Juggling A Full-Time Job And A Startup (Hint - It's Not Easy)

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By Brittany Haas (Co-Founder, Something Borrowed NY) I am miserable since I'm missing out on the #wefestival going on right now. I was accepted...and elated! What a wonderful opportunity to learn from my idols and meet with other aspiring entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately, I'm heading off to Paris on Friday with my full-time company for market. We've been swamped here (...we're talking 9am-1am days swamped) and it would be totally irresponsible of me to take off a day, just two days before we jump on a plane and have 2 full on crazy, busy weeks.

Enter the boo/hisses here... I know... nobody feels bad for me. I'll be in Paris for 2 weeks! I assure you, I'll be working non-stop and I won't be skipping down streets with a crepe in hand and a beret on my head. (well...maybe I'll do that on my one day off)

This whole ordeal made me think about "the juggle." I was fortunate enough to attend Arianna Huffington's keynote address last night for the event and was able to mingle with some entrepreneurs for the night. The number one question I was asked was:

"How do you do it? Juggle both a FT job and your business?"

The short answer is INTENSE organization and little sleep. I'll elaborate.

When I first started working on "SBNY" I was bored at my current job. I found that weeks one and two of the month were busy and for the remainder of the month, I was left twiddling my thumbs. The idea for Something Borrowed NY was conceptualized in 2009 when my 2nd oldest sister was married.

However, it was now 2011 and I needed a project. OK - let's get SUPER real. I had just gone through an AWFUL break-up (we lived together...so that creates a mess), and I knew I needed something to get my mind off of my depressing romantic state. So I researched, I read, I took classes at General Assembly, I enlisted my best friend and we started. I coded the site myself, I took frequent long lunches or personal days to have meetings with designers, entrepreneurs and investors, and we launched.

I took a deep breath. Once the site was up and running - maintaining and juggling both became much easier...but not for long.

Social media is KEY to building a business. I was spending my days tweeting non-stop. That's when I started to hire interns. They were creating blog posts, tweeting & Facebook(ing) for us.

And then...I was offered my current job.

I wasn't looking but it came along knocking and I had to take it. It was a fantastic job, great benefits, a huge promotion - but could I still juggle?

I'm working through it now. There are certain things I need to miss, such as the WEfestival today. But, I still try to go to at LEAST two networking events a week after work. The business keeps growing, the orders keep coming, and BOTH jobs get better and better every day.

Can I do this forever? No. But I don't need to make that decision yet.

Here's a few tips of how I "do it all":

  • Make a list... and check it way more than twice - I have reminders for EVERYTHING; laundry, gym time, networking events, SBNY shipments, dinners with friends etc. It's all in my iPhone and I'd be lost without it. Organizing your time and being able to check things off, keeps you sane.
  • Keep one day to yourself - We all need to unwind. For me, I try to make Mondays my night off. After I get home from my full-time job, it's a free night. (Admittedly, to watch the bachelor) Point is, no more hustling, it's a night to do what I want to do.
  • Enlist people to help - I have 3 interns who help me with all of my social media needs. In exchange for school credit, they help me with social media, and I try to help them gain new experiences in the bridal industry. Or... find a co-founder!
  • Positive Thinking - I can't express enough how important this is! For me, I attend an Inten-Sati class. It helps me complete two tasks, working out & positive re-affirmation. No matter how you do it - just remind yourself that you can do it. There is no success without failure.

Editor's note: Got a question for our guest blogger? Leave a message in the comments below. About the guest blogger: Brittany Haas is Co-Founder of Something Borrowed NY. Always drawing and designing, she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Upon graduation she decided to learn the business side of the fashion industry. Since then, she's gained experience as a financial planner for several top Fashion houses, and now brings her business savvy to the bridal industry. Follow her on Twitter at @brittanyhaas.