More and more people are looking to create their own jobs, businesses, and ideas. They want the ability to work for themselves and take control of their destiny. If you are one of those people, then you likely need to start when you have a full-time job. The ability to manage having a day job and side hustle is tricky but rewarding.
In fact, having a secure paycheck when you are just starting your side business can ease the pressure of performing, allow you to have your bills covered while growing your side gig, and give you time to get your side business where you like before taking the plunge to becoming a full-time business owner.
Everyone functions a little differently. Some people thrive under the pressure – they will quit their secure job and go 100% into their business. Sink or swim is the name of the game. Other people work strategically. They ensure the secure paycheck is coming in while they are growing their business. Either option works.
For the purposes of today’s article, I want to focus on those who want to keep their day job while building their side hustle. I’m going to share a few tips that helped me manage having a day job and side hustle. If you put your mind to it, you can transition as best as possible from corporate to business owner.
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Whether you’re a full-time business owner or not, you need to be organized. It’s especially important when you are managing two different streams of income: your day job and your side hustle. Organization helps boost productivity, and keeps the mental juices flowing.
Here are a few ideas to help you get organized when managing two streams of income:
- Designate a space for your side hustle – If you work in an office for your day job, it’s pretty clear that your desk is your workspace. When you have a side hustle, it’s tempting to work from the couch or in bed. You need to have a designated space for your side hustle. Whether it’s a desk in your home office, or the kitchen table, when you get to that space, you know it’s time to work.
- Use a project and task tracker – In the article 5 Necessary Tools for Starting Your Side Hustle, Asana was number one on the list. I absolutely love Asana. It allows you to create projects, then assign tasks to those projects, then assign sub-tasks to those tasks. Each task and sub-task can have a due date set. This is a great way to get everything you need accomplished in one place and give yourself timeframes to get those tasks done.
- Create a filing system – Just like you would create a filing system for your personal finances, you should create a filing system for your side hustle documents. Google Drive is a great place to store all of your important information. Create folders to help you categorize your documents by type.
Set Dedicated Times to Work on Your Side Hustle
Time management will be extremely important in managing your full-time job with your side business. To ensure your side business isn’t left in the dust, set dedicated times throughout the week to work on it. Planning ahead is important!
Leverage your Sunday evenings to review your calendar for the week ahead. If you know it’s a deadline week at your corporate job, which could require working later hours, make sure you factor that in when setting your side hustle schedule. When you properly plan your week, you won’t feel defeated because you made sure to account for most of the things that could come up for that week.
In the beginning, it will take some getting used to. Long gone are the days where you come home from work and park it on the couch until bed time. Now, the work continues even after your day job has ended. Things will get easier as you go along but having dedicated time to work on your business will help you feel and stay productive.
Leverage Your Day Job to Save or Pay off Debt
You are a business (or side hustle) owner now, so you need to start thinking strategically! Start thinking about how you can leverage your day job to help you save for emergencies, pay off debt, or get you closer to working on your side hustle full-time!
Even if you don’t plan on taking your side hustle to the next level, although – why wouldn’t you? You can still leverage your corporate job to get ahead as quickly as possible. Use the security of a full-time income to your advantage.
Get specific with the goals you need to reach before you would even consider taking your side business to full-time status. I can tell you off the bat, becoming debt free and having a solid 3-6 months’ worth of expenses saved for emergencies is the best way to start.
Start Building an Emergency Fund for Your Business
While you are being strategic and leveraging your day job to pay for your debt and emergency fund, you should also be creating an emergency fund for your business. All businesses have high and low seasons. If you plan on taking your business full-time, you will need to have reserves that keep you afloat through the slow times.
Any money that comes into your business while you still have your full-time job, should be put back into the business. A portion of that money should also be saved for your business’ emergency fund. I highly recommend you read Profit First for more information on creating a solid financial system in your side hustle. The sooner you start implementing systems, the easier it will be to grow your company.
Set a Monetary Goal to Quit Your Day Job
You know that you will be leveraging your full-time job to pay off debt and build an emergency savings, but what does that number look like? Get specific on the amount you will need to pay off debt, save for personal emergencies, and have a specific number in your bank account before you quit that full-time job.
When you give yourself a number, you now have something to work towards. Each paycheck is helping you get closer and closer to that final goal amount.
You can also set an income goal in your business. For example, once you reach $10,000/month in business revenue, then you will quit your full-time job. Either option will help give you gentle pressure to work towards the ultimate goal of becoming a full-time business owner. One thing to keep in mind, if you are looking for a certain income threshold in your business, make sure you also have your personal situation taken care of and an emergency fund for your business. $10,000/month in revenue may only equal $5,000/month in profit.
Be Ready to Sacrifice
I touched on this earlier in the article, but the reality is that you will absolutely need to sacrifice and stay disciplined throughout this time. There will be times when you would rather go to happy hour then come home and work on your side hustle, but you will need to fight through it. Success will come when you put in the work, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too!
Your dedicated times to work on your side hustle should take priority over anything else. Any time outside of that should be used to take care of yourself. Burn out is not the way to go, so make sure you give yourself room to unwind and reflect. Trust me, the sacrifice will be worth it.
Welcome to the entrepreneurs’ club! If you are ready to make your side hustle dreams a reality, then the only way to start is to start! The tips above will help you when you do get started, but don’t procrastinate taking that first step. The longer you wait to start your side business, the longer it will take for it to reach success!
Do you have a full-time job and a side hustle? How do you manage your time, energy and money while doing so? Share your tips or any questions you may have on this topic by posting a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you all!
The CGS Team