There comes a time in life when you decide that your paycheck from the 9-to-5 just isn’t acceptable on its own. You know the drill. Payday comes, the direct-deposit shows-up in your bank account, the auto-payments of your ebills go out, and you’re sick with what’s left.
On one-hand you’re grateful that you have a job that pays the bills. But on the other hand you want to ball-out and buy an all gold macbook 1,or just plain be able to grocery shop at Whole Foods without a title loan.
So outside of moonlighting with a 2nd job, you do what many folks do.
Side-hustle [sahyd huhs-uhl] verb, noun.
a product or service provided for profit in effort to supplement your primary source of income, thus allowing you to finally replace your college furniture
Your side-hustle could consist of a computer-dependent skill or not and could be based on one or more of a variety of things that you have a specialty in.
A few example side-hustles (computer-dependent):
- Writing – You’re a good writer, there’s high demand for those
- Data entry – brainless work such as recording data from eBay into a spreadsheet
- Typist – retyping a letter that was handwritten and scanned to an image
- Coaching – you’ve succeeded at something that others want to also
- Product research – finding all the information you can about how Cheerios are made
- Data analysis – creating formulas in a spreadsheet so that sales stats can be digested
- Web development – developing a self-hosted wordpress blog for a small company
- Consulting – you’ve got a gang of knowledge on a topic that folks would pay you for
If none of the above examples sounds like a skill of yours, you can peruse Fiverr and oDesk to see what gigs are being performed on a daily basis by the freelancers of the world. You’re bound to find a handfull of services that you’d be confident in offering yourself.
Your side-hustle could be non computer-dependent but any of the above tasks may need to be performed within your own business. For example, if you have a real estate business you may need to develop some spreadsheets for your own use, develop your own blog, research your market, and etcetera. Therefore, even when you’re stuck at work, you could always be getting something done.
We’ll focus on the computer-dependent tasks which is your side-hustle – or could be for your side-hustle while you’re at work, as otherwise they wouldn’t be applicable. Unless you can run a daycare out of your cubicle. Nah mean
#1 Always ask for deadlines.
Whenever you are assigned a special project or task, get a deadline out of your boss. Don’t let a task get assigned to you with the deadline of, “I need this done as soon as possible”. Deadlines are normally easiest to obtain when you have multiple projects assigned to you at once.
Once you have a due-date/time for your tasks. Get them done as soon as possible.
Then don’t submit your projects until the deadline.
Let’s face it. I don’t care how difficult you like to think your job is, once you’ve been doing it for at least a year it can be done with your eyes closed. I can recall days where I finished a project in 4 hours that I was given 2 days to complete. All of that free-time was then spent working for myself.
Did I feel guilty for that? Did I consider that unethical?
I encourage you to still deliver high-quality work. It’s just that if you’re not paid per project, not on commission, and are salaried, it makes little sense for you to work anymore than you have to. Trust that your company is paying you the least amount they can. You should keep this in mind daily. Therefore, you may not (as I didn’t) have a problem with only working just as hard as you have to. If you’re not aiming to get promoted, don’t jump at extra projects, keep your work-load and quality consistent.
Usain Bolt smashed the 100m mens track and field record at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. 80 meters-in, dude was celebrating. My point is that he ran a 9.69 time. Some speculate that he could’ve run a 9.60 or faster. But he only ran as fast as necessary to win.
#2 Don’t let your co-workers/boss know
Bitches be hatin’. Stay as stealth as you can about what it is you do outside of work for extra cheese (while at work). You’d be surprised how quickly some of your co-workers might start hating on you, most times for no good reason at all. Even your boss.
I don’t really understand why people do this. But I will say that many people have a natural tendency to dislike the strides a peer of theirs is making towards something positive. Good ole’ fashioned crabs in a bucket, I guess.
- Have you successfully dropped some weight?
Someone who watched it happen, is jealous as fuck.
- Did you recently get married?
One of your bridesmaids secretly hates your life, because they’re still single.
- So the side-hustle is doing well?
That underachieving co-worker of yours will just plain not like you. You’ll remind them of success.
#3 Don’t let your boss really get to know you
If your employer feels like they know everything about you, this can truly backfire against you. Let me paint this picture.
Let’s say that you’re an aspiring House DJ and you spin every Sunday night at various bars and clubs around town just to build your skills and get exposure. You love to DJ and everytime you have a set, it’s the party of your life. Each occasion involves tequila super-soakers, glitter, and unicorns. So needless to say, you have a “case of the Mondays”, weekly.
Every Tuesday, you have a TPS report to submit.
If your boss knows of your Sunday night festivities, then he/she might just have a negative-bias when reviewing your work. And the truth is, you had that report done early on the Friday prior (refer back to tip #1) but they didn’t know that.
So what happens? You get pulled aside and notified that your work is suffering and that you need to pick-up the slack. And at the end of that meeting, your boss mentions that you should think about taking it easy on Sunday nights from now on.
The report submitted would’ve been perceived as just fine, had your Sundays not been considered. You can regard the knowledge that your boss has of your extracurriculars a placebo-effect of sorts. In other words, some straight-up bullshit.
What this all means is, now you’re basically on a pre-probation and you can’t even think about side-hustle work on the job. The feds are watching.
#4 Call-in sick strategically
If your employer does not award you with the cash-value of your sick days and doesn’t allow them to roll-over on a yearly basis, you should take advantage.
If you don’t, it’s like leaving cash on the table. And besides that, using sick days strategically will allow you to go on necessary appointments and run business related errands that couldn’t otherwise be handled during your office hours.
First off, don’t get sick. This only works if you don’t have a need for sick days.
Take care of yourself by drinking plenty of water. Aim for one gallon daily. Also stick to a clean diet with proper portion sizes and minimize the fast-food /processed-food intake to once per week. Exercise 3 times a week minimum and quit smoking.
Wash your DAMN hands.
The 5 most common ways that germs are spread all involve the hands 2. Everytime I see someone in a public restroom walking right past the sinks to the door, I want to hire a second-line parade to follow them for the remander of their day.
My personal rule is that if my hands are dirty, they go nowhere near my face. Don’t touch your nose, rub your eye, bite your nails, rub your ear, none of that. And I can honestly say that by following these rules, I’ve only been sick (non alcohol induced) once in the last 10 years.
All you’ve got is your balls and your word.
Nobody likes a liar. So if you’re not ill, I wouldn’t suggest calling-in stating that you are. You’re grown and can do whatever you want, of course. But what may be deemed an illness is subjective. Thus, the grey area to be exploited. However, so that I personally felt better about not lying, I used to just say that “I’m not feeling the best”. Which I never was. I always felt best when away from the gig.
What days of the week to do this?
Stay away from Friday and Monday. Any and everybody knows of that one co-worker who seems to typically be “sick” on a Friday. People know what time it is. That’s an obvious ploy to manufacture a 3-day weekend. If your boss isn’t dumb-as-rocks, this isn’t going to fly unless you truly are ill. So choose from Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and don’t do so more than once a month. I’d say more like every 6 weeks will keep you under the radar.
#5 Use Google Reader
Some companies are more tolerant than others when it comes to time spent surfing the web on sites non-related to work. If you have a collection of sites (they’d better not be gossip blogs) that you regularly read that put out content frequently, then I’d suggest using an RSS reader such as Google reader. With Google Reader, you’ll have all of the recently published content of your industry sites all in once place.
You’ll be able to read your updates in a shorter amount of time and to those who peer over your shoulder will see only the black text on a white background that Google Reader displays. No obvious cues that you’re reading a blog.
#6 Get a Google Voice number
Google Voice has got to be one of the best services that Google has. It allows you to obtain a designated phone number of your area code of choice and forward it to any phone of yours you wish. You can even forward your Google Voice number to multiple phones.
The best part is that Google voice has it’s own voicemail that you can utilize which has a transcription feature in addition to the text message feature. This comes in handy when at the gig and business calls are coming through. When messages are left, you can read what was said in the voicemail thus bypassing the need to play it out loud. And text messages sent to your number can be replied to on your computer.
All of this communication can happen while leaving your iPhone in your pocket. Don’t look so good to have your phone in your hands, sending a text, while your boss walks-in…right
Are you supposed to be working on your own business while at work?
Are you supposed to be on Facebook and YouTube, as much as you are, while at work?
Probably not, but you do it.
You might just be reading this from your desk at work right now. I’m not saying don’t read this.
But what I am saying is, if you’re going to bend a rule or two on the job, make sure it’s for something with a high-return.
Your side-hustle can turn into your main hustle with the right amount of effort. But you’ve gotta stop wasting your spare moments on Pinterest. The average employee only works for 4:42 hours per day3, while the rest of their time is spent on social media, chilling-out, and other forms of slacking off. This gives you at least 2-hours (not including lunch-hour) per workday that you can spend on your business.
When you work an 8 hour day, sleep 8 hours per night, you are left only with a discretionary 8 hours of time per day (outside of weekends). And between eating dinner, hitting the gym, running errands, and spending time with your family, you will have only the shortest moments to work on your side-hustle with what’s left of that spare 8 hours.
There comes a time in life when you’ve gotta do what it takes to improve your situation, be it Grey Hat or otherwise. Human beings can’t manufacture time (yet), so in the meantime it’s your most valuable asset. Have something to show for it. Maximize every spare moment you have, regardless of location.
All of the tips mentioned here are to be utilized at your own risk. Don’t look at me if you get that ass fired.