“I feel like I’m going backwards!”
Do you ever feel that way? It’s not uncommon for marketing consultants to hear clients say:
“I’ve had a fairly successful business for several years but find myself losing my fire and enthusiasm. I just got an opportunity to take a full-time job. I started organizing my business to do the bare minimum for the next few months.
“And I got a surprise. I started getting more enthusiastic about my business!”
Sometimes you don’t need to quit. You need to juggle.
When I was getting my PhD at Cal Berkeley, I taught full-time in the Cal State system. At first my professors were horrified and lots of people thought I’d never finish my degree. But I finished early, got publications, and frankly I enjoyed the work so much more when I was operating in two arenas.
And my business actually did better and was more enjoyable when I was doing online teaching on the side. I would love to have a side hustle or even something that would turn my business into a side hustle, because I like the juggling act. It’s not really practical anymore; those great teaching jobs have gone away and I’ve got baggage in the form of a business and an academic career.
If I can get nerdy for a moment, there’s actually some sociological research on the concept of role accumulation.
True, you can experience stressful role overload when you’re a parent, spouse, worker, caregiver, volunteer, and more. But sometimes adding a role actually reduces stress; it can be something as simple as my own graduate school mantra: “When things are going south in my doctoral program, my teaching will be going well.” Or sometimes you gain confidence and competence from one role that spills over to the other.
It’s no surprise that many people find their businesses grow when they take a full-time job as a stop-gap.
Your business may morph in new directions. You become more relaxed and you’re able to enjoy more aspects of your day-to-day activities.
The good news is when you have a bad day in your main business, your side hustle will deliver a large and very surprising outcome. When you start to get tired of your side hustle, you’ll get a real sense of accomplishment at your main business.
We keep hearing that, “What you focus on expands.”
But for some of us, what we ignore tends to flourish; what we focus on tends to wither under our intent gaze. It’s worth repeating: Do what works for you.
By the way, if you’re figuring out how to make this work, I can help! My consultations focus on action — not theory and pie in the sky. Go here to learn more.
Good book on side hustles (from Amazon – remember you don’t need a kindle to read the kindle version) => Click here.