I’ve done it all. I’ve been a full-time entrepreneur, a mompreneur and now a corporate career girl with a side hustle.
For the past 8 years I have spent as an entrepreneur, I have noticed that there is a very negative dialogue around “corporate” and “9-5”. They are the prison for the entrepreneurial spirit and to be happy you MUST be your own boss. The success of your business is directly related to whether or not your business can support you and the lifestyle you want. That is the message I heard loud and clear from all the big time business coaches and motivators. Put in the 90 hours of work a week to get to the ultimate freedom of being an entrepreneur. That was the only way to do it. The end. I would see people celebrating in Facebook groups as they finally earned enough from their side hustle to replace their full-time income and finally quit their jobs to become their own boss, full-time by working their side hustle on weekends and from 9-midnight every day. Yaaay! That’s great. I could never do that. As a single mom, I need the security and benefits of a full-time job. I agree that life is too short to spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in a space that makes you unhappy. But, I disagree that entrepreneurs can’t be great employees and find a happy home in the corporate world while balancing family and a side hustle. Let me explain.
When I think of the most inspirational female entrepreneurs in my own life, they are almost always side hustlers. Several of them have amazing full-time careers and their side hustle fills both their creative side as well as tops up their finances every month. If they don’t have a career gig, then they are full-time moms with their hands full of young children. And sometimes they are both career women and moms. And then some are even career women, moms and single. Including me. Most often than not, the side hustle adds a dimension to everyone’s life that betters her. It teaches us new skills in time management, productivity, creativity, strategy, marketing and more. All things we can apply to our career or even as a parent. A smart employer would see the side hustle as an act of self-improvement and welcome the initiative done on their employee’s own time.
Why is this important to note? I don’t want any woman who is building her side hustle to feel that her business is not successful because it does not support her full-time. A side hustle can do many things for us. It can fill our creative cup and be more of a hobby than anything. It can also add to our income which everyone could use more of with the high costs of living in Canada. It can also be an escape from the daily routine of motherhood and perhaps a dose of self-care.
In my research around the “side hustle”, I come across a lot of lead magnets that boast “replace your 9-5 income in 30 days with these side hustle ideas”. These educators and coaches fail to recognize that this may not be everyone’s goal with a side hustle. They go on to share strategies that are very time consuming to implement and use motivation tactics that mean leaving your job. They ignore the fact that someone’s priority might not be their side hustle. They may have 2-3 other priorities that come first, non-negotiable. But that doesn’t mean the side business isn’t important!
I want to create a new dialogue around the side hustle. I call it Side Hustle & Heart because yes your side-hustle matters but so do the things you hold dear in your life. Your side hustle might be behind your career and family in terms of priorities and you have adjusted your realistic expectations of what you can do with your side hustle business and you are more than ok with that. When I think of the challenges side hustlers with heart face it’s time and priorities. That’s why I want to dig deep into methods and tips to help with productivity and automation within your business. Your business can work when you can’t work on it yourself. I want you to have a solid business and marketing foundation so you can quickly and easily make decisions about our business. I want to think about if your side hustle is sustainable long term and if it can scale without adding more time to your already packed schedule. Lastly, I want you to commit to a plan that makes sense for your life style and take baby steps regularly towards your side hustle goals while keeping your priorities in mind including family, self-care and of course, career.
And hey, if you end goal is to leave your day job, then you can do that too. But, I don’t want anyone to measure their success on the dollars their side hustle brings in. Yes, a business does need to make money but not all entrepreneurs want to be a slave to their business. Because for many of us the side hustle is more than a pay cheque, it is a creative outlet and something that fills our souls. It is something we are proud of because it solves a problem for a group of people and it’s just damn fun to run your own business! I have a secret for you though, if you do a good job planning and implementing your side hustle strategy, then there is a very good chance that your side hustle will start earning some good money. Saturday is the new Monday, my side hustling friends.
Are you side hustler with heart? Why did you start your side hustle and what do you hope to achieve with it?