When you know you want to be a full-time entrepreneur one day, depending on how close you feel to making the leap or how rooted and courageous you are that the work you do is meaningful, you may find yourself on one of two sides of the fear equation.
Either A: "I don't want people to know I have a side hustle. They may think I'm not doing my job properly because of it."
or B: "I share my side hustle with any and everyone at work but I'm afraid that I may be looked over for opportunities because they don't think I'm serious about my career. Both of these, I know because I've seen both sides of them. Guranteed, to move along in your exit strategy there will come a time that you'll have to abandon both A and B.
In this episode, we'll talk about...
How allowing assumptions about other people's thoughts can slow your growth
How to ensure your career opportunity funnel stays in full view
How to build the courage and safety to talk about your side hustle openly
I remember when I first started this podcast, I don't recall the episode that I did, but there was some episode that I did and I had posted it out on Facebook and I'd share the episode with some commentary and I just remember it was my brother that wrote back on Facebook, "Hey, you know, this is really great. I want to share this, but I can't. Can you make it public?" And at that moment I was like, "Oh my gosh." It was exciting because he wanted to share it and I didn't ask him to share it. He just wanted to share it. That was great. I'm thinking, "Oh, he finds my work valuable. People like what I'm doing. This is wonderful." But I hadn't made it public for a reason. Like I had gone through great lengths to actually ensure that when I put this post up, that it wasn't visible to all the people that I was connected to at work that were on Facebook. I was super, super nervous. I was like, "No, no, no, no, no, no. I want to keep all of this separate. I don't want anybody to know about it." And so No Facebook, please exclude X, Y, Z, ABC.
And so what occurred to me is here I had him wanting to share my valuable content and me holding it back because of like five or six people that I knew and worked at my job. And because I knew that if the post was public that anyone could take the time on a Sunday afternoon and go and look my name up and find this post. Ridiculous, right? In hindsight, really ridiculous. But the reality is, that is some of the fear that we go through sometimes. And especially as you're first starting out when you're like, "Okay, yeah, I do believe I want to be a full-time entrepreneur at some point in time. Let's get this going."
I got something that I have passion for. But when it comes to starting to be visible and talking about things, fear starts to set in and especially fear about work and well, what will they say and what will people think? And all this good stuff. I think one of the biggest forces at play, and that is belief. So there's a mindset component here. I think it's the belief in ourselves and there's self-doubt written all over it. We don't truly believe that at the end of this journey, it results in us taking the leap and we're being on our own and we're thriving and doing all this. There's a lot of what if, what if, what if, what if this happens and I need to stay at this job? What if this happens and you know, X, Y, Z finds out about this and then I can no longer get this opportunity to over here or whatever. It's easy for us to lose focus on that end exit that we want to make and putting our eggs and our stock in building ourselves up in our own visibility, in our own value that we're bringing to the world. That gets us eventually out of that door.
With all that's happening and with the Facebook posts, I had taken a very deep breath and went and made the post public. And I recall like hitting the keypad on my computer when I made it public like it was a big declaration of "All right, you are letting the world know. This is serious and everybody's gonna understand this path and this journey that you're on." And the reality is we're good about letting what we think other people are going to think infiltrate our brains. And the reality is people don't think about us 24/7. People have lives and likelihood is they probably did not even see your post. And so while you're taking all this energy and stock in, what if this person sees this? And what if they think I'm not doing my job? And what if when I'm working from home, they think I'm actually working on my business. All his other stuff, it's kind of nonsense, but we allow it to cloud us. That's something that we've got to get rid of because people don't care perhaps as much as we think they might. Our journey really is more important than anything else when it comes to the whole career opportunity side of the equation. So by that I mean when you have this thought process in your head of, "Well, if people know I have my side hustle going, it may limit my opportunities in my current 9-to-5 and people may not come to me for opportunities where I may not get a promotion because they don't think I'm serious about my career.
First thing first, I want you to somewhat listen to yourself and I say this, "I've traveled this road. I've experienced it, I've lived it, I've been there." But just say to yourself for a moment, if you are planning to make an exit from your 9-to-5 to do more impactful work that you have passion for and that you found that there's a need that you can fill in the world and that you have something that outside of your 9-to-5 walls people need to get and perhaps are even starting to clamor for, why would you necessarily question getting more opportunities in your current 9-to-5? Again, what I think you see happening here is that self-doubt, it's that fear, it's that "well, what if what I'm trying to do doesn't really work out? Or what if I'm not really capable enough or what if I'm not really deserving enough or who am I to really make this thing happen anyway?" You're having this flood of mindset things that are keeping you asking questions that aren't really relevant for your journey. So here's what I mean by abandoning both.
A. That whole fear of, "Hey, I don't really want to talk about what's going on here. You know, I don't want people to know that I have this side hustle. They may think I'm not doing my job"
B. I had the side hustle, but I'm hesitant to talk about it too much because it may limit me in my current 9-to-5.
Those are things that we have to abandon. Embrace the fact that we are capable and deserving and move forward to sort of abandon those things. Now when it comes to having the courage to really safely talk about your side hustle openly, and by the way, this is completely a choice. But in today's age of social media, unless you work with people that live under a rock is highly likely that if you are from a social media perspective, you are out there and you have to be visible. So for me, my brand is Candace Spears, a personal brand. I am across all the social channels just about right that are relevant for me. Visibility is super important. So I cannot escape that. I can't hide behind private posts. If I expect to be able to escape a 9-to-5, if it's important for me to be visible and connect with the people who need me and those just aren't the people who know me, visibility is a thing.
So when you talk about having the courage to safely talk about that side hustle openly, I have developed that. I have. I've developed that courage and I think when it comes to looking for the good times to do it, here's my advice. While you're in your 9-to-5, you should absolutely be bringing your A-game still, even while you are building your business. Here's where mine refrain comes in for you. I think about the work that I do in my 9-to-5 as essentially a service offering to a client. My current employer is my client and I have services that Candace Spears as a brand has to offer to them, that I'm choosing to offer to them. And I want to do that to the best of my ability because you know what? My brand is on the line. So it's important that what I do and when I serve in that capacity, I serve well and that it is amazing and that it leaves lasting impressions. And then when I have those wins, whether it's that awesome presentation or getting people to collaborate together where it was difficult in the past or implementing a project that was a huge success and a major win, yes, I celebrate that.
While you're in your 9-to-5, you should absolutely be bringing your A-game still, even while you are building your business. (Click to tweet)
But while I'm doing that celebration, that's a good opportunity for me to talk about some of the interesting things that I went through in the process of that celebration. And by that I mean, while I was doing this big implementation, it's crazy being a mom, a wife and building my own business where I'm helping people on the outside. You're finding opportunities in your wins, in your 9-to-5, bring in pieces of your side hustle. These are things that really almost make you more attractive while you're in that 9-to-5 as an employee and should boost your own confidence. It says, "Hey, I am able to do both this and both that. I am multifaceted. I am multi-passionate." And if people begin to respect that, you have an opportunity to bring in pieces of your side hustle to talk about it openly in your 9-to-5. That's a fear of bringing it in a respectable way where people say, "Yeah, okay, she's good, right? We need more like her. We need more people with an entrepreneurial spirit because that gets us to X, Y, Z point." And again, I'm saying it because I've lived it and I still live it, and I find good opportunities to talk about what's going on with my side hustle married with those wins. That just makes me stronger in what I do in my 9-to-5. So don't be scared. That's all I can say. Don't be scared, but find the good opportunities and know that you will have to abandon fear on this journey if you ever want to make an exit.
Don't be scared, but find the good opportunities and know that you will have to abandon fear on this journey if you ever want to make an exit. (Click to tweet)