Diary of a Side Hustler: What Not To Do On Your Day Job
by Tanea Smith | Featured Contributor
Oh, dear Winner. You’ve done it. You’ve identified your passion and you’re executing. You’ve got an Etsy shop. Not only are your knitted booties super cute, they’re selling! Those muffins that you bake using your Aunt Phyllis’ recipe from the 60’s? Well, you tweaked the recipe just a touch, because well, gluten and they’re absolutely delish.
Bigger than that? Folks are fawning over them on Instagram like young girls to Beiber before he stopped signing autographs. And your coaching packages? Well, it’s not only your cousin Alicia who’s getting real results from your awesome tutelage, but strangers too. Your Facebook group is growing by leaps and bounds.
I love it! This is exactly what I want for you. You’ve gotten clear on your vision, you’re putting in the work and it’s going mahvelous dahling. The thing is, you’re not yet ready to transition from your day job. You’ve still got a few trees to plant before your garden has bloomed enough for you to make your side hustle your full time gig. You’re still fertilizing it, I get it. Believe me, I get it.
While you’re wielding your oh so stylish shears in a wide brimmed hat straight out of a Baptist church in Birmingham, you’ve got to pump your breaks and think. You must. Here’s why. When you’re running full speed ahead you tend to blur the lines. And if you remember, that’s where Robin thick went wrong. While working a full time gig and also building your hustle on the side, here’s what not to do:
- No slacking: This is difficult, I will grant you that. The fete of serving 2 masters is incredibly hard to pull off. At your day job you’re expected to stay engaged, deliver good work and be a team player. Here’s the other side of that coin. You’ve been working on your side hustle for a while. There have been a few valleys, some days where you thought you should give up. But alas, the sun is starting to come out. You’re beginning to build a following, you’re making some sales and even your critics who never saw the potential are starting to see the value. You’re super excited! Oh but wait, you’re not making enough money to quit your day gig just yet. What do you do? You put on your game face and show up. Denzel Washington once said “I do what I have to do so that I can do what I want to do”. Let that be your mantra from now on.
- No advertising: Once upon a time the side hustle was known as “moonlighting”. If you were working a job or had a business on the side it could be kept under the radar. With the invention of Social Media, it’s next to impossible for anything to be kept a secret. You definitely need to be visible on the social networks for purposes of connecting with potential customers & gaining exposure for your business. Just know that your employer is also keeping a watchful eye on what you’re doing during work hours & after hours. This is precisely the reason that you should keep the two as separate as possible. There’s a scrutiny that will inevitably come with integrating your passion and your day job that you really don’t need. I strongly recommend that you keep your business out of their There are a million people with sweet cravings that will devour your red velvet cheese cake. For now, let the Vice President from your day job get her fix at Sprinkles. Once you resign, send her a dozen of your treats and commence business. Bam!
- Be ambitious: I know. That’s totally contrary to the norm because typically most people are trying to climb the ladder at their jobs but you’ve got to do the opposite. You can spot a climber from a mile away. She’s the type A personality with the perfect manicure, make up fit for the runway and the expertly coiffed hairdo. She’s in before the place opens and willing to pull the gates down at days end. Because, why not! She volunteers for everything including the blood drive, her workspace is neater than The Frick and she thrives on getting gold stars. You? Not that much. Check please! Why? Because you’re not her. You don’t want to be. You can’t be, it’s just not where you are on your journey. You’re getting into the office on time, you’re performing your duties and you’re going home. If your intention is to turn your side hustle into your full time job and I assume that it is, you cannot up level on your day job. There aren’t enough hours in the day to be Ms.Clairol by day, manage your home & family life and build a profitable side hustle. Being a B player at your day job will allow you to stay on your A game as you hustle.
Tanea Smith is the Owner & Creative Director of She’s Got Papers, a lifestyle greeting card & gift company with designs that are as powerful as they are witty and life affirming. But that’s only half the story.
As New York City’s Side Hustle Expert & an Inspirational Business Speaker she teaches women how to launch their own businesses while working full time. The “juggle” as she calls it is not for the faint of heart but Tanea believes that with passion, the right mindset and the proper tools it is possible for every woman to build the business of her dreams. Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.
Her mantra: There is life beyond your current gig!
Tanea has been featured in Essence, More, About.com, American Express Forum & The Wendy Williams Show.
Tanea has spoken at St. John’s University, City College of New York, New York University as well as a host of churches & women’s groups. She has a PhD. in thriving despite the odds. She is an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity.
See her stationery collection at: www.shesgotpapers.com
Take the journey with her & get inspired to begin yours at www.taneasmith.com