Every aspiring side hustler has felt like this on their journey. There has been a countless number of times when I’ve given my employer so much energy at a job that doesn’t quite fulfill me that I’m too
tired uninspired to pursue my passions a.k.a. my side hustle once I get home. My side hustle being writing and building my brand as a lifestyle and beauty expert. While I appreciate all the knowledge that working as a beauty consultant for a company has given me, I have for a long time been downright disappointed in the amount of time and energy I have put into someone else’s business while completely neglecting my own.
There are so many people, especially women, out there that I admire for grinding at all that they do. They work traditional 9-5s like many people we all know but the difference between them and the average person is they don’t let their 9-5 deter them from pursuing their dreams.
The Grinding Gal that I’m featuring in this post is one that I’ve admired for some time now. London-based Phoebe Parke has made a name for herself at her journalism gig as a freelance Associate Producer and Writer at CNN international but she also has written for a number of publications including Huffington Post and MTV Wrap Up. In addition to her vast portfolio of work, she also is the founder of an online community called Bloggers of Colour to help bloggers of color (hence the name) get more exposure on the web allowing their voices to be heard.
I had the chance to catch up with Phoebe to ask her what tips she had for us out there that are trying to balance a 9-5 while pursuing our passions on the side and here’s what she had to say.
Why you shouldn’t let your 9 – 5 get in the way of your side hustle…
There are two types of working people in this world, those who believe that work is a place, and those that believe that work is an activity.
The first type of person goes into work, does the work, and leaves all thoughts of work in the building – these are the TGIF people, the people who live for bank holidays and wouldn’t dream of taking a laptop on vacation.
The second type of person may leave all thoughts of their 9 to 5 in the office, but only so they can dedicate time and brain power to other types of work, they are always switched on, can work literally anywhere, from any device, and can often be found in the corner of a networking event, saying; “well, actually, I do a bit of that myself.”
Both these types of people work hard, and one isn’t better than the other, but the second type of person is a side hustler.
What about my employer?
A smart employer knows that the side hustle enriches the 9 to 5 – you broaden your contact list, learn to work independently, and are more passionate about your job because you’re fulfilled in other areas of your life.
Which school teacher ever told a child to stop training for the junior Olympics on the weekends and after class?
Here are three tips for people trying to balance a 9 to 5 and side hustle:
Do something for yourself before you do something for your boss.
When you wake up early to write a blog post for your personal blog/shoot some flat lays of your handmade jewelery in the morning light/send your latest song out to 10 local DJs before they wake up, you’ve already taken care of something completely for you, so you won’t resent doing something for someone else once the traditional working day begins.
Make the most of your time.
People always ask how women with side hustles ‘do it all’, the answer is because they know the value of time. Utilize your commute (listen to a podcast), lunch break (reply to emails) and weekends (wake up at the same time as you would during the week) to get ahead of you competitors.
Don’t be ashamed of your side hustle at work.
Letting your colleagues know that you have a side hustle seems like a completely unnatural and scary thing to do, right? Surely you should be pretending that your first and only love is your 9 – 5 and you would never dream about working on any other project? But actually, having a side hustle shows you’re an interesting and hard-working person, and that you’re someone who creates their own opportunities.
It’s so funny how we upsell our side interests in a job interview, yet hide them when we get through the door. You never know which other departments at your 9 to 5 might be looking for someone who does what you do as a side hustle; for example if you work for a PR company and you’re side hustling as a makeup artist, they might need someone who knows about makeup to go and present a new product range at an event. How will they know to ask you if they don’t know that you’re able?
I would be mindful of shouting about your side hustle at every opportunity in the office – you’re at work to do a job after all, but here’s how you can let them know in a subtle and professional way:
1. Post about your side hustle on the social media platforms you have your colleagues on
2. When someone asks what your weekend plans are, include any work you’re doing on your side hustle
3. If you think someone at work would have a genuine interest in your side hustle, invite them along to any physical events you put on or let them try some of the products you make (for free, obvs)
P.S. Side hustling is not a new thing. Did you ever have that grandma who worked at the school but took in washing and was always doing someone’s hair? Or that woman down the road that made hair and beauty products from her kitchen? They were hustlers too!