I’ve had a side hustle since I was 8 years old. Yes, 8.
I have the faintest memory of schlepping around handwritten magazines that I created in elementary school on the playground, each costing a pretty 5 cents each. I sold a few until word got out and I was quickly reprimanded by a teacher.
WHAT?! I was just exploring my entrepreneurial desires, c’mon.
Ever since then I’ve had several creative outlets that have served as platforms for businesses, including photography and writing - and now social media, branding and design - all while holding down a 9-to-5.
If you’re anything like me, the urge to create, innovate and do the dang entrepreneurial thing all day long is real. If if you’re also like me, the need to hold onto your full-time job right now is just as much of a reality.
So what gives?
I’ve pushed myself to be more entrepreneurial in and out of the office lately, and it’s been an incredibly eye-opening and fulfilling experience. If you’re yearning to take more control of your full-time and side hustle careers, keep reading for a few of my personal learnings on how to be entrepreneurial in your 9-to-5.
Throw out your bulleted list of “job duties.”
I’ve never been a fan of job descriptions. To me, they’re boring and are rarely ever characteristic of the actual job at hand. Looking at my current full-time job description, it would look something like this:
- Owns strategy, management and execution of all influencer marketing efforts
- Responds to all inbound social media comments
- Manages organic and paid content strategy for Instagram
Snore. What do these things really mean, and how can you take them above and beyond?
When I started my current job, our influencer marketing efforts were at a standstill and it was my job to get them back up and running - and fast. I had no idea where to start, and I didn’t even know who our ideal influencers were. I delved into Instagram and quickly discovered that a lot of influencers were already talking about the brand that I work for organically - so why not reach out to them, thank them for their praise and bring them on as paid partners in a campaign? I did exactly that, and influencer impressions and positive brand sentiment has been on the rise ever since. I’ve even been able to jump-start the first ambassador-type program that my company has ever had, all thanks to taking the leap into the unknown and discovering our brand advocates.
Case in point: your job description isn’t going to be a roadmap to success. Sometimes, you have to just wing it, try different things out and see what sticks. Take a boss mindset whenever you’re assigned a new project or initiative, and you’re sure to excel.
Welcome challenges as an opportunity to flex your entrepreneurial muscles.
Confession: I don’t like conflicts. Whether it’s disagreeing with a team member on a project or having to send revisions to a vendor, I cringe at the fact that we all just can’t get along all the time. However, with every professional challenge I’ve faced, important lessons and solutions have been discovered in the process.
In my last job, I helped with the marketing efforts for a gorgeous boutique hotel. We frequently comped hosted stays for media personalities and bloggers, but it was challenging to measure the ROI of these stays. Even moreso - how can you ensure that a blogger has a great enough time with you to talk about it?
With that in mind I reworked the program to include an informational welcome packet and list of preferred deliverables so that it was a win-win situation for the hotel and media. Ever since, I’ve welcomed challenges and love to problem-solve at the benefit of my workplace.
Contribute your side-hustle skills to your full-time work.
This is the biggest, most important one for me. You already know that you have the mind of an entrepreneur - so why are you hiding your amazing talents from your workplace?
When I first began my current role, I shied away from sharing the fact that I managed a successful blog and freelance business outside of work. I thought that if my mind wasn’t 100% into my full-time work, that my boss wouldn’t think that I was committed to the job.
I offhandedly mentioned to my boss one day that I enjoyed design and branding outside of work, and was then able to leverage those skills within my full-time job to begin designing assets for my company to use on social media! Now, I’m not only helping my team with content, but I’m also adding to my side hustle skill set at the same time. I feel happy in control of my career knowing that I’m more than just a list of predetermined, bulleted job duties - and you are, too.