Set yourself up for side-hustle bliss. Your day job doesn’t have to be just meh!

For most of us, a day job is a fact of our entrepreneurial lives, even if it’s just for a short time as we get started with our businesses. In some cases, a day job would make things easier (Hello, steady paychecks! Hello, benefits!), but we all know how complicated things can get.

When it comes to balancing your day job with your entrepreneurial dream job, many of us feel like we’re walking a tightrope.

Here are a couple of ways to make sure you stay in balance.

Re-Frame Your Outlook

While it’s true that your day job may not be as fulfilling as running your own business, your day job can still be a rewarding part of your life. Just remember: You get what you give. If you respect your day job and show up ready to give your best work, then your experience there will likely be more positive than if you already have one foot out the door.

Set Office Hours for Both Jobs

While it can be incredibly tempting to sneak in a little bit of dream-job work while you’re at your day job, try to resist the urge. Do yourself and your fellow employees the courtesy of your full attention while you’re on the clock. Likewise, don’t forget that your dream job deserves dedicated hours, too (whenever they may be). So, if you’ve blocked out some time to develop your business, don’t distract yourself with work from your day job.

Forget the Square-Peg-Round-Hole Thing

Don’t expect your day job to fulfill you in the same way that your dream job fulfills you. Your day job probably won’t satisfy you in the same way that running your own business does — and that’s okay! Your day job and your dream job are both important, just for different reasons. Your day job gives you steady benefits and hours, even if it may not fill up your entrepreneurial cup. As for your dream job, it may not be as profitable as your day job (yet!), but you can still love it for giving you an outlet for your other passions.

Make Friends at Both Jobs

At your day job, it’s usually pretty easy to make friends. After all, you’re surrounded by co-workers, so it’s simple to find someone to chat with during the day. But as an entrepreneur, you should also have some friends you can connect with during good AND bad times. Don’t expect your day job friends to understand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. Meeting other business owners will help you keep your sanity, and you’ll be well on the way to contentment at both jobs.

Know When It’s Time to Call It Quits

Be honest with yourself about when it’s time to say goodbye — to your day job OR your dream job. Many of us fantasize about working full time at our own business, but don’t forget to consider another scenario: You may come to a point when you’d rather focus on your day job and set aside your business. That’s okay! You’re still an entrepreneur. Just because you’ve moved on from one venture doesn’t mean that you can’t later funnel your passion into another business.

Whether you’re planning to stay in your day job for the long haul or you’re working toward your graceful exit, you owe it to yourself to feel more than just “meh” about your day job.

The good news is, you can set yourself up for side-hustle bliss with just a few changes in your perspective.


What are some ways that YOU have managed your day job / dream job balance?

About Emily D. Tisdale, Founder & CEO

Meet the brains — and heart — behind LEAP for Women. Emily is LEAP’s guiding force, committed to supporting women entrepreneurs at every stage in their journey.

She loves LEAP because:

We’re an authentic resource for women who want the nitty-gritty details of running a business. I want everyone to have the same amazing resources I had.

A resident of Indiana, Emily prides herself on being a transplanted Hoosier and enjoys watching Colts football and spending time with her husband and their two children.

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