Managing a side hustle while working full-time is not easy, but we’ll teach you how this can be done.
For today’s post, I’ve invited Sermed Mezher – a medical doctor, YouTuber and Airbnb host – to share his tips on how to successfully juggle a side hustle and a full-time job at the same time.
How to balance a side hustle alongside a full-time job
As a medical doctor working through the pandemic, you may think that I’d be hibernating between shifts to conserve energy. If you’re talking about the Sermed Mezher of 4 years ago, you’d be right. However, the Sermed of today knows that “you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light” – Madeleine L’Engle. That’s how, in these busiest years of my career, I have expanded two side hustles: a YouTube channel and The Safari House.
In this article, I’ll share with you my top 3 ways to grow your side hustle while working full-time.
1. Think like a CEO, not a hobbyist
Your side hustle is a business, and it should be treated like one even if you’re also working full-time. That is because your business needs to fuel your life, not engulf it. You need a cash cow to produce maximal rewards with minimal effort. That is true even if you want your business to remain as a side hustle producing passive income and nothing more.
In the long term, this cannot be achieved unless you have systems in place to automate the majority of the required work. That is because for any business/side hustle to grow it needs many working parts. That is marketing, finance and operations to name a few.
The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber states that most failed businesses are due to “technicians” struck with an “entrepreneurial seizure”. To overcome this and thrive in the 10% of businesses that are alive at 5 years, you have to learn what it means to be a leader and manager. This may sound ridiculous with no employees, but it’s one of the most powerful things that you can do.
The first thing you must do is create a Vision Statement and Mission Statement for your business. What do you want to achieve and how will you do that? How does that fit in with where you see your personal life going? Then you need a detailed business model. These will form the blueprint for every decision you take with your business/side hustle going forward. It also helps you transition into an organisation if you replace your income from your side hustle while working full-time.
Related: How to Make Your Small Business Financially Healthy
2. Effective time management
For you to build a successful side hustle while working full-time, you must manage your most valuable and limited asset: time. Dr Stephen Covey splits time into a 4-quadrant time management matrix, as you can see below.
Now, all of us will spend time in each of these quadrants, but, you should be spending most in quadrant 2. This will stop important matters from becoming urgent – like a guest requesting check-in details or getting your car serviced. Quadrant 4 is the passive zone – mindless scrolling through social media and binge-watching Netflix will land you here. If, however, you’ve spent a long day working and you are simply relaxing after that, watching a movie is quadrant 2. That’s because if you burn yourself out then you’ll rapidly lose effectiveness.
Track yourself for a day – in what quadrant do you spend most of your free time? If it’s any other than quadrant 2, then continue daily tracking until you’re a time management master.
3. Network for net worth
Unfortunately, life is unfair. Part of that is that success ultimately comes from the culmination of both your effort and unfair advantages. Would Evan Spiegel have founded Snapchat if he wasn’t born into a family of millionaire lawyers? Almost certainly not. But, the majority of us do not have the luxury of being born into a family of the financial elite. Fortunately for us, there are multiple examples of people who have leveraged connections they have made to their advantage.
That means for the majority of us, the path to success will involve others. This is something I have had to really work on as I have always worked as a “lone wolf”. I know now that working in this way puts me on the motorway to a high workload with low reward. So, how do we meet people within our area of interest?
Firstly, you have to shout about what you are doing. Share your work and publicise it on social media, when talking to friends and meeting new people.
Secondly, attend networking events – these can be in person or online.
Finally, join Facebook groups created for your field. These usually have communities of like-minded people that can give you insights you hadn’t even thought of.
Building a successful side hustle while working full-time
Now it’s time to put all of this advice into action. Get out there, plan your business, master your time and make some powerful contacts. Doing this will take your side hustle while working full-time to the next level.
Related: 3 realistic Tiktok-inspired side hustles to make money online
For me the biggest takeaway from this is time management. If that’s not mastered then it will be difficult to manage and make a success of everything. And linking with others and leveraging what you can is a must. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for your comment – much appreciated! Time management is definitely one of the most important elements of successfully balancing multiple priorities.
Loved these tips! I recently joined a couple Facebook blogging groups and have found them to be so beneficial in increasing my reach! It’s tough managing both at the same time, but if you’re really passionate and driven you’ll be able to find the time!
Thanks Heather! I completely agree with you – if you have the drive to do something, you’ll always find a way to do it 🙂
Such a great post! Side hustles can be fun and nice to have that extra income but so tough when you’re also working full-time. I really like the idea of networking – it’s something I need to do more of so thank you for the encouragement!
Thanks for your comment! Networking is something I’m working on myself as well.
I currently have a full time job and started a new blog last year on the side in addition to getting my real estate license. I may have one two many side hustles going at the moment haha but these are great tips for when I decide which route I really want to focus on the most. Thank you!
I think it’s good to try a few different side hustles to be able to decide your thing – good luck with your journey! 🙂
great tips! I like the idea of thinking like a manager and the quadrants is a good example! I’ll need to keep that in mind when I get sucked into the mindless tasks. Thanks
Thanks Katherine! 100% agree – it’s so easy to get distracted and get sucked into tasks that are not a priority!
Time management is so important when it comes to running a side hustle as well as managing a main job!
Very true, time management is a key 🙂
Thanks for sharing! I feel like a lot of people struggle with balancing their side hustles with their full-time jobs because they simply don’t plan enough. At least that was the case with me when I was working full-time. I would run around like a headless chicken and I kept wondering why I’m not achieving anything. Now that I plan my days, I’m much more productive and I can achieve a lot more.
I completely agree with you on this! Planning is a key to be able to manage your time and workload efficiently 🙂
These are really helpful tips! 🙂
Thank you Shivana!
Being a c e o instead of a hobbyist. Honestly never looked at it that way and it really did strike a chord. I have always thought of myself as just doing this as a side Hustle but the truth is I am trying to start a brand! Time management is always my biggest issue. You are amazing. And thank you for all that you have done during this crazy year. Stay healthy
Thanks for your comment, I’ve forwarded it to the author of this guest post too 🙂 It can certainly be easy to treat a side hustle just as a way to earn some extra income. But if you’re looking to grow it or start a brand as you said, it’s important to treat it as a business rather than a hobby.
This is very well written – you have some unique tips, I absolutely love the first one! You really have to start taking your own passion project seriously for others to take it seriously 🙂 thank you for sharing!
Thanks, Karen – I’ve forwarded the feedback to the guest author! And completely agree with you on taking your side hustle/project seriously – if you don’t, then who will! 🙂
Great post! For me the mindset is difficult. I work at it each day. I’ve also started networking and that has been very helpful. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for your comment! It definitely isn’t easy but surely worth all the effort in the end – good luck! 🙂
loan wolf here so networking is a bit of a struggle for me. but you are so right though. That’s something I need to work on
It can definitely be difficult to network as a solopreneur – good luck with your journey! 🙂
What do you want to achieve and how will you do that? How does that fit in with where you see your personal life going? – these are such good questions to gain clarity on your business.