Ep 206 – Leading and Keeping Parallelpreneurs Engaged

With the number of people having side hustles, gig work, and what experts refer to as “parallelpreneurs,” employers are often conflicted. Should we be supporting these employees in their entrepreneurial efforts or should we send them off to greener pastures? And how can we keep them engaged in their work for us?

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Ep 206: Leading and Keeping Parallelpreneurs Engaged (@kim_ikemia_arrington)

Today we’re talking to business coach Kim Ikemia Arringon. Kim is the Founder & CEO of Courageant Consulting and Career Advisors, as well as Senior Diversity Recruiting Officer and Program Manager for a company in the DC Metro area. I asked Kim to tell us what a parallelprenuer actually is. She says parallelprenuers are living literally in the parallel world where they are working in part-time and/or full-time jobs who are also running or starting a business that’s outside of their employment. A long time ago I was a parallelprenuer, and it was tough but also fun and exciting. Kim works with parallelprenuers and professionals who are wanting more out of their jobs as a business and career coach.

There's two major factors that help to continue the success of what I do. And that's having the support or team and the systems to help you stay afloat. - @kim_ikemia_arrington #smallbusiness #sidehustle #podcast Click To Tweet

How Systems and Productivity Drive Success 

Kim shares that these dual focused business professionals are busy and they are master taskers who are all about being productive. The key to productivity starts with having a system and process that aligns and supports your business. For example, we talk about having scheduling tools and technologies for things like social media to help promote your business and engage your audience even when you are working your 9-5. This is one of the reasons why I think that employers should want to work with entrepreneurs. Out of necessity they are skilled at balancing their time, energy, and doing that at optimum levels. These in my mind are special skills that employers can really jump on and leverage.

Kim shares some of her favorite tools to help drive productivity for those aspiring parallelprenuers or indivduals who want to up their productivity game. Google Drive, Trello, Dropbox and Zoom are just a few. You also must listen to Kim’s secrets to creating content with limited time. I love her thought process and agree with it for sure!

Lastly, Kim says that outsourcing is critical to be successful with managing your life, your job, and side hustle. I love this tip because I think we often feel like we need to experience struggle to be successful. However, the real key is finding ways to do more with less and that includes getting help and support from family, friends, and hired support in the form of house keepers and Instacart shoppers to help you do more with less.

How to Retain Your Parallelprenuers 

These workers are moving fast, goal-driven, and are working towards their own plans personally and professionally. Since these workers in my experience are some of your top performers, employers want to know how to keep them around, working, and engaged. It starts with building that personal relationships and acknowledging their goals and finding ways to support them. Doing so will help keep them engaged in their jobs and drive productivity because they appreciate your interest, concern, and support.


In our current talent marketplace, employees prize autonomy over many things. Restricting side hustles completely isn’t the answer, but encouraging innovation and considering the “why” around why your employees are reaching outside of your company to start their own businesses is important. With the rise of the gig economy putting earning control in the hands of the individual, restrictive policies around moonlighting could negatively impact your employer brand. I’m so glad to have Kim with us today to share her expertise and her own experience.

Connect with Kim Ikemia.


· Kim on Instagram

· Is Your Employee Doing Side Work?

· Google Employs More Than 120,000 Contract Workers

· Dream Builders Group on Facebook ~ Kim’s Group

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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