We know how it goes; you finish university, you start working full-time and after a few years you start to wonder if there’s another way. You start dreaming about life outside the 9-5. You think about how wonderful life would be if you ran your own business that made you piles of money without having to work for someone else.
But there’s a problem. Starting a business takes time and you can’t really afford to drop everything right now to start a business that may not make any money for months.
Enter: the side hustle. The ultimate stepping stone to business ownership. You keep the full-time job in the short-term, to keep the paychecks flowing in, and you use your spare time to build your side project. The plan is to one day turn it into your full-time business. And that dream, of financial freedom and freedom from your desk, is what keeps you grinding in your off hours.
Understand Your Long-Term Goal
If you’ve already got a side hustle in the works, you probably already know this, but you can’t go rushing into things with a full head of steam without a plan. You need to have a clear understanding of your long-term goals and objectives. Generally speaking, there are two common objectives of side hustle’s; to free yourself from having to work so many hours a week or to maximise your income past what you can make working for someone else.
Making the decision prioritise one or the other will help guide your decisions along the way. Sure, the objectives are relatively similar, but in practice, you may think differently when faced with a particular decision. If having more leisure is the top priority, then perhaps you want to focus more on automating your processes rather than scaling as much as possible.
Plan Your Dollars
If the ultimate goal is to quit your day job, you need to have a financial foundation to back up your plans. Take the time to work out how much money you want to be making per month to comfortably justify quitting your day job. From there, you can establish your financial targets for your side hustle.
Setting targets will allow you to track the progress of your side hustle. Defining your ideas of ‘success’ is key to understanding how you’re doing. After all, you’re putting in all these extra hours of work per week, you should have measures in place to determine whether it’s all worth it.
Accept the Extra Hours
Let’s face it, you won’t get anywhere if you’re not willing to put in the extra hours beyond what you’re putting in at your day job. Working full time is draining in itself. Working extra hours on top of that may be the last thing you want to do. But to get to where you want to be in the long-term, it’s simply what you’ve gotta do. Success is all about delayed gratification. Sure, all you may want to do when you get home is crack a beer and watch TV, but that’s instant gratification. Delayed gratification means sacrificing your time now to be better off in the future.
And keep in mind that you have periods of peak productivity and periods of mental fatigue. If possible, try to use some of your peak productivity time in the week to work on your side hustle. If the only time you work on your side hustle is after midnight after a long day of work, will you really be doing your best work?
Scale Without (Unnecessary) Debt
If you’ve got a good thing going, chances are there will be people that want to invest and get involved. External investment can be incredibly helpful to you and your business, but be careful not to take on unnecessary debt. If you only need $10,000 to get the project up and running, why take $20,000 from an investor. It will only result in you not getting as big a piece of the revenue pie as you’d like.
Too often, we see startups accept more funding than they need, and end up doling out large sums of money to external investors which they would have otherwise kept for themselves. Remember, the goal is to work for yourself, not work to give money to someone else.
Beware of the Burnout
If there’s one crucial factor of a side hustle that gets overlooked too often, it’s that you are your businesses greatest asset. So, you should be treating yourself like you are. Burnouts are a very real and ominous threat to your health and your business. And if you don’t look after yourself properly, a burnout is almost inevitable.
So how can you actively work to avoid one? Well you can start by developing good rest habits. Treat your weekends as opportunities to reset. Sure, every once in a while, you may need to blow off some steam and enjoy a few gin and tonics at your local bar, but if you’re pounding down drinks every Friday and Saturday night, you won’t get the rest you need. And make sure you have at least one day a week, generally Sunday, to completely check out of work mode.
Manage Your Time
Beyond that, effective time management is absolutely crucial. Working full time and running a side hustle is a big workload. There’s absolutely no need to worsen it by poorly managing your time. There are only so many hours in the day, so you can’t afford to waste them if you’re going to make this side hustle thing work.
And do yourself a favour and schedule in some exercise. Not only will your body thank you, you’ll improve your mental performance too. Going to the gym or for a run isn’t always high on the list of priorities when you’re busy. But it needs to be.
Know When to Fold ‘Em
If all goes to plan and you’re able to successfully grow your side hustle, you’ll reach a stage where you’re ready to take the leap into full time business ownership. That’s where the real fun begins.
But don’t get ahead of yourself. Wait until you’ve hit your revenue targets and you feel mentally ready to go out on your own. If you do it right, the rewards will be endless. Realising your dreams of financial freedom and working for yourself will be one of the highlights of your life.
So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get your side hustle off the ground! Contact Inventor today!