Please enjoy this post from Gina Horkey from HorkeyHandbook.com. Gina is a writer with a background in personal finance. She’s passionate about designing a flexible lifestyle suited to meet the needs of her young family and hopes to inspire others to do the same. In June of 2015, she hopes to be writing and traveling around the US in an RV. Now take a look at how she recommends you make time to work on your side hustle below……
Have you started a side hustle or thought about starting one, but can’t seem to find the time or energy to work on it?
You’re not alone! Americans (and I’m sure people worldwide) are busier than ever! The average workweek for example, has gone from a standard 40 hours to 50+ for many people in today’s society. Working just 40 hours has been referred to as “career suicide.”
Now, that’s just dumb! I’m on the other side of the coin and would prefer to work fewer hours, make more money, and spend more time with my young kids and wonderful husband. But what about the side hustle?
A Little Background
My husband and I used to both work at least 40 hours per week. Being that my former career was as a financial advisor, I spent many years (pre-kids) putting in 60-80 hours per week trying to grow my practice. Then we decided to start a family.
Toss in some compensation and business expectation changes from my company and I needed to find a better solution. I transferred over to the franchise side of my company under a larger practice as a half support person and half advisor. I went down to a 40 hour workweek with a predictable salary and after having baby #1 decreased my hours yet again to 32 (four-eight hour days).
Then, surprise! Baby #2 was on her way! We decided it made more financial (and family) sense for my husband to quit his jobs (even though he was the one with benefits) and become a SAHD instead. I stayed at the same 32 hour workweek and we cut back our expenses A LOT! Two kids under two in daycare is crazy expensive!
Then this year I decided I needed more in my career life. I wanted to be more than a support person. I concentrated on investing time and energy into my financial planning business and then I got honest with myself and realized that’s not what I wanted to be when I grew up anymore.
Deciding on a Side Hustle
So I looked for something new. The universe provided me a direct path to a website called Leaving Work Behind, and the freelance writing side hustle was born!
But now I encountered a new challenge. I wanted to do something different, but I was the breadwinner. We still wanted Wade to stay at home with the kids and I couldn’t up and quit my job to freelance full-time – or at least not right away!
So I started my business on the side, with the goal of quitting my job a year later on May 1, 2015. I knew by hustling on the side, I could test the waters and see if it was viable. I could also (in theory) use the income that I made to pay down some more debt/pad our savings. I say “in theory,” as we’ve found plenty of ways to spend it (new business expenses, medical bills, most recently Xmas, etc).
Some conversations happened at my office, which forced the issue and I moved my date up to becoming a full-time freelancer 1/1/2015. It’s been one wild ride! Luckily in November, 2014 I was able to clock in $4,000 of income, so I felt pretty confident about it. I was also able to sell my small practice, which will provide some income for the transition.
But how does one find the time to build a side hustle in hopes of taking it full-time in addition to a day job, a family and all of the other responsibilities that come with running a household, etc?
It’s like the answer to “how do you eat an elephant?” One small bite at a time! Here are my five best tips for rescuing time to work on your side hustle.
1. Get Up Early
This isn’t a brilliant piece of advice, but it is effective. My littles are early risers – like many times before six in the morning early risers! So I need to be effective and efficient with my time.
That means that I get up at 4:45am (or at least I did when I worked). This gave me a solid hour and a half to two hours per day, which adds up to quite a bit over the period of a workweek!
2. Go to Bed Early
I’m naturally more of a morning person than a night owl, so this advice is better suited to those of you that are more creative in the morning. I don’t do well without much sleep and our youngest has been teething much of this past year.
So, I go to bed early. Like not much after my kids go to bed early. It’s not super fun, but my side hustle is/was important, so during the week that’s what I did. And it worked, so it was well worth it!
3. Set Your Coffeemaker
Obviously this is if you drink coffee! If you don’t, we can’t be friends;-). Just kidding of course, but this one thing helped to get me out of bed more mornings than I’d like to admit.
I’d have loved to have slept in almost every day if I had the opportunity. But my alarm paired with hearing the coffeemaker doing it’s thing got me up and at ‘em in no time! It could work for you too!
4. Use Your Lunch Break
If you get a scheduled lunch break, use it to work on your side hustle. Be super organized and have a list/plan of what you want to accomplish in that 30 or 60 minutes.
Pack your lunch and eat at your desk or in your car with your laptop. By bringing a brown bagged lunch and working during your lunch break, you can both save and make money at the same time, brilliant!
5. Hire a Babysitter
This obviously only applies if you have young kids. For those of you with older kids or without any, consider the advice using your weekends instead!
I hired a babysitter many a times this last year. Luckily we’ve got an adorable thirteen year old that charges much less than I can make in an hour’s time, so it’s a no-brainer!
This way I wasn’t always saddling Wade with the kids and he got some “me time” too. Luckily I enjoy my side hustle so much (and am/was so focused) that I didn’t mind using my “me time” to work on my business. There were a few times that we would pair us both working with a date and have the babysitter cover the kids for both. Win, win!
For those of you that may be wondering when I spend time with my kids, I engage with them before I leave for work and then after I get home for the rest of the evening. I also make sure to spend at least one full day with them on the weekend. All of this is so I can spend even more time with them as I take my side hustle full-time!
Freelance writing might not be your bag and that’s okay. You might not need or want to quit your job and that’s okay too! You don’t have to!
You can make money writing on the side (or via another side hustle). It can be enough to pay down some debt, take a vacation, fund your retirement or children’s education or it could support your family. In some ways, it’s up to you!
Regardless of what your side hustle is, regularly finding the time to work on your business is important. Try getting up and going to bed early, setting your coffeemaker, working during your lunch break and on the weekends to get ahead. Every small focused amount of time spent on your business will add up to big results over the long run!
How do you best rescue time to spend on your side hustle?
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- Is Entrepreneurship Really Better than the 9-5?
- Branding Your Business (or Blog) on a Budget
- Keys to Surviving and Thriving with a Freelance Income
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- 4 Specific Ways to Make Money Online
- In All Matters, You Have to Start Somewhere