How to Handle a Day Job & A Small Business
Your desk is piled with bills, your inbox full of emails, your schedule packed as ever, and that's just for your day job. So how are you going to manage a small business on top of it?
As much as we wish we could to tell you to quit your day job and focus solely on your small business, that dream just isn’t feasible (at least not right away). And you know what? That’s okay. Making it isn’t supposed to be easy. It can’t be for it to really be worth it. So for the first few years, your life is going to seem a little chaotic, but we’re here to help. To start, planning, organization, and hard work are key to establishing your business while not falling behind during your day job.
Trust us - some days you're sitting in your cubicle only thinking about blogging, marketing, and more for your business, and that's great. Jot those notes down, but don't let it distract you from your duties because you know what? You need that day job - to pay your bills, to front your business, and to give you a little stability to fall back on when you feel like everything is crashing down on you.
And while you're waiting for that day where you can put in your 2 weeks, here are a few suggestions we have for managing it all.
Wake Up Early/Stay Up Late
If you try hard enough you can find at least 1-2 hours you're not utilizing for your business. Twenty minutes before work or staying up an extra hour can really yield productivity, but don’t kill yourself. If you burn out too early, working for yourself full time might not ever come to fruition. Pace yourself.
Work During Lunch
Almost every job gives you a lunch break so why not use it! Take client meetings, schedule appointments, answer emails, or catch up on a blog post or two in the middle of the day. It will give your brain a break from "work" and get you energized about your business.
Say Goodbye To Your Weekends
Weekends should be your new working hours for your small business. This should be when you fill orders, shoot weddings, plan events, or any other task you've decided to undertake. Of course, if you have the ability to create while you're at home in the evenings of course use it, but remember that weekends are primarily going to be focused on your small business.
You can't do it all - I mean you can try and if you can do it all, good for you. We are jealous, because we sure can’t. Seriously, you need to learn to take a little break. We aren't saying take a sabbatical or stop working. We just mean spend the weekend on a little vacation or stay-cation. Relax and don't put so much pressure on yourself for at least a few days. Don't work on your business for a full 24 hours. It might even give your brain a boost and get you energized for bigger and better projects.
Try Not to Let Things Slip
Life is already hectic but when you're running a small business it can get even crazier. Try not to let things slip too much – especially relationships. For most of us, running a small business requires us to stare at a computer screen answering emails, editing photos, designing, typing, etc., Take thirty minutes to have a real conversation with the people you love. No Netflix. Just hang out. These are the people that are going to encourage you to keep going, and when your relationships aren’t solid you’re going to slip up. We understand that the laundry piles up and the house will be cluttered, but take ten minutes every other day and sweep or organizing daily things. You'll feel so much better once it is complete and it will be one less stress put on you.
Trust us, many days we want to put our small business in front of our day jobs (and sometimes we do), but this is a dangerous path. You have to remember your day job is stable income, health benefits, and more. Try to stick to your schedule and make sure you're not taking on more than you can handle. But if you've got the hustle and the drive you'll do just fine!
We hope these tips help manage the hustle and bustle of a day job with the stress of small business ownership, and don't worry. There will come a time when you'll get to say goodbye to that day job and work for yourself FULL TIME. Hustle on, friends.