When a Side Business Just Isn’t Enough

Many moms who start a side businesses do so to supplement family income. A little extra every month would go a long way.
And for many moms – and their familiesthis is life changing. A little extra pays the bills, puts money in the savings account, allows for an extra dinner out.
But for some moms, that side business can start to become a problem.
Despite our “intentions”, we get ambitious. We love the woman we’re uncovering as entrepreneur, leader, creator, innovator. We find fulfillment in service. And we want more.
I started my business to earn money on the side. Being there for my daughter as an infant was important to me.
Four years later, it still is. But in finding myself in my business, in reclaiming the go-getter, head-of-the-pack woman that I had always been, I realized that I wanted more for myself, my daughter, and my business than just a bit on the side.

Taking your business from the side to a full-time gig isn’t just about unbridled ambition.

It’s ambition with purpose. Personal fulfillment, servant leadership, greater vision, meaningful change, and showing up for your family as the “real you” are all purposeful reasons you might choose to pursue a business full-time.

Still, I faced nagging questions from my internal mommy barometer:


  • Am I hurting my kid?
  • Am I being selfish?
  • Can I really make this work?

In the end, I believe each and every one of us can create a business that ticks all the boxes of what we value most.
I value independence, personal integrity, and success on my own terms. When I transitioned my business into a full-time venture, I made sure to put those values at the heart of what I do.

If your hobby or side business is starting to feel like it’s just not enough, if you haven’t discovered the personal fulfillment you’d like, explore your options.

Discover what will work for you, your business, and your family by understanding what you really want.


What values or priorities are driving your business?



Tara Gentile

Business Strategist at Tara Gentile
Tara Gentile is an author and business strategist who works with idea-driven entrepreneurs who want to do more with less. Her clients learn to lead themselves and their businesses based on what makes them most effective and compelling. Tara’s work has been featured in Fast Company, Forbes, Design*Sponge, and in the New York Times bestselling book The $100 Startup, by Chris Guillebeau. She’s a regular instructor on CreativeLive and speaks on entrepreneurship, money, and the New Economy all over the world.




  1. Jai Catalano

    I always tell people I have the greatest side business but I need a full time thing. Yes my site, photography, and design work has grown but sometimes it just doesn’t feel enough. I was the babysitter for both of my kids… by the way my wife calls it being dad… for the first year of their lives. I am glad I did it but now that they are a bit older I need to make this venture more lucrative.

    • Tara Gentile

      Jai! Thank you so much for weighing in on this! Men certainly aren’t immune from this need. Dads need to decide what is going to make their lives most fulfilling as well. Then, we’ll all be better parents!

  2. Nicole

    I still struggle with the balancing act. My mommy duties don’t allow me the time I think I need to put into my business in order to really make it fly. The business is doing well but I know it can be great!

    • Tara Gentile

      Hi Nicole!
      This sounds like exactly what I’m talking about! Your business doesn’t have to be a balancing act. If you’re ready to take things to the next level, if you’re craving the challenge of growing it, it might be time for day care or preschool or just some quality time with grandma.

      Each of us as moms needs to know what it’s going to take to make our lives as fulfilling as possible.


  3. Lynne

    Very well said. When I decided to work at home to give more time with family, at first it is very hard but now i can easily manage my time to my work and family especially time for the kids.

  4. mumspeak

    My new business is still what I call a ‘hobby’ business and I’m enjoying it for what it is – for the moment! But, I recently wrote about my previous business and how we decided it would be more than just a bit on the side and it’s funny how just writing about the past brings up some of those same feelings. A part of me would love to see this new business grow but I realise I have a completely different set of circumstances now, to the last business. It’s funny how life and priorities change. You check out my blog if you like.


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