Are you looking to start a side gig this year? But the thought of doing so when you already have a full-time job and/or kids immediately makes your chest feel tight?
Take a breath and relax, because today we’ve got Chant’l Martin from Thrive Lounge to talk to us about how to start a side gig while working full-time AND taking care of kids!
How to Start a Side Gig
In 2013, I was drowning. I was fresh out of college and had no idea how to do this “adulting” thing everyone else around me seemed to be doing so well. I didn’t understand my money (other than I wasn’t making enough of it) and I was stuck in survival mode, trying to grab onto anything that would help me stay afloat for one. more. month. Unfortunately for me, that something happened to be credit cards.
After a few months of robbing Peter to pay Paul, I decided that I, too, would start a side gig.
Everyone’s doing it. It can’t be too hard, right?
RIGHT… and WRONG.
I started 2 companies that failed miserably, one that worked for me, and then one that hit it out of the ball park (and I’m riding that gravy train straight to the bank). In the process, I learned that it IS possible to start a side gig, with a full time job, and very little money – oh – and with a kid. I’m also going to throw in single mom because if you think you have room to make excuses, I’m letting you know right now, it doesn’t matter your circumstances – you, too, can start a side gig.
Okay – now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff.
How do you make this magical money making machine happen – minus the two miserable failures (because I’m sure you guys can live without those)?
Start a Side Gig: Create The Time
Think about your typical day. For me, it’s wake up, get my daughter dressed, fed and out the door for school, get ready for work, go to my day job, work, work , work, lunch, work, work, work, after school activities (Hey, Girl Scouts!), homework, dinner, night time routine, 30 minutes of reading Harry Potter in an exited, hyper inflated voice, glass of wine, collapse. Sound familiar?
Before you run off starting a side gig, decide when you have the time to do it. Don’t keep your lifestyle exactly the same and commit to joining #teamnosleep and burn the midnight oil. That’s not a sure-fire way to success, it’s the sure-fire way to hit burnout. This is what I did in my first two companies (the ones that failed miserably).
How to Find the Time
There are two ways to approach finding the time for your side hustle. The first thing I recommend is taking advantage of down time. Do you usually lay in the bed for some time in the morning, watching TV or thinking about life? Commit to taking that uninterrupted time in the morning (or evening after kids go to bed) to make your dream come true.
Second, if you want to create more time in your day, look at decreasing your TV, social media, and gossip-on-the-phone time or random commitments that don’t add personal fulfillment.
Get Some Help
When people think “side gig” the first thing that comes to mind is creating value for yourself, but from my experience, the greatest value is created when you share your success with others. This gives you more opportunity to divide the work, more people to help with marketing and promotions, and the burden of growing a fledgling company is not solely on your shoulders.
Did I mention, that it also gives you help in raising the capital?
Build a Team
Depending on where you are in life, you have different options available: partnerships, personal assistant or virtual assistant. Creating a partnership is the option for people that are low on time or money or both. Maybe you’re still trying to figure out this whole “adulting” thing and not cash flow positive. A partnership will give you more flexibility in the work load, startup capital, and ideas.
Maybe you have a little more money in the bank, a great option for you could be babysitting or housekeeping. A lot of time and energy goes in to keeping up a home and the typical parent things like making meals, doing homework, and driving to and from activities. A babysitter could give you additional time to work, and it will give you the peace of mind to focus on the task at hand.
Similar to a babysitter, a virtual assistant could take things off your plate – but in your business. An assistant could help you with social media, research, or email campaigns and give you time to focus on creating value for your customers.
Start a Side Gig: Focus
When you have a full time job and kids, there’s no doubt that your time for a side-gig is going to be limited. Now that you’ve gone through the trouble of finding this time to create your side gig, don’t let it go to waste. We’ve all had nights where we SAY we’re going to schedule out social media posts, but we actually end up scrolling through our news feed liking baby pictures for hours.
Use tools like rescuetime to see where your time is going. If you lack discipline (as many of us do in the beginning of our journey), turn off your wifi for an hour so you can get blog writing done. Create a to-do list of three high priority things you want to accomplish in your work time and do not stop until those things are done.
Getting It Done
Starting a side gig in the midst of a full time job AND raising children can be complicated, but it’s totally doable.
You CAN create a side hustle that you LOVE that brings in additional income for your family, but there’s definitely a smart way to do it that won’t leave you feeling burnt out.
Take your time to develop the work-life balance that works for you by taking things out as you add more in, feel comfortable sharing your work load with others (you don’t have to be superwoman), and focus on the task at hand – whether it’s focusing on your day job, focusing on your children during family time, or focusing on your side gig in all that new time you just created.
Your success is within your reach… you just have to make it happen!
Chantl Martin is the co-founder of Thrive Lounge, a support network for UNSTOPPABLE millennial women that focuses on goal-setting and accountability through mentorship, networking events, and vision board workshops. She is also the co-creator of Visioncon – the only vision board conference for millennial women.