How to balance a side hustle with a full-time job


  • Thirty-four percent of Americans have a side hustle, according to a 2021 survey by Zapier.
  • Active entrepreneurs who want to start a side business must learn to balance work and free time.
  • Three business owners share their tips for juggling a side hustle, a full-time job, and a social life.

From an early age, Emily Martin knew she didn’t like to sit around and relax.

So much so that she balances a full-time job in advertising, a full-time role as CEO and co-founder of FriendTales –a series of mental health comics and a chatbot for tweens — and a parallel hustle to design pitch decks for pre-seed startups.

“You have to enjoy your side business twice as much as your real job,” said Martin, who is in New York. “I love my job, but I enjoy my side hustle more and that’s why I keep doing it. »

Martin is part of the many americans who have a scramble next door. In a 2021 survey of 2,001 American adults by the Workplace Automation Platform Zapier, 34% of respondents said they had a secondary activity. While Martin’s sideways hustle is a way to stay professionally and personally fulfilled, it also gives him financial freedom, like other Americans who have taken on extra work. The loan company Clarify Capital surveyed around 500 entrepreneurs and found that 72% had started a business to earn extra income and 24% wanted to supplement lost income.

Entrepreneurs who want to start a side business need to learn how to allocate their time so they can both work and enjoy their free time, Martin said.

“I only have three projects at a time,” Martin said, adding that she makes between $1,000 and $3,000 a month in sales from her side business, which Insider verified with documentation. “It’s something I learned early on when I tried to do too many things and had no freedom left.”

Choose days to work and days to socialize

In the UK, during the first months of the pandemic, Sandra Blaschke had more time to return to old hobbies like puzzles. But she was let down by mundane designs.

This frustration prompted Blaschke to begin his stampede Chunk prints, a company that makes puzzles from the work of emerging artists around the world. Blaschke launched in January 2021 and saw £40,000, or around $52,000, in revenue last year, which Insider verified with documentation.

While working full-time in marketing, Blaschke spent her evenings researching the process of starting her puzzle business. Today, she applies the same balance to her two roles: Blaschke performs tasks for her marketing work during working hours so that she can concentrate on her side business in the evenings and on weekends.

“I like to keep the days and evenings from Monday to Wednesday free to focus on work and do fewer social projects on those days,” she said. “It helps to keep the weekend freer for other things.”

Set strict time limits

Cameryn Mitchell’s side hustle helped her land her 9-to-5 job as the Workforce and Talent Development Coordinator for the town of Rock Hill, South Carolina.

In August 2019, Mitchell launched his side business Hustle Career Consulting while doing an end-of-studies internship. She got the idea for the business after answering questions from her peers about getting college internships.

The experience she gained helping students eventually helped her land a full-time job at Rock Hill, where she connects students with local employers. Mitchell earns between $20,000 and $25,000 a year from his side business, which Insider verified with documents.

To balance his full-time job with his side job, Mitchell works a four-day work week.

“Friday I can really reassess what I’ve done and see what I need to prepare for Monday,” Mitchell said. “It’s like giving yourself time to reflect on all the work you do.”

Mitchell added that she took the weekends off and tried not to work after 7 p.m. during the week.

“I have very strict time limits because I have a relationship, friends, and I do a lot of volunteer work,” Mitchell said. “There are so many other things where I can’t do everything if I don’t have these time limits to myself.”

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