Staying sane: Don’t let your side hustle blow you up

When it comes to side hustles, the most important thing is to just start. Here are some tips to make sure you smash it and it doesn’t smash you!

stay sane

Recently we’ve written about the importance of having a side hustle, how to find a suitable hustle and reasons why you should start one. This week you’ll learn how to keep your side hustle in check.

Sufficient Fundz is my side hustle. We began planning its launch about 12 months ago and in February last year we had lift off. We’ve been blogging, emailing and aiming to provide massive value for you, our readers, ever since.

Not only can side hustles impact, and in many cases, eventually supersede current full time roles, side hustles are super taxing on many areas of your life. Now, my version of a side hustle is slightly different than many others. Mainly because I didn’t start it to create a way out of my current role.

Sufficient Fundz is highly complementary to the gratifying work my co-founders and I do with our full time clients and our financial planning and home loans business. It’s a way of channelling some creativity, and adding extra value – the key reason I do what I do in the first place.

However, creating weekly content still puts the same pressure on our time and life as any other side hustle. So, I want to highlight the ways we’ve learned how to stay sane with a side hustle and how to ensure that it won’t blow you up.

It’s all about balance

While your side hustle might be more enjoyable than other areas of your life, it’s important to not let it take over your current commitment to:

Your career

By definition, having a side hustle means you already do something else during your full time hours. So, your side hustle has to be done outside of that time. You can be incredibly proud of your side hustle and enjoy the creativity and exploration involved, but don’t let your regularly-paying career (and in turn your personal cash flow) suffer as a result.

Money

Money is crucial when it comes to a side hustle. Mainly because starting a business isn’t free. With Sufficient Fundz, we bootstrapped everything. We built the website ourselves and only spend a small amount each month on email distribution.

We’ve also shied away from outsourcing too much work. Initially, this was to learn it all ourselves and know our business before other people worked on it. But secondly, it came down to cost. We wanted to see if we could do it at a very low cost while we focused all our energy into our personal lives and building YOLO.

Health and fitness

This one is pretty obvious. Finding time for your side hustle means spending less time doing something else. Health and fitness can usually take a hit when side hustles are started, but it’s just as important as any other area and you need to find a way dedicate time to it. Otherwise, the benefits of having a side hustle will soon be eroded by you being unhealthy, both mentally and physically. This won’t help anyone.

Family and friends

Generally, people work 9 to 5. Hanging with our peeps usually takes up a good chunk of the rest. So, make sure your side hustle doesn’t take up too much of your family/friend time if this is something that’s important to you. For me, having a ten month old daughter has made this juggle that much more important and challenging.

Fun

 I have a lot of fun with my work and creating content for our readers, but I always make sure I’ve still got time to let loose. For me, that’s surfing, yoga and travel.

Having fun is important, especially when you have a side hustle. This is because side hustles are tough to get off the ground. It’s going to take blood, sweat and tears. You’re going to need that down time more than ever to make sure you’re living a balanced life.

If you’re not smiling or enjoying yourself, it’s going to be very difficult to put the required effort into other areas of your life. So, don’t leave fun off the list and always make time to do the things you love.

Learning to say no

You’re always going to have loads of opportunities to choose from and events to go to. If your life is anything like mine, you’re constantly coming across and being pitched options and ideas to get involved in. But, always remember to stay focused. One of the keys to creating a successful side hustle, is saying no to anything that doesn’t align with your purpose and mission of getting your side hustle off the ground.

Don’t waste your valuable headspace going to events, hanging out with people or considering business opportunities that don’t align with your vision. This will only take away your time and attention from what you could achieve if you truly focus on your mission.

Your calendar

I went to a conference recently and heard from the amazing Erin Chase, from 5 Dollar Dinners. One of the things she spoke about was time blocking in your calendar. I’ve been playing around with this concept ever since and it’s working incredibly well.

Allocate every minute of every day from when you wake up to when your head hits the pillow again at night. This exercise obviously covers your work but it also forces you to block out time for all of the enjoyable things too. You block out time for family, working on your side hustle, getting your personal finances and budget in order and of course, some fun.

Social media management

Create time for your side hustle by cutting back on social media.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a fair chance social media is going to be crucial for your side hustle, so I’m not saying don’t go there. But do cut the crap. One tip is turning off all your notifications. Then you go in when you want and aren’t tempted by the pings and half-messages that always suck me in. 

Another change I’ve made recently is moving all my social media apps into a single folder on the last page of my phone. I’ve also deleted the Facebook app all together, which was taking up about an hour and half of my day, especially when we use it so much for business. Try using the browser version instead. It sucks, so you won’t be there long!

I’ve also moved all my work apps (Evernote, Genius Scan, Voxer etc) onto the front page. This means I don’t see all the distractions further in.  I also recommend deleting any unused apps. The latest iOS even has an auto delete app function that automatically deletes unused apps for you!

Side creativity tip: move your apps around every month. This way you don’t get stuck in your ways. Sounds simple but it’s these small things that keep you on your toes. 

So, there are my tips to not only keep focussed and on track, but make sure your side hustle survives without blowing up the rest of your life. As I’ve said, the most important thing is to just start, but keep some of the above in mind as you pave the way. 

Have you now read all three blogs in the Side Hustle Series? If not, here are the first two:

Find your side hustle and create extra income and

9 tips for how to start a side hustle

Let us know your plans in the comments. Go get ’em!!

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12 thoughts on “Staying sane: Don’t let your side hustle blow you up”

  1. I am taking time this year to see if my side hustle energizes or drains me. As last year wrapped up, I was on the fence. I like what I do on Saturday but I wish it wasn’t every Saturday. Still trying it out. But if it leaves me sapped of energy and affects my ‘real job’, which does pay me enough to save well, maybe less is better.
    Thanks for an insightful post.

    1. Sometimes you have to find the stumbling block and figure out why it’s an issue. It generally takes a huge effort to get a side hustle off the ground, so we’ve usually had a really good reason for doing so. Maybe if you find the reason again this year you’ll be back on track? Although having Saturdays off sounds pretty sweet 🙂

  2. This rings true to me as well. I’ve got several side hustles going but I have to keep things in check when it comes to my personal life and physical health. Great post! Thanks for sharing.

  3. I found myself nodding along to a lot of this. Last year I definetly let my side hustle blow me up to get the blog up and running and turn my copywriting biz into a sustainable full time gig. My health and fitness as well as family time suffered a lot.

  4. Thank you for sharing this post! It’s true that time management becomes critical with the addition of a side hustle, amen. I’ll say that the health and fitness component need to remain up top in the priority list because without those, we can’t get anything else done. Great article and thanks again!

    1. Agree! It’s the same for – this past year I’ve finally learned what what all the Dad’s complain about. Dad-bod is real. But it’s also blog and business bod I have to watch out for 😉

  5. I have definitely been guilty of allowing my side hustles to “blow me up”. Sometimes they are all I can think about and that makes talking with others difficult as they don’t care what kind of article I am writing or how my sales are going haha. Great perspective!

    1. Very true Rocky. Maybe if the side hustle is taking over your head space it’s time to give it some more airplay. I’ve always found I can only work on something that I truly care about, it can be multiple ventures but the work has to matter. That’s my yardstick.

  6. You have provided some great suggestions. Having a career is draining. To mange a side biz and the rest of your obligations takes great time management skills. It might require waking up one hour earlier to exercise and staying up one additional hour to answer emails. Finding balance is a major key to getting everything completed. Learning to say no is a good way to prioritize your time.

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