There has been a huge movement in the world from focussing on working for one company for years and years, to building and running your own business. For most people, while this is something they really want for themselves, they can't afford to jump straight into a full-time business, they need to work and build it while they're employed. Enter the 'side hustle'!
The challenge is TIME! Where do you find the time to work on whatever your side hustle is, while trying to maintain your normal life? Work, family, errands and life's endless 'admin' and adulting obligations always seem to get in the way.
I recently read Mel Robbins' book, 'The 5 Second Rule'. I loved it. I already share a lot of the types of advice and processes with my Study Coaching students, so it's not totally new to me, but there were some new elements that I took away from it.
She focusses a lot on how to manage your mornings. I'm not a morning person, so this isn't my favourite concept, but there's a lot of logic in there!
Ditch the technology
We've heard this a LOT. It's so much easier said then done, but here's something I didn't really think about, that Mel raised as a good reason to ignore your phone in the morning:
When you check your phone, (Emails, social media etc) you're allowing OTHER PEOPLE's needs, interests, ideas, thoughts, demands) to take over your mental space. Before you've had time to organise YOUR thoughts, plans and ideas, you allow yourself to be bombarded by everyone else. If you read an email that requires you to do something for someone, you're already focussing and mentally planning when and how and what you need to do for them.
Staying away from technology for a little longer in the morning means you're at peace with your own thoughts and ideas. You have more mental space for YOUR stuff.
Plan your side hustle BEFORE the rest of the day
This goes hand-in-hand with the technology advice. Actively plan for some time to think about your side hustle. Where ever you are in the process of your other projects, you can always benefit from considered time, brainstorming and thinking, to align your thoughts and ideas.
I designed a mug to help with this :) Naturally, I like to do my thinking over my morning coffee. Getting my caffeine kick while I plot my net move is a great way to multi-task!
Plan just one thing that you can work on for the day
There's no way you can plan and execute your ideas in one day, but this often means that we don't do anything. We're so busy waiting to have 'enough' time to do EVERYTHING, that we end up doing nothing. Somehow, the idea of breaking down the project into smaller chunks, so you can achieve progress a little more regularly, doesn't really appeal to us! (It's the same as the idea that you can't exercise if you only have 15 minutes free. You need a whole hour at least! It's not really true, but it's a great excuse not to exercise!)
Whether it's doing a little bit of research, a little writing, a little project management, a little networking / emailing others, every little step moves you more actively towards your goal.
Adding one manageable thing to your To Do list is far more sustainable.
Get up earlier
Ok, this is the one I resist! Managing your mornings starts with not hitting the snooze button. Sadly, Mel has a lot to say about this, and sadly, it all makes perfect sense. Simple, but not easy!
Using the 5 Second Rule to 'launch' myself out of bed earlier than I normally do, does help (full disclosure: It doesn't ALWAYS work! I am definitely a bit of a rebel in this area!).
This is also why I need the coffee with my morning planning session!
Your side hustle won't just happen 'later'
If we wait to feel ready, motivated and have the time... nothing will ever happen. I have the same discussion with my students all the time. They're always telling me that their lives and work will be less busy 'later' in the week, month, year. They will have more time to study 'later'. Somehow, 'later' seems to be a magical time where we have less obligations, the days are longer and we have more energy.
I've never really seen 'later' come around! Unless we FORCE it, life is never going to magically create time and energy for us. It's a daily, active, specific decision to take the time out to invest in your future.
Simple, but not easy
So much of this advice sounds obvious and simple. It is. That doesn't make it easy. I think it's important to recognise that. We feel stupid and slow when we can't do something that's SO obvious. But give yourself a break. Simple doesn't make it easy. It's a struggle.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you
I'm not a great fan of motivational posters. They don't actually get you to DO anything. I am, however, a fan of surrounding yourself with people who will push you to achieve your potential. The people who care enough to challenge your excuses, and hold you accountable to the goals that YOU'VE created for yourself! It's not necessary to do everything completely alone. We may not always like being called out for our justifications as to why we haven't done something, but mostly, that's because we know they're excuses!
Whether your side hustle is creating a new business, writing a book, or even studying to improve your skills, career and opportunities, I wish you well. It's not as easy as it seems, and we do need support and inspiration.
Don't give up. Don't let others talk you down. Don't let the messy things that happen in life allow you to forget your dreams. So many of the greatest successes have come after YEARS of striving. Having something 'not work' after a few months, is not an indication that it never will.
Believe in yourself. I do!