Want to Be Your Own Boss? Here’s How to Start a Side Hustle and Make It Happen.
1. Prepare for the Long Haul
Businessman and philanthropist Tony Robbins recently shared with me that he believes, “business success is 80 percent psychology and 20 percent mechanics.” What he means is that even a great product or service won’t take you very far if you lack the grit, determination and genuine interest in helping your future customers solve meaningful problems.
2. Identify Your Skills and Areas of Interest
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.
3. Validate Your Side Hustle With One Paying Customer
Your side hustle idea may seem incredibly awesome and disruptive to you, but that’s not necessarily how your potential customers will see it. More likely than not, they’ll ignore it like the vast majority of “brilliant ideas” that have been productized and unleashed given the sheer amount of daily distractions and advertisements we’re exposed to.
4. Differentiate Yourself From Competitors
Unless you’ve built a totally new product or service that’s a class in and of itself, chances are you’ll be positioning your side hustle against other established players catering to the same target audience. Competition is an inevitable part of doing business.
5. Define Clear Goals
It’s commendable to dream big. But when it comes to actually making your side hustle a success, you will get absolutely nowhere by aiming for the end zone straight out the games. In order to make your larger goals happen, you need to start with very small, incremental goals. After bringing on one satisfied customer, it’s time to get your second.
6. Set Milestones That’ll Force You to Launch
A good, viable side hustle idea should be launched, monetized and iterated. Don’t obsess over trying to build the perfect solution when you don’t yet know what exactly your customers will resonate with most.
7. Delegate Work Outside of Your Expertise
By now, you know your strengths. You can’t be good at everything all the time and you shouldn’t want to be. The reality of starting a side hustle is that you’re going to have weaknesses. That means some (or even many) of the skills necessary to efficiently running your side hustle must be found elsewhere in order to free up your time to continue doing only what you’re best at within your business.
8. Ask for Real Customer Feedback
Without feedback from your earliest customers, you’ll expose your side hustle to the serious risk of failure. You may be planning to build a product that doesn’t do the best possible job of solving your customers problems.
9. Avoid Getting Fired From Your Day Job
Obviously, you shouldn’t work on your side hustle during company time, nor should you use company resources to advance your own pursuits. Not only is it unethical, but it’s likely a violation of the employment agreements you signed when you began your job.
10. Build a Sustainable Flow of Customers Before Quitting Your Day Job
My advice is to never leave your day job until your side hustle is providing you with a sustainable, growing cash flow that exceeds that reaches to at least 75 percent of what your day job pays you.
Achieving Success With Your Side Hustle
So far, the data still shows that most new businesses have a pretty low chance of achieving success. However, that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing more meaningful self-employed work. The best time to build a business is when you have a full-time job that covers all of your living expenses. Think of your regular employment as hedging against the risks you’re taking as you test the viability of your side hustle.
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