More and more people are looking for or creating a side-hustle to supplement or replace their regular full-time job. The side-hustle is not a new concept. It has been around for centuries. Some people have had to have a side-hustle out of necessity, while others choose to have a side-hustle, or several side-hustles, to have multiple streams of income to meet their financial goals. Remember, a side-hustle is not a second job working for somebody else. A side-hustle is you working for yourself.
A side-hustle can be as creative or mundane as you desire, but the best side-hustle(s) will be something you are passionate about and meets the needs or wants of consumers in a way that others in the same or similar target market can’t or don’t provide.
To increase your chance of having a successful side-hustle, consumers need to:
- want what you are providing (e.g. a service or product),
- know why they should choose your business over another, and
- understand how your service or product will benefit them.
Sounds easy, right? It may sound simple, but a successful side-hustle will require you to invest time, energy, and resources in ways you may not have thought about. The type of side-hustle you have will determine how much of each is required.
Everyone has the same 24-hours in a day. How that time is distributed is dependent on your lifestyle. You will need to allocate what time you have remaining after your regular full-time job and any extracurricular activities (e.g. sports, lessons, gym, yoga, etc.) you may have. In some cases, you may decide to cut back or eliminate certain activities in order to focus on your side-hustle.
Let me break my time down as an example:
Sunday through Wednesday
- Getting ready for work: 1 hour
- Daily commute to and from work: 2 hours (if there are no accidents)
- Scheduled work hours: 10.5 hours (usually closer to 12 hours)
- Workout: 30 minutes
- Sleep: 8 hours
- Time left for side-hustle: 2 hours
As you can see, four days a week I have two hours left in my 24-hour day, not including any household chores (i.e. laundry, cooking, cleaning) or appointments. Now I could reduce my sleep or workout time, but since I have three days off that I can dedicate to a side-hustle, I don’t reduce that time because exercise and sleep are both important to my health and mental well-being.
On Thursday, Friday and Saturday of most weeks I can work on my side-hustle 8 to 10 hours a day, if I choose and still have time to take care of my household needs, doctor appointments, family events and time with friends. The choices I make on the off days from my full-time job directly impacts the time I can put into my side-hustle. For instance, once I decided to write my book “Psychological Musings An Anthology of Darkness and Light” it only took me three months to finish and another two months to be published. This was something I had dreamed of since my childhood. By setting goals and setting aside time to put in the work, my dream came true. Getting my writing published was my success. My book does not have to be on the best-sellers list to be successful, but should it happen it will add to the success I have already achieved.
Taking the time to break down how you spend your time will benefit you immensely. In most cases, you will “find” time that was previously unaccounted for. Time spent watching tv, eating out, reading books, doing hobbies, hanging out with friends, and scrolling through social media adds up. Hours can be lost in these activities and can often be reduced giving you more time to work on your side-hustle. How you prioritize your time matters.
Energy is crucial to your success mentally, physically, and financially. I can’t stress enough the importance of good nutrition, sleep and exercise to keep your energy level strong. Energy mixed with passion takes you to a whole other dimension in your work. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you may very well find your energy and desire dwindle. Don’t let that happen. If you don’t put in the time, you won’t make a dime! It’s called a side-hustle, because you have to hustle, work, plan and execute. There will be long days and long nights throughout the growth process of your side-hustle, but in the end, it will all be worth the sacrifices you made to make your dream a reality.
Let’s talk resources. Resources are more than money. Resources include your network of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances, as well as your knowledge, your gifts, talents and skills, and money. You will find there are people in your social network that are able to help you with resources, oftentimes with little or no money needed. Think about services and skills can be traded at no cost to either party. Talk to people in your network to identify others you may want to reach out to. Ask if they can help you by making introductions or referrals on your behalf. These are just a couple of ways to add resources to your side-hustle.
In most cases you will need to make some financial investment into your side-hustle, but that investment doesn’t have to be an obstacle for you getting started. If you have a good business plan, you can use that to invite financial institutions, individuals, or crowd funding, to invest in the work you are doing. Having a business plan will increase the success of your side-hustle becoming a success because it will keep you focused on what you need to do and provide a way to measure your success.
You can have a side-hustle at almost any age. If you put in the work, you will succeed. Remember, success is measured in many ways. Success could be stepping out and doing something you are passionate about. Success could be the fulfillment you get helping others. Success could be learning new skills along the way. Success could be your service or product being recognized by media outlets or sponsored by other businesses. Success could be making your side-hustle your full-time business. Whatever success means to you. You can have it!