We all remember those times when we daydreamed about the bright future ahead of us and the glamorous career paths we might take. Sooner or later however, reality manages to “hit” us all. Stability often takes the place of ambition and our dreams are put on hold to make way for the sustainable and comfortable.
For some of us, letting go of our dreams is simply out of the question. Personally, all my childhood I dreamed of being a famous pop star like Rihanna or Jessie J. Still, I can’t let go of my dream to sing my songs in front of a big crowd, though my musical orientations have changed over the years. For some of us, the ideas are persistent.
The mind of an entrepreneur never stops to think of how something can be improved upon. There are so many problems to solve and exciting ways to solve them. These ideas kick around in our heads until they become too hard to ignore.
Now, full-time jobs are somewhat of a time commitment. Add kids, outside interests, relationships, the work…and you may find yourself second-guessing the whole side hustle thing.
But hey, you’re not the first one to go through this struggle. There are several ways to handle this situation. One in three people has two or more means of income these days. So, what’s the magic formula for a successful side hustle? It really comes down to discipline, impeccable time management, and perseverance.
However, if you’re spending more time figuring out how to juggle than actually juggling, it may be time to step back and make some adjustments.
Does being a self-starter involve throwing everything away to dive head first into the risky journey of entrepreneurship? Maybe not.
Author of Originals Adam Grant puts it this way. “In every domain, from business and politics to science and art, the people who move the world forward with original ideas are rarely paragons of conviction and commitment. As they question traditions and challenge the status quo, they may appear bold and self-assured on the surface. But peel back the layers, the truth is that they, too, grapple with fear, ambivalence, and self-doubt. And as much as they seem to crave risk, really prefer to avoid it.”
5 Tips to Blend Your Job and Passion
If you’re having trouble managing your work and side hustle, these tips might help you overcome the challenges and setbacks that are blocking your way to success.
Develop clear objectives
For your side hustle to be successful and your lifestyle to stay intact, you need to establish clear objectives and expectations.
First, decide exactly what you want to achieve with your side hustle. Do you want to create a multinational brand and make millions? Or, are you happy just keeping it small for now…an creative outlet or an exploration into a new interest? How many customers/clients do you expect to have monthly or yearly? When will you finish the startup?
Then, once you have a clear picture of your objectives, think about your present lifestyle. What do you need to improve to reach your goals? What challenges stand in your way?
Great projects are always planned out. Don’t skip the process, otherwise, you might get lost on the path.
Acknowledge and leverage the common skills
When starting a side hustle, it’s tempting to to do something completely different than what you’re doing with your current job, but often times the skills we pick up doing what we love can actually propel us forward in the career we already have.
Finding out your inner strengths is the first step, leveraging them is the second. You should introspect and meditate upon this. Seek to find common ground and leverage it consistently until you reach your goals.
Share your passion with your coworkers
Coworkers can help you refine your vision, verbalize your ideas and allow for valuable feedback.
Another option might be to seek out a coach who can take it one step further and offer solutions to balance your two jobs more harmoniously.
Back up your side hustle with a flawless personal brand
Make sure to represent your passion with a personal brand that reflects your side job in the best possible light. This may call for a social media makeover across all platforms or an online audit to see where and how you’re showing up in the digital world.
Adding credibility is crucial. Reach out for testimonials to add to your website and create consistent and engaging content with your audience.
Challenges and warning signs
Now, let’s take a look at five warning signs that indicate a conflict with your side hustle and career path.
You’re becoming overwhelmed and confused
Becoming overwhelmed and confused because of too many responsibilities and expectations will turn you into an unproductive zombie. I get it. Your side hustle is exciting, and the rewards are even better. You want to work, work, and work until you succeed.
Unfortunately, putting too much pressure and overcrowding your schedule will lead you in the opposite direction, which is failure.
Give yourself some time to figure out how you can achieve optimal efficiency and harmony in your life. Calm your mind and make an informed assessment. Prioritize your current work, but don’t neglect the side hustle. Get back on your feet and keep yourself strong!
Your body can’t cope with the stress
When your mind is crowded, and your schedule is full, your body’s needs might be neglected. Of course, your mind and body are interconnected, so neglecting one of them will negatively affect the other.
Stress is a huge factor. Doing two things at once will bring more stress than you might have expected. In these situations, you need to keep a close eye on your energy, motivation, and physical strength.
If you didn’t know, high levels of stress block the immune system, making you vulnerable to every possible disease. Knowing that, you should treat both your mind and body carefully, giving them everything they need in order to thrive. That is good food, plenty of exercise, introspection, meditation, positive thoughts, and gratefulness.
You are side hustlin’ on the day job
It might sound obvious, but when you’re no longer fully present at work, this can be very damaging to your career success. You keep thinking about how you can make improvements to aspects of your side hustle.
This is the very first sign that problems are about to arise. You’ll no longer be able to do your job as you used to because you’ll be keeping your mind busy with all the things you’re going to do when you get home. This can heavily affect productivity, workflow, and motivation at work.
Your personal life is suffering
There’s a difference between busy and unhealthy workaholism. Balancing your 9-5 job and private life is hard enough. If you’re ducking out of afternoon meetings early to meet an important investor for your biz, that’s one thing. Blowing off a networking opportunity for the 10th time in a row to update some code on your website is another!
It’s also important to remember that a part of our social lives usually involves coworkers and these relationships are important if not as important as our friends outside of work. We spend a huge amount of time with these people and positive relationships with colleagues translate to a positive work experience overall. We need human connection and support to succeed. People are power.
Your work colleagues and managers become suspicious
Sometimes, our greatest passions are not something we feel comfortable sharing with coworkers. When we hide something, but we don’t do it well, negative consequences might arise.
As Peter Berne, the HR manager at A-writer, advises, “If you put a lot of work on your side hustle, sooner or later, people will start figuring it out. They’ll do so because your performance will drop, your interest will be lower, and your involvement in the company will drop. As you can figure, your boss and several important clients might not be so happy about it.”
Focus on your work and don’t allow your side hustle to intervene. Keep your productivity high and focus on your job like you used to. You are strong enough to be great at your job even if your other “passion” calls for you.
If balancing your side hustle and career becomes a full-time job within itself, it might be time to consider pursuing your passion more seriously, but think carefully before dropping your full-time gig altogether. Perhaps, you’re at a point in your career that could prove crucial to stay committed. Talking to a career coach or someone who’s been through this journey already may be able to help you prioritize and set realistic goals for yourself.
Audrey is a passionate blogger and marketer at college-paper.org. Her areas of interests are very wide, but mostly she writes about content marketing and innovative business technologies. Her aim is to engage people to self-growth and staying motivated.