By Ismail Abdur-Rahman, CEO iVIBES
Entrepreneurs sure can be an opinionated, highly anal retentive bunch, can't we? For example, there is the internal debate about what constitutes entrepreneurship and where the line of demarcation lies to separate entrepreneurship from business ownership. Come on, recite these with me: "If you own a franchise, you're not an entrepreneur." "Unless your business is innovative, you're not an entrepreneur." "You're not an entrepreneur if you still have a full-time job." Blah, blah, blah....you know what they say about opinions....
Obviously, I'm not going to cosign most of the weird opinions out there about entrepreneurship. In fact, I'm actually here to defend the side hustle.
Contrary to some of the wild opinions out there, I believe that having a side hustle is a legit entry into the world of entrepreneurship, so here are a few things to work into your routine in order to make the most of your side hustle.
1. Don't Forget, Family First
Working on a business while you're still employed is going to take considerable time, and this can be particularly hard on your family. Rather than hole yourself in your home office working solo, try to involve family members in the development process. Delegate tasks to whomever is willing to help - sending emails, designing flyers, making phone calls - and you'll feel less pressure to spend time having general conversations with family members who simply want to connect because you'll be working together to build something that can benefit everyone in the long run. Giving family members an opportunity to help out is a good way to get more accomplished in less time -- while also making them feel like they're part of your business.
2. Startup hours: 24/7.
If you're still working a full-time job while you start your side hustle, you should kiss the idea of having any personal time goodbye. That is, if you really want to make your business successful. You won't be able to hang out with your buddies and spend lazy weekend afternoons watching old sitcom marathons. I know it sounds rough, but if you don't sacrifice for what you want, what you want becomes the sacrifice.
3. Focus, Focus, Focus.
When you're at work, focus on work. Don't let thoughts of your business distract you. And when you leave work, focus on your business. As much as possible, don't take your work home with you, or you'll never make progress with your business.
4.Maximize Every Minute.
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. You need to make sure you're using all of them to their maximum efficiency. Breaking your day down into smaller chucks - say 10 - 30 minute intervals and setting specific tasks to be accomplished in these intervals is one way to make sure you don't waste time catching up on your Twitter and Facebook feeds when you should be developing an MVP for your business.
5. Use Tech to Time Travel.
If you're doing business across several time zones, make time differences work to your advantage by calling early in the morning or after work. Digital communication apps like Zoom and Slack can allow you to make virtual projects more efficient.
6. Stay in Your Lane.
Remember that when you're at work, your job is to do the business of your employer. Keep work separate from your business activity. Making calls on company time or using your employer's supplies or equipment for your own business purposes is a big no-no.
7. Honesty is the Best Policy.
Only you can assess your situation, but in many cases it's best to be honest with your boss about your side hustle. As long as it doesn't interfere with your job, some bosses won't mind. You'll also gain by being honest rather than making them feel you have something to hide.
There's no perfect way to do anything, and there is usually more than one way to skin a cat. If you're going to ease into entrepreneurship by going the side hustle route until your business gains enough traction for you to be a full-time entrepreneur, these tips should help you get the most out of your efforts.