Kids, work, social activities, housework…
We know how hard it can be for mums trying to build their side hustle. With so many mums side hustling on their event businesses, we thought it would only be fitting to share what is working for others. So we spoke to some super-busy mums to find out their best tips. You’ll see a few of these tips repeated. And there’s a reason for that– they work! Read on, and don’t forget to let us know if you found this helping by shooting us a DM over on Instagram.
Leonie Akhidenor is a mum of two kids aged 2 and 3. She also works as a property developer and is the founder of Parenthood Podcast.
- Waking up earlier to fit in some work – “I wake up super early, at 5.15 am”
- Working when the kids are napping – “On weekends when my kids nap rather than resting or cleaning, I will allocate time then to work on my side hustle”.
- Be organised and passionate – “I am super organised (I think you have to be) and super passionate about the podcast, which is imperative otherwise, it would just not feel worth it.”
Maika Schumann is a mum of two and also runs her side-hustle Mumma’s Beans Coffee, an organic low caffeine/decaf coffee for pregnant and breastfeeding mums.
- Make calls during screen time– “I try to align screen time with important business calls or a slot of uninterrupted focus time.”
- Turn easy work tasks into a game– “When I pack orders, I try to involve my 3-year-old by setting up a little workstation for him. He ‘helps’ me sticker bags, weigh the bags, put coffee into satchels, sticker the label and logo on the packaging, etc. For loyal customers, I also let him draw on the thank you cards or packaging. I might put a note saying: ‘Stickered by Max’, or ‘Original artwork by Max’ and my customers love it. It might take a little longer, but I love watching how much he enjoys being involved and contributing.
For photos and videos, I involve my older daughter. She loves playing with the camera, trying different angles, taking photos and videos, and editing them. Again, it’s not so much about how much beautiful content she can create, but her joy of contributing to something that’s important to mum, and that feels really special. And I found my audience prefers ‘imperfect’ content more than the perfect shots anyway.”
- Early mornings and working after bedtime – “I sometimes respond to emails, etc. once the kids are in bed, but if I have bigger chunks of work to do I prefer getting up early and smashing it out in the morning while the house is still quiet.”
Claire Burt is a mum who is also the founder of coaching business My Inspired Lifestyle Project
- Seek support from like minded individuals – “Making sure I have an inner circle of like-minded women who share my values which motivate and hold me accountable.”
- Finding and working during peak performance hours – “I have recently found that structuring my day and finding my “peak performance hours” have helped me do the work I need to do in the hours where I am most productive”.
- Be excited by what you do – “I also find that I need to be excited by the side hustle (whether I was growing my coaching business or MLM). If it didn’t excite me – the work I was producing was reflective of the attitude I had”.
- Self care habits – “(I have) 5 non-negotiable habits that I complete each day; morning intention setting, evening reflection, working out, walking and meditations”.
Jane McKay, is a mum and founder of marketing agency Jane McKay Communications
- Let go of the guilt – “One of the biggest things for me is letting go of the guilt. Don’t feel guilty about the kids when you’re working and don’t feel guilty about the work you need to do when you’re with the kids or everything will make you feel bad! Easier said than done, I know. Try to be present for the task you are doing in that moment which is definitely easier said than done. Time efficiency has become my best friend and not trying to multi-task!”
Kate Taylor is a mum of two, aged 2 and 6 months. She is also the owner and founder of Calvi.Co and working as a government lawyer.
- Enlist help where possible and delegate – “When I started Calvi.Co I was working as a lawyer, caring for my one-year-old and expecting my second child. I knew that it was going to be the ultimate juggling act so I made sure I had appropriate supports in place before I jumped in. I am lucky to have exceptionally supportive family and friends nearby who are always willing to take my kids for a cuddle while I answer emails, take work calls or simply jump in the shower! Never underestimate the power of delegation.”
- A comprehensive to do list – “I also maintain a comprehensive to do list on my phone. It might sound simple but it’s a saviour when you’re at the supermarket and need to remind yourself whether you’re running low on toothpaste or when you’ve opened a work email while you are feeding a baby in the middle of the night and know that you’ll have forgotten about it by the morning. It only takes a few seconds to jot down anything you might need a reminder about and it will save you a tonne of time in the long run.
Rachel Preston Broughton started her side hustle, Baby + Mumma Gift Hampers during Covid lockdowns. She is a teacher and a mum of two small children.
- Separate mum time and work time – “I allocate time each week for my side hustle tasks, and allocate separate time for family/mum time. I am careful to keep the two separate as much as I possibly can. This means I can fully be present with my children, and I complete my side hustle tasks at allocated times, such as when they are in bed, while my husband looks after them, or at busy times I have other family minding them. This way I’m not trying to do side hustle work while also caring for the children.”
- Calendars – ‘I use a calendar and map out all the tasks I need to do each week and month, and ensure I stick to them. Every time a new task comes up, I put it on the calendar and allocate a specific time to do it. This way I know every task that needs to be done and when I will do it.”
- To do lists and goal lists – “I love being organised and keep everything on a to do list that needs to be done, and I have a goals list for longer term visions that I work on over a number of months.”
- Accept imperfection – ”Sometimes things aren’t perfect. Sometimes the children get sick and can’t go to daycare, or sometimes my husband works away and can’t look after the kids. Sometimes things go wrong and I need to fix something right away. Sometimes there are days when the kids spend more time watching TV than usual. These things happen, and we need to be kind to ourselves and know that every day isn’t like this.”
- Outsource – “This could mean hiring a virtual assistant to do some tasks, outsourcing some house work so you have time to work on your side hustle or be with your children, or perhaps outsourcing some elements of the business. I have a cleaner and a marketing agency that I outsource jobs to that I can’t find time to do myself”.
- Invest in yourself – A successful side hustle needs to have time and money invested into it. I have never been afraid to invest into advertising, web
design, products and marketing as these are necessary to run a business.
Claire Cunliffe, is a full-time working mum of three with a side hustle– a monthly pre-loved clothes market Glad Rags Markets
- Social media planning – “I plan my social media posts one month in advance, while there is software available to do this I find drafting the posts in Instagram (which I then share across Facebook) allows me the same functionality to ensure a consistent aesthetic and by having to post the images manually I’m then online to engage and be more responsive with my community rather than set and forget. I also research national days/ events which I can hook into if I’m struggling with content ideas.”
- Checklists – A checklist is the most valuable tool I have for market days. It allows me to ensure I don’t forget any essential items and helps keep me on task for everything that needs to be done for the set up and breakdown of the event.
- Take advantage of bedtime –”I mainly run my business in the evenings once all the kids are in bed, checking emails, drafting newsletters etc – I really enjoy it so it doesn’t feel too much like work and it also stops me from spending too much time scrolling through social media.”
Ash is a mum of 2 kids under six. She is a social media manager and owner of The Social Serotonin
- Outsource as much as possible – be it cooking (hello meal services!) cleaning, childcare, the ironing; outsource what you can and what you can feasibly afford
- Timeblock – when you do have time to work on your side hustle, make it worth it! Don’t spend that precious childfree time aimlessly scrolling social media or replying to random emails or mucking about on Canva; spend the first 5 minutes planning your time, and use it wisely. I like to time block – one hour on Task A, one hour on Task B, and so on.
- Invest in a slow cooker – it’ll save you SO much time and money, and helps you with the dreaded “what’s for dinner?” panic at 4:45pm each day.
- Create systems – And ones that work for you! Maybe you use project planning software? Or a scheduling tool? Or automations in Xero? Find what works for you.
- Later nights and early mornings – Some days, we just have to burn the candle at both ends – working early and late – just don’t make this a regular thing that’s a surefire route to burn out!
Sarah Brooks works part-time, is a mum to 2 kids and runs a successful blog Keep Calm and Eat Ice Cream, with a new one in the works.
- Don’t try to do everything at once – “So some days the kids get extra screen time while I finish that delicious recipe, other times I put down work stuff and take the kids to the park. You can’t do everything all at once and you will burn out trying.”
Jamey Thompson of Prettyfly Nets is mum to a 4 year old. She works full time whilst also running her side hustle.
- Outsourcing for business and home– “(This) is the biggest thing for me – this can be for the business (i.e. paying someone else to do your bookkeeping) but don’t forget about domestic things too. I recently started doing meal kit delivery and I can’t stop raving about the time and ‘mental load’ this has freed up for me, no longer having to decide and shop for our family meals.” Also, childcare is another type of outsourcing!
- Automation– “This is something to have in your mind too. There are so many Apps for everything these days – use them! The one that saves me the most time reconciles my Shopify sales with my accounting software. I also have an App that tracks my mileage and one that extracts the data from my business receipts. Generally, I try to keep the saying ‘work smarter, not harder’ in my mind and am always on the lookout for new ways to do this.”