If you’ve been looking for ways to start a side hustle while still working a full-time job, then you’ve come to the right place. In this blog post, I’m going to lay out the groundwork to help you choose and start the perfect side hustle in just 5 easy steps!
1. Define Your “Why”
Your “why” is basically the reason you want to take up a side hustle. Perhaps you’re no longer happy with your job? Or you’ve got a growing family, and your salary can barely support your family’s needs? Or how about you need to have some sort of distraction or maybe an outlet for your creativity?
Having a side hustle doesn’t necessarily mean you’re looking to quit your job. But if that’s what you eventually want to do, then that could also be your “why.”
But, why is it important to know your “why?”
Well, your “why” is going to light a fire under you. It’s what’s going to drive you to succeed at your side hustle. It’s what’s going to push you out of your comfort zone and explore the opportunities that await you outside! When you’ve got your “why” figured out, don’t you ever forget it. It’s best to have a physical representation of your “why” to remind you of why you’re working so hard.
For instance, if you’re doing your side hustle for your family, then put up a picture of your family on your work desk. When you lose focus or motivation, look at that photo. Close your eyes and imagine what’s going to happen if you don’t succeed. Will you make your family proud of you or will they be disappointed? Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing, and do everything in your power to achieve your goals.
When you’re new to the side hustling world, you’re bound to meet failure. Your “why” will guide you through the days and weeks when you’ll feel overwhelmed by so many obstacles. Just keep your chin up and keep on fighting until you succeed!
2. Do You Have What It Takes to Succeed?
To succeed at side hustling, you need to have a strong mental psyche as well as solid people skills. You need to be mentally ready to take a giant leap of faith and explore the unknown when you venture into side hustling. You’ll be leaving the comfort of your day job, and for the most part, you’ll be a one-person team working on your hustle.
Here are a few characteristics you need to have if you want to succeed at your hustle:
Passion – Passion is so important when it comes to side hustles. While there are plenty of side hustles you can choose from, it’s best to choose something you’re truly passionate about, something you really want to do.
Without your passion, you’d easily lose motivation. You’ll go jumping from one side hustle to another until you eventually give up and say side hustling isn’t for you!
But, if you’re passionate about whatever it is, you’re doing, then it becomes so much easier to stand your ground whenever obstacles and challenges come your way (there will be plenty of those in your side hustling journey).
Drive – If you’ve got the drive to succeed, then you’d want to see your side hustle pan out. You’re not going to take failure sitting down. Instead, you’re going to fight with every ounce of strength you’ve got left. Your drive and your passion will motivate you to succeed far beyond everyone’s expectations!
Self-confidence – You need to trust that you can succeed at whatever you put your mind to do. In times of doubt, your self-confidence will ultimately power you through. When people doubt whether or not you’ve got what it takes to succeed, let your self-confidence show. Assure potential clients that you have what it takes to help them!
Optimism – Optimism or having a positive outlook in life is important for success. If you’re pessimistic and you let your negative thoughts get the best of you, then you’re really not going to get very far with your side hustle. However, if you’re optimistic, you’ll see opportunity where others may only see hardships and difficulties. And when it comes to side hustling, you need all the optimism you can get!
Integrity – As the saying goes, honesty is the best policy. If you want to scale your side hustle someday and turn it into a full-time business, then you need to start practicing integrity. It’s going to be associated with your brand.
If you can’t deliver on your promises, tell them the truth. Your clients will appreciate your honesty. Don’t tell lies – you’re only going to ruin your reputation. Remember, the more trustworthy you are, the easier it will be to persuade people to do business with you!
Patience –Your side hustle business is most probably not going to become famous overnight. Unless, of course, you happen to do something super out of the box and it goes viral on social media. But these are few and far in between!
In real life, side hustles take a long time to grow or scale. Longer, in fact, if you’re extremely busy at work and you’re too tired to work on your side hustle when you get home! The key is to stay focused and to have a lot of patience. Miracles do happen but don’t expect it to happen to you. If it does, well, be thankful!
3. Pick A Side Hustle
Picking a side hustle is easier said than done. There are so many you can choose from. If you do a Google search right now for possible side hustles you can engage in, you’ll find hundreds of ideas.
How do you know which one’s right for you? Well, only you know the answer to that. But we’ll help you figure out how to recognize the perfect side hustle for you.
What are you really good at? –You’re probably good at lots of things, but when it comes to side hustling, it’s best to pick only one hustle. If you work on two or three side jobs at a time, your attention will be divided, and you won’t be able to give your 100%.
Think of something you can do before or after your day job, something you’d love to do on weekends or on your days off. You’ll probably be tired working all day, so you really need something to look forward to.
There is where passion comes in handy. If you’re passionate about your side hustle, you’d always be looking forward to doing it, no matter how tired you may be from work. There’s that special fire within you that makes you keen and excited to work on your side hustle!
What’s your competitive advantage? – Unless you find a unique side hustle that no one else is currently doing, then you’ve probably got to worry about the competition, too. There are relatively easy side hustles that a great majority of people can do – these tend to have a lot of competition. And there are the more difficult side hustles that require technical skills and training. As you’d probably expect, there will be fewer people working these hustles.
Whatever side hustle you decide to do, you need to figure out what your competitive advantage is. You don’t want to do what everyone else is doing. If you do, then you won’t be able to earn as much as you’d like.
But you can’t just say you’re worth $50/hour when your competition is only $20/hour. What are your clients going to get with the extra $30/hour they pay you? Are you going to bundle something in your offer? Are you going to give them additional support later on? Figure it out and use it as a selling point when you market your services.
4. Plan Your Days and Weeks Ahead
There are only 24 hours in a day. And you’ve got a day job and a side hustle to work on. You also need to factor in things like travel time, family time, breaks, sleep, etc. If you want your side hustle to succeed, then you need to learn how to manage your time properly.
Have a to-do list for the day. Set milestones for the week or for the month. Figure out where you want to be in a year or two. Note down everything in your calendar, and make sure you see it every single day.
You don’t want to lose any time to procrastination or anything that’s not going to align with your goals. If you’ve got bad habits, change them into positive ones. If you’ve got friends who don’t support you and instead try to distract you from your goals, then you need to let them go.
You don’t need any more distraction in your life. Sure, it’s okay to unwind and have fun sometimes and do something spontaneous, but don’t overdo it. You may be tempted to leave your side hustle behind and instead languish in procrastination and distractions. Remember your “why” and get yourself together!
This is why it’s important to have a list of things you need to do every single day. Work on acquiring positive habits and learn to practice self-discipline. It’s the only way you’ll learn to say “no” to temptations and distractions around you. It’s the only way you can work on your side hustle while still keeping your day job!
5. Get Better at Your Side Hustle
Once you’ve earned some cash from your side hustle, don’t just stop there. Think about how you can improve your side hustle, think of ways you can serve your existing client base even better.
You may want to think about streamlining your processes to be as efficient as possible. Again, get rid of distractions. Set up your own home office if you need to. If you’re still bothered by outside noise and you can’t concentrate on your side projects, then maybe you’d like to purchase a noise-canceling headphone. If your computer is old and slow, perhaps you need to buy a faster computer.
Think of ways you can optimize your time. You’re working a limited number of hours on your side hustle each week (you still have your full-time job, remember). So, you need to make the most of your free time.
If you’ve set aside 5 hours each day to work on your side hustle, make sure those 5 hours are productive. You shouldn’t waste 2 hours browsing Facebook and Instagram! You’ll only be left with 3 hours! Procrastinating isn’t going to help you. It’s only going to make you hate yourself.
The point is, the better and more efficient you are at your side hustle, the more extra money you make each month. When you’ve got clients knocking at your door, then it means you’re doing a great job. When you get to this point, you should consider raising your rates, or maybe even quit your day job altogether!
You don’t need to quit your job once you start making good money at your side hustle. For instance, you probably get a lot of good benefits at your workplace like health insurance and a retirement savings plan.
When you work for yourself full time, you’re going to worry about all those things. You’ll need to pay taxes on your own, you’ll need to purchase your own insurance, etc. These are going to take a significant cut of your profits.
Before you do anything, weigh the pros and cons of turning your side hustle into your main gig. Then decide on what’s going to be best for you and your goals in life.