I am a real estate practitioner.
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Editor’s note: It’s not difficult to have a side business. While engaged in the busy real estate industry, the author has two side businesses, photography and writing, and summed up the three most important experiences and lessons from his own success. This article is translated from Medium, by Boateng Sekyere. The original title is I Followed the Crowd and Added Two Side Hustles to My Main Career: Here Are 3 Lessons I’ve Learned, I hope to inspire you.
No matter how hard I try, I can’t get rid of the idea of wanting side income. The excitement in my heart swallowed all my doubts. Because of excitement and hope, I plunged into my side business.
It was mid-2017, and the flash attracted me to the photography studio. I want to be someone who shoots weddings every other week. People there told me that I could even turn to architectural photography, which is so exciting for a real estate surveyor.
In 2019, a colleague suggested that we co-author a peer-reviewed article. I think the best way is to send a few quick follow-up emails to the editorial team. But judging from the silent replies I got, I guess most emails are thrown into the trash.
When I was frustrated, I realized that I could turn this frustration into writing. I started writing a WordPress blog and posted articles on Medium. It turns out that the pen is a powerful weapon.
As I struggled toward the end this year, I read all my experiences. I want to talk about the experience and lessons I learned from two side businesses in my real estate career.
1. The more things you want to do, the more time you can squeeze out
As a person in the real estate industry, my work schedule is very tiring. When I think about starting a photography company outside of work, I can’t help but wonder if I still have time to brush my teeth.
But the temptation to make more money is enough to convince me to at least try photography. Although the first salary made me very happy, if I did not focus on the details of time allocation, my second job would take up too much time.
So I did time management. It turns out that I spend two to four hours a day on Twitter and Facebook, and I am a little addicted to WhatsApp. I know, If I pay less attention to the following circle of friends, I can have more time.
With the side job of writing, I have to control my time more strictly and accept challenges. Now, in addition to the morning routine and breakfast, I try to write for two hours from Monday to Wednesday, and read for another hour before noon.
My lunch break, email time, and social media dominate my energy until around 3pm. Next is a 20-30 minute nap. In the evening, I maintain a mobile schedule, including time for studying writing courses, doing research work, reading online articles and spending time with my family.
I try to arrange photography on Fridays, but according to the client’s request, these times may be on any day. I schedule the laundry on Saturday, most of the time when I listen to the Guardian Football Weekly podcast or some NBA-related podcasts on ESPN. I can go to church on Sunday and do some activities that are not related to work. But most importantly, my sleep will not be less than seven to nine hours.
I can complete the task on time 60% of the time, which is already a good result. This is difficult to apply to others, because everyone is different. For example, I have no pets, children, or other large families to take care of. Also, I have a partner who respects my schedule.
but I am aware By the way, the more work on hand, the more creative time I have, which instead allows me to have more free time.
2. The more you do, the better you will become
For everything I do, I try to do my best. This means I have to read a few more pages, practice harder, fight hard failures, and learn from failures. But it turns out that this is the best way to get a bumper harvest.
There are many photography tutorials on YouTube. Through platforms like Edx and Coursera, I can learn how to write better and how to communicate clearly. I now understand some basic rules of writing and communication.
When my photography side business developed, I quickly realized that photography is more than just posing and pressing the shutter. I have to learn field marketing, customer relations and bookkeeping skills at work. I also learned how to connect with other writers and support them, and it involved more writing than I thought.
But when I look back, I realized that if I only had a job as a real estate surveyor, I wouldn’t be able to learn these skills so quickly. I am very happy with the progress I have made.
Similarly, some of my colleagues have added different dimensions to their careers, and some have mastered skills such as speaking and teaching, which also makes them better.
Through two side jobs, I became better and I also learned more skills.
3. Don’t break yourself too tight, take a break
Some people will advise you to “work hard, work hard, and sleep less”. A colleague even suggested that I get up an hour earlier, give up nap, and go to bed an hour later than usual, so that I can squeeze out two and a half hours. At that time, I really took such a suggestion, because I didn’t know what could be better at that time.
But it didn’t take long for me to realize that the harm to myself would be greater than the meager benefits I enjoyed. People have accused Gary Vee of leading a hard and busy culture, even turning people into sweaty mules. But when I heard him say this, I realized that he didn’t mean it. In a YouTube video, he said that “busy” means going all out and maximizing 15 hours a day when he is awake. In another video, he said that he takes four to seven weeks of vacation every year.
Yes, some entrepreneurs have to work harder, sleep less and take fewer vacations, depending on their role and goals. I am not an organizational psychologist, but I also realize that not everyone needs that level of work to succeed.
Fortunately, I don’t need to sleep only 4 hours a night like some super hard working people do. Sometimes, urgent DDL will force me to go to bed after 10 o’clock in the evening, or occupy most of my day, but this is normal.
When I see that I am about to stay up late, I occasionally delegate some tasks, such as positioning and fixing photos. This saves me more time to rest.
In short, before you taste the fruits of labor, discard the advice that exhausts you.
I may not be a typical entrepreneur, and come up with a disruptive idea to make the world a better place. This situation is hard to come by. I just followed the crowd, and when everyone was doing side jobs, I got in the car in time. In this process, I learned a lot of valuable experience, among which the three most important points are:
1. The more things you want to do, the more time you can squeeze out;
2. The more you do, the better you will become;
3. Don’t break yourself too tight, take a break.
While you have your own job, you can run one or two sideline jobs while maintaining good health and a happy life. This is difficult and may require you to be very creative and innovative. But in the 21st century, you should have these qualities.