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The Hustle - How to run a business / brand while working a day job

An Organised Life, How to... · September 21, 2016

As some of you may know, (until recently) I was working a full time job while running An Organised Life. I'm not going to lie - it was rare that I ever got 8 hours sleep (ever), but all the hustle has been worth it and I am now part time working Tue / Thur on An Organised Life (+evenings & weekend), and Mon /Wed / Fri at my role with leading Australian Fashion Designers - Bec & Bridge.

(Did I mention how much I love those two girls?! Endless support and the most hard-working, down to earth duo)

Ok so here is my advice on how to run a business or brand while working a day job.... I hope this helps

1. Commit to your idea

If you don't believe in your idea, no one else will. Follow your gut & take the time to really nut out what you want your brand or business to be, how you want it to look and what your core values are. Know your idea inside out and put the time in the evenings & weekends to really feel confident about it. 

2. Know your strengths & weaknesses

When you have a limited amount of time each week to work on your business / brand its important to identify your strengths & weakness. Sometimes putting in hours on something you really struggle with is realistically a complete waste of time.

For me I really struggled (in fact sucked) when it came to accounts for my business. I used to spend hours trying to do lots of spreadsheets, & invoicing etc only to work out I had done it all wrong. I realised this early that I was better to invest a little bit of money into Xero & someone to handle this side of my business. My time & effort was better used on my strengths - design, marketing/sales, production & the social media side. Although I wasn't paying myself - it was worth it to pay for an accountant from my day job wage. Everyone's different but all I can say is knowing your strengths & weakness can save you a lot of time - when you don't have a lot of it! 

PS make the most of your friends & family connections where possible. Sometimes they can help you out for a cooked dinner or a discounted rate when you are first starting out. 

3. Set Yourself Goals

When you work full time & are growing a brand or business, its important to set aside goals for you to achieve that are inspiring yet realistic. There are only so many hours in the day, so think wisely about what you want to focus on and prioritise reaching this goal over & above all. What will help take you business to the next level?

It can be long term, short term & weekly goals - there are no rules. For me when I first started it was growing my brand & pushing my product out there while learning about business, production & dispatch. During the next year it was growing my social media & wholesale business (& everything that goes along with it), and now i am concentrating on growing my product line, sales & finding new opportunities. Obviously these goals are very broad, but within them I made clear milestones I wanted to tick along the way. There are so many more things I want to do with An Organised Life but prioritising is key.

4. Get organised & make the most of your time 

Over the last few years I can probably count on one hand how many days I have had completely 'work-free' (my friends hate me sometimes!). But... I made the choice to start An Organised Life on my own with no financial backing or investors and this has definitely meant I have had to be much more organised in order to grow my business. It's also meant I've had to really knuckle down and give up my evenings and weekends to allow myself more 'hours'. Although it's only short term.

Create a working routine that is right for you. I work the best during the day so in the weekends I allow myself a coffee date or breakfast with my man or the girls then I head home to put in a good 8+ hours of work. These long periods of time really allow you to focus on your business & bigger projects. After that I'm free to catch up for dinner/drinks or a relaxing movie night on the couch - Guilt free!

During the week, I get up early and check my emails while I'm having breakfast & coffee. If you catch public transport - utilise this time. You can get so much done in an hour when your organised and hustle. 

I also make good use of time during my lunch breaks. Catching up on urgent emails, planning shoots, making business calls, brainstorming ideas for products or launches etc. Find a little quiet space near your office and work-away. Just make sure your conscious of time. 

You can definitely still have a life when you run your own business in the evenings & weekends - you just have to be organised and make the most of your time. 

5. Prioritise - its that simple!

It may sound simple but learning how to prioritise will make you much more productive with your time. Before you go to bed every evening, dedicate 15 minutes to planning your day. Before work, your lunch break, after work or your day during the weekend. If you know what you want to achieve with your time you will be able to kick those goals and move onto the next one - growing your business step by step.

Tip: Avoid procrastination & wasting time at all costs. 

6. Learn on the go

I am constantly inspired by friends, Bec & Bridge and other businesses. Never get too big for your boots & always stay open minded. There is a lot to learn when your running a business (especially when your doing it in the evenings & weekends) so make the most of learning from knowledgable people who have already done this themselves. Look at how their businesses run, listen to their advice & be inspired.

7. Work hard & strive for excellence in Everything you do

I don't think it's a bad thing to have high standards when it comes to growing & running your own business or brand. Strive for excellence in everything you do, work hard, follow your gut, learn and make smart decisions. Nothings impossible when you have a good mindset. 

And.....

No matter how tired, or stressed you are during the 'hustle' stages of running & growing your business, always remember to be realistic and take the time to celebrate your success's along the way & relax when your body is telling you to. Don't let yourself feel defeated or deflated. The hustle years are the hardest, but they are also the most amazing & rewarding. 

It's crazy how much you can achieve in a year when your passionate, motivated, hard-working, and willing to learn. It's worth the risk & lack of sleep! Trust me and good luck x

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