How to Start a Side Business When You're Fully Employed
When you make the decision to launch a side hustle, you are buzzing with excitement. The downside is that there is a long murky middle period. You’re still working your full time job while building up a completely new business, and probably feel like you’re losing your mind most of the time. Here are some tips to break through.
When you make the decision to launch a side hustle, you are buzzing with excitement. When I launched my writing career, I could not contain my joy in anticipation of this amazing business. I imagined myself spending my days playing with my daughter, writing during her naptime, and making more money than I did as a nurse. The amazing thing is, that IS how I spend my days now. It took time to get to this point, but it was worth it.
The downside is that there is a long murky middle period. You’re still working your full-time job while building up a completely new business, and probably feel like you’re losing your mind most of the time. Self-doubt and overwhelm become your constant companions, and you can’t help but wonder if all of this work and time are going to pay off.
Over my career transition the past five years, I’ve learned that the secret to creating something new is focus. Keeping a positive focus on your business will help move you forward even when you feel like quitting.
Commit to a schedule
The first step to launching a business is taking it seriously, and that means devoting regular time and energy to it. When we decide to work on our business “whenever we have time,” that time never comes. You are busy with work, family, school, and other obligations. If you want to grow a sustainable business, you have to start taking it seriously from the very beginning.
Every weekend, look at the week ahead and make a plan. Maybe you will decide to wake up 30 minutes earlier every morning or devote your lunch break (what’s that?) to building your business. It doesn’t matter if you only have 15 minutes per day to work on your side business. If you commit to those few minutes and accomplish one task, you will move forward and achieve your goals.
Ignore the naysayers
Here’s a little secret that all new business owners face. Your loved ones will probably discourage you from trying. It doesn’t mean that they don’t believe in you or don’t support you. They simply may not see your vision and just don’t want to see you disappointed.
When I told my husband that I was going to leave nursing to launch a freelance writing career, he was less than thrilled. I knew he believed in me, but he had never seen a nurse writer before and didn’t know if this was possible. He didn’t want me to get my hopes up, only to waste all of my time and energy.
But here’s the thing. Starting a new business is a gamble. There is no such thing as guaranteed success, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. If your family and friends are not on board yet, just don’t talk about your business with them. Talk to people who have done it before, and don’t sweat the people who haven’t.
Envision your future
Because building a business can be a long, challenging road, it is crucial to stay focused on what you want and why you want it. Create a clear picture in your mind of what you want. If you can’t stand working every other weekend, imagine the time freedom that your business will bring you. If you are hoping your side hustle will bring a higher income, imagine what that money will mean for you and your family.
Spend a few minutes each morning visualizing your future. This will keep you focused and motivated, even on the toughest days.
Look for people who have done it before
As the motivational speaker Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.” Actively seek out nurse business owners who have successfully done what you’re working towards. You could reach out directly with questions or simply follow their journeys. Pay attention to the kind of content they are putting out. Read interviews with them to learn their success strategies. You don’t actually have to meet someone for her to be your mentor.
Be kind to yourself
When you’re working towards a goal, it’s easy to get caught up in everything you don’t know and haven’t accomplished yet. I still constantly find myself comparing myself to more established nurse writers, rather than appreciating how far I have come.
Make sure to take time to take care of yourself during this process. If you burn out from exhaustion, there will be no business, so prioritize self-care. Take days off. Go for a walk in the sunshine. Write down 10 things you are grateful for. Take exquisite care of yourself so that you can pour that energy into a successful business.
Carrie Madormo is a health writer, nurse, and wellness coach to working mothers. Her writing has been featured in Working Mother Magazine, The List, and Livestrong.
caroline.madormo has '10' year(s) of experience. Joined Mar '17; Posts: 7; Likes: 20.Aug 14Every single point you make is true. Thanks for sharing and congrats on following your business dream!Aug 16Very good points. I often have to remind myself to look to the future. Some days things are so overwhelming and building and maintaining a business seem impossible, then I remember that tomorrow is a new day, I can either be one day closer to my dream or standing still. Most days I choose to move forward! Great article Carrie!Aug 25Thanks Vicky! I definitely fall into those days too. I agree that the best approach is just one foot in front of the other.
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