How to Run a Successful Side Hustle Whilst Working the 9-5 Grind

If there’s one this I know how to do well, it’s how to run a successful side hustle whilst working the nine-to-five grind. In fact, I’ve been doing it for years now. And whilst I wouldn’t say it’s as easy and as effortless as it looks, it’s worth it to pursue both of my passions at the same time. See, up until recently (last month in fact), I was working 9-5 Monday to Friday and also some Saturdays and nights. I’ve since dropped down to four days a week and even that has made a huge difference in balancing work and more work. Here are some of my tips for balancing the two:

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Be Realistic

Be realistic about the work load you can handle. Don’t take on too many clients at once if you’re in a service based business. You will just end up burnt out and overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion. Trust me, I’ve been there! It’s an easy lesson to learn when you are starting out in business. Treat yourself as your number one client and schedule in time to take breaks, exercise and just chill. Go easy on yourself in the beginning as you start this journey. The last thing you want to do is lose the passion and the reason you had for starting your business in the first place.

Set Boundaries

Set yourself some serious boundaries when it comes to things like answering emails, work hours, number of clients you’ll work with at any one time and how late you’ll work till. This can be a really hard feat in the beginning, especially as you’ll want to take any and every enquiry that comes your way. Focus on the ones you think will be a good fit for your business and who are going to pay you appropriately for your skills. If you aren’t clear on these boundaries from the beginning or check in with them regularly, old habits will start to creep in and you’ll be overwhelmed in no time.

Prioritise Your Health

Prioritise your health from the get go. This means nourishing your body with good food and moving your body at least 3 times a week. Working 9-5 can take it out of you so I prefer to work out in the mornings, whether it is a walk whilst listening to a business podcast, or a short HIIT workout in my lounge room. Exercising doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time. What matters is that you’re consistent about it. Another tip is to build in exercise to your daily routine. I walk to and from work each Friday. It only takes me 20 minutes each way but it’s a great way to build in a sneaky 5km during the week.

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Outsource

This may not be possible when you are first starting out, but as soon as you have some cash flow available and too much work on your plate, it’s time to do some outsourcing. Whether it is hiring a web designer, content writer or social media manager, or simply hiring a virtual assistant to take some of the work load off you, outsourcing is a great way to leverage your time and continue to scale your business. Some great sources of potential hires are Upwork and business Facebook groups.

Ask Your Employer About Flexible Working Hours

This is something I struggled with for a long time. Do I ask my employer to go part time, or do I continue to burn myself out with work? After four years with my current employer, I decided to take the leap and it’s made a world of difference. Your employer may be more flexible than you know, especially if they are keen to keep you on. Working one less day hasn’t affected my work in a negative way at all. If anything, it has made me more productive in the hours I do have and less stressed as I now have a day off to focus on my business and side-passion.