Making Time For the Side Hustle: Five Ways to Grow Your Business Without Leaving Your Day Job

When I started my first blog,, I had a full time job, a part time job, 3 of my four kids still living at home and a half hour commute each way, beginning anywhere between 5:45 and 6am.

I don't know WHAT I was thinking!

No, really though, I knew I wanted to build a business, but I had no idea how to actually do the whole side hustle thing and maintain my sanity. I started getting up earlier. Yea, that didn't work for very long. Then I stayed up later.  Again, not super effective, but a little better. Finally, I figured, I better start working smarter and not harder if I wanted to get my business really moving in the right direction.  Here are a few things that worked for me, and some I've seen work for others as well.

Flex. Many companies, large and small now, will allow you to get time off of your typical workweek by working through lunches, or later into the evening. A half day off on Friday or going in late on a Monday after you've dropped off the kids at school can go a long way toward growing your business.

Take a working vacation. If you're like most people, you have weeks of paid time off at the end of the year that you never use. Schedule a few days off per month, with pay, and immerse yourself in entrepreneurial endeavors. 

Make the switch. I did this one myself. Leaving my day job was super scary, but it was almost impossible to keep up with the rigors of a job in education and still have the energy to take care of my family and my business. I transitioned from one full time job to two part time jobs and was able to make a similar amount of money in less hours.  The down side was no benefits, but for some people, that wouldn't be an issue. A solid 5-10 hours each week can be an amazing investment in yourself.

Outsource. Sounds counter-intuitive, but you can't do it all on your own. When you can, look at ways to share the load. If you can't afford to pay typical contractor prices, consider bartering or enlisting the services of a professional. The potential time savings is well worth the minimal investment.

Batch your work. Chunk similar tasks together to make the most of your time. I don't generally enjoy making graphics as much as I like writing, so I write several blog posts at one time then open up my or after they are complete and create Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter images for each post at the same time. Once I have the colors and theme laid out, it's easier to simply change the shape.