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Impression: There are endless things to do in running a business.
Assumption: It is a full-time gig.
The truth of the matter is, it only is if you want it to be.
If you’ve ever come across entrepreneurs’ to-do lists, you may be forgiven for thinking that you need to dedicate yourself full-time to a business to even come close to success.
(Spoiler alert: You don’t.)
Today, we’ll play the role of MythBusters and present to you real business owners who have built their businesses from the ground up and to success by managing them as a side hustle.
Read on for their stories, productivity hacks, and mindset tips.
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Leverage Time Gaps in Your Day
Courtney White’s entrepreneur hat isn’t the only one she wears.
Aside from being a mom, which studies say equates to having 2.5 full-time jobs, she’s also a full-time employee herself.
Adding that up, we can say that Courtney has 3.5 full-time jobs, and that doesn’t even include her ecommerce store.
So where does she find all that time to not just build her business but also drive it to success and maintain that success?
For starters, she begins her day at four in the morning. This gives her at least two hours to focus on what needs to be done before everyone else is up.
But her trick for the rest of the day lies in making use of the precious bits of time when she’s not needed elsewhere.
“I actually will get on my phone when I have free time,” she says. “That could be a few minutes a day while I’m watching TV, in between cooking dinner, getting my kids ready for bed.”
You can build a whole business and a whole customer base around five, ten, 15 minutes in little tiny chunks. – Courtney White
Play the Balancing Game
Laura and Albert aren’t your typical married couple.
Like Courtney, they also have kids to take care of every day.
But they also have 11 animals in their home equation; four chickens, three dogs, a frog, a cat, a bird, and a bearded dragon, to be specific.
With all that in the mix, you’d think that they’d be hard-pressed to find time for anything else. But they’re actually also nurturing two successful online businesses that they’ve built from the ground up themselves.
For them, it’s all about balancing their time well and seeking understanding from each other when the going gets tough.
“I also have to pay attention to when she needs something or the kids need something, or the animals need something. So it’s kind of just a juggling thing right now,” says Albert.
Use Downtime From Work
Chester Lee started his ecommerce business while working full-time (and possibly even overtime) as a hospital doctor in Hong Kong during one of the most challenging periods of medical history in recent years: the coronavirus pandemic.
Because of Hong Kong’s stringent lockdown measures, patients weren’t being admitted to hospitals as much. This provided some downtime at work for Chester.
“I actually had quite a bit of free time because there’s less patients coming to the hospital now,” says Chester.
Not one to let free time just saunter by, he decided to get productive and signed up for Shopify’s free trial. And what Rome couldn’t do, Chester did.
I built my store in just one day at the hospital. – Chester Lee
These days, Chester’s not only balancing his medical duties and an online store that made $20,000 in three months, but he’s also since launched a design course with ambitious plans to expand.
Disclaimer: We are NOT advocates of ditching work duties. We’re simply encouraging you to make full use of your downtime without jeopardizing any other responsibilities you may have.
Don’t Treat It Like Work
Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
This famous quote has been attributed to many different people.
Maybe it was Mark Twain. Or perhaps it was Confucius.
In reality, it could even have been coined by business partners and friends Mandie and Aubrey themselves. Both with full-time jobs, they were able to find success with their store because of this exact mindset.
Working on their business brought joy to them. What started as a hobby to find and sell products to their close network of family and friends has today blossomed into a full-on business supported by a thriving Facebook community.
Their secret is simple: Enjoy what you do.
“I think we’re really motivated to work on it because we both really enjoy what we do for it. It really is fun for me,” says Mandie.
This is akin to any other hobby you may have – reading a book, playing the guitar, working out, painting, or even just watching Netflix.
As an added plus, if it’s something you enjoy doing, it can also act as a de-stressor and help you wind down from your regular job.
With their plates already full as they were, these entrepreneurs certainly didn’t have all the time in the world to work on their business.
But what they did have was a desire and a motivation to succeed.
By being passionate about what you do and taking advantage of your spare time throughout your day, however short it may be, you can, too drive a side business to success.
You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein. – H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Want to Learn More?
- If You Want to Be 10x More Productive, Stop Setting Goals and Start Building Systems
- How To Become a More Productive (And Efficient) Entrepreneur in a Few Steps
- What’s Your Motivation? 11 Merchants Share Their Reasons for Starting a Business
- How To Launch Your Ecommerce Store in Less Than 30 Minutes Flat