lady startup

13 women on how much time they actually spend on their side-hustle (with full-time work).


We're pretty good at juggling it all.  

From work, or kids, and even study: what's one more responsibility on top of everything else... right?

For many Lady Startups, side-hustles and micro-businesses are the perfect avenue to monetise a passion without sacrificing a steady income. 

They can be as time-consuming as they can be rewarding; as fulfilling as they can be exhausting. 

So we chatted to 13 women to see how they fit their own side-hustle in around other work, exercise, social commitments, school pick ups and everything else in between.

Here's what they had to say:


I work 2 days per week as an Executive Assistant and have been with the same company for 20 years (I was full-time before having kids). 

The other 3 days I could say I dedicate to my side-hustle, Grey Pebble Designs, but my reality is that the housework, the washing, the bills, the school activities, the kids and the food shopping all take up a lot of my time. 

Whatever is left I spend on my side-hustle! And that’s still enough time to get it all done.


I’m really happy with the balance and the “low hustle” life I have. 

I actually have another side-hustle up my sleeve (which is why I did the Lady Startup Activation Plan course, taught by Mamamia’s Mia Freedman, earlier this year, which I'd definitely recommend taking) so I know I’ll need to change my priorities if I want the new one to be a success. In the course Mia shares lots of tips and time saving hacks to help you find time to work on your side-hustle.

(Very important PSA: If you're keen like Nikki was to launch a business or side-hustle of your own, and have Mia Freedman herself help you be sure to check out Mamamia's Lady Startup Academy. They offer a range of courses to meet different business stages and specific needs. The Activation Plan is an entry level course to help you build your idea, brand identity, establish your plan and launch it into market. The online, self-paced course takes you through 5 modules, with guidance and golden nuggets from Mia along the way. You can make real progress with just 2-3 hours on it per week. And if life gets in the way, you have lifetime access to the course too).



Last year I gave up my law job in Sydney, packed up my apartment and moved to an apple orchard in the Adelaide Hills. After a few months of 'finding myself' while working full-time in an office job there, I started my side-hustle LOOSELIPS

Living in the country means I spend a few hours driving back and forth into the city for work each day. Oh yeah, I also got a puppy recently. 

In other words: I am pretty busy! 

A standard day for me includes, waking up and packaging orders that came through overnight. During the day I'll respond to customer queries and DMs while also doing business admin. Sometimes this includes sneaking off to the toilet to answer customer queries while at work! I usually head over to the post office to lodge parcels during my 30 minute lunch break.


I'm currently in the process of launching new products so evenings are filled with designing labels, emailing suppliers, managing finances, restocking products, product photography, creating social media content, packing orders and responding to queries. 

A lot of time is also spent looking at ways I can improve the business. 

I'm still up to midnight most nights, but I always try to take Friday night off. Ultimately you get out what you put in! 

It's definitely not easy, but it's definitely worth it. 


A few tips: 

1. Try to learn as much as you can, don't just outsource it.

2. Time management is important (make a plan). 

3. Close your eyes and trust the process when you see your Facebook Ads bill. 

4. Take breaks to play with your pup.


I chose to start my side-hustle, Work-Life Virtual Assistance, because I wanted something that allowed me to pick my own hours and work it around my lifestyle.

I am a mum, a sports coach and I work 3 days a week at a local hospital. 

I work the equivalent of 2-3 days a week in my side-hustle but because of the nature of my work, I can work it around my existing commitments. 

I plan my work in advance and try to batch my tasks to maximise productivity, like doing my inbound queries, my client emails or my invoicing in the one hit.

I specifically set up my business in a way that would allow it to work around my life both now, and down the track when my son goes to school so that I don’t have to miss out on anything.


I work full-time in my job which is my current only source of income, however, over the last 12 months I have been working on my side-hustle which will be launching in 2 weeks! 

The business I am launching is called Naked Weekend which will be at home beauty face mask kits.

Over the last few months with the launch approaching I pretty much finish work at 4pm, and then from 4:30pm until about 9:30pm each night, I'm working on my business. 

On weekends I try to give myself time for socialising and relaxing, but still do about 5-8 hours of work a day. 

I also just launched a little business selling handmade resin coasters, Wandering Studio. I'm not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to try and launch two businesses within a month of each other but here we are (and it’s amazing what you can make work when you are organised!). 

Time is definitely a limited resource but I'm really hoping that it will pay off, and I can become independent and live the life I have always envisioned for myself.


My husband and I run a small side business The Woodhouse Interiors specialising in custom-made house beds for young toddlers, mainly those transitioning from cot to big kid bed. 

We're based in Melbourne and have been operating just over 4 years now. We have 3 children under 5 years old, so they keep us busy too. My husband and I juggle parenting with work full-time, and our shared 'side-hustle' is mainly after hours and weekends. 

When the kids are asleep at 8pm, it's go time! That's when we get all of our work done. 

Nothing is outsourced; we run 100% of the business from admin, marketing, woodworking, delivery and assembling the beds locally to families. 

We are super busy and it's a constant juggle but I wouldn't have it any other way. 

In lockdown it's been particularly challenging with remote schooling, and working the day job from home but we still manage to run our side-hustle the best way we can. 


Like lots of Lady Startups, I work full-time; spending my days at a local hospital in a community engagement role. 


I'm fortunate to work school hours so I have the luxury of taking my three boys to school. 

Once after-school activities are done and my boys are safely tucked away in bed, I pull out my sewing machine and fill up my creative jar working on my retail business of dog products, BARK&WAGS.

This is my quiet time and I love working on bringing my own brand to life. 

Most mornings I wake and work on my socials from the warmth of my bed, I use breakfast time to check and reply to emails and admin. 

And on my weekends, I then focus on my service business, to help people get their digital tasks done. 

Life's busy with family, work and side-hustles though I love it all and wouldn't change a thing.

Image: Supplied. 



My name is Kiarne and I'm a Lady Startup, and student from Mia Freedman's Lady Startup Activation Plan course August 2020 intake!

My day job is a consulting business that I work to pay the bills. While it's been awesome and lucrative, I still feel like I'm working for "the man". 

My side-hustle, Sustainable Choice, is my start-up (and my life savings).

To keep everything humming along nicely I work whenever I don't have formal plans. 

I work in bed, in front of Masterchef, in the car. Whatever works! I'm a perfectionist, and would say I work 50 hours a week in my primary day job, and about 35 on my start-up on a busy week!

"My poor dogs get so jealous of my laptop." Image: Supplied. 


You can work through the Activation Plan in your own time, at your own speed. Mia and the Lady Startup team get that you're busy which is why it's not a full-time or even part-time situation. You can definitely make progress just jumping on and doing 2 or 3 hours of it in a week. And you can always go back to refresh, because you have lifetime access to the course. It's been purposely designed to be stress and pressure-free, which I loved and really needed!


My name is Teneille and I am the Chief Dog Lady and founder of The Dog Market, a new online Marketplace for everything dogs. 


I was made redundant from a high flying corporate role last March at the start of the pandemic and I started the idea then. I am now working full-time again but I hustle in the mornings and most nights and weekends to build my business. 

It's a grind but I am so dog obsessed, and I can't picture life any differently!

Image: Supplied. 



My name is Fiona and I am the founder of Start My Cleaning Biz, which teaches and coaches cleaning business owners to run a profitable cleaning business. 

I work 7 days and 5 nights a week. It's long and sometimes hectic, but I'm proud to be working towards my own goals, and helping other business owners in the process. My tip for others is to keep your "why" in focus, and use that to motivate you forward.

I wear all the hats and am learning constantly. I just love seeing my clients' lives changed for the better. 

I'm working towards my side-hustle one day becoming a million dollar business. Until then, I squeeze in as many social events and as much special time with my husband around my work commitments. It's amazing the time you can maximise in the week when you're conscious about every hour and how you're spending it.


I’m a single mum who works in a government job and runs a small business connecting people out in nature: InTents Healing.


Time management, routine, and passion are key. 

I work four days a week in my day job, and sit at the computer most nights to work on my business, and run events for my business on weekends. So they're all able to fit in well with each other.

I always start my day with a meditation, workout, breakfast, coffee and go! 

Having a morning routine is definitely the secret to getting more out of your day – it definitely keeps me fueled to keep going.

Image: Supplied. 



I work in real estate full-time managing a rental department and team, and I work on my side-hustle late at night, early mornings and weekends. 

I use my business Luna Rae & Co as a creative outlet to help with my anxiety.

I would love to work on it full-time one day while on leave if we have a second baby. In the meantime, I try to do my postal runs on my lunch break at work!



I am the owner of side-hustle, Little ZZZ Sleep Consultant. I work 3 days a week in my main source of income and have three children. 

The biggest struggle is finding the time to grow the business when I have to spend all the time I have working with current clients. 

I do most of my work between 8pm and 11pm once I have put my children to bed and can jump on the computer. I also squeeze work in while waiting at after-school activities in the car, or in the early hours of the morning while everyone is asleep.

It is important to me to not sacrifice time with my children so it's time with my husband that suffers (for now).



I work 4 days through the week in my primary income source. I also have a drawing and painting side-hustle Urban Lines, and I apply my artistic skills and passion to evolve it during any awake time I have around my normal working week.

Taking my sketch pad and pens with me wherever I go allows me to begin a project or complete artwork commissions in cafes over breakfast on my own, or after a roast lunch on a Sunday with my partner at the local pub (he’d watch the footy while I worked away).


When road trips and holidays were a “thing” I’d always have my art tools with me to practice or continue a work in progress while travelling. Basically any time where my hands aren't busy, I'll be working on my commissions through Urban Lines.

The goal is to transition from the day job to my side-hustle.


Want to fast-track launching your own business or side-hustle? Mamamia's Lady Startup Academy offers a range of courses to suit every business stage and need. Head to to learn more.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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