VIII. Keep Your Side Hudtle Separate From Your Day Job
If you value your day job, then you wouldn’t want to lose it, especially not when your side hustle has barely even started. Even when your side hustle reaches the point where you’re making more money than at your day job, you may not want to quit.
If you work at a job you really like and enjoy and you find it very fulfilling, then, by all means, stay in it. Some jobs are worth keeping even if they don't pay nearly as well as your side hustle. If this sounds like you, then good for you. Not everyone is as lucky as you.
So, here are some tips to help keep your side hustle separate from your day job:
Don’t cheat at your job
One of the biggest no-no’s of having a side hustle is working on it while you’re on paid company time. Even if you’ve got the most boring job in the world, if your time is paid for by someone else, then you shouldn’t be disrespecting them by working on your side hustle secretly. If you get caught, you could lose your job.
Likewise, if your side hustle is also somewhat related to the things you do at work, then you should take measures not to get tempted to offer your services to your work clients. That’s called poaching. Your employer can sue you for breach of contract, and that’s something you should want to avoid at all cost.
You need to respect boundaries between work and your hustle. For as long as you’re employed, then you need to play by your employer’s rules.
Manage your time well
Time management is critical when it comes to side hustling. Since you’ve only got a limited amount of time each day, and you need to divide that with work and other personal commitments, then make sure that every single minute you allot to your side hustle is actually spent working on it!
But doing this can be very hard, especially if your side hustle is at home. There’re just far too many distractions – you’ve got TV, Netflix, kids, pets, etc. It’s so hard to say “no” to friends inviting you to go for a night out during weekends. But you need to build up the courage to say “no.” You may sound like a killjoy, but really, it’s all for the best.
You have to minimize random ‘play’ times as that can severely disrupt your concentration and will literally ruin your plans. Plan your to-do list and your schedule in advance and make sure you stick to it.
Having a routine is key to side hustle success. If you have random things disrupting your schedule all the time, you’ll find it hard to find a rhythm so you can work in peace.
For side hustles that require creativity and concentration, you often need to get into a ‘zone’ before you can do anything. If you let yourself be distracted by the tiniest things, then you’re really not going to accomplish much.
You need to establish physical boundaries when you work on your side hustle. For instance, if you write or create designs, you probably need some peace and quiet so you can get your creative juices flowing.
If you don’t live alone, then you need to find some space all to yourself. If you’ve got a spare bedroom (or any other room for that matter), then use that as your office.
Tell the people you live with that when you’re in your office, you’re not to be disturbed unless there’s an emergency. You can put up a sign on the door handle that says something to that effect to deter anyone from inadvertently distressing you.
When it comes to clients, you also need to set boundaries. Depending on your side hustle, it might be important to mention that you do have a full-time job, so they don’t call you anytime they feel like it.
Some clients may panic when they don’t hear from you within the hour, so they call you up. It’s better to be upfront about your schedule than have them think you’re at their beck and call.
If they really, really need something done urgently, like it’s a matter of life or death, then you may need to make an exception (just make sure it’s actually an emergency). You can perhaps take an early lunch break at work to do the urgent task from your side hustle client.
Just remember not to be a pushover because it can be easy for people to take advantage of you and your time. Stand your ground and follow the rules you’ve set. Your boundaries can literally save your sanity!