The concept of the side hustle is far from novel, but it’s safe to say that, thanks to Covid-19 and The Great Resignation, it’s taken on an entirely new (and substantially more powerful) meaning. And, besides the fact that it has the potential to bring in additional income, starting a business outside of your regular 9-5 has some pretty appealing benefits, such as: 1) being able to express your creativity through a channel that you have sole control over, 2) expanding on and/or learning valuable new skills, 3) gaining access to opportunities that you might not have considered otherwise, and 4) developing an extended network of business relationships or even life-long friends. Enjoying all of these perks, however, will require time, hard work, and, most importantly, preparation.
That being said, before you do ANYTHING, we encourage you to get your mind right and on the fast track to success with a few foundational steps. Check ‘em out:
1.Define clear goals.
The best way to dream big? Start small. It might sound counterintuitive, but focusing on several small steps at more frequent increments has actually proven to be the most successful strategy in goal completion.
Take a large goal (such as setting up an online art shop) and break it into small tasks that you can focus all of your energy on during a defined period of time (such as art creation, price development, website design, copywriting, launch planning, etc.). Give yourself a deadline for each task and stick to it.
Bottom line: The more simplified the goal, the less likely you are to get overwhelmed by it and give up before you’re even halfway through
2. Acknowledge your weaknesses and optimize on your strengths. You know what they say: Defense is the best offense.
Think long and hard about the areas of business that you’re good at and make peace with the areas that you’re not. If you have the time and money to dedicate towards nurturing and improving your weaknesses, we say go for it. If you don’t, plan on outsourcing when possible. This is, of course, an added cost, but don’t forget: time is money...and when it comes to building a business on top of your 9-5, time is simply not something you have a lot of.
Bottom line: Spend a majority of your time capitalizing on the things you do well and as little time as possible focusing on the things that you don’t.
3. Remind yourself not to jump the gun.
We mean this in the least negative way possible, but don’t quit your day job...
At least not until you have a reliable flow of customers coming in, that is. We understand that it can be difficult to gauge how much income you could be making without your day job until you, well, quit your day job. This is why we tend to push the 75% rule. In other words, we recommend that you plan on continuing with your full-time job until your side hustle is making at least 75% of what your current job is paying you.
Bottom line: Always have solid ground to stand on. And keep in mind that even with the 75% rule, there’s still a fair amount of risk involved with quitting your job, but, hey – that’s business.
4. Solidify your ‘whys.’
Don’t let the blasé blasé nature of the term ‘side hustle’ fool you. A business is still a business at the end of the day, meaning that, regardless of which venture you choose to take on, it WILL be time-consuming and it WILL be strenuous.
And when you find yourself in those tough times, the one thing that will keep you grinding is your WHYS – as in: Why did you start this side hustle in the first place? Why is what you’re doing important? Why is your life and the life of those around you going to be better because of what you’re doing? Take some time to answer these questions while you’re still pumped and energized for the journey you’re yet to embark on.
Bottom line: It is likely that overwhelm or burnout will cause you to stray from your “whys” every now and then, but when you clarify them and write them down ahead of time, you are far more likely to find your way back.
It might be a long road ahead, but intentional preparation and planning make the ride that much more enjoyable.
Alright, Publishers. Let’s get hustling