To Have or Not To Have a “Side Hustle,” That is the Question.

The dream is free but the hustle is sold separately.

Having a full-time job and a dream to some seem like a conflict of interest. An individual who has this dual track ambition can often get caught up in thinking that living out their dream is impossible when there’s a need for a full-time to pay the bills. They’ll talk themselves out of pursuing their dream because of the need for benefits and guaranteed income. There are many perspectives to this dilemma but the underlying question is would you rather spend your life building someone else’s fortune or your own?

For those who are courageous enough, working full-time on their job while working part-time on their passion is an option worth exploring rather than completely discounting personal dreams and goals. This approach has been coined as parallelpreneurship. Though many entrepreneurs may encourage one to take a risk and leap into their business, I recommend strategically transitioning by working both in tandem. Granted this will require character build and stamina, particularly if you have additional obligations such as a spouse, children, and other commitments. That character build will prepare you to responsibly manage your time, stress levels, progress, etc.

As a parallepreneur myself, I know all too well the challenges that come along with it. Definitely not for the faint at heart. There are a few lessons learned that serve as constant reminders to me of how to successfully manage the two responsibilities. These lessons keep me honest when it comes to maintaining sanity and performing at my best in the many roles I play.

1. Where ever you are be fully there. It’s so easy to bring your business to work, take work home, etc. However, as a parallelpreneur it is important to keep work, home, and your business separate — physically and mentally. You can get so wrapped up into either of your roles that, although you are not there physically, while at work you struggle to concentrate because your mind is on what needs to be done for your business. Train your brain to focus on where you are and what role you are in at the current moment.

2. A Sunday well spent brings a week of content. I typically use Sundays to plan out the week so that come Monday I know exactly what I need to complete each day of the week. Of course your day does not have to be Sunday but certainly chose a day that works best for you to plan out your to dos. You can even decide to plan a full month at the end of each month. Whatever works best. This planning process eliminates the possibility of getting overwhelmed day to day trying to blindly find your way through tasks and feeling under accomplished.

3. Pull back when you need to. Listen, this is not race. Work at your own pace in alignment with your goals and milestones. When you grow tired rest but whatever you do don’t quit!

4. Focus on revenue generating activities. In summary, DELEGATE. Identify tasks that don’t require you to touch them, things you can outsource and move off your plate. It took me too long to not only decide to get folks on my team but to also trust others with certain tasks. I had to let go in order for my business to grow and to continue giving 100% in my career and in my business.

5. Health & Family are priority. Without these two life is challenged. When expectations are high on all fronts and you feel like you are being pulled in many directions stress levels rise and there’s increasingly less time with friends and family. Avoid getting so involved that you forget what’s most important.

In essence, juggling your passion while continuing as an employee is the new norm. However, in order to be successful at both you must keep what’s important, important. Without doing so you will experience challenges on every hand and soon, grow discouraged. Instead, stay encouraged, remain productive, and realize your success.