Artist, Illustrator, blogger

Tips for Starting your Side Hustle

Tips for Starting your Side Hustle

In lieu of waiting for inspiration to strike, I need to follow my on advice and embrace imperfection yet again.

Honestly, it is very hard to balance a “Side Hustle” with a full-time job and everyday life; so I’m making a blog post for me, for future reference. It will be for when my life starts to feel busy and chaotic and I can’t seem to get my self in gear to create! Of course, this is a total work in progress because I’m not where I want to be with pursuing my passion; but since this is going to help me, I think it can help someone else.

Sometimes the last thing I want to do when I come home from my nine to five job is do more work. It’s exhausting! I found this amazing quote that rings so true:

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t
so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”

– Anonymous (Seriously who wrote that?!?!)

I think the most important thing you can do in regards to motivation is figure out WHY you are trying to start a side business or creative career. If you can pinpoint why you want to do this thing, you will have a reason to push yourself. Maybe you want to make you family proud or stop working a 9-5 job or maybe you feel if you don’t do this, you will not live to your full potential. Whatever the reason is, it needs to get you out of bed in the morning.

GET UP REALLY EARLY OR STAY UP REALLY LATE; this is a common routine to the sacrificial side of “hustling.” Previously, I don’t think I grasped the true reasoning for this; it’s so that other people cannot interrupt you while you are working on YOUR thing because they are ASLEEP. Your time is valuable, but it’s so easy to say yes to hanging out with a friend you haven’t seen in a while, watch TV/play video games with your S.O., etc.

Don’t get up early AND go to bed late. Getting enough sleep is important; as well as good nutrition and exercise (something I need to work on). A combination of healthy food, exercise, and adequate sleep = tons of energy!

You might have to play around with when you feel most productive, but bottom-line is to keep away from distractions. If you have discipline, normal hours will work for you, but you will have to follow the advice below.

Time is constant, you need to be able to manage yourself and schedule your priorities. Willpower does not just pertain to dieting!

Give yourself a “Hustle-Night” at least once a week. Work on your craft; uninterrupted, with no other commitments. Treat your Hustle-Night like a Date-Night you would have with your S.O. 

If you can’t dedicate yourself to an entire evening, designate 1-2 hours a day to work on your craft. 

I recently read somewhere that the bulk of your weekend should be used to do most of the brain work, image making, and planning. Ideally, over a weekend you would have more time to dedicate to your second income. During the week you can work on lighter activities like distributing the new content you made over the weekend and staying on top of emails. When you’re tired from a full day of work, these tasks are much more manageable than trying to come up with something fresh that is better suited for the weekend anyways.

Nothing gets in the way of your dreams faster than the dreams of others. You will need to say “no” to many requests if you want to keep your hours, YOUR HOURS. Clearly, you need to be tactful when declining an invite/request/help out, etc., but you need to be selfish with your time if you really want to do this thing! If it doesn’t benefit you or someone is guilting you into doing something and you truly don’t want to do it, DON’T. 

Sharing your plans with your family and friends has two benefits. It gives you a support system of encouragement and their understanding of when you need time and space to do your thing. The second aspect of sharing is that it kind of works as a “Law of Attraction” type of situation. If you are putting your dreams out into the universe, they are more likely to come back to you. You can see this as a spirituality type of thing or just common sense. The more people you tell about what you are doing, the more people know about it, the chance of more opportunities rises.

I wouldn’t worry too much about people “taking” your ideas because people don’t have time to pursue their own ideas, let alone someone else’s. If they do, they’re going to do it in their own way and you can still do your thing.

This may seem like a contradiction, but you do have to be somewhat careful about who and what you tell people. I’ve found that giving all the details to someone of what you want actually mimics achieving those goals to a certain extent and it has made me unmotivated in the past. I remember reading a study on this scenario and it’s found to be quite common. So, as far as sharing goes it does go both ways; I think there are more positive outcomes to sharing than negative, but I just want that item to be on my personal radar. 

Find someone who has similar goals or a like-minded group of people working towards entrepreneurship whom you can exchange creative ideas with. It’s hard to be motivated if you are the only one who knows you have deadlines to meet. I think I struggle most in this area because I do not have many artsy/business friends; I’m going to work on fixing that!

There’s a podcast I highly recommend listening to called “The Creative Pep Talk Podcast” by Andy J. Miller. He talks a lot about the importance of a mentor and has some amazing strategy for living a creatively fulfilling career in the arts. In his podcasts he refers a lot to a quote by Jim Rohn, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Boom, another epiphany!

You don’t have to have an entire room to yourself, just a space to call your own; be it a desk in your kitchen/dining room, etc. I luckily share a room in our house with my cat and storage (where we store some odds and ends items). It’s definitely great to have, but it could be a lot more inspiring if I cleared out some clutter.

– Clear out the distractions and clutter > currently in progress
– Silence is very important > use a noise machine or play music if need be
– Show up > even if you don’t have an idea to work on, just being there and following a routine is good practice
– Surround yourself with items that inspire you > fill a board or wall with art you’ve made that makes you proud
– Definitely browse though art studio ideas online, you’re bound to find something that is inspirational

If you can’t, start by cutting the time in half that you spend watching TV or Netflix, playing video games, scrolling through your phone, etc. When you are bored and unmotivated, maybe listen to an inspirational podcast or watch some tutorial videos to advance further along your creative path. Be mindful of how much time you spend doing these activities; if you are spending multiple hours a day, you might have to adjust your schedule to include more productivity.

These are tips that will help me in my current journey. I might have to continually add/update this post as I progress, but I think this is a good start. Following your creative pursuit is important for your soul and it’s imperative for you as a human being to follow your dreams.

If you shoot for the moon and miss, you will still land among the stars! 🙂

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