According to a 2017 survey by Bankrate, over 44,000,000 Americans currently have a side hustle. Of those who have a side hustle, 28% fall into the millennial age range of 18-26. Americans across the country are utilizing their skills outside of work more often, and making extra money in the process.
Having a side hustle isn't all sunshine and rainbows, however. Side hustles require hard work and discipline if you want to create a successful one. I am going to walk you through all the steps you must know to have a thriving side business, no matter what stage of life you are in.
1. Understand The Goal Of Your Side Hustle
One of the first things you need to do is define the side hustle. What is your relationship with your side hustle? Are you trying to replace your full-time income or supplement it? If you don't know what you are trying to accomplish, how will you know when you reached your goal?
Sit down and define a number. How much money are you trying to make here? Do you need just enough to pay your student loan bill each month, or are you looking for something more serious? Are you trying to save for a house or car? Write down your goals and give them a number.
If you have a full-time job or you are a student, how much money do you have coming in already? How much more money do you need to live your best life? Define all of this and get it out into the universe.
Once you come up with an exact number, you can start working toward that number as you are making extra income each month.
2. Set Boundaries In Other Areas Of Your Life
I hate to break it to you, but you won’t be able to do everything you are doing now. Your side hustle is going to take a considerable chunk of your time, so you need to make time for it.
What are your time commitments that you have with other people or businesses each week? Define where your time is needed each day with a typical schedule. Don’t build this schedule out in an ideal world; be honest about the realities of your plan. Include everything from meetings to television time.
Once you know your regular schedule, you need to make the cuts necessary to fit your side hustle in.
You Will Have To Make Sacrifices
If you want a side hustle, you need to know that you will have to make sacrifices. You may have to sacrifice things like:
- Time spent hanging out with family and friends
- The time you spend playing video games or watching television
- A big work promotion
- and often much more!
You make sacrifices for your side hustle now so that later you can create a gig that makes you consistent income. It's important not to lose too much of yourself in your side hustle, though, especially if you want this to be supplemental income.
3. Create Some Quick Wins For Your Side Hustle
One of the best things you can do for your side hustle is building momentum. By building momentum in your business, it becomes more than just a timesuck. Instead, it becomes something that you are passionate about.
As much as we'd all like to believe that we can do things just for the fun of it, we often don't make as much time for fun as we'd want to. So start making money with your side hustle as soon as possible. It doesn't have to be a significant amount of money. Try some simple activities like:
- Tap into your current network to see if your friends, family, or colleagues need your services.
- Cold email or call local and national companies who might need your work.
- Go to local craft fairs or conferences to sell your services and products.
It is much easier to show up for physical people over abstract concepts. If you can get a few people on board right away, you will be forced to make room for your side hustle!
4. Focus On The Tasks That Work
As you build up your side hustle, you need to learn to trim the fat. Every month you should be taking an inventory of what you did to grow your business.
- What was successful?
- What didn’t work as well as you thought it would?
- Do you have any tasks that you need to spend more time on?
- Did anything seem promising if you gave it another month?
Take this inventory at the end of every month you are in business. You want to give things time to work, but you don’t want to be fooled into chasing after tasks that aren’t helpful.
You may decide to shelve a task today and pick it up a few months down the road. If you only have a limited time to work on your side hustle, you don’t have time to focus on things that don’t work.
5. Work Towards Your Dream Consistently
Last, but not least, you need to work toward your dream consistently.
Consistency is crucial with anything that you want to be successful at. You cannot pick up your side hustle every six months and hope that it will succeed. Instead, you need to build time into your schedule to work on it consistently. Make it a habit that you’ll be sad to miss.
Even if you can only work on your side hustle for an hour every single day, that’s better than working on it 30 hours during one week every month. Spread out the time that you are working so that it becomes a part of your daily routine.
Find An Accountability Buddy
If you are having issues making time for your side hustle, find an accountability buddy. You may find one online, with a colleague, or in an entrepreneur group in your town. Find a person you can check in with each day to talk about your dreams, wishes, and goals. Hold each other accountable to make that vision a reality.
You don’t have to do this alone! There are plenty of people who will gladly help you each day!
Conclusion: You Can Make Your Side Hustle Work For You!
Welcome to the ranks of the 44,000,000 Americans and counting who have a side hustle! You are going to create amazing things and build a business you can be proud of. We cannot wait to see what you create and how this side hustle will change your life. Running a successful side hustle is going to take time and patience, but we are confident in your abilities!