The Comprehensive Guide on How To Manage Your Side Hustle Better

One of the most common questions that I get asked is: how do you manage your business while working full-time? The key is to stop stressing the things that don't matter, also known as non-revenue-generating activities. If it isn’t making you money, why are you bothering with it? Before you go on your righteous, “It’s not always about money.” rant, go ahead and exit out of this post, because I think in dollar signs. If you aren’t interested in making money then you don’t have a business or a side hustle, you have a hobby and this post isn’t for you. Trust me, I’m the first one who loves a good hobby, but in order to make your side business more profitable or even do it full-time, you need to be worried about the money. You need to change the way you look at and think about money. Money isn’t a dirty word, and wanting to make money doesn’t make you a bad person. The whole idea that “if you do what you love, the money will come” is a fairytale. Passion isn’t enough. You need to do what you love both well and strategically so that the money comes. Revenue generation should be one of the top three things you strive for in business. If not, why do it at all?

@@Passion isn’t enough. You need to do what you love both well and strategically so that the money comes.@@

I’ve always had a full-time job and worked for someone else. Even though I’ve been able to replace my full-time income, I actually prefer being a side hustler, and don’t aim to work for myself full-time. My job is an additional stream of income, just like my books, my brand partnerships, and my services are. I have always worked at least 40 hours a week for someone else, and am still able to work for myself. Here’s what I’ve learned from side hustling for 6 years: People with side hustles need to learn how to prioritize what's really important in business in order to maximize their time. It’s not that they don’t work hard enough, but they’re putting their efforts and attention in the wrong places. They stress the little stuff like writing blog posts, responding to emails, and trying to be everywhere at once "networking". When you work 9 to 5, you need to maximize your 5 to 9. You have to put processes and finances in place to be able to use the free time you have wisely. You should be focusing on the channels that generate the most revenue, book the most clients, and the activities that are going to help you scale your business.

3 Ways to Manage Your Side Hustle Better

Set goals properly. Prioritize based on math not mood.

If a blog post doesn't go out, don't sweat it. If you aren't able to answer all emails, get some gmail filters and call it a day. The moral the story is that some things will fall through the cracks. Some emails will not be quickly answered, you might not be able to update your website, and your blog will go silent. But that's not reason to beat yourself up or to think that you're any less of an entrepreneur. On the contrary, being a good entrepreneur and a good business owner means knowing when and what to prioritize in your business, and being aware of the areas needed to grow. But how do you find these areas? Through your metrics and statistics.

You need to have math skills on point if you plan on being a successful business owner. You've been setting arbitrary goals based on who knows what, but by getting really good at math and setting income goals, you can then set other blog goals around it. I teach this in-depth in my content planning class, but the premise is that your content creation should serve a purpose, not created just because you feel like you should. Are you more concerned with doing things right or doing the right things?

Here's an example of how you set goals properly in business. You’ve probably been telling yourself that you want X amount of website views and will blog Z amount each month. Where did you get those numbers from? You should start with what income, traffic or revenue goal you want to reach each month, and build your strategy backwards from there based on your conversion rate. When you know what you want to make each month you're able to work backwards. If you know that your conversion rate is 5%, then you can calculate how many page views you're going to need in order to reach your goal. (If this is confusing you already, click here. I break this all down in the masterclass.) 

Aside from goals and conversions, you need to know where your profit margins are. You need to know how much money you make each month and each year. You need to be able to make projections.  Math is an important skill that you need to run any business, but it's a skill that a lot of us overlook. We focus on writing the best blog post and getting more blog traffic, but we don't focus on revenue-generating activities and tracking the right metrics. You focus on vanity metrics, like followers and traffic, when you should be worried about conversions and profit margins and landing page views.

Decide on your bare minimum.

After you figure out what's important and what to prioritize, you then need to make time to complete those tasks first. The thing that has allowed me to be "consistent" over the last six years is consistently working at least two hours a night. Now I'll be honest with you that doesn't always happen. There are some days that I do take off, but for the most part I try to work at least two hours every single night (if not more) and at least one full day on the weekend. During the weekend, I'm preparing for the week, getting up any landing pages, writing copy for social media, and doing things that need to get done to allow the week to run smoothly. I like to think of my weekends as the days that I work on projects, and the weekdays when I manage tasks like emails, engaging on social and working on content and client work for the following week.

Cut yourself some slack and protect your peace.

The biggest tip on being a successful side hustler is changing your mindset. A lot of times, we try to be everything to everyone, and be available for everything. You don’t owe anyone anything. It’s very frustrating when you build a following online and are relatable, because the boundaries get blurred. People feel entitled to having access to you, when that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are some people (maybe even you reading this) who have emailed me and are still waiting for a response. I will eventually get to it, promise. However, I'm OK with emails going unanswered for a while, so that something more important can get done. It might piss some people off, but I'm fine with that as long as I continue to grow my business.  I have a right to rest and allocate my time to the tasks of my choosing and so do you. My first priority is to respond to paying business opportunities and do things that are going to get me checks. It might sound harsh or selfish, but guess what though? My business isn’t run on air and oxygen, and my bills aren’t paid with compliments and opinions. I have to protect my peace, because if I don’t, who will? Happiness and self-care can’t be outsourced and shouldn't be compromised. Don’t succumb to the pressure of purpose. Don’t feel obligated to be everything for everyone. You are allowed a break, some slack, and some respect.

@@Stop trying to be a people pleaser and become a profit producer.@@

You are who and what you spend your time on, and while you continue to pour into others, who is pouring into you? When I stopped saying yes to every dinner and coffee invitation, speaking on all the panels that were unpaid, writing blog posts for the sake of saying one was published, and letting people pick my brain in person and via email, I had a lot more time available to grow my business. Maybe this is you. You have been so focused on everything and everyone else, that you and your profitability have suffered. You are saying yes to everything but your side hustle. When you finally get a moment to look around, you have nothing to show for it. No sales, no website traffic, no awards or accolades. Just exhaustion, empty pockets, and an empty cup to pour from. Be mindful of the things and people that take so much from you, with no intention of giving anything back.

Related: Why Picking My Brain Won’t Make You Successful