possible has helped make the end of the week a bit more manageable. I could now use the end of the week to get ahead if I had weekend plans or to take it a little easier.
The biggest adjustment has been adding this second full-time job into my everyday life. Working full time during the day means you only have these certain hours you can get things done. There have been moments where I question if I really want to do this? Do I want this season of life to include working almost every night in some shape or form? Do I want to use my day jobs vacation days to stay home and work during the holidays so I can keep up with demand? It’s a hard question and one you must truthfully answer for yourself. Once I decided I did want to pursue this shop and really see where it could go it actually made things easier. It was now about organizing my time, my life, and my space to make things run the smoothest.
So here are my tips for all your working that full time and side jobs!and tricks for you!
1. Workflow, workflow, workflow!!! Every business is going to look different but figure out what works for you. You have to have a process otherwise you will drive yourself insane.
2. Balance. This takes time because most of us who own businesses work ourselves into the ground. Take the little wins. If its setting one day aside during the work week to not work on the side hustle when you come home from the day job, then do it! Make it a goal! To me, that’s a HUGE win!
3. Ask for help. It’s okay, it really is. No one is saying go hire someone full-time or even part-time. A few hours a week can seriously change your life!
4. Give yourself Grace. It’s okay to not do it all. Let’s be real. There are only 24 hours in the day. And you have to sleep. Picking and choosing your battles and what you can focus on is just a part of the game and it’s okay if you can’t blog weekly, post on social media every day and do your business and work a day job. When you start beating yourself up about what you can’t do write out a list of ALL the things you are doing. Yep. You are doing #allthethings
5. Don’t feel bad because you work a full-time job and your peers and other people in the industry don’t. This can be hard. Sometimes it’s as if we haven’t made it until we can do it full time and maybe that isn’t even a long-term goal. It’s okay to do both and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
As I near the one-year mark of the shop I can’t help but feel like I want to laugh and cry at the same time. I’m in utter awe of where the shop has gone and honestly have sometimes wondered how I was going to make it all happen but at the end of the day, we boss ladies just get down and do the work. It’s not always pretty but behind the late nights and early mornings is a woman with heart and a mission and no one can stop you.
Post Written By: Andrea Friesen of Cinta Events