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Nkechi Alade: 3 Things to Do Before You Start a Side Hustle



So I was still thinking of what to write this week and stumbled on Nkem Ndem’s “9 Undeniable Facts About Working in a Nigerian Office”. While reading, one point struck me, and that is what we are talking about today!

We live in an era where a bag of rice you bought for N12, 000 skyrockets to N16, 000 the next. Your Landlord tells you that rent has increased by a whopping 50% due to dollar rates. Even school fees become triple of what they used to be. Trust me, the list goes on and on. Since nothing is left out in this time of change, who doesn’t need a side hustle?
Did I hear you say no one? You are so correct!

Every Nigerian, scratch that, almost every average Nigerian, needs an extra source of income to successfully cope with the ever rising standard of living in our dear Nigeria.

While some entrepreneurs are able to take the bull by the horn by quitting their 9-5 to focus on their businesses, many cannot make that daring decision yet for different reasons: house rent,
Car naintenance, children school fees etc. I mean, we still need the steady monthly income (no matter how little) that come with many 9-5s to take care of these needs.

The latter set of people go slower, bit by bit, slowly developing their passion into a business, while maintaining their current jobs. These are the correct side hustlers!
Today almost everyone has something they are pursuing on the side, it could be freelance writing, consulting, photography, graphic design, modeling, or even being an Uber driver.

Yes, side hustles are great, but just like everything else, it requires a lot to successfully handle. My point is that, balancing your full-time career with an outside gig can stretch you to your limit; if care is not taken you could burnout and lose the main job and side hustle as well.

Whatever your side hustle and regular job may be, there are important things you need to know and focus so that you don’t end up a failure at both.

State your Business Vision Clearly
Before even trying to find a balance, it is really important that you know your side hustle’s vision. It would be an absolute waste of time if you focus on something you have no vision for.
Why are you going into it? Is it something you want to make money doing? Is it something you want to turn into a full time job? What exactly are you trying to accomplish with your side hustle? What key activities do you need to accomplish to make your side hustle happen?

You may not have a 5 or 10 year plan crafted out yet, but a real understanding of what you are doing, and why you are doing it, is needed!

Get Ready to WORK
Let’s face it, a 9-5 on its own can be draining and time consuming, so adding a side hustle would make it even tougher.
You now have less time for yourself and now more than ever. You will feel that all you do is wake up, work, sleep, and repeat; there is really not enough hours in the day to do anything else, including having fun with friends.

So before you jump on the side hustle wagon, it’s really important it’s important to know that this will add one more heaping serving to your already full plate. Be ready to work longer and harder, it’s not called a side hustle for nothing.

Set Boundaries and Stick to them
Let’s be real, your 9-5 should always be your major concern while in the official environment and during official hours. It would be very unfair to your employer to mix these two, to the detriment of your regular job.

I know it’s very easy for one to slip into another, but you need to be able to stick to the boundaries you created in order to truly achieve a balance.

DO NOT complete side hustle-related projects, answer emails, or take phone calls during your normal working hours.

In the same vein, know your side hustle time, and the time set aside for relaxation and socializing.

Remember, it’s not easy balancing a 9-5 with a side hustle, but you know what, it’s something you can do!

Are you currently balancing a side hustle with your full-time job? How do you make it work?

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Gstockstudio1

My name is Nkechi Alade, a Business Consultant currently living in Lagos, Nigeria. I am passionate about building startups and re-vamping already existing businesses with my company Elvaridah. I also run a platform called Connect 360 Africa which was established to connect Entrepreneurs for the purpose of Networking, Collaborating and Building their Businesses. My interests range from entrepreneurship to singing. I am also interested in design, music, and writing. I am an outcome oriented individual who believes we can achieve all that we want to as long as we have control over our minds. If you’d like to get in touch, feel free to say hello my website:


  1. simsi

    April 19, 2017 at 7:44 am

    i’m currently combining an 8-6 job with a fashion business and it’s crazy. i feel like all i do is work, work. i don’t have time for anything else. trying to cut down on the side hustle a little so as not to burnout. May God help us all.

  2. austine Olu-Daniels

    April 19, 2017 at 7:52 am

    Whaoooo!! Nkechi you ain’t wrong at all, u actual took time to make this research which is awesome. It’s actually a good advice, I have gone through this myself never found it easy cos you ain’t got time for yourself and family. Great stuff!! Guys take this on-board and don’t get discouraged, most of my guys are actually on it, they sacrifice with their family and at end of the tunnel they saw the light. Thanks once my Nkechi for sharing this.

  3. ej

    April 19, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Nk,allow me call u dat lol.i am currently working on mine and i pray GOD see me tru

  4. pepe

    April 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    i have been dreaming on the side hustle but am yet to come to term with cos my job is very demanding i do 9-7 and i really do want a side hustle so i can have time for my self and family

  5. hils

    April 19, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    I work in a bank and do makeup at the same time. its tiring. mon-fri bank, sat and sun business

  6. "Changing Moniker"

    April 19, 2017 at 3:20 pm


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