Working Moms Who Side Hustle Podcast Ep. 6: The Five Things You Must Do Before Starting Your Side Hustle Business
If you’re listening to this podcast, it probably means you have an inkling that you want to start your own business on the side. Congrats!
You’re probably super excited thinking about the prospect of starting your own thing and making money from doing something you love and you want to get started right away. But there’s a couple of things you should do (five that we’re going to discuss in the podcast), before embarking on your side hustle journey.
Keep in mind—these five things are not external things—like what type of equipment to buy or software to set up. It’s five of the most important internal things you need to do to prep yourself for building and growing your side hustle. Remember…it’s a journey because things aren’t just going to happen overnight.
Let’s dive in.
#1: KNOW YOUR “WHY”
If you’ve been in the online space or personal development world for any amount of time, you’ll hear people talking about the “why”. And there’s really a good reason why everyone is talking about the why.
Your why is what powers you. It’s your fuel to keep you going. It’s what helps you to move past the naysayers to do the thing you know you were meant to do. It really does.
Here’s my why: whereas pre-children I was happy making a good salary and having a “good” career, after children, my career and status at my job mattered far less and what did become important was for me to be a good example for my kids. I wanted to be proud of what I did. I wanted to show them that what I did everyday was meaningful and that I enjoyed it. I want to show my kids by example that they their worth is NOT defined by a corporate pay structure and that they could reach for the stars and live the life of their dreams.
And that’s why I’m here, producing a podcast for all of you working moms out there listening. I’ve got zero formal background in journalism, audio production, online marketing, graphic design or business. My degree is in political science! But I’m not letting the large learning curve of any of those stop me. It’s because of my “why”. By example, I’m showing my kids what it looks like to step out of my very comfortable comfort zone of my corporate career, and building something on the side that I love.
So that’s my WHY. What’s your strong and powerful why?
#2. Understand your limitations, and make a promise to yourself to NOT compare your progress with others.
As a working mom, you’re going to have some real limitations. You will NOT have as much time to work on your business as, say, a someone without the full-time job or someone without the full-time job and kids. You will not have as much time and you will move slower than those people. It’s a fact. And since it’s an incontrovertible fact, there’s absolutely no benefit to comparing yourself to someone who is not in the same position as you are.
Level set with yourself from the beginning, understand your limitations, and accept it. Be ok with it. Put it all in perspective and deeply appreciate what you have. You have a day job that helps you to support your family and gives you the latitude to start your business on the side, without the pressure of making money NOW. And you have a beautiful family, right? So it’s all good. Remember these things when you start down the road of comparing yourself to others.
There’s a famous saying by the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu. He said “comparison is the thief of joy”. It really is. Remember that. So, the barometer is you against you. Are you moving forward, learning and growing every day? If so, you’re doing great. And in the words of Lao Tzu (again), he said “it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop”.
Set boundaries with yourself. If you’re on the Facebook grind, and you see all of those posts of moms who started a biz and made thousands of dollars in their first 30 days, and you know that’s going to send you down the rabbit hole of comparison, don’t engage with it. Tell yourself to not engage. Don’t click on it. Don’t read the post. Don’t watch the webinar. Get out of there and move on. Getting caught in the comparison trap is going to waste precious and limited time, and can derail you from pursuing your dreams. Make a promise to yourself and set some boundaries around comparison so that you can continue to march forward.
#3. Get your time management under control.
This is a big one and an obstacle for us all. But, it can be done. Look at Natasha Bolden, from Episode 5. She built a 6-figure event planning biz while working a Corporate 9-5 and raising three children. And all of the fabulous moms on the show have found ways to make it work.
There will be sacrifices involved, no doubt about it. But is your why stronger than your favorite TV show? What’s gonna win—your Facebook notifications or your strong and powerful why?
So, the fact is that you’re going to need to have some time to work on your side biz. How will you do it? I’m going to tell you how to get started on the time piece of the side hustle puzzle.
First, track your time. Use a time tracker, in at least 30 minute increments, to track your time. Do this for a week. This is super important, because how will you know where you can find the time for your side business if you don’t know how you’re currently spending it?
Here’s a time tracker for you— sign up below to instantly download, print, and get started!
Once you’ve tracked your time for at least a week, go back and look over your tracker. Are there spaces of time that you could allot to using for your side hustle by discontinuing what you’re currently doing and replacing it with an activity that moves your side hustle forward?
Then, use the information to plan out your upcoming week. Where can you “plug in” some time for your side hustle? Over the course of one week, can you find an hour a day over five days? Even five hours a week will move the needle forward.
So for #3, get a handle on your time by tracking it first, and using the information to plan out the week ahead with intentionality.
#4. Get stakeholders on board.
For most of us, thats gong to be our husbands, significant other, and kids. It’s all about clarity. Be clear about your dreams, goals, wants and needs. If your kids are really little, they’re not gonna understand, but just know they are watching you. When your kids get older, talk to them. Tell them what you’re working on. Let them see you get uncomfortable and outside your comfort zone.
For those of you who are married or have a significant other, you may find it more difficult to get them on board. They may not be 100% supportive. Maybe they just don’t understand what you’re doing. Or they feel you’ll be giving less attention to the family and their lives may be disrupted.
Here’s some tips to try to get your husband or significant other on board. Remember that you’re not asking for permission. You’re trying to get them on board because it’ll definitely be easier to do what you want to do if you have their support.
First, talk to them about your goals and dreams. Clearly communicate what you want to do. Be as specific as possible so that they understand. In my situation, my husband was pretty supportive of the time I spent side hustling when I was selling stuff online on eBay, Etsy and Amazon. It was easy to support because there was money coming in.
But I didn’t love it. When I decided I wanted to start Mom Remix, which, incidentally, is my 9th side hustle, understandably, he didn’t get it. He said why don’t you just stick to eBaying?
had to explain to him that although I was making money, it wasn’t fulfilling. It wasn’t all about the money. I’m a creator and a relator. I love to create things and my superpower is coaching and communicating in an easy to understand, empathetic, and non-threatening way. I told him that if I was going to be spending a lot of my free time doing something, I wanted it to be something I truly enjoyed and something that had meaning for me.
So, be honest and up front about your business. If you’re building an online business, it likely won’t be throwing off cash from the get go. Have a frank discussion about this. Explain the big picture of how you think your family will benefit from the side hustle.
This ties into the time management piece. Be as clear as possible about the time you’ll spend working on your business and what you need from them. Do you need one hour of uninterrupted time after dinner? Can your husband help out by doing the dishes and putting the kids in bed three nights a week? Can he help by preparing breakfast for the kids every Saturday morning so you can get the first two hours of your day on the weekend to do your most high impact and creative work?
But you also need to be clear about how you’re going to place some boundaries around your activities. You don’t want your side hustle to take over your entire life at the expense of your family. That’s not what I want and I know that’s not what you want. We all want to be good moms, so as excited as we are about our side business, let’s try to keep some balance by setting boundaries and sticking to it.
For me, I’ve communicated to my husband that if I’m working on my business in the evening, I promise to power off my laptop by dinner time every night. For our family, that means that they have my attention at dinner and in the evening when everyone is home. I stick to this rule unless of course, there’s something extremely pressing and urgent (which is honestly, practically never). I find that when I abide by my own rule, I’m apt to be less distracted because I know I’m done for the day and that I’m not going to open up my laptop later that night.
I have to admit that I am human and that I’ve broken this rule, but for the most part, I try really hard to stick to it. My husband can see that I’m making a concerted effort to be present in the evenings, and this goes a long way because knows how much my side hustle means to me.
#5. Believe in yourself.
This one should be the most simple but it’s not. If you don’t believe you can do it, no one else will. You cannot rely on external validation. It starts and ends with you. Nothing will power you through stronger than your own belief that you can do it.
Here’s the reality check. No one out there is waiting for you to start your blog, your podcast or your business. I wish it weren’t true. I wish I could tell you that hundreds and thousands of people were begging me to start this podcast, but guess what? No one did. I had a vision, I believed in my ability to put it all together, I didn’t ask or wait for permission, and I took action to just do it.
So guess what? YOU have to own it, you have to believe you can do it, and you have to take action to make it happen. I know this is easier said than done. Getting to that point is gonna take some real work on your end. Some real internal work on your mindset.
Here’s how to get started:
Have a growth mindset. Starting a side hustle will likely involve learning and trying out new things. A growth mindset means you have a belief that you can always learn new skills and that your intelligence and abilities aren’t fixed. It means focusing on the process of learning and growing. Less emphasis is placed on outcome or results. Instead, success is measured by whether or not you are learning and improving. If you have a growth mindset, you’ll be able to withstand and overcome obstacles when they come your way.
2. Work on changing your mindset around failure. Don’t be afraid of failing. Instead of fearing failure and rejection, reframe those situations as feedback. Reframe failure as a necessary component of success. Don’t think of failure as a “potential” but as “necessary and a certainty”. Expect failure. This is a big one because the fear of failure will kill your side hustle dreams before your even get them off the ground. Period.
3. Tell yourself, I’m the kind of person who “ fill in the blank “. For example, if you’re starting your podcast, say to yourself “I’m the kind of person who is not afraid to put my thoughts and my work out there into the world by starting my own podcast”.
There’s a fascinating book called “Psycho Cybernetics” written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz, a plastic surgeon. He observed the transformation his patients underwent after their procedure.
What he discovered was surprising. Some of his patients, after undergoing the surgery, had a newfound positive outlook on life, acting like a new person, full of confidence. But interestingly, some of his patients didn’t experience that same kind of transformation. Although their outward appearance had changed, their belief about who they were as a person ended up guiding their outlook and actions. So, if they believed that they were unattractive and not worthy of a good relationship, it didn’t matter how stunning or attractive they looked after their surgery. They acted in accordance with their internal belief that they weren’t attractive or worthy.
It’s an interesting finding with implications for all of us.
SO, you need to say to yourself and believe in yourself that “I’m the kind of person who has a vision and a purpose and I will bring it the world by building my side hustle biz”. Then, your actions will follow in accordance.
And my suggestion to help you with this, is to do affirmations and do them daily. If you need help getting started, here’s a really nice book of affirmations:
So there you have it. The five things you need to develop before starting your side hustle business.
To recap, here are the five things:
Know your powerful why.
Understand and accept your limitations and don’t compare yourself to others.
Get a handle on your time by tracking your time for a week and using the information to plan your week ahead with intentionality.
Get stakeholders on board by being clear about your needs and setting boundaries around your side hustle.
Believe in yourself.
Finally, I want to leave you with this thought. I read this article, called “The Five Regrets of the Dying” by palliative care nurse Bronnie Ware. She worked with hospice patients for years, and in the article, she documented the five most common regrets of her patients. The most common regret? They said:
“ I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
So my advice to you is—don’t wait. Don’t sit around and scroll through your social media feeds and see everyone else around you going after their dream life. Don’t think that you’ll do it next year, or when your kids get older, or when they go off to college because you’ll have more time. Don’t let what other people think of your “silly dream” stop you. Think of how you’ll feel when you’re 80. Will you be saying that you wished you had the courage to live your dream life?
So go forth and live your life, a life true to YOU!!!!
LISTEN TO THE SHOW:
Again, here’s the link to the book of 365 (an entire year) of affirmations to get you started:
And finally, here’s another suggestion for help with getting started with affirmations:
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