A side hustle is a great way to get ahead, accelerate your financial goals, or pave the way to financial independence. Often times people struggle with where or how to start – either emotionally, strategically, or financially – so I wanted to share some insights from my journey as a side hustler, entrepreneur, and business owner over the past several years.
Know Your WHY
When starting any venture, it’s important to know your WHY. If you haven’t heard this term, your WHY, is the reason you do what you do. It’s what drives and motivates you. It’s what you would do if you have all of the money in the world and didn’t have to work. If you know your WHY, and reinforce it with a visual representation that you view multiple times throughout the day, you will be amazed at how this simple step will help you reach your goals faster and with less struggle. If you don’t know your WHY, stop and figure it out. Ask yourself these questions:
- What would I do if I had all of the money in the world and did not have to work?
- How would I spend my time?
- What would I spend my money on?
Answering these questions will get you on the right track towards figuring out your WHY. Once you have your WHY figured out, then create a visual by putting pictures that represent your WHY on a poster board and put it somewhere where you will be able to see it every day, and ideally multiple times per day (this is known as a vision board).
Getting started With a Side Hustle
For some people, determining a side hustle comes easily. It might be that you are able to do what you do for your employer on the side for family or friends, as is the case for many service providers. For others, the idea of starting something new is exciting. Starting a side venture to enter a new field is a great way to make the transition with minimal risk because you are not walking away from the security of your day job to do it.
Some side hustles will require money to start up, so that is also a consideration. I recommend starting by using whatever skills you have. If you a don’t have skills that related to a side hustle or are under a non compete, here are a few to consider starting with are:
- Rideshare Driving (i.e. Lyft or Uber driver) – Technically, all you need is an insured car that isn’t too old and a smartphone. Learn more about rideshare driving in my Rideshare Drivers Guide.
- Freelance Writing – If you are a writer, or even if you want to get started as a writer, this can be a good side hustle. If you are new to writing and need to get experience, I would look on site like Upwork and Fiverr to get some experience. Once you have some experience under your belt – which should give you more confidence – you can apply for higher paying writing jobs at Upwork or check out the Pro Blogger job board.
- Other Freelance Work. I wrote a post highlighting several freelance sites where you can find work, you can find the article here.
Growing Your Side Hustle
There are a few strategies for growing your side hustle.
Expanding Your Side Hustle. The first tactic for growing your side hustle is to expand the business by bringing on more clients. This is something that should be done cautiously because you don’t want to overspend on marketing nor do you want to bring in business faster than you can effectively serve your customers. Adding systems, collaborative partners, or part-time employees can help you grow your side hustle. One of my early side hustles was offering SEO services to companies. Eventually, I took on a few partners and that side hustle grew into a full-service Internet Marketing company. A few years after, I was able to sell my interest to my partners and the business is still thriving today.
Upgrading Your Side Hustle. Another way to grow your side hustle is to upgrade to a higher paying side hustle. This tactic involves starting with a side hustle that is simple to get up and running to start bringing in money but keeping your options open for higher paying side hustles. For example, perhaps you start your side hustle journey as a rideshare driver and you are able to earn roughly $15 per hour (before expenses). You decide on this because it is relatively simple to get started (I will share more on this later in the post). Let’s say you are driving for 8 hours per week in your spare time, so you are bringing in $120 gross, or $100 after expenses. This is a great start because you are bringing in money and that is the goal.
Now you have a few options. You can use the $100 per week to save towards investing in a higher producing side hustle. This might mean using the money to become a notary to do real estate signings (at roughly $150 per signing), taking a course to launch your new venture, or acquiring a real estate license to sell real estate on weekends. As you upgrade, make sure that you are moving from the security of what you are earning to something that will pay you more money for less time invested.
The Danger of Too Many Side Hustles
As you upgrade your side hustle, make sure to leave the prior one behind, or you might find yourself on the edge of burnout. A lot of entrepreneurs struggle with focus and as you find new better-paying side hustles, there may be a temptation to do too many side hustles for too long. It’s ok, to do both as you are making the transition, but I encourage you to focus on the new (higher paying) side hustle as soon you are financially able to.
I hope that inspires you to take your side hustle to the next level or get started with one!