So now that you’ve started a side business, how do you add more to your plate without overwhelming yourself? Today we are going to be talking about how balance a side business with a full-time job. And not the illusion of balance of trying to do everything at once, but true balance.
When I first started a side business I was taking in all this advice that essentially told me to burn out. They were filled with hacks and tricks of how to get the most done in the day as possible and call that “balance.” However, when you are starting out, you are especially prone to burnout because it can feel like “everything” in the side business needs to get done.
Moreover, because it’s new and exciting, it can get really easy to get sucked into dedicating all of your free time to your side business. Now, being passionate, curious, and ambitious are not bad things, especially when it comes to creating your own side business. They are actually wonderful qualities that support the fact that you chose the right side business for your situation. If you haven’t listened to the previous article on how to create a side business while working a full-time job, make sure to read to that first.
However, being super passionate about your business can also lead to you working yourself to the ground because of this. And what happens next? Burnout. Which some people recover from and some people don’t. Burnout can also come at a huge cost to your business, but also your health, your relationships, and your financial livelihood. That’s why today I really want to talk about how to balance a side business with a full-time job without burning out. Spoiler: There are no generic hustle culture tips like wake up at 4 am or work through your lunch break. We are talking about the real personal growth needle movers.
Let’s get started!
1. Persistence over perfection.
It’s a long-term game. When you start a side business, it can feel like everything is in a rush. Everything must be accomplished as soon as possible and as perfectly as possible. And this mixture of short-term expectations and internal pressure prevents lots of people from either moving forward or giving up altogether.
However, when it comes to creating a side business, it’s important to think of it as a long-term game, and there is no timeline. That’s the great thing about business! While you might feel the timeline pressure for school (for ex. it might feel strange about going back to school at a certain age), there is no timeline for starting a business. Everyone does it in their own way with different timeframes/results because the circumstances can vary. If you think about your brand, any person, influencer, brand, it takes people years to build their business overnight. And while it can look like overnight success – the things that take
There is a Pinterest quote out there that says that “Progress over perfection” and this is something I used to believe too. Except the idea of “progress” is subjective and as a high achieving perfectionist, it can actually come with a lot of disappointment because we don’t feel like we are “progressing” as far as we should. So instead of trying to motivate yourself through quotes like “progress over perfection,” I invite you to start thinking about persistence and praising yourself for showing up.
Instead of counting every single “like” you get on an Instagram post, count how many days you showed up. And when we are high achieving perfectionists it can be easy to feel like we need to hit some kind of streak, like posting 3 times a week and if we miss that, we have to start all over. However, when it comes to creating a side business, it’s important to remember that it’s a long term game and so if you miss a post here or there or even weeks of it (I’ve been there!), it’s more important to keep going than it is to keep a streak for the sake of wanting our ducks in a row.
2. Be Decisive and Reiterate (procrasti-learning)
One of the hardest things you will need to practice when starting a side business is being decisive. This is something I am still actively working on every day as well in my career and business and a skill I had to develop along the way.
When you first start off creating your own business, there are so many choices. I mean, really, every single thing you do has a million options, and that can be extremely overwhelming.
The hard thing about balancing a side business with a full-time job is that with only small amounts of free time, you don’t have the time and energy to put into procrasti-learning.
As a high achiever, it’s very common to also be someone who is very analytical. And what happens is that we get sucked into the world of doing more research before making a decision. And what the kicker about this is is that it feels good at the moment to do so. It can feel like you are taking in all the information to make the “perfect” decision, but really it just delays action.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s so important to do research, As I mentioned in my previous article about the 3 questions you need to ask before starting a side business, it’s important to put a certain amount of thought into each action, but it’s also super important to take action.
Because what ends up happening is that the more you absorb it, the more doubt you will feel about taking action and tasks and to-dos can start piling up. This can result in either extreme overwhelm and avoidance (which is giving up on creating your side business) or it can result in burnout if you try to do it all at once to “catch up” to where you feel you should be.
When it comes to making a decision in business, it’s really important to remember that the most critical part of starting a side business is starting, taking action, and then reiterating and pivoting as you move along.
And this takes practice. And that’s how you move into starting a side business with a growth mindset, that you can always practice every action you take (including being decisive) as you go.
Whenever I struggle with being decisive I remind myself of the Napolean Hill quote: “Successful people make decisions quickly (as soon as all the facts are available) and change them very slowly (if ever). Unsuccessful people make decisions very slowly, and change them often and quickly.”
3. Managing and understanding self-doubt instead of pushing “through it” or finding a hack.
And that leads me to my final tip on how to balance a side business with a full-time job which is finding addressing the roadblocks head-on instead of just trying to find the next course promising life-changing strategies.
There is a lot of self-doubts, impostor syndrome, and fear of failure that come along with starting a side business and there’s a lot of strategy tips out there that work really well if you are able to overcome the mindset that comes along with starting something new like a business.
As a Career Mindset Coach, I work with clients that also want to start their own brand or business later on, and there is so much overlap between the mindset of being successful in your career and in your business. And like I’ve mentioned many times, it takes practice. That’s why I love Career Mindset Coach because it’s the best place to practice when your whole livelihood doesn’t revolve in it.
If you are looking to start I really invite you to join me in my 1:1 Coaching Program to work on overcoming self-doubt and developing the confidence to advocate for yourself.
If I could go back to tell my younger self anything about how to balance a side business with a full-time job, it would be to stop buying so many courses (I literally have so so many) that really confused me more and gave all sorts of tips that didn’t work with my perfectionism and overthinking mindset. When I first started my side business, one of the things that held me back in all areas was my lack of self-confidence and overthinking. I used to really be scared to put myself out there and I would just try to find the next strategy to help me, like structuring a post a certain way or using a feed planner, etc.
But I really needed to do was develop a plan that works for me by overcoming my fear of failure and judgement.
Starting a side business can be so exciting! But sustaining it becomes less shiny because it takes a lot of work. One thing that has really helped me is also reminding myself that “if I keep going, I will succeed.” I’ve changed my direction, my colour scheme, my website, etc a lot. But I keep going. It’s also important to remember that this is a long-term game. The businesses that are really successful are not the ones that hit it out of the park and then stopped. To avoid burnout I also remind myself that consistency does not mean constant and really develop a strategy that works for my mindset.
Did any of this resonate with you? Make sure to book a free consultation call to make the most of your side hustle career!