The Part-Time Entrepreneur (Part 3 of 4)

It is common for people to work multiple jobs and for a variety of reasons. This series focuses on entrepreneurial part-time jobs, and is designed to help those of you who already have a side hustle, as well as those of you looking to get started!

This installment considers some of the pitfalls of being a part-time entrepreneur and how to avoid them!

Set Reasonable Expectations

You’ve chosen what you want to do, and you’re excited to get started! You have a good plan and you are prepared to put in the work to make some extra income! Be cautious, though, as it is easy to overestimate growth and profit and underestimate time and effort. Don’t let yourself fall prey to disappointment just because you weren’t realistic. Set some reasonable goals for yourself, and use to mark progress and keep up with where you’re at. Let the small victories give you the motivation to keep going!

What kind of resources do you need to get started?

A new venture typically involves an investment of some kind, and it best to be aware of what that is before making your decision to pursue the opportunity. Is there a financial commitment to purchase inventory or materials? Let’s say you decide on that Uber job; do you have a reliable vehicle? Maybe you want to start your own business or run your own Society6 or Etsy shop. Is there knowledge or a skill that you need to learn? What about licenses, permits or tax forms? Having a side income can be a little trickier than some people think. Make sure you do your homework!

Watch out for Tax Season!

Working as an entrepreneur means either having a solid understanding of the tax system or at least being able to prepare for having someone else understand it! Working for an established company means they will probably provide good documentation come tax season. If you are managing your own business or acting as a freelancer/contractor, do enough research to know whether you should be charging taxes on your goods/services. If there are taxes involved, you may need to file with a local or state government entity on a monthly or quarterly basis. Don’t let yourself get into a sticky situation. Take the time to know enough to protect yourself from major errors, and if you don’t feel comfortable, make the invest to have someone go over your situation and explain it to you.

Be Conscientious of your Full-Time Job

Especially as you’re getting started, it can be easy to let your entrepreneurial brain take over most of your waking hours. Keep in mind that as a part-time entrepreneur, you still have a responsibility to your full-time employer during their business hours. If you absolutely must complete a task during your work day, make sure you are on a lunch break and not using your employer’s resources.

Remember that Part-Time means Part-Time

If you sit down and look at your free hours in a week, it can be easy to over-commit to a secondary job. Don’t just assume that you have your 40-hour work week and the rest is available to you. Factor in time with friends and family, going to the gym, weekly religious gatherings, meeting for Happy Hour on Thursdays, etc. Give yourself those hours and minutes so that you aren’t burnt out by the additional job. Also, you guessed it, think back to your motivation! Even if more money was your goal, remember that a little balance now will more than likely allow you to earn more in the long run.

What other challenges have you faced as a part-time entrepreneur? How have you worked to overcome them?

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