So, I’m coming out.
My side hustle is going to stay a side hustle. And I like it that way.
I work in Quality Control for a large healthcare and diagnostics company with a heavy focus on women’s health.
Close to 80% of the U.S. blood supply is tested using my company’s technologies. In fact, right now we’re on the front lines in the battle against Zika.
My department is responsible for ensuring that products meet release specifications before they leave our facilities.
I’m not trying to plan my exit from my career.
I take every opportunity I’m given and use it to grow and develop myself so that I can continue to move up in leadership in my organization.
But, I am not just a lab supervisor.
I’m also a coach.
Coaching is woven into the fabric of my being. I’ve been one for longer than I realized, helping junior team members develop in their careers for the last 10 years.
And now, I help motivated, driven full-time employees (like myself) start side businesses they’re passionate about.
With the economy moving more and more in the direction of self-employment and the relative accessibility of tools and information at the ready, it’s never been easier (or smarter) for the employee to get a side hustle off the ground.
Running a side business while holding down a full-time or part-time job is an excellent move towards making yourself more economically resilient and more marketable.
But, a side hustle is so much more than “baby entrepreneurship.” And it’s not always a transition step from away from employment to self-employment.
A side hustle is a way to experience the best of both worlds.
Fail. Land on your face. Figure out what you’re made of.
And do it without losing your shirt.
Do it until you find the idea that both works and lights you up.
This is for us. The ones out there in Cubicle Nation, with the drive to create something of our own too.
There are those of us who tolerate our jobs, hanging onto the health insurance and secure paycheck, and working for the weekends. Maybe we want to start something on the side as a way to explore new possibilities or maybe to clean up after old financial mistakes and missteps.
Some of us love our careers but just want the challenge of starting something that belongs to us.
Maybe that something turns into something bigger down the road. But, it doesn’t have to.
This is for us.
We’re out there.
Online we spend a lot of time lurking in entrepreneurial groups, so many of which are aimed at “screwing the nine to five”.
Now, we may post occasionally, but we’re mostly there just absorbing all the great information and soaking up inspiration. We definitely have a lot in common with this crowd, but we don’t feel 100% like we fit in.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but love and so much respect for those of you who are completely self-employed and those who are working towards that end.
You guys inspire the shit out of me.
You’re some of the coolest, most interesting people I know. And don’t think because I am not looking to hit the “eject” button from my job , that I don’t take a (big) page out of your book.
Your voices, your messages, your fire, and your fearlessness have moved me into action.
And I’m here now doing what I do because the idea of “financial freedom” has become a certainty for me rather than just a pipe dream and I know I can make an impact in the world in this area.
It’s not a “this or that” issue, or an “all or nothing” question.
I want to inspire anyone and everyone who wants to start and run something of their own, regardless of employment status, regardless of preconceived notions of what an entrepreneur is or isn’t, to get into action and go for it.
To me, this is the beauty of the side hustle, side gig, side business, side stream, side jam, whatever you like to call it:
You can straddle the line between entrepreneur and employee.
It’s possible to be a hybrid of the two and be very happy and fulfilled in what you do.
Your job is NOT an obstacle, excuse or a hindrance to your side business success.
The way I see it, it’s an advantage.
And if you look at it the right way, it can even be your superpower.
Stating the Obvious
A stable day job provides a predictable income “cushion”, insurance, familiarity, and routine. It lays a solid base or foundation from which you can branch out into exploring other things.
But, there are some pretty awesome, less obvious benefits too.
Weekdays, I wake up about 3 hours before I need to be into the office and I work on my business. Then, I leave the house and spend a full day at my job. This gives me just enough variety and contrast in my daily experiences to keep everything fresh.
I can borrow concepts from one and apply them to the other. For instance, a big part of my role at work is process and continuous improvement through Lean. These concepts can be adapted and applied to help my clients improve workflows and project management in their businesses.
What do you do at work that could have useful applications in a side business?
I see valuable differences in perspective between my two “cultures”, but so much overlap in how I show up in both places as well.
Having one foot in each world has made me a more stable, patient entrepreneur and a much bolder, more effective employee.
How could entrepreneurship help your performance at work?
What skills and abilities have you developed to get ahead at work that could make you a stronger entrepreneur?
I know I only have 3 hours in the morning to get things done for my business before I leave for my day job. So, things get done. I am forced to get clear about my weekly and daily priorities and then break those down into bite-sized actions.
When do you work on your side hustle? (Or when could you work on a side hustle?)
How can you make the best use of the time you have?
*Find out how I make time for my side hustle and grab my FREE Master Schedule template here.
Playing the long Game
I’m taking a long-term approach toward building and developing my side business. I want to become the best coach I can be. How long it takes isn’t important.
I’m enjoying the journey.
Yes, I do have specific income targets for my side hustle, but I am in this thing for the long haul. I push hard for results, but I understand that anything worth having takes time and I’m ok with that.
What are your goals for your side hustle?
How does a side hustle fit into the bigger picture of what you want in your life?
What do you really want?
Take the time to ask yourself what you’re really looking for. Understand what truly matters to you. Look beyond a side hustle, beyond the day job. Get to know yourself and what types of environments you thrive in. Learn your strengths.
If you do that, you’ll be giving yourself the best possible chance to match your opportunities with what works for you.
You may even find a degree of alignment and harmony between your career and your side business.
So what will it be?
Want to keep your hustle a hustle? Or want to grow it into something to replace your full-time income?
There is room at the table for all of us.
Some of my favorite folks on the various shades of entrepreneurship, knowing yourself and what works for you, balancing a side business with a full-time job, and other great pearls of wisdom!