You decide how to introduce yourself.
The angst I felt at networking events trying to articulate what I do without sounding like some sort of confused human is a memory I’d rather forget. Depending on the “room” I would lead with my day-job then read the temperature before saying “and…” especially in the days when my business wasn’t bringing an income and clients weren’t necessarily pouring in. It could feel fraudulent saying I was an entrepreneur when I wasn’t exactly on the road to Forbes 30 under 30.
Over time I learned to stop caring and take back my power in those situations, more than anything I realised by only sharing a part of myself I am taking away the opportunity to make deeper connections with others and relate on new levels. I had to stop caring and just be me, fully. Because for every person that looked at me like I had 2 heads, there was another person who totally got it or was at least intrigued, or better yet once there was a graduate who grabbed me before I left the event to confess to her own side hustle and thank me for being me. In every situation I was in control, I just needed to decide.
How do you describe yourself? Why? Which words feel good to you? Can you introduce yourself out-loud this way (or phone a friend) how did it feel? Did the World crumble or did you survive?
It’s important to take breaks from both jobs.
Have a Kit Kat. You see, growing up I never understood it fully when my dad would say “If I don’t show up I don’t get paid” and now I remind myself that a plus of having a fulltime job is that if I don’t show up I do get paid and it’s called annual leave!
It can be so easy to dive headfirst into the hustleporn and truly believe that because your evenings, weekends, morning and lunchtimes are open they should be stuffed with side-hustling projects and dreams. No. Living this way will cheat you of the foundation that you need to continue and although your body may keep going, your mind will grow tired. You will burnout. A dictionary definition of burnout is “the reduction of a fuel or substance to nothing through use or combustion.” That… does not sound like a great place to be, I don’t know about you but I can’t operate a business from a place of “nothing”. Oh…and passion does not make you immune to burnout.
On a scale of 1-10 where are you on the burnout scale? with 1 being at the reduction and 10 being zen balance? How do you feel about that reality? Is there anything you would change? What would that be? What can you do today to change this?
Your career will become 1 coin with 2 sides.
I am the first one to tell you that your business is a part of your career, not separate. It is separate from your job but it all encompasses your career. Seeing it as one whole with two halves will make it easier to stop feeling like a confused human or ‘jack of all trades and master of none’.
This is important because through both you will grow, learn and upskill. Last year I invested in a copywriting course to support my business and communication, a year later and I have the most-read posts on my employer’s Customer Community page with the stats to prove it. I didn’t learn it on-the-job but I brought it with me. In the same breath I have travelled for business to Barcelona and LA; to meet with clients and take part in training. But I also used the flight, downtime, sunrises and sunsets to write my heart out, plan for the future and dream up new things for clients.
I want you to take a moment and reflect on any similar examples you have. Imagine yourself riding a bicycle; and as you push down the left-pedal it boosts the right-pedal in anticipation to keep you moving forward. A pay rise at work lets you invest in the course you’ve always wanted to, the networking events for work have made you more comfortable networking for your own business, the productivity tools you learn to use at work are perfect for managing your own projects; the list goes on.
They will work together, if you allow them to.
Grab your notebook, think of the skills you use and need for your business, now answer the same questions for your day-job. Have a look at the common skills and think of anyways you can leverage and grow these skills for the benefit of your business and role at work.
Time and money take on new meaning
Resources, they are both resources and when combined in a ratio you will see that one can help offset the other. Earning a higher salary can give you more disposable income to spend on your business and doing less hours at work can give you more hours to side-hustle, but then you have a lower salary so your side-hustle will need to make more money, then if your side-hustle makes more money it’s likely it will need some more of your attention and time, even if-only for a little while before you scale with F&F’s scale series.
There are a number of scenarios that will require your job and side-hustle to integrate, for you to be flexible in how much time you a lot to your side-hustle so your job remains the priority, likewise taking time off your day-job to deliver products and services through your side-hustle is sometimes necessary. It’s important not to be precious about it and make values-based decisions with integrity. That, and minding the business that pays you i.e. working 9.00am -5.30pm closing the laptop and then popping open the other laptop at 6.30pm (once you’ve had a hearty meal and a little break).
Do you know how much your side-hustle costs you each month financially? How can you move towards profitability?
Grab a piece of paper and map out your week hour by hour, add time-blocks for your job, sleeping, self-care, family and other commitments. Look at this paper, make adjustments for your energy levels and block out rest. Look at this paper again to see how much time you realistically have each week and plan your next week with this in mind. Better yet, add blocks to your written or digital calendar for specific tasks this upcoming week e.g. 6.00-8.00pm each Monday and Tuesday for client calls.
A tribe and community will be even more important.
You sit on the line of multi-hyphenate peeps which some understand and others don’t. You also sit with the entrepreneurs and are a founder regardless of whether you choose that word for you or not. Surrounding yourself with other people who “get it” will be vital, for support, accountability and collaboration. This is something I have found with Found & Flourish and a select few other communities, a place I have found to network and learn but have made great friends.
Whether it is through a community or not, ensure you have people in your circle that see it all and can support you as the human in the centre of it. We don’t live life alone, and you, my dear, do not side-hustle alone.
No coaching question here, think of your network and friendships. Do you feel supported? Do you have a community? If so, that’s great; lean into that support. If not, join Found & Flourish, there’s room for more side-hustling-founders.
Find me at:
About your author
Jaz is your coach for life and work; championing the importance of creating the life you want while doing the work you love. Working with ambitious people to grow, achieve goals and personally develop through 1:1 coaching, workshops and educational content.
Never underestimate the power of a good article. So many of our reading choices have the potential of transforming the way we look at the world, the news and even our personal lives.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and tell your younger self some wonderful kernel of wisdom that you know now?
Over the past 18 months, working from home had led to many of us giving up when it comes to enforcing work-life boundaries.