Apparently, 50% of Millennials have a side hustle - an extra source of income from a business that they have created outside of their full-time career. A side hustle is a great way to validate whether your business ideas has strong enough legs to allow you to making a living from it and commit to the project full-time. However it has also been touted as ‘must have’ to fulfil the perception of having it all, which can pile unnecessary stress and pressure on you when you’re probably juggling plenty day to day.
Firstly, is a side hustle for you? Well, if you have a creative passion that isn’t utilised in your day job then maybe. Or you might think that you can offer people a service that doesn’t conflict with your current role and you can do this anywhere, like copywriting, or digital marketing strategy. Or you even have a product that you love, either self-created or sourced, that you want to share with the world. Whatever your driving factor, you need to be serious about the time and effort that will go into getting this off the ground. No matter what you call it - freelancing, gig economy or side hustle - you might be about to branch into the world of entrepreneurship which isn’t for the faint hearted. How are you going to find the time? Read on.
Do what you’re good at
Most side hustles start with an expertise for something, so take this into consideration when choosing your path. Deciding to do something you’re not fully versed in will mean a lot more time learning and developing your expertise before you are at a place where you’re able to charge for it. Do you love photography but have never picked up a camera? That’s an interest, not a business. Make it a hobby first and learn before you launch. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration and will avoid angry clients if you aren’t able to deliver as promised.
Not all side hustles are created equal
Commit a specific amount of time to your business and show up every time for it. You might have read that getting up at 4am is the way to make a side hustle work, but maybe you’re not an early riser and only you know the time you can allocate to this project (without getting fired from your other job). By forcing yourself to be something you’re not will only lead to a quick burnout for both you and your business. Remember, your business is your baby so figure what is best for you to allow your side hustle the creative space it needs grow and ignore the #hustleporn.
Say it out loud
Let people into your plans that you’re going to start a business or freelance. Not only does telling people make it seem more concrete so that you are more likely to follow through with it, you'll also be inviting people to share their experiences and give you some advice. Although this may sometimes be unsolicited, feedback can be a gift and help you think through things you hadn’t considered. So say it out loud and make it real!
Be ready to make some sacrifices
With an extra project on your hands, be prepared to say ‘no’. If you are being consistent in showing up for your side hustle, it’s a no to bingeing on that Netflix show everyone is raving about and it’s a no to attending that social engagement that clashes with your side hustle schedule. This is probably the biggest thing people struggle with, but if you want to grow your business into something bigger other things have to give.
How about you? Are you already working on your side hustle, or thinking about it?