How can anyone have two lovers? I know I could never juggle two involved relationships.
So what makes us think we can run two businesses at the same time? A business and a side hustle.
Running two businesses can be trouble.
- Neither gets your attention 💯 %
- If they are different target markets, the chance of one failing is double the standard business failure rate.
- How do we juggle all the balls in the air?
In spite of this we continue to do it, right? Count me in!!
How can we give up something we believe in so wholeheartedly?
Often we can’t.
No matter what the experts say.
And now I’m trying to run two businesses at the same time.
Again… On a part time basis in semiretirement.
And I should know better, as a business coach, but I’m doing it anyhow!!
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Why Entrepreneurs Run More Than One Business
- More possible streams of revenue
- Too many ideas than we know what to do with
- More than one passion
- See an opportunity
Become an Expert Manager When Running Two Businesses
1. Manage goals
2. Manage money
3. Manage resources
4. Manage schedule
5. Manage motivation
Can we do it?
I grew up in an era of having to work three jobs to make it. I’m probably not so different from young adults today. It was sometimes tiring but in hindsight, I wasn’t bored. And my jobs were related in what I was doing.
After graduating college, I was an unemployed physical education teacher. I cobbled together substitute teaching, coaching girls high school sports teams and refereeing various sports. It made for long days and a variety of paychecks but it allowed me to live independently which was my main goal.
My First Business with a Side Hustle
When I went into business for myself, I started two distinct businesses concurrently. Back then I don’t think the term ‘side hustle’ had become a ‘thing’ yet.
One was nonprofit consulting and the other a container gardening business in the Southwest US desert. A niche.
I felt I was balancing the two but neither got my attention 💯 % and it was telling. Especially in the gardening business where I was probably making 5¢ an hour.
One had to go and after a long deliberation, I stayed with my gardening business. I was motivated to build that hourly value!!
The decision paid off as I built the business over the next five years.
But then I got the expansion bug.
I had already branched out from residential to commercial clients and expanded my staff by 500%. My sales grew 300% in the first 18 months and I had won several awards for business development and customer service.
I tried a gift-pot line but lacked the marketing resources to kick it off.
I gave workshops throughout the Southwest and people wanted to know where to get more information about gardening in the desert, in pots. My experience and knowledge lived mostly in my head.
This inspired me to write a book on “Getting Potted in the Desert.”
That became my “Next.”
However, my business needed my undivided attention and my right hand staff member suggested I wait.
I resisted but agreed to let the book simmer on the back burner. I satisfied my desire to write the book by recording my workshops and had my assistant transcribe them.
It wasn’t until I sold the business that I was finally able to complete and publish my book.
Now claiming the Side Hustle position in my two businesses, I’ve sold 1800 copies of my book and my mailing list is 2400.
Why Add a Side Hustle?
I loved growing my gardening business. It was a brand new concept to desert communities.
In the terms of the sale, I reserved the rights to educate, publish and consult. How could I stop sharing the knowledge I gained. in the 15 years of growing and caring for hundreds of gardens?
I was torn and I still am.
How can I let go of the people I have connected with personally? The growth of my gardening mailing list and book purchasers are proof of what can be done with an idea and persistence in spite of everything a business can sap from you.
However, I also want to attend to my other Love — building business.
When I first talked about selling The Contained Gardener, I was encouraged by my colleagues to take my volunteer work as a business mentor and don a coaching hat. 🧢
I built my practice in Tucson and it expanded to online clients dotted around the US.
With our move to Kauai and a semiretired lifestyle, I struggled to position myself in a different economic culture.
I shifted my business model to exclusively online, helping other Boomers and X’ers transition their business to one that allows more freedom to choose their lifestyle.
Still torn between the two
I divide my time. I continually look for ways to simplify, focus and automate my work.
As a business coach, do I recommend this?
But as the eternal optimist, I say there must be a way.
Richard Branson is rather positive about this subject.
He says that it’s important to ask yourself whether you’re passionate about both of your businesses.
“If you’re enjoying working on both of them, then carry on and keep your spirits up — what you’re attempting is possible.”
Tips for Running Two Businesses
Start Business #1 First
- Build a good revenue stream to support yourself before starting the second
- Put your processes in good order to streamline the business as much as possible
Start Business #2 – Add Your Side Hustle
- Work on One Business at a Time
You can divide your days or your weeks but concentrate on one at a time or you will be spinning your wheels and not accomplishing anything of significance.
Keep Both Markets Happy
As in any relationship, you need to pay attention to the person. Or in this case, the people.
- Potential clients and followers
How do you do this? Communicating! Consistent, positive communication.
Watch Cash Flow and Resource Drain
Be sure you have good systems set up to track expenses vs income as well as time.
Ah — time! That’s often the greater challenge.
Time is money — either your own time or salaries. Or both.
Managing time is my biggest challenge. I want to keep both of my loves happy. I need to fuel them with communication and build them with processes that help me safeguard my time investment.
But sometimes, it’s overwhelming.
And that is when we need to take a break.
Breathe, recharge and refocus. Remember why we are doing this. Be sure this is what we want to do.
After all — we are grownups and we can change our minds.And at my age — I get to change my mind as often as I want.