Building a business around a day job is anything but easy! Whilst there are many hurdles us girls will face prior to and throughout our side hustling here are some of the top 5 challenges I, (and MANY others) have faced and how to conquer them!
Often the first and definitely most common challenge I hear ladies talk about when it comes to building a side hustle is lack of time.
All time is precious but this is amplified when you only have a few hours to spare. Because of this you need to get clear on exactly what time you have free each week, protect this space and have a plan about what you aim to achieve within that time frame.
Here is some tough love, there are some things you’ll have to make peace with and that is having to make sacrifices. We have to pull up our big girl pants and accept that there will be times we have to turn down the offer of a weekend away or mid week catch up, until you accept in the beginning you can’t have it all it’s always going to feel like an internal tug of war which is uncomfortable and for sure will stifle your progress.
Don’t fall into the trap of looking at other peoples situations and allowing yourself to use the excuse ‘well it’s easier for them, they’ve got more spare time, they don’t have kids’. This type of negative thinking isn’t going to work in your favour. All you’re doing here is giving yourself an excuse rather than finding a solution. Thinking this way isn’t going to change your reality, only action will so you need to figure out a way to work with what you’ve got.
Want to hear the good news? If you can build and grow a business by maximising a handful of hours each week can you imagine how awesome you’ll be at managing your time and what you’ll achieve when you’re free of your day job and have an extra 40+ hours spare? I promise you it’s a great feeling.
Depending on what sort of business your looking to start you might not need as much cash as you think.
Sit down, look at all your outgoings and see if there is anything you can cancel or cut out straight away, even if it’s just for a couple of months.
Food is definitely an area to consider, most of our monthly bills are fixed but you could save yourself a fair amount by cutting back on takeaways, meals out or simply switching supermarkets.
Start trying to save a little each month, just like you would if you were planning a holiday.
Recognise that this is an investment. You might not be getting the same instant gratification that comes when you spend the cash on a piece of clothing but the longterm gains (including monetary) could be phenomenal.
In my opinion if you’ve got little to nothing to invest in starting a business then now couldn't be a better time!
You’re probably well aware of the power of social media and how these platforms are free for everyone; yes there are paid options as with most things but the reality is you can reach people around the world without paying a penny, build a landing page for free and even get customers to pre-order from you giving you the capital you need to buy your products.
Building any business isn’t easy and having some money to invest can definitely give you a jump start but don’t let lack of funds make you believe it isn’t possible.
You might feel that building a business is incredibly risky, you might have people around you pointing out the lack of security, not getting a predictable pay cheque, no company benefits and no paid leave etc.
The reality is anything in life is risky and having a 9-5 job isn’t exempt. Gone are the days when you can secure a ‘job for life’, they just don’t exist and is that what you really want anyway?!?!?
No one is suggesting you quit your day job without testing the water first and in my opinion this is the best way to go about it! Building your business whilst still having a steady income allows you to grow gradually without having the pressure of your side hustle needing to cover all the bills from the get-go.
Accept that life by its very nature is risky and that when you’re 90 years old, sat in your rocking chair, reminiscing over your life, will you regret not taking the chance?
There is a great deal of satisfaction that comes from taking control of your destiny and these skills strengthens your ability to adapt to our rapidly evolving world should you be faced with a situation like redundancy for example.
The chances are if you’re building a side hustle it’s because you’re not feeling happy or fulfilled in your day job. When you’ve made that decision to work towards eventually leaving your 9-5 it can feel extremely tough to stay focussed, engaged and motivated for your employer.
Use that frustration to propel you forward, try not to get trapped in a downward spiral of feeling so resentful you end up sabotaging the time you’ve set aside to work on your true passion.
Try making a list of all the positives your day job offers right now down to the fact you can always get parked outside your office each day or that your commute is manageable. At the very least you could say that your 9-5 is funding your side hustle for now.
Keep this list with you, on those tough days pull it out and try to reconnect with the bigger picture. It’s also helpful to have a handful of ‘go to’ activities which help lift you on those dark days whether that’s a bit of time out and a sweet treat or meeting up with a friend who understands your journey and can offer support.
One of the most common statements I hear from women usually in the beginning is ‘but who am I to do this?’, that’s when ‘imposter syndrome’ kicks in and we start to tell ourselves our ideas are rubbish or someone else is already doing what we want to do so there’s no room for us.
That sort of scarcity mentality will stop you from ever moving past the start line. Think about accountants, cafes and hairdressers, I’ve driven down high streets where every other shop has been a beautician or hair salon and they all have customers flocking in and out!
More often than not it’s not the idea but the EXECUTION. Who cares if someone else already does what you want to do, how can you make yourself standout, what’s your unique offering and what skills do you possess?
Everything I know now about business have come from trial and error as well as heaps of research. Entrepreneurs aren’t born with special skills or powers they just aren’t afraid to ask for help.
Don’t expect yourself to have all the answers straight away (or in fact ever haha), observe others and be inquisitive as well as open to the fact you won’t always get things right every time but that’s OK- no one does!
If you’ve been deliberating over giving up on your dream or even whether to get started in the first place because of one or more of the above issues I hope these insights have helped you see there is a way forward and you can overcome any mountain.
I would love to know what your biggest challenges are at the moment so send me an email and tell me more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For now, keep hustling!