How to Start a Side Hustle While in a Day Job

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Start a side hustleThere was a comment in a recent post that touched on the difficulty some may have in starting a side hustle while having a day job. There are some industries which frown upon having a side gig, and require certain approval to start freelancing.

With that said, there are many that encourage having a side hustle which is great because we all want to make extra money, right?! Given that you’re reading this I’ll venture to guess that you do. 🙂 So, if you’d like to start a side hustle and you work in an industry that is fine with it I thought I’d share some ways to do so – even if you’re busy at your day job.

Start a Side Hustle in Your Free Time

This is a no-brainer, I know, but many believe they can’t start a side hustle because they have little free time. I admit, this can be easier said than done at times and I’ve definitely felt this way myself, especially when I first set up my blog and became an online entrepreneur. However, if you’re wanting to make extra money it is possible to run a successful side gig when you want it bad enough.

This will mean you’ll be dealing with competing interests, so it requires discipline. It can mean waking early in the morning before going to work or staying up late. This does mean sacrifice is required, but starting a side hustle (and one that is hoping to be successful) will require sacrifice.

Look for Professional Organizations to Join

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at the more practical ways of starting a side hustle. Depending on the industry you’re in, there’s likely going to be a number of professional organizations you can join. These can range from leads groups to honest to goodness professional organizations.

This does somewhat fly in the face of managing your time, but these can be great sources of potential clients for your side hustle. Personally speaking, there are a wide number of different organizations in the creative and marketing industry. Many of these individuals are either looking for freelancers to hire things out to or have their own side hustle.

My suggestion is to be purposeful about the ones you do join and don’t pay too much in terms of membership fees. These organizations can be great as you start your hustle and going forward as you continue to meet others.

Look for Things You’re Already Good At

The common theme you’re seeing is that balancing a side hustle while having a day job can be a challenge in regards to time. In light of that, don’t reinvent the wheel with your side gig but look for things you’re already good at and monetize them. These can be as simple as hobbies like photography or making crafts to skills you already have like writing articles, website testing or website design.

The main purpose behind this is you want to be efficient with your time so you can maximize money-making opportunities. One of the worst things you can do is start a side hustle that isn’t efficient because an inefficient side hustle just makes it harder for you to make money and easier to give up.

Take on New Challenges at Work

I thought this was an article about starting a side hustle? It is, but a big key to doing so is looking for opportunities – wherever they may lie. Your employer, assuming they’re aware and ok with you having a side hustle, can be a great source of opportunity. How do you do this? It can be quite simple really; when you’re asked to take on a new project or when you see an opportunity to try something new, take it!

Why would you do this? You would do it because it can potentially allow you to learn more skills that you can turn around and monetize for your side gig in the future. Just make sure you don’t go after your employer’s client after doing so. 😉


What challenge did you face with starting your side hustle while working in a 9-5 job? How do you manage your time to maximize money making opportunities?


Photo courtesy of: Winnifredxoxo

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  1. My biggest issue with side hustling in my previous job was the compliance area of my company. I have to disclose every last dollar I made outside of work, and it was such a pain that it was pretty much not worth the extra compliance hoops you had to jump through. Now that I am my own boss, I am enjoying trying all sorts of side hustles to see else I like to do.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Beer MoneyMy Profile

    • It was the exact same way for me Shannon. I understand why they do it, but everything had to be cleared with them. Even if I was volunteering for an organization I had to clear it. That said, it’s definitely another nice perk of working for yourself…you can do what you want. 🙂
      John recently posted…What Are Your Financial Vices?My Profile

    • Maybe there’s a way you could find something to do for purely cash so that it wouldn’t need to be reported?

      • Unfortunately, there’s no real good way to do that due to the compliance restrictions within the investment industry. You can certainly try, but you risk losing your licenses by doing so and really isn’t worth it. That said, thankfully I don’t have to deal with that any longer now that I work for myself so I can make money any way I want…legally of course. 😉
        John recently posted…What Are Your Financial Vices?My Profile

  2. Keeping your eyes on the end game can be really helpful when starting a side hustle. Knowing that spending your limited free time to earn more money to reach your goals is a better way to think than just concentrating on how tired you are. I’d also tell anyone who has a boss willing to support a side hustle to not take advantage. We once had an employee who was working toward a career in real estate, which I thought was awesome until she started taking calls and doing that work during her job for me!
    Kim recently posted…Are You Making What You’re Worth?My Profile

  3. Great stuff. I think everybody should try to make a little money on the side. However, I don’t think people should dedicate their entire “off” time to make extra money. We should also enjoy life and the people around us. A balance between the two is very healthy.
    Aldo @ MDN recently posted…Where I am now – Part 2My Profile

  4. The challenge i got from starting a side hustle while i was on my day job was the adjustment period where i lose my free time doing anything i want. From watching movies to playing video games or just plain not doing anything. But a side hustle is needed in order to quit my day job and earn substantial money for my parents retirement options. How many side hustles do you have?
    Jeff @Project Ikonz recently posted…Ebay side hustle is awesome and crap at the same timeMy Profile

    • That is definitely a challenge Jeff. There are some things you can multitask with, like working while watching a movie, but not everything is like that. My side hustle turned into a full time gig, but I still do a good bit of freelance writing on the side as well so that’s the bulk of my side gigs.
      John recently posted…Update on Frugal Rules Goals for 2014My Profile

  5. Ironically the most difficult part for me of starting a side hustle while working the “9-to-5” is that I was actually working shifts rather than a standard 9-5. This meant that rather than being able to put aside a short amount of time each day to work on my side hustle, sometimes I’d have to go a week or more “in limbo” without answering emails, posting content etc and hoping all was well.

    Over time I found ways round this such as speaking to my boss about more regular shifts, using my smart phone to monitor my sites and using a part time VA to help with a few tasks.

    The upside of this lifestyle was that at other times, I had LOADS of time available and could really focus on the task in hand an achieve an awful lot each month.
    Richard @ recently posted…How Important Is Backing Up Your Computer? [infographic]My Profile


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