Did the thought of starting a business while working full time cross your mind?
It starts with pain. Another week went by and you were so exhausted that you couldn’t even think. How long will you be able to keep going like this, you ask yourself.
Unfortunately, this question is bothering you all the time, but no answer comes to mind.
A number of things can drive you to finally make the decision to start building a getaway to your own financial independence. The decision to start a side hustle and make extra income while working full-time can be either of these things-
It could be another super annoying conversation with your manager when they complain about you needing to go pick up your kids in the middle of the day…
It could be the endless calculations about when would be the best time to take 1 day’s leave so you can breathe a little bit (and still have enough leave days for Christmas)
It could be the desire to have a cleaner every week! Without feeling guilty about spending the money when you can clean yourself.
Or you, want to be your own boss so you can be 100% flexible with your time without the need to ask for permission for every little tiny thing.
These are all perfectly good reasons to start thinking that there might be another way so you can start living the life you really want and deserve.
Unfortunately, the need for financial security, especially when you have kids to support, will prevent you most of the time from bursting into your manager’s office and telling them that you quit.
But how can you do that? How can you think of starting a business while working full time without feeling burned out?
Starting a business is not a walk in the park. It requires a lot of resilience, perseverance and the ability to work for a long time without any results whatsoever.
And also, the uncertainty of when you are going to start making money and whether that would even be enough to replace a full-time salary?
For all these reasons and so many more, the option of starting a business while working full time and keeping your job is the perfect choice to make. That way, you can –
- Start learning a new skill without feeling the stress of wasting your time or thinking that every day that goes by, you are running out of money.
- Start experimenting and testing new ideas and making good decisions along the way that are not based on financial stress.
- Be calmer and more positive with everyone around you (your kids and your partner), because you won’t have the financial stress that comes with starting a business.
- Keep all your options open! If you decide at the end not to continue with one idea, you still have your day job income, and nothing is lost. If you decide to invest your time in another different side hustle, that’s ok too, because your monthly income is still paying your bills. And once you start to make progress, if you are making enough money from your side hustle and it’s steady and growing constantly, then you can quit your job with very little financial risk.
So once you decided to start a side hustle, you must be wondering how on earth can you make time for a business while you are working at a full-time job, taking into account the fact that you are already overwhelmed, stressed and exhausted, trying to juggle your work and your family life!
After doing that for a long time (starting a number of side hustles), I am happy to share with you what has worked for me and maybe you will find that some of these ideas can fit with your schedule as well.
Starting a Business While Working Full Time –
Start with your why
Yes, I know, you might have heard it before and you might also think that you don’t really need to do this step because you already know why you are doing this (so you can go proudly to the office one day and say with a smile I quit! And never look back).
But although the ability to quit your job is priceless, no doubt about that, if you think about that, you’ll find so many other reasons that because of them starting this side business is a must for you.
Before you start planning how to start a business, I would highly recommend writing down all of these reasons why in a notebook and coming back to it all the time so it will remind you why you are doing all of this, and this will get you motivated to start and keep going.
How much time can you invest?
Decide how much time you can invest on a weekly basis in building your new side hustle.
This could be a few hours over the weekend (3-4 hours or even 8 hours), or it could even be in the middle of the week if you can spare even a little bit of time very early in the morning before going to work or at night when the kids are already in bed.
The most important thing is to make sure that whatever you decide, works best with your schedule and that you can continue doing that for the long run without completely exhausting yourself.
Choose the Right Business for You
A lot of people I know, when they think of how to start a side hustle, the most important consideration they take into account is how much money they can make out of it and how fast. I did try to do it as well, but I’ve realized that the amount of money I can make, is just not enough for me in order to pick the side hustle and really stick to it.
I would recommend you to check all side hustle ideas for working moms and pick one idea that you are passionate about or you are interested in pursuing and you know that you would want to continue developing for the long run. Think if you would still like to do that in 3, 5, or 10 years from now because you are building a real business.
Also, I wouldn’t recommend going after a business idea that you are not really passionate about because it will be very hard to keep going and overcome all the hurdles (including exhaustion) if you are doing it just for the money.
I truly believe, from years of experience, that if you are really passionate about something, then you will have the creativity you need to grow this from a side hustle to a successful business. Check out my post- Side Hustles You Can Do From Home – where I rate all the side hustles I’ve tried as a busy mom.
Starting a Business While Working Full Time – Does it Fit with Your Schedule?
Once you have come up with a side hustle idea that you would like to pursue, check first if this is something that would fit your schedule. If you can only work a few hours on the weekend, then there are some side hustles that you won’t be able to do.
For example, anything that requires you to communicate with a customer will be problematic like doing freelance work as a graphic designer. Because even if you supply the design on time, there is always more communication before and after your first draft and your customer will expect you to respond quickly, so if you know that there is no way you can work on your side hustle in the middle of the week – then everything that involves communicating with customers is out.
Before Starting a Business – Commit to specific times and days of the week to work on your side hustle
It’s not going to be enough to decide how many hours you’ll work every week and then start the week and ‘see how it goes because it will never happen. You’ll never have spare time if you don’t plan for it.
A good plan would be to block the specific time you’ve decided on, in your calendar (for example, Saturday 4 pm – 7 pm). That way, you’ll plan your day accordingly to make it work (and it will be harder to ignore…)
Take a course
Take a course to learn how to bring your idea to life. I know it’s tempting just to watch a bunch of YouTube videos and start because there is so much information available out there these days and it’s free.
But there are some benefits of a course that you wouldn’t get from YouTube videos –
- You get the whole plan. All the steps to building a successful business in your niche. Even if you find out the first step and how to do it from a YouTube video, it will be very difficult for you to figure out all the right steps (and in the right order) to do that. And if you don’t have a clear plan, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get to where you want to go or define clear goals for this business.
- You get detailed instructions on how to do everything – it will save you so much time! Imagine that you only have 4 hours a week to invest in building a side hustle and you waste at least 2 hours just looking for information, finding out that there are different methods to do what you wanted to do, so you end up doing nothing.
- It will save you money, because your time is too expensive to be wasted, especially when you have so little of it. Also, training will save you a lot of costly mistakes (everyone makes mistakes, but you will definitely be able to prevent some of them if you follow training).
- This is the blogging course I did that helped me build this blog, a lot of value for a really affordable cost! If you are starting your own blog, you might want to check it out.
The 80/20 Rule When Starting a Business While Working at a Job
Remember the 80/20 rule (the “Pareto Principle”) that 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of the outcome (and I can’t stress enough how important that is when you are trying to add a new adventure to your busy schedule), so it’s important not to be a perfectionist with the things you do.
Be comfortable with the idea that no matter what you do, at the beginning, you are going to suck, and that’s ok!! Just give yourself permission to go ahead and try the things you learn, even if it’s not perfect yet (btw, it will never be).
Set goals for your side hustle
Setting a clear financial goal of how much you would like to earn from this side hustle is important in so many ways and it is the first thing to do when starting a business while forking full time. First, it will help you choose the right side hustle for you (in some of the businesses, you can make an extra $1000 a month but it will be very difficult to build that up to a $10,000 a month business).
Second, if you have a goal then you would be able to create a plan to get there. Without a specific goal in mind, you would never build the business you want.
Make an achievable (!) plan
At the beginning of starting a new business (and especially if you are following your dreams), everything is very exciting so you might be tempted to create a very stressful plan that is, unfortunately, unachievable.
What is an unachievable plan for you to work on your business?
Deciding to work 10 hours every Saturday or complete too many tasks that you have never done before in one day.
You might think that it will get you to where you want faster, but the truth is that as a working mom, you have so many obligations that it’s impossible to do everything at once and not succeed in following up your own plans over and over again can make you lose confidence in yourself (exactly when you need all the motivation and confidence that you can get).
Implement what you’ve learned the minute you learn it
The easiest thing to do is enrol in a course or training and just listen to the lessons. It’s exciting and it’s interesting but it is 100% passive and will not give you any results if you don’t act on it.
If you wait until the end of the course to start doing the first step, the chances of you really starting are very, very low! Because you will already be overwhelmed with everything you need to do, you will lose track and won’t remember how and what you need to do and will have to go back to the start.
The longer you wait (from the minute you start the course and until you start implementing), the harder it will be for you to actually do and as time goes by, it will look more complicated and unachievable.
I can tell you from personal experience that, during these tens of courses that I’ve enrolled in until today if I only stopped after every lesson and did my homework before I continued to the next lesson (like I have been doing for the past few years), I could have saved myself years (!) of wasted time and of course, wasted money.
Starting a Business While Working Full Time – Final Thoughts
I’ve shared with you the most important steps I would take today if I started all over again. This is the best path to plan your way to starting a business while working full time today as a working mom and be successful in it not just for a few months but in the long run. Yes, it can absolutely get overwhelming at times, but if you stick to it long enough, you’ll see that the results are totally worth it. Start today.
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