Posts tagged small business
How I Started A Side Hustle - Part I

I think it’s pretty cool how people are just as interested in how I do things just as much as what I do. I get asked regularly how I juggle a full-time job as a human resources professional, a husband and two young children, how I’m away from home on another island a few days a week while renovating the house and how I’ve found the time to build a side-hustle coaching and personality type business from scratch.

The most common question I get is “how do you do it all?”. I must say that “doing it all” hasn’t come without worry, challenge, and some major hard work. So to answer my readers burning question I’ve decided to write about it in a few parts, today’s post being the first with outlining the basics and maybe I can inspire some of you to get that side-hustle started. I’ve even embedded some very important questions for you to ask yourself (coaches love to do that!) if you have a side-hustle or are preparing to start one.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how I did everything, I think it’s very necessary to share with you my “why’s” related to my decision to start a side-hustle coaching and personality type business.

·       I live on options and variety! Fortunately (I like to find the strength in every personality) I get bored pretty easily. Having a side-hustle keeps me energized and active.

·       I want to show my children that mommy is a hard-worker and a hustler. I want to model the value of work and have them see the rewards of it. Goal setting, action, dedication, and tenacity are values for my family…among other values that we try to model.

·       I truly enjoy my full-time work and it allows my family stability. However, my side hustle allows me to do things that my full-time job does not. I get the best of both worlds!

·       I have control over my business. I can choose to take a client or not, or when to do a workshop or not. It is flexible for me to where I can put in more hours in one month and less in another.

Before I provide the technical details of exactly how I started my business (how I decided what I was selling, to who, marketing, etc.) I need to start with the mentality that helped me successfully create my business. I won’t lie and say that I had this part figured out before I started my coaching business, I did learn the hard way along the journey. So pay attention because if you don’t master these points, your side-hustle will be in trouble.

1.       Don’t allow judgement to enter your world.

In enthusiastically sharing my idea and what I do with an acquaintance, she responded by asking me how I allow other people to raise my children while I’m doing a side-business. A couple of people have said that the only reason I can accomplish what I do is because I have a husband. One extremely judgey person had the gall to ask me how I could put me first and my family last. Ouch!

The reality is that you will have critics and naysayers. You’ll have just as much people that think you’re crazy as those who think you’re awesome. Not everyone will like you or what you do. However, my reality is that I had to come to terms with this notion that people will always have their opinions….on everything! They also don’t see the full picture and the tender moments I have with my children and the time we spend together going to the beach, playing at the park, and doing homework, and the birthdays just for starters. I had to ask myself the important question of who I really needed to be accountable to and are those important people supportive of what I was doing. It was only these few (three to be exact) individuals who I have an interest in what they thought, and continue to think, of me.

Self-judgement is also judgment and the worst kind. Many thoughts have crossed my mind about whether or not I’m a selfish person investing money into a business when it could be used for other important things, how others are going to criticize me or my looks when I put personal photographs up on my website, or sometimes even doubts that I really have the expertise or ability to help people. These thoughts are real confidence busters that can kill your motivation and ultimately your business. That’s why I seek the partnership of coaches that helps me sift through the judgment, find what is the truth and take action to continue building my confidence. I suggest you have some way to sift through the judgments as well.

Exactly who are the most important people in your life that you need to be accountable to?

On a scale of one to ten, one being not confident at all in starting a side-hustle and ten being as confident as you could be right now, where would you rate yourself?

Why did you choose that number and what can you do today to increase that number just one notch up?

How would you work through the judgements that will come your way?

2.       Get rid of limiting beliefs!

When I first started flying to Oahu every week and staying overnights for work which wasn’t really by choice, my son was a mere 8 months old. I remember how the guilt cut through me like a knife. There was no way I could manage flying and being away, keep up with home life, and have a solid relationship with my husband. My self-judgements raced through my head. Why couldn’t I be like other mothers who nursed for a full-year and now my child has to drink formula? How could I put the full responsibility on my husband? What about the expense of my commute? I thought that there was no way this commuting was going to work! It was impossible!

Fortunately, a mentor of mine saw my distress and offered to introduce me to another professional woman from my island of Kauai who is doing exactly the same commute with two daughters and a husband at home. I thought this person couldn’t exist.

Well, this person does exist and when we met I discovered that she was commuting for 10 years being away from the family for two to three days at a time. She shared with me how she did it, how she kept in close contact with the family including participating in school activities, homework and really still being an active participant and not a spectator to her home life. She also gave me this piece of advice to counter my guilt: “Your children only know what they know. They think that every mommy flies on a plane for work.” She was absolutely right! I’ve been commuting for five years now and even had another child (TSA had to check my breast milk each way!). We made it work, my children are not scarred for life and I created my side-hustle partly because I overcame and capitalized on this travel challenge. I have some time without the kids to fully immerse myself in my work and business instead of feeling guilty that I’m away and FaceTime is a wonderful invention.

I understand that my situation is unique, but everyone’s situation is unique. I share this story because it is a prime example of a limiting belief I had that if left unchecked, I would have reluctantly quit my job to do God-knows-what and my side-hustle would have never come to fruition. Your limiting beliefs are going to be an obstacle to a side-hustle. So better to tackle those things now.

What kinds of beliefs may be limiting you about starting or running your side-hustle?

When have you overcome a challenge or belief in the past? What did you learn from it and apply to your beliefs today?

3.       Make your schedule work for you.

But I don’t have time to do that! Oh, yes you do. If one of your beliefs is that you don’t have enough time to side-hustle, then this one is for you.

Your schedule is like a financial budget in a couple of ways. First, when you must find ways of saving money, you first need to understand exactly where your money is going. Second, what you do spend your money should be needs first, wants second and what you spend your money on will hopefully get a positive return on investment. Apply the same concepts to where you spend your time. You need to know what you spend your time on and whether or your time is well spent.

I’ve relied on an activity that helped me figure out my time budget on a handful of occasions when I felt overwhelmed. Just like a budget of tracking expenses, I tracked my time by doing a daily time log. (I loved it even more when the world of technology created apps to help me log my time and activities.) What I discovered is that I was spending some valuable time in areas such as surfing the net looking at shoes and clothing, doing mindless activities like playing games on my phone or spending a lot of time on social media. I’m not saying to not partake in those activities, sometimes doing the mindless thing is necessary to recharge and keeping in touch with family and friends is important and social media can help with that.  However, the purpose of the exercise is to question whether those activities, and specifically how much time you spend on them, directly contribute to what you feel is valuable to your business, family life or any other goals. Why do you think they call it “spending” time? I bet that you can find the time for a side-hustle like I did. Try the exercise and let me know how it went.

How do you know what your wasters are?

What would your ideal time budget look like?

What tweaks in your schedule will you make today to work toward your goals?


Now that we’ve covered some of the mindset pieces, I’ll focus my next post on how I knew what business I was going to start. Stay tuned!