Striving for Work-Life Balance While Growing Your Side Hustle

Everybody’s got an idea for a business, but not everybody has the desire to bring that idea to life. That’s because for every person who jumps into entrepreneurship, there are five more people on the sidelines wondering why on earth they would do that: they know how hard it really is to make a business work. Even though, you know, they’ve never done it themselves, they don’t need to try it out to prove themselves right.

For the rest of us who are willing to go down the road of entrepreneurship, we often ease into it, holding down a job while trying to build our idea into something profitable. The problem with this approach is that our 9-5 brains are still trying to make sense of this little thing called, work-life balance. And it’s virtually impossible to have while you are trying to grow a side hustle.

Here’s why you should stop striving for work-life balance now and even when your business is making oodles of money. It’s just not feasible.

You’ve only got so many hours in the day.

The first thing you need to understand is that you only have so many hours in the day. You aren’t going to spend 12 hours working and 12 hours “living.” So there goes your theory that you can have work-life balance. 50/50 is not real. So stop thinking it is right now.

Work-life balance, as a goal, leaves you feeling like you never have enough time for things. It sets you up for failure right from the start. You don’t have 12 hours to dedicate to your “personal life”. Do the math.

You’ll see how much time you actually spend at work, sleeping, raising kids, cleaning the house, running errands, spending time with friends, staying late to finish a project. Forget it.

Some things are more important sometimes.

Work-life balance has us thinking that there are only two facets to life that can be easily categorized and dealt with. The truth is that our lives are made up of many different facets that have varying importance depending on our perspectives.

To some, work is very important, while others could care less. If you are trying to build a side hustle, you are going to have to treat it like it’s as important as your other work, otherwise, you won’t make time for it. And since you only have so many hours in the day, you need to be ruthless with how you spend that time.

You don’t just fill up empty time with a side business. You were doing something with that time before, whether it was wasting away on the sofa or volunteering at a local shelter: you need to give up something to create something else in the world. Work-life balance has us believing that we can do it all and be all things to those who need us.

It’s not going to happen overnight.

Work-life balance has wannabe entrepreneurs believing that if they just work hard enough, their dreams will come true. If you just carve out 2-3 hours a day, you’ll be able to build your business. But what is often unsaid is how little 2-3 hours a day is when it comes to building a business.

We expect that those 2-3 hours a day are going to produce results more likely to come from spending 8-10 hours a day on our businesses. The problem with work-life balance while trying to build a side hustle is that we think we’ll have “free time” on top of our job, family, responsibilities, and building this business.

We don’t expect to have to be up all hours of the night and we get very frustrated when things don’t come to fruition sooner. If you’ve got money to invest or have a capital loan to get things moving, you can certainly build your business faster than through sweat equity alone.

You’ll try to apply a 9-5 mentality to your side hustle and expect it to be the same.

If your business becomes of any great significance, you may make the mistake of trying to create boundaries for yourself. You might think that you only have to work in your business a few hours a day. After all, isn’t that the dream of entrepreneurship?

The truth is that if you are going to run a business, whether full-time or part-time, you don’t get to turn it off. Work-life balance, as a goal in our lives, has us believing that if we work hard enough at the outset, we’ll get it enjoy the fruits of our labor later.

What’s more likely to happen is that as your business grows, so will your employee count. So you’ll need to learn how to provide and receive feedback, and invest more time into it to make sure you can continue to be profitable.

Side hustles aren’t for the weak of heart, although many people find that out the hard way. If you are thinking about starting a business while having a job, even a part-time job, consider how much of your 24 hours is going to go to that business development.

You’ll find out quickly how much energy is required to get a business up and running.

If you let go of the idea that work-life balance is the goal, you can approach entrepreneurship with wide eyes and see it for what it is and how much work is involved.