Working full time but eager to start a side hustle?

Most of us that transition from employee to entrepreneur won’t be doing it overnight.  

In fact, we will be working twice as hard to be working on our dreams while keeping ourselves financially safe until our business is in a place that allows us to do THAT full time.

Most of my clients and myself included had to work on a side hustle while working in a full-time job.  And by side hustle, it could mean freelancing, contract work, consulting, or starting a business.

And it’s can feel like no easy feat.

Your full-time job could suck the energy out of you, and most of the time, you may want to just crawl into bed and watch another Netflix special to numb out for the rest of the day.  But your dreams are important to you, so you’ll need to learn how to prioritize your time and energy to create space for this dream.

When I first transitioned from my own corporate job, I had 2 side hustles.  One was working as a consultant on weekends, and working on my side hustle I wanted to turn into a full-time business during the evenings.

I’m not going to lie to you, it required some major changes in how I spent my time.

There were times I wondered if it was all worth it.  But I kept remembering, The pain of staying somewhere that makes me unhappy and not being courageous to go towards a path I can believe would make me happy is far worse”.

If you’re currently working a side hustle (or two) or planning to be, I want to share with you a few things that really helped me get focused and committed to bringing my own “screw the cubicle” dreams to life.  And it’s all about some mindset shifts and learning new ways to manage your time and efforts.  

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Make your dream as high a priority as everything else that’s important in your life.

Straight up, this is probably the most important decision you’re going to make.  You have to treat your dreams (even if you don’t know how to get there yet) a priority.  

I say this not to add more to your plate of “important things” in your life (I know there’s many), but because what makes you happy is at the ultimate top of the list.  When you are happy and doing things that are purposeful in your life, you, in turn, become the best version of yourself.  

And all those people you care about in your life?  They will get to reap the benefits of seeing you become that ideal self.

You’ve got to make your dream non-negotiable, and I mean that.

The “I’ll do it when…” mentality will NEVER get you where you want to go because there will never SEEM like a good time to focus on your dreams.  Trust me, I dilly-dallied around this for years.

To make your dreams REAL for yourself, you need to understand this…

What are you willing to exchange to get your life dreams to a place where fulfillment, passion, and joy happens for you?

I say the word “exchange” because I hate the word “sacrifice”.  You’re not sacrificing anything if what you’re giving up isn’t what you want anyway.

So figure out what you’re exchanging to work on your dreams.

That could be exchanging Friday night at the bar to do work on your business.  That may be exchanging saying “no” to your friends to go on big trips because you want to invest in up-leveling your skills.  

It may also mean exchanging valuable time that you may spend with loved ones to work hard at launching an idea that will bring you freedom from your dreaded job and be more financially secured later.

Everything we make choices on in life has an exchange.

If you ask yourself this question and really understand what you’re willing to exchange, and why it’s so important for you to get to your dreams, you’ll have more of a sense of contentment around time commitments and efforts to build your business.

Ultimately you are saying “no” to things in exchange for saying “yes” to other things that bring you more joy and purposeful direction. 

Dedicate a block of time consistently each week.

In order to get what we want, we have to do things differently.  We have to create new habits and ways of being to prepare us to play bigger in our lives.

We have to learn to train ourselves to keep moving forward in order to get to our goals, and that takes repeated habits that we implement daily or weekly until it feels natural for us to stick with it.

We have to learn to parent ourselves, people 🙂

One of the things that I created a habit around that absolutely got me to my goal of quitting and starting a business is committing to a block of time each week consistently.  That means no matter what.

Choose a specific day and time that you know you can dedicate to creating or working on your business.  Look at your calendar and move things around that are “nice to have in it”, but not absolute priority.  I know you can find a block of time in your week.

Be real with yourself on how many hours per week you can spend on your business and 100% commit to it.  Don’t say 10 hours a week, when you know that’s a big push for you and you’ll get overwhelmed.  The important thing to commit to here is that you’ll do it every week, so you can even start with just 1 hour.  If it’s do-able, you’ll do it.  If you overreach, you’ll get de-motivated and drop everything in time.

Schedule this time in your calendar just like you schedule everything else that is important in your life.  You go to work every day, right? Or you may be going to the gym to work on getting healthy and fit.  You make time for those things because they are important to you.  And if your dream is to quit your job and be able to create your own future through a business, you’re going to prioritize that too.

Block off that time on your phone calendar and e-mail calendars.  Don’t book any extracurricular activities or events during that holy time block where you get to make your dreams come to life.  Set an alarm.  Go somewhere every week like the library or your favourite coffee shop so you’re out of the house and won’t be distracted from anything else.

Make it YOUR time.

Test bite-sized action before jumping the gun.

When I started my first business, I totally tried to do EVERYTHING.  I wanted to start on virtually ALL the things – website, logo, pretty colours, copywriting, social media, courses, books, you name it. And guess what happened?  I got overwhelmed and couldn’t even look at my business after a while because it gave me such anxiety.

Don’t overwhelm yourself by taking off too big of a chunk to launch your business too quickly while working a full time job.  Work on it in bite-sized action to ease yourself into it.  If you try to do everything, you’ll end up doing nothing because you’ll never feel like you’re completing anything.

Here’s my suggestion – Start with ONE priority or milestone at a time.  

Figure out what matters most in the business stage you’re actually in, and do that first, instead of taking more on your plate.  

Most likely it’s going to be clarity around your business idea or the confidence that you have something to market and sell.  Don’t even think about looking at things like website design, logos, or any future stuff that is going to distract you from what you’re actually going to be DOING to give value to people in your business.

So, your bite-sized action could be something like this – Take a version of your idea to test it to build your confidence.  

Let’s say you are thinking of becoming a health coach but don’t know where to start or what people will buy.  Test out your knowledge and way of helping on a friend who is having trouble with her nutrition.  Give free sessions to people you know in your inner circle that you believe fits the ideal profile of someone you’ll enjoy helping.  Go write a blog on Medium.com on your topic of interest to test out your creativity on the subject and your approach.

Start small, and focus on what is important to move you forward, not the shiny objects that you see other businesses having and trying to be there before doing the REAL work.

Now I want to hear from you – What new habit can you start implementing from what I’ve shared with you that you believe can move you forward and give you some laser focus to bring your dreams to life?  

Comment below, and I would love to hear it!

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