In an effort to bring you all more value to this space, I’m launching a blog series, Side Hustle Sanity. I often get asked, “Girl, when do you slow down? How do you do your social media stuff plus take care of a kid and do your job?” And honestly, sometimes I really surprise myself. Truth is building my social media business isn’t my first endeavor into being an entrepreneur and having a side hustle. I’ve made many missteps embarking on this journey multiple times and have learned many lessons the hard way which I’d love to share with you all. Whether you’re trying to go to school while working, creating a side business, or working on a dream, these next few blog posts are for you to help provide some level of sanity.
Today’s post is all about NOT trying to do EVERYTHING while actually accomplishing your side hustle dreams and goals.
Get out of your head.
You hear it all the time: Don’t boil the ocean. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient. But when you’re trying to build your global empire these all can seem like meaningless sayings that aren’t getting you anywhere. If you’re anything like me, you want everything NOW and yesterday is already way too late. You want to hop on over to the finish line before enduring the journey – which they say is really the best part of it all. But at least for me, as I’m in the midst of my journey I can’t help but to feel overwhelmed sometimes, especially as I’m trying to work a 9 to 5, take care of myself, family, have a social life, AND work on my side hustle becoming my main hustle. In the end, being an entrepreneur is incredibly hard.
Silence the haters.
And then you have the naysayers. Here you are, running around trying to get things done, and you find that people start questioning your reasoning and intentions. This used to drive me crazy when I first started blogging and posting with intention on social media. My friends and family would simply ask, “so, what are you doing?” And it’s crazy how such a simple question can make you question everything about your effort and work towards your side hustle. People don’t realize it but these type of questions can really throw someone off track in terms of progressing to their goal. Simple questions as opposed to simple encouragement can hinder possible success and lead to someone throwing in the towel early. And certainly, I know it’s not intended when asked. Hell, in hindsight I’ve even done it to others.
The thing is not everyone is going to understand or value your vision and honestly, you can’t expect them to. Because it is simply that: your vision.
Drink your own kool-aid.
Own and nourish your vision. If you’re not drinking your own Kool-Aid, you can’t expect anyone else to sip it. Understand getting others to understand what you’re doing will take time but it shouldn’t be your main priority. I will say it until I’m blue in the face but I truly believe there is an audience or customer for everyone out there. You just have to be willing to put the work in to find and reach them. Your customers might not be your friends and family – and that’s okay. Or they may become customers after seeing the results you drive. If you quit because they question you, they will never see what you can truly do and deliver. Get over the fact they don’t “get it” right away. If you keep pushing, eventually their “Why are you doing this?” will become “How are you doing this?” But this takes time to cultivate and believing in yourself honestly is what will get you there.
Okay, so we’ve made it clear to get out of our heads and don’t let the naysayers in. But how the hell do we actually get things done?
C’mon ladies, let’s get into formation.
Many of us run into the issue of taking what’s in our heads and implementing. We get stuck with our end goal and not envisioning what it will take to achieve it. This is where the hard work and make and break points come in. You can truly get stuck on trying to do everything at once to only get nothing done. Or you can break things apart into incremental steps, knowing that each accumulate to your grand vision. And typically taking the latter approach will yield longer lasting results. In many ways it’s like losing weight. Crash dieting never really works long term. But changing your eating and exercising habits over time can ultimately cause someone to have a whole new lifestyle and approach in life.
Now, that’s not to say sometimes you just have to rip off the band aid and execute. For example, I didn’t start taking my side hustle and business seriously until I started making an investment into my brand. At first it felt like a crash diet: I bought a DSLR camera and started taking my own high quality photos. For those that don’t know, a DSLR can be a pretty pricey investment and I was super excited to have one at first. But over time it lost its allure and I realized that a camera wasn’t enough for me to grow. Therefore I invested more into my business by getting training. And when I realized that wasn’t enough, I then noticed I needed updates to my website.
It’s important to note this was all over a course of a year. When I took a step back and realized what I had accomplished, I was pretty proud but also realized I had been shortsighted and impatient with my goals. Seeing that my incremental work created large results, I now plan very differently.
I still have my large, grand annual goals but then I also have smaller incremental goals – or mini goals – that I build upon to achieve my large goals. It’s what I have found works for me to drive results, still attaining my big picture without getting overwhelmed, losing sight or losing my patience. I use my large goal to center me when I’m in the middle of doing something I’m bored with or even when I need to be honest with outsourcing it. Due to incrementally planning my goals, I know each step is just a means to a much bigger end.
The Key to Side Hustling is Finding B.A.L.A.N.C.E.
So how exactly do you not boil the ocean? Well, you need to find your balance:
Truly the easiest, most sustainable and successful way to achieve your entrepreneurial big picture goals is to begin with the end in mind. But you also want to practice B.A.L.A.N.C.E. or Be specific, Action plan, Learn, Accountability, Neutralize negativity, Check-in, and Execute:
What is your end goal for your side hustle or business? Don’t just say I want to make $10,000 extra dollars. Try instead: I want to make $10,000 by selling my online product. By being specific, you force yourself to be tied to a goal that has a means to and end. Usually it will be measurable (check out SMART goals for more info!) and you can create a plan to achieve it. If you can’t do those two things, it’s probably not specific enough. Reevaluate, reconsider, and refocus until you get to something that sticks.
Once you know your specific goal, now you want to create your action plan. Your action plan is your roadmap of how you will attain your side hustle or business goal. For example, how will you sell your product? Via Etsy? Your own website? How much will you charge? Will you include shipping? How much does it cost to create your product? Vetting out your plan will allow you to figure out your next steps to actually implement and achieve your end goal.
Now that you have your plan and are beginning to implement it, don’t forget to sit back and learn from you successes and missteps. What was a good action? And what is one you could have maybe done differently? Evaluate your actions so you can learn how to move forward and not repeat the same mistakes or miss opportunities. Note that you may need to do this a few times to make sure you’re not repeating things that hold you back and recognize actions that push you forward.
Being honest with yourself as you seek to attain your large business goal will be key to achieving it. Did you not value your time this week and used excuses to not work on your business? Perhaps you took a shortcut on something that ultimately caused a large misstep? Be honest when perhaps you went the wrong direction. And once you’ve realized that, make sure to…
While you are attempting to achieve your business goal, human nature will creep in and you will naturally feel as if you are headed in the wrong direction or that you are not getting anything done. And maybe both are true but do not dwell on them. Acknowledge and move forward. Understand that while a setback can easily become the status quo you have the power to make it just a one time occurrence. You ultimately have the power to achieve your business goal.
Make sure to check-in on your progress and ensure you are not veering away from what you truly want to achieve. Certainly your goal may change or evolve but circle back on why you entered this endeavor and recognize if you are nearing your goals or perhaps further away from where you want to go. This all relates back to accountability!
Nothing can’t get done without execution. You can have as many wonderful plans as you like but they are worthless if you don’t act. And as I mentioned, sometimes you must just simply act to get a jump start on things. You may be surprised at what can achieve by staying focused and simply executing.
Let me know in the comments if you think the B.A.L.A.N.C.E. method would be helpful to you in attaining your entrepreneurial goals. I’d love to hear your feedback or even where you feel like you’re stuck. We’re all in this together!