I’ll be honest - managing a side hustle alongside your 9-5 is challenging. When we first started DevoKit, it began as a side hustle. We’d wake up early, commute, go to work, come home, feel exhausted, and then realize we had more work to do. It was draining and left us feeling lacklustre. We quit our full time to jobs to run DevoKit full time, and the risk has paid off. After running DevoKit for a while, we felt we had the time to manage a non-profit on the side… aka another side hustle!
So, should you run your business as a side hustle, or take it on full-time? It’s a difficult question, and truthfully, not one we can answer for you, but check out our pros and cons of both options below.
The benefit of running a side hustle, is that you are unlikely take on debt for your business, and worst case, you have an income to fall back on. Unless you have savings set aside to take the leap into running your business full-time, you will be comforted by the fact that you will always have a paycheque.
As well, your full-time job is a great place to be if they provide eduction opportunities, benefits, and networking tools. While your full-time job may not be your exact passion, most employers are happy to see their employees grow. Find roles or projects within the company that more align with your passion and side hustle so that you can learn on the job and feel more involved in the workplace. You can continue to grow at work, while also exploring your passion. Plus, there ain’t no health and dental in the full-time side hustle!
The cons of the side hustle, are that you are not available to clients at all times, and that can be detrimental. When both Lisen and I were working 9-5, we couldn’t answer calls or have our e-mails open, as that would be inappropriate. Not all business types suit running it on evenings and weekends, and a website development company certainly didn’t align with that schedule at all. We also had difficulty contacting new clients - when were we supposed to do it? When we got home at 7PM? DevoKit remained stagnant due to our inability to acquire new clients and connect with people during regular business hours.
Further, you are understandably exhausted from working all week and then some. You will not be at your peak when managing your side business and you will have less time for yourself and your social life, which can further impact your health. It takes great time management to do both a full-time job and run your passion on the side. You need to attend networking events, wake up for work, and convince yourself to get home and do more work to obtain your goals. It’s not easy to manage, and power to those who do it.
Overall, you need to do what suits you best. If you want to manage a business that is more suited to daytime hours, but can’t risk missing paycheques, then consider night shifts or a bartending job to fill in the income gaps. If you can’t manage the hours of a full-time position with your side job, then start accumulating rainy day funds to support you for a few months if things don’t go as planned and prepare to have to re-enter the workforce if you are not able to succeed. We had both saved to afford rent, groceries and extras for a few months before making this decision. We also had plans about how to re-enter the workforce, how to discuss our failed ventures with potential employers, and at what date we would have to make this decision to apply for jobs. Thankfully, our risk paid off and it did not come to that. It was a scary choice, but we are glad that we did it. Our business could not have grown if we had continued with our 9-5 jobs, and truthfully, we’ve also grown a lot in terms of all we have learned throughout this process. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.