We are right there with you guys... trying to grow our little business on the side while working part and full-time to supplement it. There are so many benefits to keeping a day job while you grow your own company - benefits like health care and vacation time, more freedom to expand your own business naturally without the pressure of it having to provide you with all of your income, and some variation in your work and daily schedule, which we personally really enjoy. But, we also understand (and live through) the daily struggles. Here are some of our tips on excelling professionally in both your day job and your side hustle.
Take breaks... but not too often
It's called a side hustle for a reason! While you deserve to and should take breaks and rest periods throughout your day and week, be prepared to really work - it's important to put enough time in to ensure your business is growing. Claiming that your body needs rest to justify putting off your work and watching TV every evening is not going to get you any closer to your goals. Yes, you need to take time off to refresh and come back to your work more energized but be careful not to let that rest come from a place of laziness.
Outline a schedule and stick to it
Think about your work schedule and what additional time you have. If you're like us, you may work more traditional hours at your day job, 8am-5pm-ish. That means, you're using evenings and weekends to work on your side gig. But, you probably have a ton of other regular life things to do too - making dinner, working out, meeting up with friends, etc. In order to get everything done, we plan out meal times and what we're going to make in our planners each week. We write in dates we have with friends, work events, exercise classes we're taking, etc. so we can have a full picture of our schedule. Then, we fill in the majority of the free time with PBC time.
Here's a quick glance at a typical week for Becca:
Monday: Work 8-4, make + eat dinner 4:30-5:30 (people always laugh at me for eating so early, but I have things to do!), PBC 5:30-7:00, Bachelor (duh): 7:00-9:00
Tuesday: Work 8-4, grab a quick dinner like Chipotle 4:30-5:00, PBC 5:00-9:00
Wednesday: Work 7:30-3:30, PBC 3:30-5:00, make + eat dinner 5:00-6:00, Yoga 6:00-7:00, PBC 7:00-9:00
Thursday: Work 7:30-3:30, PBC 3:30-5:00, leftovers for dinner 5:00-5:30, PBC 5:30-9:00
Friday: Errands (usually PBC related) and/or dates with friends, 8:00-12:00, PBC: 12:00-6:00, Out with Patrick, Jenna or friends for the night
Saturday + Sunday: Weekends are up in the air depending on what we have going on, but I usually spend at least 4+ hours on PBC each day
Set daily goals
Each day, we set three individual goals to complete that day. They can be big or small but they have to be impactful - things that by getting them done, will help you feel accomplished. Then, we focus on getting those things done first or making sure we have a set time in our schedules to fit them in. For example, my goals for today are to 1. Open a PBC savings account 2. Update our PBC client questionnaires 3. Get my (very dirty) car washed. As you can see, these are a mix of business and personal goals that I'm choosing to prioritize so that I can be sure they get done and contribute to our business and my own feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
Be open about your side hustle with your day job... or don't
This one is truly situational and you know your boss and work team better than we do but if possible, communicate with your boss and coworkers about your side hustle from the beginning. It doesn't have to be any kind of formal meeting but if they ask what you're doing over the weekend for example, tell them "I'm actually starting a small photography business so I have a session booked this weekend!" and show your enthusiasm for it. More often than not, your team will be excited about your passion along with you and may even become a source of referrals for you.
If you've been at your current company for a while and are starting a new side gig or have had the two going simultaneously and don't want to rock the boat, then don't. Again, you know your situation better than we do and it's totally fine and acceptable to keep what you do outside of your day job to yourself!
These are just a few of the ways we manage working a "normal job" with growing Peanut Butter Creative. Our lives are very full in the best ways but it's easy to let that fullness turn into busyness and stress without some organization, planning and prioritizing so we're hopeful our tips will help you in balancing your work and life!
Happy business building,