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Starting a Side Hustle - Part 2: Becoming your own boss

So you have decided to start a side hustle! Good on you! Now let us get down to business and figure how what you need to do to start a side hustle.

 

1. What is the goal of a side hustle?

Everyone has to work to survive. To have the basic necessities of food, shelter, and clothing, we have to pay for them (duh). That means we need money. Unless you have piles of the stuff lying around, you will need to get a job. But just because you have to get a job, doesn’t mean you have to like it. And that is where the side hustle comes in. You need to make ends meet to survive, but you need to follow your passions in order to live.

The goal of a side hustle is twofold:

  1. Do something that enables a passionate, fulfilling life.
  2. Develop another source of income.


If you’re in a job you don’t like, but don’t have any money saved up, it’s hard to leave. But, if you have a financial safety net from your side hustle, you can quit and tide yourself over until you get a new job. However, making money from nothing is hard. There will be days, weeks, months, even years when a side hustle will not produce much if any, wealth. But that is part of the process.

 

2. Why side hustling works

Typical work weeks vary depending on the industry, but, on average, 40 hours a week is pretty standard. That works out to eight hours a day for five days a week, at 24 hours a day and seven days a week. That means the average person is working about 24 percent of the time. Now, there are people who hustle for 100 hours a week. That works out to 14 hours a day for seven days a week. These people are working 60 percent of the time. To highlight this difference, let’s increase the time scale. What takes the average person one year to do, the hustling person will accomplish in five months. If you hustle, in one year you will have done more than twice as much as the average person. Put in the work, and you will see the results.

The importance of Multiple Incomes

The wealthiest among us have more than one source of income. There is a reason for this. The wealthy understand the value of diversification. Typical culprits include real estate, stocks, private investing, and a core job. This allows the wealthy to have a safety net. If they lose one or more of their income streams, they will have others to fall back on that will likely be unaffected by whatever caused the loss of income in other areas. The emphasis on having multiple income streams has largely remained with the wealthy. As side hustling gains in popularity, however, this mentality is getting pushed down to more and more people.

 

3. Get the ball rolling

Now that we are all on the same level and have an understanding of why we are going to tackle the side hustle, we can plan for it. To ensure a successful side hustle model some steps have got to be looked at. Let's look at what these steps involve.

 

  • STEP 1: DETERMINE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO

A side hustle is a job, albeit not your full-time job. As explained in our previous blog, a side hustle is focused on what you enjoy doing, something you have a passion for. It might be photography or making dog clothes. There are so many different options, but it is important you decide this for yourself. You have to decide what your strengths and weaknesses are.

What do you spend your time on when you are not working. Of course, family and loved ones are an obvious answer, but no. We are looking for a passion. The thing that when your better half calls you, you answer "Give me a minute I really want to finish this first".

Whatever it is you will know it because you are interested in it. You have knowledge of a process or technique that you have learned. You understand the history and can see the value in it. This value might seem objectifiable in terms of income, but don't worry we will get to that. For now, find this "thing" that you love to do and we will focus on that.

  • STEP 2: EVALUATE YOUR IDEA AND THE MARKET

Everything in the world has more than one admirer. If you love to do something, for a fact there are more people that feel the same way you do. Depending on the "it" there might be a huge market for it, or a relative niche market. This is what you have to find out now.

When looking at your idea to start a side hustle you have to think outside of the box. If you are interested in making bespoke knives, your side hustle could be making and selling these knives of course. But there are a lot of other elements to this hobby that you can monetize. There might be other people making these knives but they need certain tools or certain materials, and your knowledge of the process makes you an invaluable supplier of these required products to them. Or you might look at it and decide there are already enough people making bespoke knives, but what about accessories for this. What about sheaves or sharpening tools. The possibilities are endless.

All of these ideas you can think of can be made into a side hustle. It can be as abstract as just having the information and sharing it, or actually producing it. That is something you are best situated to analyze and decide.

Once you have an idea of what you want to do, it is time to test it. The process of determining if you’ll be successful is called validating your business idea. It involves determining whether or not your idea is actually viable and taking a look at the market you hope to enter. To help you with these we have an article about "How do you know if your idea is any good?"

  • STEP 3: DOES YOUR IDEA SIT WELL WITH YOU

The one thing a lot of side hustlers that want to start afresh forget about, is this step. After you have decided, and evaluated your idea, you have to revisit it and ensure that you are comfortable with it. Why? 

Working 40 hours a week is enough to zap most people’s creative energy by the time the day winds down. And after time well spent with family, friends, and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to see just how hard it can be to carve out additional headspace to work on a side project. But, it’s these hours tucked away in life’s margins that tend to be the best time to do the focused work needed to get something off the ground. The workday is done, the weekend is still a couple of days away, and since you’ve already watched all the true-crime documentaries on Netflix, your schedule is wide open.

But, try as you might, sometimes you just won’t want to work. That’s why it’s ideal if your side hustle closely pairs with what you’re passionate about, even if it’s not the end-product itself. That might mean you enjoy some aspect of running things behind the scenes, immersing yourself in a new topic or field of interest, or a desire to do something to help people. Whatever the appeal, a good litmus test is that you’re drawn to the work when you’re procrastinating on something else—that little bit of enthusiasm can go a long way.

So, revisit your idea and ask yourself will you spend time on this at the end of a long day. If your answer is yes, great! You are on your way. If not, then revisit Step 1 and start again until you find your passion.

  • STEP 4: DOES IT MAKE MONEY

Ah yes, the age-old question. Will it make money? To be honest, this will only be 100% certain once you have started it and made some sales, but there are ways to help you decide the viability of your business idea beforehand.

Firstly ask yourself if you would buy this. You are the expert here and if you are willing to buy this then that is a step in the right direction. Now ask yourself how much would you be willing to pay for it? Alongside that ask yourself how much in time and supplies it will cost you to produce this. If you are willing to pay more than what it costs, well then you have yourself a side hustle brewing!

Secondly, ask other people in the industry. There are forums for everything. Ask if they were to buy this product or skill of yours, how much would they be willing to pay. Of course, if you ask a Taxi Driver how much he wants to pay for fuel, the answer will be skewed, but you will see that he wants to buy fuel so that is another step in the right direction.

Take on board all of this information and it will give you a good idea of what the viability of your side hustle is.

 

4. Get ready to Hustle!

Now you have an idea. You have tested the waters. You are excited and ready to start! And we want to help you. In the next blog, we will look at what you need to do to get your side hustle into the world. How to get selling and how to get that first sale! 

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