Managing a Side Hustle with a Full-Time Job
On Saturday 5th October I attended the first Now You’re Talking event for side-hustlers. I was invited onto a panel to discuss: Managing a Side Hustle with a Full-Time Job.
I was on the panel with four others:
- Jaz Broughton, a life coach and podcaster The Palm Podcast
- Emmanuel Oyemade, a photographer and charity owner
- Ruth Oppong, a lawyer and founder of RhemaArtsUK
- Annette Abena, a blogger, podcaster at DiasporaTalks, co-founder of Founder Vine
I’ll be honest, I felt a little out of place at first as my side-hustles are very much focused on myself and rely only on me, whereas these guys were killing it by helping others! But that made the panel work because there were many different perspectives of how to manage a side hustle when you’re working a full-time job.
I’m a full-time Marketing Manager at HarperCollins. But I’m also a freelance journalist, a podcaster, a blogger, a public speaker and a writer (novels not non-fiction).
I have a lot going on, but I make it work because I love it. And that was the advice I gave to the attendees of the Now You’re Talking Event.
I live by the philosophy: first comes heart, then comes hustle.
If you don’t love what you’re doing then stop doing it. My parents were very good at driving home the message that there’s no point doing something if you don’t enjoy it, you only get one life so why spend it doing something that brings you no pleasure?
When I start a side hustle, which I appear to do quite often, it’s because I’m really passionate about something and I see no reason why having a full-time job or an active social life should stand in that way.
As the popular Pinterest quote says:
“You have the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce”
Sure, you probably don’t have the same amount of money, personal trainers, and support as she does but she didn’t always have that either and she made it. So why can’t you?
Side Hustle vs Full-Time Job
When it comes to managing my side hustle with my job, however, my way of thinking is not always going to match up with everyone else’s. For example, some jobs have clauses in their contracts about how you spend your time outside of work and whether or not you can discuss your job etc.
I don’t tend to write too much in detail about my job, rather just my industry as that’s what free speech is. I’m always considerate of confidentiality and my author’s privacy, but if I’ve had a bad day at work which has triggered my anxiety then I’m not going to sit down and shut up about it when my natural inclination is to write about it. No sirree.
As I said at the panel, from 9-5:30 my full-time job has 100% of my attention. I am focused and will do anything that they ask of me. But from 5:31pm until 8:59am I’m in my time and I’ll do what I want with that time.
When it comes to managing my multiple side-hustles in that period of time though I return to my first comes heart philosophy. Unlike the other panelists, my side-hustles are just dependent on me so if I choose not to do something it has no impact on others, only on me.
For example, I recently started my podcast This Millennial Mess, which I really enjoyed setting up and recording. But I did so much preparation and content production for it that I’ve gone off it a little. It’s a minor case of burnout, which I recognise and therefore know what to do about. I take a step back. I’m currently not recording anything or making too many plans as my heart isn’t in it and I have other projects I want to pull more focus towards.
But that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped podcasting. It just means I’m taking a break on that side-hustle to further another and I’ll return to my podcasting when I’m reading.
Taking a Break
The panel itself wasn’t very long but when we got to the Q&A portion someone asked how you can manage your side hustles with your full-time job when you’re feeling down.
I quickly finished with these three tips, which are relevant for managing a side-hustle even when you’re feeling 100%.
- Sleep. Get 8 hours a night as this is your body’s healing time and also the best time for your brain to start thinking up my new ideas and topping up your pro activism for the next day.
- Say No. If there is something you don’t want to do, feel like you can’t do, or simply have no time to do then say no. No one is going to begrudge you for it, and sometimes No is the most powerful word.
- Listen to yourself. You know what is right for you when it comes to your time management and what you can and can’t do. It may take a little practice but listen to yourself about what you want to do rather than what you think you should do.