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How to Manage a Side Hustle While Working Full Time

The gig economy is booming and millennials are making up a large portion of workers with side hustles or who rely on the gig economy for their main income. According to Deloitte, “Self-employment in the United States could triple to 42 million workers by 2020, and 42 percent of those people are likely to be millennials.” This is both a good and a bad thing for millennials. For some, it means flexing their entrepreneurial muscles and trying to make a go of a new business idea. For others, it means that their main income source isn’t enough to support them and their families.

The gig economy constitutes an environment where temporary and flexible jobs are typical and where many businesses prefer to hire independent contractors or freelancers instead of full-time talent. This is one way for employers to get out of paying for benefits like health insurance but is also a great way for smaller companies to get a start with supplemental talent as they need it.

Managing a side hustle when you work full time can be a challenge though. Even for those of us who are workaholics and enjoy putting our noses to the grindstone. I myself work full time and have a long commute three days a week. This means that all side-hustling has to take place on the weekends. For me, that means my contracted freelance position writing articles for car dealerships.
But how did I get this reliable side-hustle and how do I make it work?

Here’s a breakdown of how the process of finding and managing my side hustle has worked for me.

Why I Decided to Find a Side Hustle

Back in 2018, a number of financial situations arose. A tree fell on my house, I had some crazy expensive medical bills, and I decided that I didn’t want to postpone travel dreams just because bills get in the way. With all of these expenses and dreams, I either had to alter my already fairly frugal lifestyle to be much more modest, or I needed to make some extra cash. I opted for some extra cash and began my search for a sustainable side hustle in the gig economy.

What Are Some Viable Side Hustle Options?

When I first started out, I considered a variety of options. Here are a few I considered, but didn’t try.
  • Selling art on Etsy (I’m crafty!)
  • Referral Cars 
  • Driving for Uber/Lyft
Here are a few options I tried:
  • Writing for Constant Content 
  • Submitting reviews on Gartner Peer Insights (this actually worked, until I ran out of tech to review) 
  • Doing surveys on Inbox Dollars 
  • Creating a Shopify account
  • Starting a blog (hi, reader!)

None of these became a viable option for me. Instead, I turned to an old standby, I realized that I wanted a side hustle that was reliable and consistent and the best way to find that would be to find a company to contract with. So instead of taking a more entrepreneurial approach, I started looking for remote, part-time positions. I was incredibly lucky to find a company seeking freelance writers.

The interview process was much like that of any position. I submitted some of my work for review, had a call with their hiring manager, and was eventually sent some forms and contracts to sign. Now, I write a consistent number of articles each week on my own time.

Will I Make a Lot of Money?

Something important to remember when you set out on a side-hustle expedition is that if side hustles were incredibly lucrative, everyone would swap their main job out for one. Instead, I’d recommend looking for something consistent. If you have a marketable skill like web design, writing, dog sitting, or anything else, it will likely be easier to find part-time work with an already established company. Going it alone may very well be more lucrative in the long run, but isn’t likely to have a rapid return on investment.

How to Manage Your Time When You Have a Side Hustle

Managing your time once you’ve nailed down your side hustle is crucial. First and foremost, it CANNOT interfere with your full-time position. There’s no point jeopardizing your main income stream for something that may not end up being worth your time in the end. You also have already made a commitment to your current employer, and they may even be providing your benefits (health insurance, etc.)

Block out specific time for your side hustle, and make sure you stick to it. This will help you not kill yourself by letting your side-hustle take over your life and also to dedicate enough time to it to be worthwhile. Personally, I dedicate Saturday morning to my writing. That way I can still do things with friends Saturday night and then have an introvert day on Sunday. Remembering that you are only a finite resource and not a crazy content machine is important. It is easy to let something like that rule your life. And just as easy to burn out.

Don’t procrastinate. If you end up going over your allocated amount of time to complete your side hustle tasks, schedule in some more time. Treat it like you would any project at work and extend your deadline, but do give yourself a new one to work against. For my side hustle, I am given actual deadlines for each article. For my peace of mind, I try to get everything done at least 1 – 2 days ahead of schedule. That way if I get sick or my internet decides to kick the bucket, I still have some wiggle room.

Get Enough Sleep. This one is just good advice for everyone who has a work schedule. Your performance is likely to suffer if you don’t stick to a decent routine. If I’m tired, I may accidentally take a nap instead of writing. It’s the weekend, after all, right? Wrong! If you’ve gotten yourself a side hustle, know that your weekends aren’t purely weekends anymore.

Realign your priorities. I don’t mean reorder your priorities. I mean consider which are truly important to you, as you’re going to have less “time to kill.” This piece of advice is mainly to get you remembering what your priorities are. You may find that you need to block off time specifically to spend with friends or family, otherwise you could work right through your personal life. Remember that you have other commitments that need to be juggled. It can be difficult to learn to budget “fun” things like TV or video games, but everyone has something that de-stresses them. And that makes them worthwhile in small doses.

So, should I get a side hustle?

That is completely up to you! Think about the different things you’re interested in. Do you already have a marketable skill? Are you interested in learning more about an industry? Know a friend who could help you get started? Think about your priorities. Are you going to be able to commit enough time to your side hustle? Will you struggle with procrastination? There are different levels of side hustle as well. Maybe consider some that will eat less of your time or can be done as little or as much as you want each week. Whatever you choose, remember not to neglect things like your full-time position or your family.

As my co-worker, Sergey Rusak always says "Do whatever you want, just don't quit your day job."

Best of luck on your new entrepreneurial endeavor! If you have questions about getting or managing a side-hustle, leave me a comment below!



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