The side hustle, as defined by Entrepreneur magazine in an article back in 2013 is
"a way to make some extra cash that allows you flexibility to pursue what you're most interested in. It can also be your true passion – a chance to delve into fashion, travel or whatever it is you care about the most without quitting your day job."
And to this I say ... YES! I started creating a "side hustle" a few years ago when I was miserable at work and desperately needed an outlet to keep me sane. There are several different reasons one might have one, but for me, it's all about working to build and create something that is 100% me and that will ultimately push me towards where I want to be within a few years. My side hustle is my passion.
Working full-time and managing your passion can be challenging. There have been days when I have looked in the mirror and wondered why I do this to myself - the extra work, the late nights, the non-stop working and no days off ... but honestly for me it's about living a rich life, not in monetary things, but in the things that make me happy and complete. Writing, fashion and creating does that for me. And while I make a good amount of money from it, I'm not in a place where I can or want to drop everything for it right now. My husband and I have huge goals for our family, and building that plus getting to do something that I love, is really satisfying.
So how do you balance creating and managing what you are passionate about (the side hustle) and get it to fit it in your already busy life?
1. What's the plan?
Whatever your business is, you have to plan ahead and know what you want to accomplish for the month, the quarter, the year, etc. As a writer, my planning revolves around content and asking myself ... what do I want to say? My process is probably a little different than most. I sit at my laptop and just start typing blog titles/topics into my draft section. I also have a notepad with every month listed and I break down each topic by month. Some posts are strictly fashion related, while others dig a little deeper. My monthly planning also consists of assessing analytics from my website, social feeds and reading feedback from my audience and thinking strategically about how I am going to improve. It's such a process this entrepreneur thing, you know? From the outside looking in, some people think, wow she's doing what she loves! And while that it is true, I am still so far from where I want to be. And that is where the planning, the sleepless nights and the strategy comes in to play. You'll be able to balance your passion better if you have a clear vision for where you want to take it.
2. Timing is Everything.
Every part of my life has it's time. It has to, otherwise, I'd never get anything done and my husband and children would probably feel very neglected! When I'm at work, I am 100% at work and focused on being successful. When I get home, I am 100% focused on my family and being a good wife and mother. When my kids go to bed and after spending time with my husband, I am 100% focused on my side hustle, my blog. I've tried giving everything my attention all at the same time in the past, and failed miserably (I still slip up every now and then). But setting time and having boundaries, really helps make sure that no balls are dropped in this constant, every day juggle! We make time for the things that are important to us. Just think about your favorite TV show, girl's night out, date night ... all of these things take time. Are you scheduling the time it takes to make your dream a reality without sacrificing everything else you have going on?
3. Find Your Off Switch, Then Use It.
We can't do it all, and sometimes we need to turn off and regroup to get back on track. I do this often. I think it's important to be proud of what you are producing, both at your full-time job and when working for yourself. If things aren't going the way you wanted them to go, take a minute to step back and get back on track. I also turn off when it's time to spend time with family. I rarely post on weekends for a couple of reasons, I have to work weekends for my day job so if I am off and home with my kiddos, I want my focus to be 100% on them. Know when to turn off, don't hesitate to flip the switch. You'll be better for it.
4. Define The Why
This ties into planning, with an extra added layer of purpose. Knowing why you want to do something and what motivates you to keep going is sometimes easier said than done. Write it down, revisit it often, make it a constant reminder to keep you going. There will be days when things don't go as planned and you start to question why you're even doing it in the first place. It's in these moments that it's the easiest to say "this is too hard, I quit" ... but when I think about why I started and where I want to go, it really helps push me and keep me afloat. What is your why? My why is my children, my husband, myself, my sanity, my passion, my happiness and so much more.
5. Say No
Every opportunity is not a good opportunity. Every offer is not a good offer. Every person is not worth your time. Say no. With that comes knowing your worth and fighting for what you want. Yes, you have to start somewhere and build your business, but learning to say "no" and at times "HELL no" is essential ... at least to me. Staying focused on the end goal and saving your time and energy on the behaviors that will get you there is so important. "No" is my new favorite word, my "no" also comes in the form of "girl bye!" or "boy bye" which can also be translated to "hell NO." Learning to say "no," helps to maintain balance and order in every area of not only your personal life but also your business. It puts time back on your side to do the things that YOU want and need to do to balance and continue to grow your business.
Any tips you have that work for you? I'd love to hear about them! My outfit is from my NYC trip. I linked all the details about it below for you to shop! You can also head to my SHOP page for all my Instagram looks.
Thank you so much for reading.
XO - Stephanie