Having a nine to five job is what many people know and are comfortable with. The social aspects such as connecting with colleagues on a daily basis and an assured salary at the end of the month are some of the factors keeping most employees in their comfort zone. Financial stability is not guaranteed though for most of these employees as in most cases it is their only source of income. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2019 released data showing that half of the Kenyan workers earn below $300 a month. This coupled with the high cost of living has left most people high on debt and unachieved goals and dreams.
Having a side hustle provides an extra source of income. For many others, it provides an opportunity to chase a dream and have a backup plan at the same time. Other great benefits of having a side hustle are that it provides an avenue for self-expression and experimentation while for others it drives them to their true purpose and passion. However, many people suffer from learning how to balance a full-time job and a side hustle. Figuring out how to prioritize time and the right hustle and the right time becomes a huge challenge. Here are some tips to help you figure the right way to balance a full-time job and a side gig successfully.
Have a plan
Having a roadmap in form of a business plan for your side gig is a good starting point. The business plan outlines your product/service, market analysis, financial projections, and, operating model. It helps give an overview of what you aim to achieve with your side hustle. Be realistic about what you can achieve while drafting the business plan as you will be juggling schedules. A well-done business plan helps prioritize and fit the new activities with the rest of your life.
The startup cost is critical in starting a side hustle. It is very important to plan one’s finances before embarking on a side hustle. For many people, their side hustle is their pet project but the truth is, it might take a while before your passion starts paying up. Plan ahead and budget for the expenses of the new venture to avoid nasty surprises. In most cases, your savings or a loan will be used to fund the venture hence important to plan for financial management purposes. Remember to always track expenses to get a sense of what is working and what is not.
2. Time management is Key
Time management remains the biggest hurdle in balancing the main job vs side hustle. The amount of time devoted to your main job should be 9-5. In between work breaks and after work hours should be dedicated to your side hustle. Prioritizing your side hustle activities in a way that the tasks don’t interfere with your main job should be the key to striking this balance. Do not rush your side hustle wanting to implement all your ideas in a day, Rome was also not built in one day. Designate your paid time off work as your time to focus on some of your hustle’s activities.
Batching and scheduling your side gig activities might be an effective way to manage your time and activities. For example, you can dedicate Monday evenings or early mornings for marketing activities, Tuesdays for accounting tasks, Thursdays for administrative tasks, and Weekdays for product delivery to clients.
If your salary is the only source of income then you are one step away from poverty. –Warren Buffet
3. Involve Family
It is important to seek support from immediate and trusted family members to help with the side hustle. Bounce your ideas off them and leverage their strength and emotional support. Delegate tasks to them to help manage the heavy workload. The tasks can range from complex tasks such a product development to simple tasks such as word-of-mouth marketing or just driving you around.
4. Adopt technology
When starting out on your side hustle, you wear many hats. You are the accountant, marketer, Deliveryman, project manager you name them all. With so many tasks to handle and a full-time job, Fatigue may creep in affecting the quality of your job and the side gig. Adopt a cost-effective technological tool and application to enable you to handle the side gig like a pro.
For example for all your marketing collateral, you can use Canva to create eye-catching visuals. For the side hustle project activities, you can use Trello or Asana to manage and organize your tasks. For accounting, accounting software such as Quickbooks, Xero, and Wave can help you balance your books.
5. Don’t sacrifice Selfcare
Juggling a full-time job and a side hustle can consume a lot of an individual’s energy. Failing to take care of yourself can lead to stress, burnout, and chronic fatigue. Before you get to that point, be intentional about taking personal time to recharge. Do not hesitate to step away from both jobs when necessary. It’s important for your health and sanity. Remember you are the biggest priority. Without you, there is no one to balance the job and the side hustle.
6. Know when its time to drop one
At times you might really want something but the timing is not right. Such may be the case with your Side hustle passion project. The excitement for whatever reason may die off, finances dry up or the stress of handling the two may take a toll on you. It is important to re-evaluate your side-hustle and see the value it’s adding to your life and if it’s not worth the time, money, and effort you are putting in then it’s time to quit on your side hustle. For many, it might feel like admitting failure but on the contrary, its being in tune with your priorities and refocusing your life on those priorities.
The vice versa of knowing when to turn your side hustle to a full-time business should also be considered. When your side hustle starts generating profit, when you have a sizeable amount of market share and when there is a clear growth projection of your side gig, then it is time to quit your full-time job and commit to your passion.