SEO newsletter for first-time founders & solopreneurs ↗️

I needed investment, so I took a 9–5 job

Hard to swallow pills ahead, read at your own risk

Shubham Davey
The Startup
Published in
4 min readDec 29, 2023


Source: Dall-E (generated by author)

It was the year 2021.

The world was just starting to recover from COVID, but I was hit by a familiar catastrophe.

It wasn’t unknown and I saw it coming — A failed business.

I tried to venture into the agency business only to be thrown out after wasting 2 years and six figures.

But I had a long life ahead. I couldn’t afford to sit still. I had to get back. This was probably the first failure of my career that left a dent (the scar is still fresh)

I knew one thing really well — writing.

With no money left to survive, I had to put aside my ego and look for a job. This time I had experience with how businesses work plus a decade-old experience in writing.

So this was a strategic move. I needed money to fund my ideas, repay my debt, and get my life back to normal. It was traumatic. Nobody should go through that. Nobody.

It’s 2023. Almost 2024. I’m on track. Safe and sure.

If you’re in a similar situation as I was, this post is for you. If you don’t want to be in a similar situation, this post is definitely for you.

3 non-genius ways to start (or restart) a side hustle along with a full-time job

Financial concerns, Self-doubt, career reassessment, uncertain future, and whatnot. Not giving up raises several questions like these.

Here’s how I’d restart my entrepreneurial journey along with a side hustle.

#1 Skill Identification and Market Research

Nobody cares about your skills. People care about what your skills can help them with.

When you identify skills, focus on the outcome for people who’d pay for it.

Most people are aspirational and inclined towards long-term goals. When you perform market research, find a niche that coincides with your strengths and the demand of the market.

If you’re a writer, now is the best time to learn editing and offer editing services. People are generating AI content at scale which requires a lot of editing. Offering writing services right now will get a lot of rejections.

That’s how you fill gaps between your skills and market demands.

#2 Strategic Time Management

Use after-work hours and weekends for your side hustle. Prioritize tasks and set achievable goals to maintain a balance between your job and side hustle.

The last thing you want to have is burnout in the name of side hustle. Content creation to promote yourself is very close to burning out. It’s very easy and common to feel the pressure.

Here’s how you can save yourself from burnout:

#1 Set Specific Time Blocks: Dedicate specific hours after work and on weekends exclusively for your side hustle. This helps create a routine and manage your time effectively.
#2 Task Prioritization: Identify critical tasks that drive your side hustle forward. Focus on high-impact activities that yield tangible results.
#3 Goal Setting: Break down your side hustle goals into smaller, manageable tasks with deadlines. This keeps you on track without feeling overwhelmed.
#4 Efficiency Tools: Utilize productivity tools like Trello or Asana for task management, and Pomodoro timers to maintain focus during work sessions.
#5 Outsource When Possible: Consider outsourcing time-consuming tasks within your budget, like website development or content writing.
#6 Regular Reviews: Have weekly reviews of your progress and adjust your schedule and tasks as needed.
#7 Self-Care: Ensure to allocate time for rest and relaxation to prevent burnout. Balancing your job, side hustle, and personal life is crucial for long-term success.

#3 Building a Network

Use your current professional connections and actively network in relevant industries to find mentors, customers, or collaborators.

I regret not networking enough. Now is the best time to reach out literally anyone on the internet and start having meaningful conversations that upskill you.

This hit me like a brick. How have we forgotten to not make friends online?

If I had to start from scratch, here’s what I’d do:

#1 Leverage LinkedIn: Regularly update your profile and engage with posts in your industry.
#2 Attend Virtual Events: Join webinars or online conferences to connect with industry leaders.
#3 Utilize Breaks Smartly: Use lunch breaks or commuting time for quick networking calls or social media engagement.
#4 Schedule Informational Interviews: Set brief phone or virtual meetings with industry professionals.
#5 Participate in Online Forums: Engage in discussions on platforms like Reddit or industry-specific forums.
#6 Create a Professional Blog: Share your expertise and connect with readers.
#7 Use Alumni Networks: Reach out to alumni from your school for potential opportunities.

I send helpful emails every Saturday at 10 am IST to first-time founders and solopreneurs. They learn one new thing, that can be executed in 3 simple steps. Along with top industry news and content from Masters of SEO. Subscribe to Letters Bydavey for $0 here 👉🏻