Thora, Maxim, and Amanda have something in common: They all have a main job as well as a self-employed project on the side. The three projects couldn’t be more different. And yet they all stem from their own passion and come with similar challenges.
Today, we’re introducing you to Maxim, the second side hustler in our three-part series. Maxim worked as a full-time Community Supporter, assisting customers with technical issues on a daily basis. That is, until he discovered his love for bees!
How did you get into your side business?
I can still remember the moment when it all started. In December 2013, it was dark and I was bored, so I spontaneously went to the cinema. There was a documentary about bees and what would happen if they no longer existed. I was totally captivated by it. I spent the rest of the night scrolling through internet forums about beekeeping.
And things progressed from there. I started learning from books and YouTube videos, and joined a beekeeping group in Hamburg. The first jars of honey I made went to friends and colleagues. But the demand for it kept growing. So I thought about turning my hobby into a side business. That’s how my brand Hamburger-Stadthonig.de came about. Bit by bit, I created my website, logo, etc.
How do you balance two jobs at once?
My two jobs work really well together. That was a conscious decision. My work as a beekeeper has intense peaks and is highly dependent on the season. From May to August, there’s a lot to do because the honey is ready and needs to be processed. In winter, on the other hand, it’s very quiet.
Community Support is my main job. There’s a big drop in the number of customer enquiries over the summer because most people would rather be outside. This is perfect for me: In summer, I work just two days a week at my day job and spend the rest of my time on my bees. I’m lucky to have such a flexible employer. But that’s the only option for my side business because I can’t just pause my bees.
What advice would you give someone who’s thinking about starting a side business?
Just go for it. You often think you have to plan everything down to the last detail, but taking the first step is half the battle. Because that’s where most people who want to start their own business fail!
Second, don’t see your main job as an obstacle, but as an advantage. If you’re passionate about something, you’ll be happy to invest a few hours in it at the weekend to get your dream project off the ground. And if things go really well, you can start reducing your hours—but if not, there’s much less risk.