I really like my job, but I’m not sure it’s fulfilling me or fueling my passions.

It would be great to have a second income for all the little extras life throws my way.

If the economy plummets, will they even hesitate to lay me off?

I wish I didn’t have to report to anyone and could create my own schedule.

Sound familiar?

All of these were thoughts that used to cross my mind at least three times a day. And of course with ambition, dreams, and motivation, came their cousins: fear, worry, and doubt.

Where do I even begin? Will I be successful? Will people like me? I studied PR…do I really know anything about anything else? Where will I find the time?

More questions, more worry, more doubt.

It wasn’t until I became overwhelmed with my own questions that I decided to put them all behind me. On mute. To be addressed later… or possibly never. I began to question less and do more. Where do I start? Here. What do I do? This. Will I succeed? Yes. Where will I find the time? Goodbye, Netflix binging.

The only thing I didn’t question was whether I’d leave my full-time job because after all, I truly do love what I do. And let’s be real, benefits like a fixed salary, insurance, and a 401K were simply non-negotiable, considering I didn’t have a single dollar in savings (insert mortified emoji) and relied on my salary alone to survive. (In my defense, I recently bought a home which, ironically, is the inspiration behind my side hustle: White This Way Home).  

Wanna join the side hustle club? Here are my top tips for starting your own gig without leaving your full-time job:

Stick to a schedule.

Time is your best friend—but also your biggest enemy, if you don’t set a working schedule and stick to it. Even if your full-time job is flexible, make a commitment to limit distractions while you’re in full-time work mode. This means you try not to look at side hustle-related emails, social media, or comments during full-time work hours. Instead, leave it for nights and weekends. The good news (if your side hustle relies heavily on Instagram) is that there are a number of apps that let you schedule posts ahead of time (I use Plaan).

2. Capture thoughts to revisit.

OK, we’re all human—it’s so easy to daydream about a new project or dwell on your side hustle to do list during your full-time work hours. After all, to-do lists are endless and inspiration can strike out of nowhere. You never know if and when these thoughts and daydreams will come back to you, so it’s important to take a moment to capture the ideas before they float away. Keep these inspirational thoughts in an imaginary bottle (or your phone, in a notebook, or on a sticky note), and rest assured they’ll be there when you have time to revisit them.

3. Find balance.

Feeling drained and overworked can be counterproductive. Don’t forget to build in time for fun, which can actually work in your favor and help refill your energy tank (ever tried driving on a completely empty gas tank? The epitome of counterproductive). Feeling energized and balanced is not only essential to getting things done, but it also gives your mind space for ideas to evolve and grow, even when you’re not actively in brainstorm mode.

4. Give yourself a pep talk.

Sure, you might look like a crazy person talking to yourself, but this really works! You can’t convince others to believe in what you do if you don’t believe in what you do. If those feelings of worry, fear, and self-doubt start to creep in, give them one answer in return: “I can and will do this.” Self talks, motivational quotes, little hand-written reminders, and a 24/7 “I’m a badass” attitude goes a long way. And the beauty of it is that you can pep talk anywhere, even during regular business hours.

This content was originally published here.

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