Show of hands, how many of you are sitting at your day job wishing you could do your crochet biz full-time? That’s me, right this minute, as I write this blog post. Before you start thinking “I can’t waste time at work like that” or one of my coworkers stumbles upon this and thinks “Oh I caught her not working” I’m doing this on my lunch break! Believe it or not, you can get a lot accomplished in an hours time. But we’ll get into that later.
For those of you like me, who can’t jump in full-time to their business and need to still work a 9-5 job, I wanted to offer some tips that I use to help balance and a few others from a wonderful crochet community that I’m a part of (Ash & Tay anyone??!).
I think the first thing we as business owners/makers need to ask ourselves, is what is our ultimate goal? Do you want to ultimately go full-time with your crochet business? Or do you want to keep it as a side-hustle for a little extra income for vacations, holidays, splurges, etc? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with either answer, but how you balance your time will vary for each answer to that question. If you want to go full-time, you’ll need to invest more time. If you’re happy with a side hustle that gives you extra income, you still need to figure out a balance, but do not need nearly as much time.
So here are a few of my tips for making the most of my time while balancing a full time 40+ evening/weekend (sometimes) job and K Marie Crafts. I even make time for markets, which is one of my favorite parts!
Note: This post may include affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission from purchases made, at no extra cost to you. The links I provide are for items that I actually own and recommend, I’d never recommend something I haven’t personally used!
Actually Take Advantage of Break Time. I was notorious for working through lunch. I often have that much work. But when it really comes down to it, I want to have this business and it brings me joy. Talking to an angry parent on the phone who can’t understand why their student hasn’t been admitted yet–not bringing me joy. So it’s important to me that I use my lunch as my time. My time involves my business and my blog.
Now that doesn’t mean I’m always writing a blog post or doing book keeping. Sometimes it means I’m reading a book (check out Etsy-Preneurship by Jason Malinak) that’s helping me to grow my business, or listening to the Tuesday live on replay from Ash & Tay. It can be relaxing, but it’s still productive in terms of your business. Heck, sometimes I even close my door and crochet!
Find Commonalities. Is there a new skill you can learn for your day job that would benefit you in your maker business? A new software? For me, I learned about Canva from work, actually! This translated into my business with my Insta, blog posts and all sorts of things! Here’s a list of useful software and tools that I actually use in my business AND at work: Mail Chimp, Airtable, Canva, One Drive. Future blog post idea? I think so 🙂
Schedule Time. Block off time during the week where you focus on an aspect of your business. So maybe Saturday morning, you spend two hours working on blog content. Samantha of Montana Blonde Designs says to get a planner! She blocks out a couple hours a few days a week to get things accomplished. Each Monday, she plans out her week and gives herself three goals for the week. Who doesn’t love achieving goals and checking things off??!
I really like my Happy Planner that I can refill with blank pages. It allows me to personalize and I use it all the time. No need to buy a whole new planner each year, just get the inexpensive refill pack!
Plan Ahead. While we’re discussing blocking off time, let’s hit this one too. It took some time for me to learn what markets are good for me, and which end up being a dud. But now that I know, I’m able to plan. For example, I know that in November, I have a big one and I sell lots of hats, scarves and cacti or in September I have a booth at a fall festival where I basically only sell crocheted pumpkins. Knowing that, I’m making pumpkins and hats now (June) in anticipation of these markets. So go ahead and block off time way early. Just because it’s 100 degrees outside doesn’t mean you can’t make that adorable Clair Bun Beanie from A Crafty Concept.
Do What You Love. As with anything, there are parts you just don’t care for, and that’s going to be a reality, but don’t waste time trying to make your business be all the things. Taylor Lynn from Taylor Lynn Crochet says to place your focus on what you love most to make sure you use your time more productively to avoid burnout. For her, she loves designing and blogging (you should really check out her blog and her patterns!). She makes it all happen while working full-time. For me, I can’t wait to get home and crochet most days, because I LOVE making handmade crocheted items. It never feels like work!
So these are a few of my tips. I’d love to hear yours! How do you make it work? Let me know!