Very often the easiest way to start an online business and quit your nine to five is by “testing the waters” with a side hustle. So here are just a few things to keep in mind before starting a side hustle of your own.
While it’s absolutely true that starting a side hustle is a great idea on how to build additional income streams and see how you’d be doing if you’d run your own business, it’s also true that having a side hustle entitles much more than just fun and games.
What is a side hustle?
Let’s start with the very basics of what I see as a side hustle – and what I’ll be talking about in this post.
In general, side hustle usually is some kind of a passion project that’s being built in your free time.
For some, this means coming back from 9-to-5 and hustling until the last breath of the day. For others, it’d mean investing an hour of kids’ naptime into building a dream business. While the time and amount of energy you invest in a side hustle might differ a lot, there are a few other things common to most of them.
- A side hustle is either meant to bring in additional income or it’s created so one day you really can leave that 9-to-5. Very often you started with the intention of having additional income and it turns out into something so much bigger.
- Usually, side hustles are based on our wildest dreams. “I wanted to be an artist but my parents said it won’t work”. And here you are, twenty years later, selling your art on Etsy. Other times they are very logically created businesses. “In my day job I’ve seen a lot of people seeking easy-to-understand solutions for their accounting problems so now I’m building an app for that.”
- It can be anything: blogging, book writing, app or website creation, freelancing, craft selling, shop, cooking etc.
What to keep in mind before starting a side hustle
Side hustles don’t bring fast or easy money
Depending on what your hustle is – yes, it can bring you big bucks and it can also be passive, meaning – you won’t have to invest much of your daily time at some point.
At the same time, many people get into side hustling just because they’re waiting for a fast return. And just like it is in life – rarely anything works this way and neither does side hustling.
Most side hustles will request tons of your attention, planning and marketing efforts before they’ll take off and start being profitable.
If you’ve ever tried to get “easy money” you might already know – rarely any “easy money” is real. Either it’s a scam or you have to work your arse off for any money at all. Therefore, scratch that term out of your head and just work for your dream instead!
Any side hustle is a business – treat it like one
Any side hustle should be taken as serious business with a big potential because that’s what they are.
This doesn’t mean that you have to hire an accountant right away, open an office and create a high-class website. But it does mean that you have to appreciate the opportunity to grow something bigger, to build a business of your own and to earn a living out of it.
It’s also one of the reasons why starting a side hustle is not a shortcut to additional income. Establishing a business – no matter what kind of – is a lot of work. It will take your time, investment, ideas, time.
Along with creating a side hustle, you will have to learn new skills – especially things you can’t even imagine at this point.
It will take way more time than you imagine
That “one hour in a naptime” might be a great reality. If only it could happen this way.
Let’s be real – any business, no matter the size or intentions of it – take a lot of time to become a reality. At the same time, “a lot of time” is can be a very different idea for different people.
While those who are not into online business might think that “a lot of time” will be months or even years; others might have the knowledge that making business happen takes time – but this time is relative.
It can happen within a month if you’re dedicated enough and you’re ready to really work for it. At the same time, if your productivity is low and you’re multitasking a lot instead of focusing on your goals – it really might take months or years…
The truth is – starting a side hustle means signing up for time investment. Just deal with it!
It’s rarely what you imagine it to be
As I already mentioned, one of the things to keep in mind before starting a side hustle is the fact that you’ll have to learn new skills and your side hustle rarely will be just what you imagined it to be.
For example, along with opening your own Etsy shop will come social media management, online marketing, photo editing… If you’ve decided to get into freelancing, you’ll have to practice time and money management, you’ll have to get into accounting, learn tons about productivity and much more.
It can be video making, blog post writing, accounting, project management, recruitment, designing… I mean, it really depends on your business and what’s waiting on the other side can just as well be unimaginable.
Of course, you can always hire someone to get things done for you but when the struggle is real, there’s lack of money to invest and after all – you just want to get things done on your own – being flexible is important!
You’ll get addicted to it
Building something on your own is very addictive and even if you don’t have any spare time – you might want to find as much time as possible to get things done for your new business venture.
I know people who spend their lunch breaks working, use each commute, each weekend and each moment off to build their dream business.
That’s also one of the reasons why many side hustles turn into full-time businesses. Because people believe in themselves, they want to work and improve, grow what they’ve made and they are passionate about what they’re doing.
That’s the whole charm of getting started! It’s not the money. It’s the freedom, the passion and the happiness that comes along with starting a side hustle.
So… What to keep in mind before starting a side hustle?
First and foremost – work on your passion. Start with something that makes your heart beat faster, something you really believe in and WANT to do. Otherway your side hustle could turn into another soul-sucking 9-to-5.