24 How to Survive Your Side Hustle

24 How Do I Survive My Side Hustle?

I moderated a Clubhouse room the other day specific to those with a side hustle and I wanted to share some of the key ideas from the conversation.

There is an increasing pressure, particularly for those still going in to an office setting each day, to learn new ways to separate the 9 to 5 from the 5 to 9.

To those with an online business, the mindset between the two is worlds apart with the brick and mortar mindset lagging behind. For example in the brick and mortar, there is a higher value placed on the hours worked, the arrival time, and the departure time, than the value brought to an organization. Both can be achieved and are noble, but there is a definitive shift that brick and mortars will need to make if they want to extract the same productivity, engagement, and value from their remote workers.

With the expectations of our corporate environments not shifting as quickly as the online environment, we may have to help ourselves out a little bit, otherwise we could go crazy with the inconsistencies and incompatibility of our competing worlds.

First, You Have to Be Keenly Self Aware

Understanding our strengths and weaknesses is key to our productivity. How honest are we with ourselves about this?

I know when I’m procrastinating and why. When I can’t find the solution to my problem, I procrastinate and when I procrastinate, I’m losing money.

Let’s take pricing for example. I have researched and listened to different experts on how to price a course or service and I still feel all over the place.

So here’s a teaser, I’m working on a pricing masterclass to share some of the wins and fails I’ve seen and share my pricing strategy with you. Stay tuned.

So, procrastination is a HUGE productivity sucker for me! While I’m fretting over pricing strategies, I’m not scheduling social media, I’m not outlining my podcasts, I’m not working on my newsletter. I procrastinate until I’m up against a deadline and then I crank it all out.

Now, this is obviously not the zone I work in all the time, but I am self-aware enough to figure out what’s going on so that I can fix it.

Secondly, you need to figure out your Mission, Vision, & Values

If your only focus is on pushing your product or service on social media, then you will not survive your side hustle. Remember, this is not a paid hobby for you. This is a legitimate business and you need more than a simple social media approach. You need a strategy.

It’s always going to come back to having MVV for me. I mean, that’s my niche, right? Once your mission is defined you’ll have the clarity you need to be consistent.

When you have your values in place, you don’t have to waste time responding to foolishness on social media.

When your mission is solid, you’re following only the experts and influencers who are helping you achieve the goals you set to meet your mission. You’re not spending tons of money on templates and checklists and things you don’t need to accomplish in your immediate future. And if you are not in the stage with your side hustle where you just sit back and make evergreen money, then you are most focused on quarterly and annual goals.


When your vision is clear, your why’s are right in front of you. When you’re exhausted and you think no one sees you, your vision about why you keep plugging makes the road and path much more palatable.

Survive Your Side Hustle by the Minute

On the Porch with my day plannerI survive my side hustle by the minute. Sometimes this works to my advantage but sometimes it drives me crazy.

For example, when I break my tasks down by the number of minutes it will take me, I can realistically plan my day or my week. I no longer try to push 40 hours of side hustle expectations into a 20 hour week.

But when I’m that keenly aware of every minute, sitting  in a meeting for even five minutes waiting on everyone to show up drives me insane. All I can think about are those minutes I could be claiming and checking off my list.

Excel spreadsheet. I start in Trello for big picture, then I go to my excel spreadsheet and break stuff up into time – how many minutes will this take me.

To survive this, I’ve made this a mindset issue rather than an efficiency issue. If my 9 to 5 company insists people show up ten minutes early to a meeting but not start until the top of the hour, then it’s the company’s time that is wasted, not my personal time. It’s not like I would be working on my own side hustle business during those ten minutes anyway, right? NOW, for an operational person like myself, I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, so I make sure I have those minute tasks I can bring with me. And in the day and age of online meetings, I can show up, but turn my video off, make that extra phone call, send the extra email or do that last minute task before the meeting actually starts.

Survive your side hustle by establishing clear boundaries before 5 o’clock and after.

Survive Your Side Hustle by Understanding Your Vision

Why are you pursuing entrepreneurship? Will this always be a side hustle for you or do you want to make this full time eventually? What is the vision for your financial future?

If this is fun money for you, your strategic plan is going to look at lot different than if you want to be full time in your entrepreneurship journey in the next twelve months.

Evaluate your to do list. Seriously, stop right now and look at your to do list for the day or for the week. Do those to-do’s have anything to do with you accomplishing your mission or did you just decide you needed a social media content strategy and you’re plugging away at that?

I fell in that trap too and created a content strategy that mirrored one of my mentors. As a result, I spent a minimum of three hours each week  writing content, creating images in canva and scheduling each week and get crickets. Nothing. Zero. Because even though my content had a strategy and was linked, it didn’t get me closer to my vision. It didn’t convert to the leads I needed to accomplish my goals.

To survive our side hustle, we have to recognize what our goal is. What the plan is for the next month and quarter. If our hustling only leads to checking off boxes, rather than generating revenue, we need to stop and evaluate. Remember, hard work does not always equal the right work.

If you can’t see yourself getting closer to your vision, I advise you to revisit pieces of your strategic plan that are not working for you.

Reconcile the Differences Between a Brick and Mortar Business and Running an Online Business

By now, I’m sure you understand the your corporate environment values the number of hours you spend at the office as much (or more!) as they do the value you’re contributing to results. Just ask your early morning or late night warriors.

To survive that mindset, focus on the value you’re contributing to your 9 to 5. How are you reducing waste, reducing costs, and contributing to the bottom line? Focus on results, metrics, and improvements and your boss will worry less about whether you’re working 8 hours or 11 hours per day.

In your side hustle, you’re also likely hyper aware of letting your strategy dictate your work vs. your work dictating your strategy. Survive the firefighting mode by influencing decisions that come from an overall strategy rather than agreeing to tracking to do lists that arise from lagging metrics. In other words, challenge when everyone wants to celebrate hard work that didn’t really produce any real improvements, complete a strategy, or reduce costs. Challenge status quo thinking that we celebrate mediocrity because we hit a roadblock that wasn’t ‘our fault.’

Make the Intentional Shift from CEO to Soldier and Back Again

I used to love my forty-minute commute because I could go from wife/mother/entrepreneur to senior VP of HR and back again at the end of the day. That drive was integral during one of the worst careers of my lifetime. I NEEDED that time to survive.

Now that I have a twelve minute commute, I have to adjust my mindset much more quickly. Here are some things I do to switch my mindset much more quickly:

  • On the way to work, I listen to HR related podcasts and on the way home, I tune in to entrepreneur rooms in Clubhouse. Check out my episode on Clubhouse if you’d like to learn a bit more about it. If you need an invitation, let me know at info@vimandvigor.biz
  • I turn everything off and enjoy twelve minutes of peace and quiet.
  • I leave the house fifteen minutes early and park near the highway and listen to the sound of the semis passing. Seriously, if you have not done this, it’s mesmerizing and calming. Nothing like it. I’ll also do it after a particularly stressful day before I get home.
  • I take a ten minute power break as soon as I get home. Everyone deserves ten minutes to themselves. After you’ve given hugs and kisses, walked the dog, put dinner in the oven and put the kids to bed, take ten minutes to yourself. Ten minutes to close your eyes before you dig in to your work. Set the timer, drape a blanket over you, and close your eyes for ten minutes. Absolute heaven.

There’s no one true secret to surviving your side hustle, but I hope you’ve learned a few tips to settle in a bit more.

I’d love to help you in your journey. Whether you need a one hour strategy session to get unstuck on something specific or you want to work together on your strategy, I work with Side Hustle CEOS who want a one stop coach to help them start up or power up their business. Visit vimandvigor.biz/onetoone to get started.

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1 Comment

  1. Andi on March 10, 2021 at 1:42 PM

    This is such a great post. I love the comment about reminding ourselves that work is about strategy and bigger picture, longer term goals rather than – how much did I tick off my to do list and how many hours did I clock today.

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