As a way to get some balance to our lives as a parent, many people consider setting up their own business. Whether it’s a passion that’s been burning for a while or something that is an entryway to a better life, learning to build something for yourself is empowering and freeing. Many parents think about setting up their own side hustle, but the reality of the situation can throw many parents off the scent. For anybody looking to set up a side hustle these days, there’s a lot of work that needs to go into it. And whether you’ve been thinking about something like an Amazon FBA account or you’ve got a business idea that you’ve been desperate to start, when you have so many parental duties, what can you do to ensure that you get the idea off the ground while also not neglecting the most important people in your life?
DO YOUR RESEARCH
The leg work is one of the most difficult aspects. When you are trying to balance work life and home life, especially if you are already working full-time, it’s important not to pressure yourself into completing your preparation within a specific amount of time. The luxury you have is time. This means that you’ve got the opportunities to take a long look at the subject. Whether you are setting up a business selling products and you need to know the various inventory types, or you want to create a blog and need to get to know how to market it appropriately, you should never feel that you’ve got to get it done by a certain time. The pressure you put upon yourself can mean that you cut corners. A little bit of pressure is good, but at this important juncture, when you are trying to figure out if your idea has legs or there are key components missing from your business plan, you need that opportunity to look at the problem and figure out ways around it. If you get this bit right, the rest will be plain sailing.
Organization is the most important part of getting everything to work together in tandem. If you are working full-time and being a parent, you know just how difficult it can be to get your children out the door on time. The most important thing anybody can do when they are adding an extra project to their lives is to be completely organized in every single aspect. Setting up a side hustle can easily fall by the wayside because it’s the least important thing in your life, but also you can argue that there is no time for it after a few months. As is the cliche, you should make time for it. But in order to truly give it the time it needs, you’ve got to have an understanding of every boundary in your life.
The best thing you can do as a parent is to understand the moments when your children aren’t as demanding on your time or resources. If you’ve got young children, there is little opportunity for downtime. But this means that you’ve got to look at your work schedule and your life schedule, and find those moments, however little they may be, to focus on your passion project. This means that you can take advantage of numerous online tools to minimize distractions. If you are someone who automatically gets out your phone when your child goes for a nap and scrolls through social media, you aren’t going to get anything done! It’s these moments where you need supreme focus. And it may take some time to learn this craft, but it’s a good idea to start now.
And yes, there will be times when your children don’t sleep during the day and during the night, but this is when you have to give yourself a break. You’re not going to be able to chip away at your idea every single day, but this is why you are giving yourself the luxury of time at the outset. There are so many organization tools out there that you can use, such as chunking or the Pomodoro technique to give you focus, and it may take some time for you to truly work out the rhythms of your day, only to find that those rhythms go out the window as soon as your child enters another developmental leap. But consider these aspects as important lessons in doing business. Things will seldom go the way you want it to. So you can either feel stressed under the pressures or embrace them and roll with the punches.
While you may have the luxury of time when you are during the legwork phase of the business, there will be times after that where you hit wall after wall and feel that life is telling you to give up. The most important thing during these difficult moments (and you will have plenty of them) is to remember the overarching goal. And when you look at the bigger picture, this can provide motivation. But if it seems too far away, this is why you need to set smaller goals. A deadline, such as coming up with a name for your business one month from now, is a little and achievable goal. But the most important thing to remember is that these components need to be set in stone. Something like a business name can easily change when you start to get a clearer picture of your business, but setting goals is one of the most crucial things for you because you need that motivation, especially when you feel there are so many aspects of life stopping you from achieving this.
A side hustle isn’t easy because you have to invest time and learn different practices. Whether this is understanding how to promote your business or just figuring out your working methods. But learning something isn’t enough. You’ve got to remember that when you set out with passionate goals, you won’t be as likely to give up. Everybody hits walls and will feel disappointed with their actions. But when we hit those problems, we can either figure out a way around it or give up. When we have goals in place, it’s a structure that we can hang on to.
MAKE TIME FOR EVERYONE (INCLUDING YOURSELF)
We also need to remember that whatever the side hustle is, there will be times when we all feel supremely fatigued. Entrepreneur fatigue is incredibly common and can boil down to something as simple as stress or the fact that you’ve been burning the candle at both ends for so long. When you are constantly pushing through your week with a solid structure in place, the pressure to conform to this structure can be overwhelming. We’ve got to give ourselves a pass sometimes. You may feel that there’s no time to do anything one week, but you feel that you’ve got to do something, but this can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. We’ve got to make allowances on occasion because we, after all, are only human. Burnout is incredibly common, even for parents that are working one job. It’s the pressures of the modern world.
And when you start to think that you are putting an extra bit of pressure on yourself that is your doing, you may feel that it’s not worth the hassle. But this is why goals will help anchor your focus but also realize that everybody needs the opportunity to recharge. Sometimes we can’t tell that we are feeling burnt out, but there are some common symptoms. It could be anxiety or fatigue or just the feeling that everything is proving difficult. But rather than feeling that you’ve got to push through, it’s better to remember what doesn’t kill you actually doesn’t make you stronger. There is a time and a place for developing resilience, but when we feel like we are wading through treacle, this is when we’ve got to have the bravery to look at ourselves and say that we need a break. Every parent feels like they need time away, and if you’ve been pushing at everything for too long, taking that step back won’t just rejuvenate you and relax you, but it will give you a new sense of perspective on how to progress. We live in an age where we believe we’ve got to work harder, faster, and stronger than everyone else; it’s this pressure that can leave us feeling drained for months, if not years.
Everybody has the notion of starting a business on the side at some point in their lives. After all, we all need a little bit of extra cash. But when you are starting up a side hustle, and you’ve already got enough on your plate, this is when you’ve really got to look at what is important in your life. Is this one of those things that you have to attempt? If it is, make sure that you go in with a plan and give yourself the support that you need.