Building Your Side Hustle - My Top Tips
I mentioned last week that I would do a blog post on my top tips for starting a business while working a day job. I will go into more detail today on how we have managed to work day jobs while starting a little baby business and turning it into something that will soon become my new full time job.
It sounds super romantic but trust me there has been so much scraping, clawing, exhaustion and tears and I do not expect it to really change even when I am here full time.
We have worked outside in 15 degree temps with icy winds trying to repair tunnels, had a season of harvesting almost weekly in the pouring rain (2018 I'm talking to you) and more late nights and early mornings than I care to admit (I'm like a little baby folks...I need my belly full and I need my sleep or it isn't pretty!!).
I can also say that chasing down your dream and getting to work outside doing something I love has been worth all of the hard things mentioned above.
Below I am giving you my top six tips for anyone who is currently working and trying to start your own side hustle!
-Do Your Research
I spent about 9 months researching and learning everything that I could about growing cut flowers before I even tried to put a seed in the ground. Then I spent an entire spring, summer and fall trialing, growing and experimenting before I went "live" with our business.
There is absolutely no shame in starting small. We started on a tiny little plot that was our garden. I had no flower shed and no cooler. I drug everything into the house and made a huge mess that first year. The most amazing thing (in my opinion) is when you start small it is so fun to look back each year and see how far you have come from the previous year. Usually when you have your head down and are "in it" it's hard to see forward progress but when you stop and lift your head it's pretty amazing looking at how far you have come.
-Manage Your Time & Be Prepared To Work!
Both of these are a must because at the end of the day no one is going to do it for you. My days are full from the time I wake up until I go to bed. When you are starting your own business and working you have to squeeze side hustle hours in wherever you can.
For me it looks like putting in at least an hour in every morning before work & working during my lunch hour. Throughout the winter months that is mostly time on the computer. I typically break that hour into different tasks each day (updating income/expenses/mileage, learning & reading, crop planning, ordering supplies & social media posts).
During the summer sometimes that morning hour has looked quite different. I have been outside planting with a headlamp at 4:30 am before work or wrapping bouquets and finishing up orders before I headed to my day job.
-Biggest Fires First
When you are working, growing a business and trying to also keep your family life rolling you have to learn to prioritize the things that have to get done and let go of the things that are not a priority. Learn to not sweat the small stuff. If there are dishes setting in the sink for an extra day, life will go on. I promise!!
-Realize Help Is Okay
You can't do everything on your own. This was a hard one for me. I am a stubborn, independent person and asking for help is extremely hard for me but over the last four years I have realized that I can't do it on my own. Recognize your weaknesses and find that person or team to help you.
Make sure you are getting enough sleep. If you start feeling yourself getting run down take an evening off and go to bed early. When working I would always "try" to take one day a week off and not push myself too hard. It is not always possible but even if you take a half of a day on a Saturday or Sunday your mind and your body will be better for it!
We have always made sure to take some type of a vacation as well. Time away with my husband and son isn't negotiable. My dad passed away at 54 (in fact he would have been 71 today) and one thing that has stuck with me is my mom saying how thankful she was that they traveled and didn't wait until retirement. Every single day is precious and not guaranteed. Work will always always be there but your family member might not be!
This year we are truly trying to take every Sunday off and just get away to hike or do something together. Personally, I have to shut my brain off for a period of time or I start shutting down and nothing gets accomplished!
I hope some of these tips help you and if you are starting your own small business I would love to hear from you and know what you are doing. Have a great week!