Since the pandemic hit, more and more people are turning to side hustles while working their full time jobs. Some do it by choice to achieve an additional stream of income or to pay off their debts faster while some do it to supplement their living expenses as companies perform pay cuts or increase job responsibilities without raising their salaries. Add on the rising costs of living – side hustles have become mandatory for many.
Research shows that the percentage of self-employed persons in Singapore has increased from 13.5% of the resident workforce in June 2019 to 14.7% in June 2020. Having a side hustle while working a full time job can be extremely challenging because you need to sacrifice many things – time spent with family, rest, socialising with friends etc.
So how do you manage your side hustle while concurrently trying to maintain a work life balance and working a full time job?
1. Figure out what your passion is
Think of something you love to do and have a talent for. It can be something simple like a hobby or something that you loved doing as a child. It can also be something you spend a lot of time thinking about or doing research on a particular topic.
Eg. You love reading so you might consider being a proof reader or if you love skincare and finding the latest lipstick out in town, you might want to be a beauty blogger.
Once you know what your passion is, just start and not overthink things. Nothing always starts off perfectly when you are starting out but it will get better with time and experience.
2. Consider using freelancer platforms and joining online communities
Research on different freelancer platforms like Upwork and Fiverr which can help you start your side hustle, build your client base and your brand. Even if you have some friends who are willing to be your first clients, it is good to use the freelancer platforms to build your client base because there is a limit on how much your friends would use your product/ service unless they really need it on a consistent level.
You may also join different Facebook groups for opportunities and some online communities have their own job boards. LinkedIn is also another good platform to build your client base. All you need is to create an account and simple portfolio and you are ready to go.
3. Set a schedule
When you are doing a side hustle besides your full time job, it is highly recommended to set a schedule for better time management and for developing a routine. Your side hustle can be done in the evenings after work and on Saturdays so you have Sundays for rest.
Consistency with diligence will help you achieve not only a supplementary and stable source of income but also build your discipline and client base. It is killing three birds with one stone.
4. Have a clear picture of your goals
It is important to set goals on why you want to do this side hustle and what you want to achieve. So whenever you feel discouraged or unmotivated, you can look at the list of goals you have created to give yourself a gentle reminder or as a source of inspiration to continue.
As the saying goes – “when you know your WHY, you’ll know your WAY” ~ Michael Hyatt. A simple and practical truth to put things into perspective. Yes, there are times you might need to take a little break due to various reasons including burnout. The goals are a good source of motivation to go back to whenever you need a new lease of inspiration.
5. Be flexible with deadlines and pricing
When you are starting out, it is alright to work on tighter deadlines and lower pricing for your side hustle as you are building from scratch. However, when your client base increases, it will be good to negotiate deadlines with your clients.
At times, a client might need your help at the last minute and by working on it, it might affect another client’s work therefore it is important to know which deadlines are the critical ones and negotiate the non-critical ones for a slightly later date or time.
It is also recommended to raise your prices accordingly as you gain experience and exposure. Prices can be raised progressively. This is beneficial for 4 reasons. You get to work less for more, you are able to control the amount of work you are taking, you only work with quality clients and you have more time for recreation.
In summary, your WHY, consistency, diligence and patience are the keys to side hustling successfully while working your full time job. The most important key is your passion. As Confucius said – “choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life”.