Establishing a side hustle is a great way to diversify your income and earn extra money. Whether you want to get an extra job or work from home on the side, you will need to make a few sacrifices in order to succeed.
Two weeks ago, I talked about how to manage your side hustle earnings and use them to pay off debt, but the truth is, you won’t have side hustle earnings for long if you don’t make a few important decisions (some of which require you to sacrifice something).
Side hustlings require a lot of hard work upfront in order to see positive results. The good news is, the benefits of side hustling are often great and pleasantly surprising.
For example, I started freelancing writing and doing virtual assistant work as a side hustle a little over a year and a half ago. Writing for Single Moms Income became my second freelance opportunity after I pitched Alexa and she was happy to have me contribute.
Now, I’m wrapping up my final month at my full-time job and I’m excited to start freelancing full time from my home office starting next month. That wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t make some sacrifices in order to build up a successful side hustle.
If you are interested in side hustling, here are 4 general sacrifices you can expect to make.
Time is probably one of the biggest sacrifices you’ll make. Time is extremely valuable because unlike money, you can’t just work harder in order to obtain more of it. When you side hustle, you’ll have to make time outside of your main job and your other responsibilities to get work done and grow your earnings.
It’s important to set a rough schedule and try to stick to it for consistency. For me, that meant squeezing in time to work early in the morning and in the evening when my son went to bed on weekdays, and during the day on weekends for a few hours depending on my schedule.
Two of my guilty pleasures that take up quite a bit of my time include going on social media and watching T.V. I limited the amount of time I spent browsing social media doing next to nothing and cut out a few hours of T.V. time during the week. This was a rough adjustment to make at first because watching T.V. often relaxes me and it’s also something my husband and I like to do together, but the sacrifice paid off over time as I kept working on my side hustle and my client list began to grow.
Giving up time often means giving up sleep to a certain degree. I personally need at least 7 hours of sleep each night even though I’d prefer more. However, since I needed all the extra time I could round up to dedicate to my side hustle, I started getting up early at 5 a.m. to squeeze in extra time to work.
Getting up an hour early so I could do tasks before heading off to my full-time job added at least 5 extra hours to my week to dedicate to my side hustle but I paid the price in terms of missing out on some sleep.
There was a period of time when I would come home from work on Fridays and just take a nap to catch up on rest. When it came down to it, I was happy to cut out time sucks like T.V. if it meant I could get more sleep.
Seeing your side hustle grow and being able to bring in more money to meet your financial goals will feel great but deep down you might be secretly wishing you had just one day to dedicate to sleep and rest.
3. Work – Life Balance
My work-life balance took a hit when I started working 60 hours per week between my full-time job and freelancing. I set a limit as to how many hours I would spend freelancing and blogging each week so I didn’t burn myself out quickly, but I still noticed how I had less time to do things for myself than I had before.
I missed out on a few fun events and outings because I needed to use some of my extra time to side hustle. Work became a top priority and everything else just had to fall into place.
Luckily, this was only temporary since I started working smarter so I could still enjoy my life and spend time with my family and friends. Life is too short to let your work-life balance suffer long-term, but don’t be surprised if you find that you can’t go out to a movie with your friends on a Friday night because you have to work on a project for a client or you’re scheduled to work your other job.
It’s called ‘hustle’ for a reason, and during your hustle season, you’ll have to make smaller sacrifices like that in order to get ahead.
While I understand side hustling is all about earning more money, you might have to miss out on some money when you are first starting out. I consider most expenses involved with setting up a side hustle be investments so not a complete loss.
I had no problem using the money from my full-time job to set up a blog because I knew one day it might earn some extra money in return. I also was willing to pay for training and courses from people I trusted in order to get ahead faster.
For one coaching service I paid for, I remember having to set up a payment plan because I couldn’t afford to pay for the entire course at once. Shortly after that, I earned the cost of the coaching back and then some through freelancing writing gigs.
When I first started out I also did a handful of guest posts and unpaid trial work in order to prove myself to clients since I didn’t have many samples. Again, this could be seen as a loss of money upfront but it paid off in the long run as I earned the money back.
Will All The Sacrifices Be Worth It?
This is the million dollar question. In my case, yes, the sacrifices were absolutely worth it and definitely necessary in terms of building up my side hustle to the point where the income I was earning started to compete with my salary at my full-time job.
Giving up T.V. shows, working on some holidays and off days granted by my traditional employer, and investing in my side hustle by treating it like a business can all be seen as little sacrifices in the grand scheme of things.
Anyone can start a side hustle, but if you want to maintain the extra stream of income and grow your earnings over time, you’ll have to put in the hard work and sacrifice.
Have you made any of these sacrifces in order to earn extra money?