One of the biggest deterrents that keep creative people and entrepreneurs from pursuing a ‘side-hustle’ is the fear of being overwhelmed. This type of balancing act is no easy feat and your apprehension is warranted. Whether your side-hustle is a simple creative project or a full-blown second business, the idea of taking on additional responsibility while working full-time can seem impossible. But when your side-hustle picks up momentum, it can transform into a full-fledged business. That said, it’s important to look before you leap. If you’re going to abandon the safety of a full-time job to start working for yourself, it makes sense to double-check that you’re ready. Here are four things you need to do before you jump ship:
If you want to be an entrepreneur, there are many reasons why you should start small by building your side-hustle customer-by-customer from the ground up. For one, the prospect of making more money on top of your regular pay is a powerful incentive, especially in a volatile economy. A long-time hobby can also motivate you to grow a business around things you love. However, building a side-hustle up to profitability with a limited amount of time outside of your day job is never easy. Being patient is the key! It takes ruthless prioritization, a psychological shift in how you view what’s most important in your life, and the willingness to get very creative and scrappy on a daily basis.
Aspiring entrepreneurs with a strong drive can look to a side-hustle as a stepping stone towards financial freedom, although without patience by our side, your side-hustle won’t ever work.
Never enter a battle ill-equipped for the challenges you’ll be facing. In order to experience quick results, your side-hustle must be backed by relevant skills, experience, or industry knowledge. After all, business success happens only when the right skills meet the right interest areas. One thing I find a lot of entrepreneurs lack is a distinct sense of specificity in their goals. It’s all well and good to dream about finally being able to work on your startup all the time, but unless you have a path to get there, it’ll forever be a dream.
When people first start out trying to build a side-hustle while working a full-time job, the very first challenge that presents itself is learning the difference between projects that sound nice or sound interesting, and those actually worth your time. An effective (and even profitable) side-hustle is not about saying “yes” to anything and everything that comes your way.
Nothing is more inspiring than surrounding yourself with other people who are also working hard on their own side projects. It helps you remember what you’re working toward, but even more, it exponentially increases your own learning process. The value here is that there is strength in numbers. By collaborating with others, you can usually find ways to get things done faster and more effectively. After all, anyone with a side-hustle is hyper-aware of their time, and knows the value in finding ways to increase velocity.
Never forget that your side-hustle is a real business. That means you’re going to need to devote a fair amount of time (and financial resources) to promoting yourself and your solutions. After all, how else are you going to find new clients? The self-promotional aspect is hard for a lot of people, but it’s really, really important. There are a lot of talented freelancers out there who don’t do it well and don’t succeed because of it, and less talented people that do it well and succeed more.
Remember, there is no guarantee that your side-hustle will ever truly grow into a full-fledged venture by itself. But if you really want it to, give it the love and attention it deserves, and keep the above points in mind, and you should be on your way!
Saagar Panchal is the Founder and CEO of Hireavilla Hospitality Pvt Ltd, a luxury villa rental startup.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)