How to Balance Your Side Hustle with Your Day Job
There's nothing I love more than seeing people pursue their passions...life is so much richer when you're doing what you love. Unfortunately, bills have to be paid, so passions and creative projects tend to get put on the back burner. I'm a firm believe that you can pursue your dreams while still crushing it at your day job (and who's to say you can't love your day job too, right?!). I've always loved balancing several projects and staying busy, so I have a lot of experience in this department.
A little bit of my backstory. Music is my first love, and I've had a band for the last 5 years. We used to be called The Wild Now, but now go by SWELLS. We've seen a bit of success over the years; we played Austin City Limits Music Festival, Float Fest, SXSW, and occasionally tour around the U.S. It's a lot of fun, but I do find myself struggling to feel creative with everything else on my plate. Another passion project is obviously this blog (and Instagram), which is great but also takes time and creative energy. While juggling these two creative outlets, I also work as the Editorial Coordinator at Planoly! It's an amazing position, and I'm so thankful to be working for a thriving company in the digital space. Needless to say...I'm busy, but who isn't?! I constantly have to stay positive and thankful that I get to do not only one, but 3 things that I love.
As a millennial, our generation has clearly put an emphasis on entrepreneurship and pursuing passions. Everyone wants a sense of fulfillment in the work that they do, but you still have to find a way to make a living. It all comes down to finding a balance in chasing your dreams while still making your job a priority. It definitely takes some sacrifice and time-management skills to juggle everything without losing your mind, so I wanted to expand on this topic and offer some tips and advice for those of you who are pursuing your daydreams while also having a day job.
9-5 Doesn't Exist
If you're serious about pursuing a side hustle while working a day job, you can go ahead and throw 9-5 out the window. Sometimes that means waking up early on a Sunday for a photoshoot or working late on a weeknight; whether it's early mornings, late nights, or weekends...utilizing your time and making the most of every second will help you get so much farther. Take time to work on your passion outside of work hours; it will be draining at times, but it will definitely pay off in the long run. Your day job will obviously take up most of your day, so if you're a morning person, wake up early to work on your other projects before heading into the office. If you're a night owl (like me), burn the midnight oil and utilize your time afterwork and in the evenings. Weekends also offer a lot of free time, but make sure you set aside time to chill and unwind...it's tough to create good work when you're exhausted.
Time management is key in order to maintain balance and get shit done. Plan out your time wisely, so that you're not wasting any moments that could be spent towards furthering your side gig. Use a planner and schedule out your time to make sure you 1. finish your day job 2. set aside downtime for your side hustle 3. spend time with family & friends, and 4. make time for yourself.
Looking back, you'll be so glad that you spent time towards your passion rather than binge watching The Handmaid's Tale (although I'm all for zoning out & chilling every now & then). All I'm saying is that the way you spend your downtime determines a lot in how far you get in the pursuit of your passions. Success doesn't happen overnight, it's built through a lot of hours and hard work.
Don't Stop Creating
When your mind gets overwhelmed, it can be really difficult to create new things...no matter what outlet you're in (whether you're a writer, painter, musician, calligrapher, entrepreneur, etc). One of the hardest things I've had to maneuver is knowing when to push myself creatively and when to give myself a break. As a songwriter, that's a really tough line to determine. Writer's block is the worst feeling in the world, but sometimes a creative break lies just beyond a few frustrating moments. I think pushing past those moments can be good because it trains your mind to have the capacity to create even when you're stressed or overwhelmed with day job things. Always fight for your passion...even if you're up against yourself.
This one is definitely easier said than done at times, but maintaining a positive attitude will benefit you so much. This article is about balancing your day job with your side hustle, so it's important to not fall behind or get bitter about your day job. I think some people can grow to resent their day job when trying to turn their passion into a career. Remember: there's a reason your passion isn't your career yet...because you're not able to financially rely on it. Appreciate your day job for what it is, and continue to make it your first priority. If your side hustle is meant to be, then it will happen in due time (with a lot of sweat, blood, and tears). In the meantime, stay uplifted, maintain positive energy, and don't give up on your dreams. It will be so much more meaningful to achieve your goals when you look back and see what you accomplished while balancing so much.
The ugly side of your side hustle is that you'll probably miss out on some fun things every now and then. Whether that means forgoing vacations to save money to put towards your creative projects, saying no to happy hour with friends to go home and work, or staying in on the weekends...you're going to miss out on some stuff. You just have to figure out what's more important to you, and know that missing out on a few things now will hopefully have a major pay off in the future.
Speaking of side hustle, these images were taken for my blog by the lovely & talented Courtney Pittman. If you want to shop my lewk, I'll link a few of the items below (I couldn't find the exact items, but I found similar ones!) I wore a Free People dress with a lace top over it, and then belted it.
Belt: Zilker Belts (local Austin company)