How to Balance Your Side Hustle with Your Main Gig
by Jaudia Quinn, Director of Operations at LaunchHouse
The season for New Year’s resolutions is upon us, and Cleveland is fertile ground for trying out that business idea you’ve been obsessing over. Adding one more thing on top of all you’re doing may feel unbearable, but it’s not impossible. You can balance your side hustle with your main gig. Here are some suggestions to help you juggle:
Connect to online communities.
There is so much out there now online! You can learn how to do just about anything between Google and YouTube. You can also find mentors, your peers, and your customers online. Connect to a Facebook group that caters to your niche. Follow a few hashtags that relate to your business to see what your customers are looking for and what your competitors are providing. If you sell a more artisan product, you can connect to the Etsy community. And have you thought about how you can monetize your Pinterest profile? Engaging with communities online, or creating your own pocket of the internet for your tribe, will help you grow your email list, up your engagement on social posts, and ultimately put some extra cash in your bank account.
Hire support services to aid you.
You know that phrase "if you want something done right, do it yourself?" It has historically been the mindset of go-getters and entrepreneurs alike that you must go it alone. But I would argue that the sentiment “it takes a village” is much more appropriate. You cannot do everything well, so stick to what you are good at and what you love and let others help you. If you want your taxes and budgeting done correctly now so you won’t have to worry later, find a really good financial planner or a tax accountant. If you want to appear to be a larger company and need someone to provide support during the day while you’re working at your full-time gig, hire a virtual assistant! Finding the help you need can take some stress off of you and propel your company forward, and you can find help at a reasonable price or conduct a trade for services.
Separate your side hustle from your housework - join a coworking space!
No matter your industry, being around like-minded individuals who are working hard alongside you is inspiring. And with the various talents and skills you’ll find within a coworking space, hiring support services (as mentioned above) is much easier! You will have meaningful programming to engage with and learn from, access to a network of professional advising and services, and a home away from home where you can go and feel energized about what you’re doing. There are so many great ones to choose from all around Cleveland. I would suggest trying out a few to see which one matches your vibe.
Your calendar should reflect your priorities.
If I did an audit of your calendar right now for the past 30 days, what would I see? Even when it feels like you have too much to do, I can guarantee that you have pockets of time in your calendar that you can dedicate toward your side business. Your calendar should show your day job, your family time, your social commitments, your self-care dates with yourself such as the gym, and the time you are putting aside for your side hustle - but not necessarily in that order. What commitments do you have on your calendar that you volunteered for but aren’t excited about? Can you and your spouse tag team on the kids’ schedules? Are you setting too many expectations on yourself that are not going to help you reach your goals? Do an audit before the end of the year, and use the answers to these questions to realign your calendar and your focus.
Know when to make the leap!
Plan for the future leap today. Look at your personal finances and figure out how much money you would need in savings to get you through 3-6 months of your expenses. Compare your annual salary to how much you need to survive month-to-month and decide on what percentage of it you really need. When your side gig’s income reaches that level, you can be confident in taking the leap because you’ve already done the math. Confide in a financial planner during this process so that you will know you are making smart decisions on the days you really feel like quitting your day job.
The most important thing is to treat your side hustle as a business, no matter how small. Connect with others who inspire you and accept help when you need it! May the New Year bring in more than just cheer for you.
Jaudia Quinn is the Director of Operations at LaunchHouse (www.launchhouse.com), a coworking community in Highland Heights, Lakewood, and Oberlin. LaunchHouse provides flexible office space and networking events to entrepreneurs, small business owners, freelancers, and remote workers. Jaudia has her blog, titled Mess into Miracles (https://messintomiracles.com) and will be launching her new brand, Joy & Full, early 2019.