Why do Side-Hustlers Fear Admitting they Have a Job?

This is a post that's felt very vulnerable to write. I've been worrying that no one else has the same fear as me or what if my fears were justified! But I know I can't let my inner critic and the self doubt hold me back from sharing this because it gives us side-hustlers an opportunity to create an awesome, supportive community (more on that at the bottom of this post).

Looking back, I’ve had a side hustle for the last 7 years. I started with blogging about making and crafts and after a few years of that I set up a home décor business and this year I've moved into what I’m doing now, helping creatives with planning and productivity. 

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I can’t imagine not having a business anymore, even if that has to be as well as having a job. There’s a sort of drive and obsession deep rooted within me to find time to do what I love doing. Does any of that resonate with you? 

Over the years I’ve become more and more confident with putting myself at the forefront of my businesses. But it didn’t start that way.

I started with keeping my side-hustle social media accounts completely separate to my personal ones so that I could post there anonymously. I did this because I didn't want my friends and work colleagues asking me questions about it. But, inevitably they found my instagram profile and started asking questions, intrigued to know what I was working on and full of enthusiasm too.

Me, Josephine Brooks working outside on a late summer day at a table with sketchbook, Mac and a mug of tea

After a while I embraced it and started talking to my colleagues and friends about my side hustle. I’d post about my side-hustle on my own personal social media channels. I started to feel like I could be more open about my side-hustle and it felt like taking off an invisibility cloak. As a result my side hustle grew. 

But on the flip side I wasn’t sharing my side-hustle story with my audience, I wasn't sharing how I juggle my side hustle with a job. At the moment I work part time as a project manager as well as run my own business, but it's still not something I talk about enough with my audience and I want to start sharing more of my side-hustle story.

So, what was that fear of admitting I had a job, where was it coming from? 

Writing a to-do list at a breakfast table with sourdough and a cup of tea

I was worried that people would think my business wasn't legitimate if it was 'just a side-hustle'

I wanted my customers to think I was further ahead in my business journey than I was because I thought this would make my business look more legitimate. I wanted people to think my business was 'successful' enough to be supporting me full time. Subconsciously my fear of  not being taken seriously was holding me back from sharing the whole story of my business with my audience. 

In reality through, when I've shared an insight into how I juggle my work and my business it's often been my most engaging conversations. When I posted on Instagram earlier this year about going part time at work and feeling excited and scared to spend more time on my business, I was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement I had from other people. 

Sharing the full story of my business journey, the fact that I’m still working to pay the bills while I build my business is excactly the kind of thing people can get on board with. It’s another reason for my audience to connect with me. And let’s be real here, it takes time to build a business. It doesn’t happen over night. 

I didn't see how my work was relevant to my side-hustle

I didn't really see how my work and side-hustle could be intertwined. But this couldn't be more obvious now. As a project manager my job is all about organising, planning and time management as well as building relationships with people. All very transferrable skills to my side hustle that I should be shouting about more. 

Do you have any skills in your job that transfer to your side hustle? Could sharing how you use these skills in your job as well as your side hustle add strength to your side-hustle story? 

Working from my garden

I was worrying about what people at work would think

By talking about my work and my side hustle was I getting too big for my boots? What would people at work think about how I juggle the two? 

Thinking about it I’ve never had a negative experience from sharing talking about my work in my side-hustle and also neither have I had a bad experience about talking about my side hustle at work. My colleagues ask how it's going and tell me they love my blog posts, some have even become customers.

In a one-to-one meeting with my boss I talked about my side hustle and floated the idea of going part time in the future. The seed was planted. 6 months later I saw the opportunity to make it happen and put together a case for going part time as I moved into a new project. It got signed off and now this stepping stone of going part time can become part of my business story to share with my audience and although I've been working part time for a few months now I'm going to start making it a bigger part of my side-hustle story.  

Are you a side-hustler who's feeling the fear of admitting you have a job? (Please say it's not just me)! It’s not easy juggling a job and a business, so I wanted to bring us side-hustlers together, hold a side-hustlers amnesty, if you will.

So I've created the hashtag #mysidehustlestory

This is a safe space to 'come out' and start sharing your side-hustle story, job and all. Use it on Instagram and Twitter when you're sharing stories about how you juggle your job and a side-hustle. If click follow on the hashtag as well we can all support each other on our side-hustle journeys. I can't wait to connect with you!

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