Who out there has a side hustle? Something that is completely outside of work, being extra hours but loving every minute of it. You love it because you’re doing something you enjoy AND find reward in it. Whether that’s extra income (congrats to you!) or the simple pleasure and satisfaction of it all. You WANT to do that extra work, put in the extra hours and lead this double life of being a boss lady.

It seems that I have always found myself working more than I have to simply because I want to. I am a designer for my day job (very lucky to have my career be what I love) and I also do freelance photography and recently just started a small business selling my hand-lettered designs online and hopefully soon on a larger scale. I’m in the midst of building my business and creating my brand. It’s been a lot of work and I’m still so new at it. I’m still learning and navigating to make this bigger and better. My first rendition of this side hustle was on Etsy and didn’t last very long. However, I learned a lot and learned what I needed to change to move this forward and have this time be better. I’m more motivated after failing then I ever have been. This has been a lot of extra hours after work and on the weekends. I am very passionate about my day job as well, so it’s very important to me that I am still doing my absolute best there. Finding the balance in all these things have been quite the challenge. Especially over this past year when I got really serious about wanting to do my side hustle and also push it to be a passive income for my family.

I try very hard to stay creative, happy and give myself any rest I feel I need. Listening to my mind and my body is always hard. I feel like I have to always be doing something. I find myself stressing out over things I shouldn’t. Simply because I’m creating the stress instead of taking a chill pill for a night or two. The older I get that more important it is to find that balance while not crumbling under the work. I don’t want to get burned out too early too fast. I also don’t want to feel like I’m missing out of my life. Not feeling guilty when I have a blow-off weekend and not focus on any kind of work. I wanted to share a few things that I have found that works for me and hopefully would lend some inspiration to you.

Working out is my savior.

I love running outside. Living in Chicago really deepened that love with running on the lakefront in the mornings and watching the sunrise. Signing up for a race or having a schedule for cardio or some type of workout really resets my body and mind. I sometimes find myself sitting and drawing for HOURS and barely moving! Getting out for a run or have cardio start my day helps let out the stress and gives me energy! Working out with a friend has really helped me stay on schedule and keep the consistency. The more consistent I am the better I feel. 

Taking a night (or two) off.

When I’ve had a rough day or rough week and my mind is spinning by the time I get home from work, it’s just nice to sit on my couch with possibly a glass of wine and wind down doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes I just want to fully focus on myself and listening to what I need. That could be my couch with my husband, our dog and a terrible movie we find on Netflix to watch together or enjoying long steamy showers and putting on a facial mask after. Just take a night or week for yourself.

Reading.

I absolutely love reading! Diving into a whole different world and caring for fictional characters is one of my favorite things. Being a Chicago commuter, I take the El to work and always carry a book with me. This is usually my reading time. If I find myself bookless I also enjoy reading blogs, scrolling through Instagram to read from my peers and people I look up to, or listening to <a href=”http://creativewomens.co/podcasts/”>podcasts</a>. Even if you don’t like full books, I highly recommend shorter reads or podcasts to get the creative juices flowing. Have something to help give you a spark of inspiration or just a good laugh!

Keep doing what you love, even if it’s extra hours of work each day. Give back to yourself and remember to rest. I have no wild success story to share… just yet. But felt it was good to share my beginning to middle. To share some of my struggle, some of my aspirations, and what I do to stay sane while becoming my own boss lady!

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