Some of my most popular posts so far date all the way back to August, when I wrote a five article series on securing your finances with a side business. It was an amazing coincidence that just when I was planning to start my second series looking at the same topic from a different angle, both Naomi from IttyBiz and Skellie from Anywired linked to one of the posts in the original series: The Seven Deadly Sins of a Side Business Entrepreneur.
The new series starts today.
Last time I wrote about side businesses (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), I focused on the monetary side of things: how building a side business makes you less relying to your employer and how you can maximize the amount of money you can make through your side business.
This time will be different.
Instead of money I will concentrate in the more spiritual side of balancing your life and making your life more meaningful through a side business. That’s why in the coming up posts you can quite easily replace the work “business” with “project” if you don’t feel comfortable talking in business terms. But for the rest of us, it’s business that what we will be talking about.
During the next two weeks my plan is to post a total of seven posts (including this one) about starting, running and balancing a meaningful side business. If you want to make sure you don’t miss any of them (or want to get notified when the whole thing is over and I’m getting to some other topic), subscribe to my RSS feed or sign up to get the latest posts delivered straight to your e-mail inbox.
Some background information before we start:
- I’m a dad with a nine-month old kid.
- I’m a blogger.
- I work 5 days a week as a programmer for a games company.
- And I’m an entrepreneur building a side business in freelance writing for blogs, magazines and businesses.
And I have the same 24 hours a day everyone else (both the super human who does all of this plus some more and the regular Joe who just goes to work and watches a movie from TV every night).
That’s why I haven’t slept that much lately. But sleeping is not the topic today, let’s talk about balance instead.
A side business will force you to prioritize your life, work, and business.
When the amount of time you have at hand is limited, you have to use it wisely.
Your side business requires time.
Your family requires time.
And your day job requires time.
They all compete for the same 24 hours, so you have some math to do. And I don’t say this wishing I had 30 hours, or even three extra hours a day. I think it’s a good thing as it forces you to think about your usage of time.
Day job: 9 to 5, which is 8 hours. Plus overtime.
That’s the first thing where you can cut some time from. If you can’t cut overtime for good, cut at least most of it. Your employer most likely isn’t paying for your extra hours anyway so why not use it for something profitable like a side business?
Side business: This one can take as many hours as you give to it, so I try to work wise and keep the amount of work required to the minimum (more on this in the upcoming articles) working only one to two hours every morning.
Family: We’re talking about your priorities, so you can do whatever you want. But my advice is to not cut time away from your family if possible. Find ways to work so that you are present to your family, or maybe even do some of your side business work together with your spouse. But after that, make sure you still give your full attention to every small event happening around the house.
What to drop next? How about TV? (TV is fun but you can live without it – I have tried it) Or surfing the Internet? (this is harder, though…)
But that’s really the beauty of it: because of the limited time we all have, you have to get creative. You have to think how to use your time to make it mean the most to you, and not just pass by. And that tenderly pushes you to live rather than just exist.
Balancing the things in your life will never be easy. But it’s an interesting adventure that will teach you more and more about who you really are and what matters most to you. With this newly found insight you are already much better prepared to the new choices that come your way every day.
On Friday we will continue the adventure by setting up goals for your side business venture. But until then, let’s chat about priorities: what are the most important things for you in life? And how does that show in the choices you make every day?
Photo by max_thinks_sees