Side Hustle: A Practical Guide To Starting A Business

What is the fastest way to attain financial wealth? 

If your comprises of maximising discount coupons and reduced eating out, you are completely wrong. 

The answer is earn more money. 

Introducing the side hustle. 

“The art of creating your own business as a side project to your regular 9-5 employment.” 

Yes you read it right. Starting a business while working a full time job. 

But isn’t it insanely to fit both in? 

I wouldn’t lie, it is going to be difficult. But still possible. 

Today, we will explore why people embark on the side hustle journey. Along with strategies they use to make it possible.

 

Why Adopt A Side Hustle? 

Apart from increasing your spending budget, here are several advantages to building a side hustle: 

 

1. FINANCIAL LIFEBOAT

 

Companies today aren’t loyal like they used to. 

According to a study by Intuit, more than 40% of the US workforce will turn into independent contractors by 2020. 

Before you get worried, do take a step back to understand why this trend is happening. 

In a competitive business environment driven by technology, industries are getting constantly disrupted. 

To remain competitive and agile, companies have take a more flexible approach to hiring. 

They hire contractors over permanent staff and require freelancers from overseas. 

According to a study by Heartland Monitor Poll, 78 percent of adults agreed that "compared to earlier generations … it is currently harder" for young people today "to get started in life." 

Imagine your side hustle as a career insurance. 

By diversifying into several income streams, losing a job *touch wood* will still hurt. 

But not as much as your co-worker who relies solely on his income. 

 

 

2. TEST YOUR BUSINESS CONCEPT

Dreams to become your own boss one day? 

A side hustle is a risk free method to achieve that.

Just take a step back and imagine the common risks associated with starting a business. 

A. Product Fit: You need to develop a product that solves a legitimate problem in the market. Also testing price points that the market is willing to pay while remaining profitable  

B. Customer Base: A robust sales pipeline is essential as the life blood of any business. You need to gain clarity around which is the most viable customer acquisition channels

C. Systems & Processes: A profitable business does not just boil down to superior technical skills. You need to develop processes to attract clients and delivery the work more efficiently

All these milestones require time to developed. 

 

3. LEARN NEW SKILLS 

Use your side hustle as a sandbox to develop new skills.

During your day job, you might be pigeon-holed as a cog in the machine. There is pre-existing rules you need to follow in exchange for a paycheque. 

With your side hustle, it’s a blank canvas. 

While you might be a technician in your day job, you will be required to wear different hats. 

For example, learning how to pitch your product, design a sale process and develop processes. 

Even if you don’t transit into a full-time business eventually, these skills will transform you into a dream employee. 

By having the ability to view activities on a business level, you can start relating to the goals and concerns of your boss. 

This new perspective will open doors to better career opportunities. 

 

Side Hustle Business Ideas

So a side hustle might sound like a viable idea…

But where do you start? 

Here are great resources that you can check out for side hustle ideas. 

You can check out: 

50 Side Hustles You Can Start Pretty Quickly For $50 Or Less

95 Side Hustle Business Ideas You Can Start Today  

The Top 68 Side Hustles: Add Some More Money to Your Life  

Step 1: Find willing customers

Step 2: Delivery a great offer

Yes it is that simple. No complicated machinery or complex marketing campaigns required. 

In general, services are easier to deliver over products. They are less risk, faster to execute and require less money. 

For instance, working as an Uber driver is easier to execute than developing an app. 

 

Freeing Up Time For The Side Hustle

 

1. WORK REALLY EARLY OR LATE

How do you make time while juggling a full time job? 

The answer is to work early in the morning before work, or stay up till late after work. 

Since this falls outside normal work hours, it has huge advantages too. 

As Ross Simmonds puts it “The biggest drain on your time isn’t the time in which you’re busy getting things done; the biggest drain on your time is being interrupted.” 

That is an accurate observation according to a digital distraction study. It found that when human and digital distractions are encountered, it takes 23 minutes for a worker to return to the original task. 

Do check out our article on productivity. Especially impressive is how Jack Dorsey leverages his time to run two companies at once. 

 

 

2. LEVERAGE “DOWNTIME” 

How you spend your time when NOT working is equally as important as when you’re working. 

It determine how well rested you are when returning to the grind. 

Rather than surfing Facebook or binging on Netflix, take the time to actually unplug and fully relax. 

Meditate. Go for a stroll.  Sweat it out at a gym. 

I highly recommend you check out “Play It Away: A Workaholic’s Cure For Anxiety” where Charlie Hohen (former burnt out workaholic) shares effective strategies for decompressing from the hectic schedule. 

Apart from relaxing, you can turn your daily commutes into a classroom. 

Listen to a podcast or audiobook. This allows to learn insights from top entrepreneurs. 

Here are some podcasts to get you started:

Entrepreneurs On FireSmart Passive IncomeSocial Triggers InsiderMixergy

 

3. OUTSOURCE

Are there repetitive tasks that you consider outside your circle of competence? 

Bookkeeping. Keyword Research. Banner Design. Social Media Posts. Website Development. 

Does any ring a bell? 

It is probably a good idea to outsource these activities so that you can focus on what actually moves the needle forward. 

Do check out sites like Fiverr and Upwork as hotspots to recruit freelancers. 

A word of caution - Do not every outsource your core activities by replying on third parties.

It is akin to a restaurant that outsources its cooking. 

Case in point - Mark McGuire, founder of Nextt used development firms to build his product, like many other startups, which ended up as a waste of time and money.

Lesson learnt, remember to delegate wisely. You are ultimately responsible for the success of failure of the business. 

 

 

4. DEDICATE TIME

Create time blocks within your weekly calendar.

“Fix your ideal schedule, then work backwards to make everything fit — ruthlessly culling obligations, turning people down, becoming hard to reach, and shedding marginally useful tasks along the way.”

According to best selling author Cal Newport, he attributes his productivity success to the “Fixed-Scheduled” technique

Advice by Do-It-Yourself entrepreneur Tyler Tervooren- Even if all you can spare 20 minutes, that is better than nothing. 

The 20 minutes rule has two benefits: 

A. It sets the habit of working on your project a little bit every day.

B. It gets you started each day, and you usually end up motivated to work much longer.

Either way, you need to block of time and make it a priority. Otherwise other life commitments would flood your schedule and push aside your side hustle. 

 

5. JOIN MASTERMIND GROUP 

mastermind.jpg

Having a tribe of like-minded entrepreneurs will keep you accountable. 

If you are working in a full time job, it is easy to rationalise that you are tired and don’t need to grow your side hustle. 

Or you might be surrounded with friends who pressure you to “hang out” on a Thursday night, instead of hustling like you should. 

The format among mastermind group varies. 

Some of the more effective ones I see are daily check-ins. Members report on tasks done and key tasks for the day ahead. 

Apart from keeping accountable, mastermind groups is a great way to network while share resources and knowledge. 

For instance, members can save by sharing access an online course. 

Or even swapping business referrals. 

The benefits are endless when you surround yourself with like-minded. 

And maybe surrounding yourself with business owners might inspire you to turn your side hustle into a full time gig.  

 

6. LEARN TO SAY ‘NO’ 

Side hustle requires commitment. 

The evenings where you merely chill out and watch television till late? 

The weekday mornings where you sleep in and wake up just in time for work? 

You might have to wave goodbye to these ‘luxuries’, based on the lifestyle adjustments required to pursuit your side hustle. 

This includes other side projects that you do just for fun, without actually moving your side hustle forward.  

In the book “Essentialism: The Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown, he covers how focus is the main differentiator between peak performers and ordinary folks. 

The same holds true for your side hustle. You need to focus all your energies on developing one business till it hits peak level, instead of getting distracted by various shiny opportunities. 

 

To Wrap It All Up…

There is no doubt that pursuing a side hustle is difficult. 

But ultimately it depends whether your ‘WHY’ to build a business is strong enough. 

Here’s a quote worth remembering:

“Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” 

All the best in your side hustle! 

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