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Repeat after Me: I am in control.

I think we can all agree that side hustle just might be the biggest buzz word  of 2017 and has spilled over into 2018. Everyone and their mama’s got one. Hell, even some babies have one. (I’m sure you’ve heard of baby modeling.) And if you do them right, side hustles can be amazing. They help you pay off debt, develop a new skill, follow dreams, meet new people, etcetera. Like most people I took a side hustle to help me pay off my debt faster.  However, my side hustle stories are interesting and not like most. One allowed me to find an additional career I wanted to pursue, the other made me lose focus and took too much time away from my career. While I still do both side hustles I found a way to make them work for me. If you don’t have a plan in place, your side hustle can end up working you rather than you working it. Regardless of your goal, make sure you set the terms of your side hustle early on. Here are a few things to  keep in when mastering rules for your side hustle

Thinking of starting a side hustle? Follow these rules before you're in too deep.

Thinking of starting a side hustle? Follow these rules before you’re in too deep.

  1. Set a deadline

If you are intending for your side hustle to be temporary, make sure you set a deadline in which you want to be done. Otherwise, you could be stuck doing it for far longer than you thought you would. I started my side hustle with no end in sight so of course I ended up there for a considerable amount of time. Something that I intended to do for only a few months turned into a longer than a year. Had I set a deadline there’s a chance that wouldn’t have happened.

2. Dedicate specific hours

One of the reasons why my side took over my life was because I failed to plan and schedule my day. Without a set schedule it was easy for my side hustle to creep into other areas of my life. Set hours for your side hustle so you don’t go overboard. For example if you have a full time 9 to 5 job, be clear and specific about only working your side hustle from 4 am to 8 am before heading to your main job. If for some reason, you end needing to work on your side hustle  in time other than your dedicated hours make sure you schedule your side hustle around your main job and not vice versa.

3. Say no when necessary

Because I was good at my side hustle, I continuously covered more opportunities. I said yes because it was more money, but also because I felt bad for saying no. This company was in a bind and I knew there weren’t many options for them. So I said yes.  However, I should have stuck to my guns and realized that I can’t be everything for everyone. By saying yes to them, I was saying no myself. If your side hustle doesn’t align with your goals, schedule, morals, etc. it is ok to say no and move on to something else.

4. Remember your day job/goals

When dabbling in so many things, it’s easy to lose sight of your goals. What ever is motivating you to keep it at, make sure it’s visible so you never forget it. Put it on a post it on your bathroom mirror, make it the wallpaper on your phone, etc.

While one goal involved making more money from my side hustle to pay back student loans, I forgot that it wasn’t my only goal. My main goals was to keep at my writing so I could become a columnist, make a difference and make more money from doing it. Ideally, I’d be making more money from the one job. However, that wasn’t possible because I was spending too much time on the side hustle. Remember to remain focused on your goals so you never get too  far off track like I did.

5. Re evaluate periodically

There are so many things I wish I did differently with this side hustle. If I had only taken the time to reflect on how things were going, how I felt and if it was  really worth it I would have been able to stop myself before I got in too deep. Make sure you schedule periodic check ups to assess the pace and effectiveness of your side hustle. If you’re lucky you might find that your side hustle is what you want to pursue more vigorously.

My skill, along with it being easy money, was surely the kiss of death for me. However, a side hustle doesn’t need to be a tiring and relentless experience that sucks all the life out of you. If you plan and go into it with purpose a side hustle can be a rewarding experience.

Do you have a side hustle? What rules and boundaries did you set for your side hustle?

Terrific Quip: You can do it all but you can’t do it all at once.

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Written by Terri

    11 Comments

  1. Sheena Steward January 31, 2018 at 11:36 am Reply

    I had to write these down. I’m so unorganized and need any help I can get lol. Your posts are always so informative but “warm” at the same time.
    Sheena Steward recently posted…Truth Tuesday – HutchStew 2020My Profile

  2. Joanna February 1, 2018 at 12:38 pm Reply

    These are great tips! I blog part time and do photography here and there and learning to set specific times to do what I do and have “me time”.
    Joanna recently posted…The Bacchanal Now Start! The Ultimate Trinidad Carnival Packing ListMy Profile

  3. Carissa February 1, 2018 at 5:55 pm Reply

    I need all of this! As part of me finding balance I need to set a work time and stick to it and get organized! Great tips!!!
    Carissa recently posted…Balance {2018 Word of the Year}…My Profile

  4. Mimi Green February 1, 2018 at 8:03 pm Reply

    I’ve been time blocking and that has been a huge help for me. I was out here wasting time and not accomplishing my task.
    Mimi Green recently posted…5 Things You Need To Consider Before Going To TherapyMy Profile

  5. Kita February 1, 2018 at 9:48 pm Reply

    My side hustle ended up being my main business. I love it. Finding balance between my business, motherhood and a life outside of it all hasn’t been easy so that is my focus right now.

  6. Kim February 1, 2018 at 10:13 pm Reply

    I need to figure out how to manage everything – my real job, my side hustle(s), family and me-time. These are great tips.

  7. Jay Colby February 2, 2018 at 10:51 am Reply

    These are some great rules to follow when you have a side hustle. Nowadays it seems like every has some type of side hustle

  8. Tiffany Haywood February 2, 2018 at 2:10 pm Reply

    Amazing tips Terri! Can I tell you how I found my Whole Life once I set hours for what I do? I didn’t feel so burdened because I had the right to say I am done and now I will rest. Awesome post!

  9. Antoinette Cain February 2, 2018 at 8:47 pm Reply

    I became so overwhelmed with my 9 to 5 and operating my business that it became absolutely necessary for me establish operating hours. People will attempt to have access to you at all hours of the day. Boundaries are so necessary.

  10. Jennifer February 13, 2018 at 8:33 am Reply

    Designating a specific time to work on my “side hustle” has been very helpful for me! Before I started using time blocks to do my work, I found myself on my laptop almost all day and night. I’m so glad I changed my method of working because it has helped create balance in my life! Great tips!

  11. K. Wright March 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm Reply

    I agree that 2017 seemed to be the official year of the side hustle. Your tips are on point too, because it is very easy to get caught up in your hustle and slack off in other areas. I’m tempted to try taking on more freelance writing assignments, but I’m making myself hold off until I graduate from school because that’s the main priority. Great post!

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