Pink coat (loving this Kate Spade version) | Adam & Eve dress (similar here and here) | Zara bag (similar here) | Nude heels (love these too) | Ray-Ban sunglasses | Michael Kors watch (latest version here)
The art of the side hustle is actually no art at all. It’s a science. It requires a formula and a constant recalculation of time and statistics. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a full-time attorney. What you are currently reading is my side hustle. I started my blog back in 2011 when I was a law student at the University of Johannesburg. I went on to complete my law degree and started a master’s degree in international law and blogging in between lectures and exams. At that stage, I didn’t really have any idea where the blog was going or what its potential was. Back then I was simply enjoying the fact that I had discovered a creative outlet I could enjoy as a break from my textbooks. During my master’s degree, my blog began to receive notice. I remember the shock when I first received an email from a large South African fashion chain to participate in a campaign to promote their new range. I thought that the email must have come through to me by mistake. Since then, however, I have had the opportunity of working with incredible brands and wonderful people across the country who have all sought me out because of the time and energy I’ve sunk into this little corner of the internet. Somehow, what started as a break between studying chapters of criminal law, has developed into a girl’s one-stop shop for all things fashion, beauty and travel related. After spending
hundreds thousands of hours looking up photography settings, Photoshop tutorials and occasionally (still unsuccessfully) HTML code, I’ve managed to build a small business. Any time spent on this blog happens either before 6 am or after 7 pm during the week after a full day of work reviewing legal documents and pretty much the entirety of my weekend. This time is spent making sure that I’ve correctly linked items shown in a blog post, taking pictures of my latest favourite beauty products, replying to emails and editing, editing, editing.
If anything, this little blog has taught me the value of mastering the art of the side hustle. It can be completely overwhelming dealing with a demanding job and then coming home to catch up on all the demands that Arum Lilea has faced throughout the day but I know I am not alone in this. I always look to my mom with such respect because she ran an accounting practice, another large business and was a competitive sportswoman in between juggling our ballet competitions and piano festivals. The juggling act is definitely real. Here are a few things I’ve learnt along my side hustle journey:
Time is everything
In order to be efficient at your full-time job and side hustle while still maintaining your fitness routine, making dinner and spending time with friends and family, you need to optimise your schedule. Time certainly is everything. At one point where I thought I was losing my mind, I grabbed an A1 piece of paper and plotted out how much time I needed for every task I had to attend to. This is a really handy tip because once you have written out every task and the time you need in order to complete it, you’re able to step back and take a good look at where you need to prioritise your time and, for smaller tasks, where you will be able to slot these in during a tea break or your walk to the car. Waking up early is essential for a side hustle. The hours you can utilise before the rest of the world rises is really the time I use to maximise my head-start on the tasks of the day.
When you have a full-time job and a side hustle, it’s very easy for things to slip through the cracks. When you have so much to work through, it’s easy to forget things. When I start feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I write lists. I cannot survive without lists. I write out my tasks for the day/week and then I start working my way through them. There is great satisfaction in scratching off something on your list. It brings with it a sense of accomplishment but it also ensures you don’t miss anything important as an oversight.
This is a must for me. Every meeting, gym class, dinner with family, blog post or work I need to do in an evening is recorded on my Google Calendar. This way I can pull up the month ahead and see where I need to make adjustments to my time allocation to compensate for social functions, etc. To go one step further, Ryan and I have joined our Google Calendars so we can see where our schedules overlap and we can keep on top of who is doing what. Ryan is about to finish up at med school and also has a side hustle of his own (pro-league basketball) so between the two of us, our schedule can get quite crazy.
Know when to delegate
This has been my most recent revelation and I’m almost kicking myself for not having had this realisation earlier. It would have saved me so much time. I have always been the type of person that wants to do things myself. I do my hair, nails, tan, etc myself. I decided I would learn everything about photography, Photoshop, web design, Adobe Premiere Pro, social media marketing, etc. Who was I kidding? I studied law. I don’t know this stuff! So with that in mind, you can only imagine how much time I was allocating to learn the basics of all of these and then implementing my very basic knowledge. I am now acutely aware of my strengths and weaknesses. Rather than perfecting my weaknesses, I’ve decided to allocate those tasks to people who are trained in those skills and use this to my advantage. By doing so, I can focus on what I am good at. Delegating is something that us “control freaks” definitely struggle with but knowing when to delegate and to whom those tasks should be allocated is a really important lesson.
I don’t really know life outside of mastering the art of the side hustle because I’ve been doing it for so long. I don’t believe that I am a pro at it just yet. The lessons I have learnt, however, have been important in dividing my time and ensuring that I don’t stretch myself too thin. I am doing what I love. I’m an attorney during the day, dissecting legal principles and solving conundrums. By night (and early morning) my creative juices flow and I aim to inspire. I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way. I hope that this post has given you valuable tips on how best to master the art of the side hustle. If you have any tips to add to this post, please do share them with me. I’d also love to know what your side hustle is, so please leave me a comment down below letting me know what you do on the side.