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Ep 146: "I'm afraid to list my side-hustle on LinkedIn"



So you're working your 9-to-5, and behind the scenes building your business that will one day be your main gig. You know that in order for anything to become your main gig, you kind of have to talk about it. You have to let people know what you do, what you offer, how you can help them. Now, the conflict becomes, how will you do that when the same social channels you would use for your business visibility is where your 9-to-5 family lives? Channels like Linkedin in particular. For some of you depending on your business, you have no problem intertwining your side hustle. You have the courage to make the statement that..."I am and I do more than my 9-to-5." For others, and trust, I've been on the scared and fearful side, still growing but am embracing that fear. It's time to get what you do visible so you can own your exit strategy.

In this episode, we'll talk about...

  • What's the real fear we have with talking about "what we do"

  • How to blend your side hustle and 9-to-5 into your LinkedIn Profile

  • How to setup yourself up to be respected and admired in the 9-to-5 for having a side hustle

In what I do today, helping people own their exit from the 9-to-5 life and to build their businesses and really go for the life that they indeed dream of and an impact that's bigger right beyond the 9-to-5, it has been downright frightening for me to put out some of my content online, especially from a LinkedIn perspective. And LinkedIn was super hard because everybody is on LinkedIn and when I say everybody, essentially everybody in my 9-to-5 is on LinkedIn. And so I've had this healthy fear that's been loosening lately, but it was so bad to the point of, I don't know if I should write an article. I don't know if I should publish the fact that I just did this interview. I don't want people to know that I'm helping people own their exit from the 9-to-5. I don't want people to know that I am working on my own exit from the 9-to-5. There are lots of fears that come along with that and I'm sure I'm not alone in that. I think when I ask myself though, what am I really afraid of? I think the answer is scary. And I say it's scary because I look in the mirror and to answer that, honestly, I don't like the answer I would give myself because I think the real thing I'm afraid of is failure. So what if this doesn't work? What if I need to go back to my 9-to-5? What if they want to let me go because I'm poisoning the minds of other people. All these things that reeling their craziness and these are the things that, every entrepreneur faces, that failure moment. And what if this doesn't work out and that type of thing. But really it's just a part of the journey. It's part of an entrepreneurial journey.

So as I've been going along here, I have slowly started to let some of that fear go because I really have to act in reality. And my reality is I have made a plan. The reality is I am being of service to others that I know are ready to make their exit but aren't sure how to do it. The reality is I have laid a foundation that is going to be helpful beyond my 9-to-5 and there are people who need me, so I can take the route of being selfish and fearful and holding back or I can find a way to unleash my impact in the world, believe in what I'm offering, but also find a way to have it intertwined with my current 9-to-5 so that I feel comfortable and so that I am not worried about who's looking at me sideways and who thinks I'm about to walk out the door and who's telling so-and-so not to do this at work because they think I'm doing this and all this other stuff.

I can take the route of being selfish and fearful and holding back or I can find a way to unleash my impact in the world. (Click to tweet)

So one of the ways I suggest you start when it comes to blending in the side-hustle that you plan to make the main hustle and your 9-to-5 as it relates to LinkedIn is, I suggest you start with your title and then move into your description. And so when I say start with your title, if you want to look at my title on LinkedIn, you will see a few things. So it'll say Podcast host, it'll say, strategists, it'll say speaker, it'll say tech leader, it'll say a number of different things. But what I've put up there has been genericized a bit. So strategists apply to not only what I do in my business, but it also applies to what I do in my 9-to-5, I manage 12 different direct reports. I help set strategy and direction the things that we should go in. It's a word that goes across both things. The podcast host piece is fairly unique to what I do, but you get the idea that there are very strategic word choices that you can make that allow you to genericized between the business that you're building and your 9-to-5 life. Therefore giving you a little bit of comfort as you're making this transition.

The next thing I will look at is your description. So your description of you and your profile and think about your experiences. If you think about how you're building your business and what values may be important for your business, depending on what your business is, I say if you can reach back into the experiences that you have had and talk about how those experiences have helped you be a leader and some of the things that you see in your LinkedIn title, that strategists, that podcast hosts, whatever it is that will help you, again, abstract yourself from just, "Hey, I am the project manager at XYZ corporation and I've done10 projects totaling $1 million" whatever it is, it allows you to abstract yourself a bit from just your 9-to-5 and it allows you to grow a bigger base of what you do. Those are very important points as you try to say, "Hey, I am more than this 9-to-5, I need to represent this and feel safe representing it on LinkedIn in particular."

Think about how you're building your business and what values may be important for your business. (Click to tweet)

Now one of the things I think everyone should think about is setting yourself up to be respected and admired while you're in the 9-to-5 for the side hustle that you have. Depending on your side hustle, I'm assuming you're on, you're doing a fully of pub board, no conflict of interest type business. I would say if you can get to a point where you're comfortable talking about that side hustle, then I would do it because I think that will also give you some comfort in being more visible and talking more about the things that you do publicly. Because trust me, you're going to have to talk about it and social media is likely going to be a big part of helping you grow your business. So you've got to get past it in some way.

One of the things for me as I started off with the podcast in particular, and actually even before the podcast when I released my book about three and a half years ago, it wasn't too far into when I started at my current 9-to 5, then I released that book. I was very diligent and making sure that people understood that I had a book out. And the topic that I wrote the book on was a value there at my 9-to-5. So I found a way to connect the pieces together and also bring visibility to the fact that I was more than just an employee at this corporate job. That my impact was bigger. So I set that stage a long time ago. And even when you hear me talk to other people inside of my 9-to-5, I'll always talk about the fact that I hold that entrepreneurial spirit, that I'm always looking for ideas to chase things and I'm able to talk about some of that stuff freely. And that provided me the safety that I needed to go and begin to be visible.

Now, pushing farther and farther, there's a little bit of fear there for me, but again, I know time is ticking and if I'm not visible, there's going to be a problem for me. You always have to think about weighing the checks and balances. There are lots of different ways to start getting yourself out there more on LinkedIn and losing some of the fear, "Oh my gosh, what if people think I'm not doing my work and I'm just working on my side business?" No, you continue to be super valuable in your 9-to-5 and you continue to be valuable in building your business and you just look at how you bridge the two and genericizing things will be a good first step.

You always have to think about weighing the checks and balances. (Click to tweet)

You continue to be super valuable in your 9-to-5 and you continue to be valuable in building your business. (Click to tweet)


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