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Side Hustle 101: Everyday I’m Hustlin’

I’m sure you’ve heard all the raving about so-called side hustles and gigs and how some professionals have become millionaires from starting side-hustle businesses.

A side hustle is any type of work undertaken in addition to one’s full-time employment. It is usually freelance or piecework, providing a supplemental income. Side hustles are often things individuals are passionate about, rather than a typical job worked primarily to make ends meet. It’s different than a part-time job, where you work for an employer and receive a regular income.

Each of us has some talent or skill that someone else is probably willing to pay good money for. One of the beauties of the internet is that there are hundreds of online portals designed to help budding entrepreneurs connect with potential clients. Whether you’re skilled at creative work, or have awesome administrative skills – including human resources, finance, general admin, personal assistant skills, or something as simple as the ability to type fast with accuracy – there are potential clients all over the world who are willing to pay for your know-how.

Is there something you’re particularly good at? Consider sharing that knowledge and ability with the world and turning it into a source of extra income. Some places to market your skills could be your church or nonprofit organizations in your neighborhood. including the local library. These are by no means the only places, but they could be low-hanging fruit. You may also begin by offering one-on-one or group classes. Create a simple website or blog to offer your expertise.

“Beginning a side-hustle business is not easy. It involves countless hours of working on potential leads that will not generate an income right away. Take a hard look at your priorities and set firm, measurable goals that you can track and achieve. As much as it’s within your power start your business without accruing debt.” ~ Phidelia Johnson

Entrepreneurship won’t fix poor spending habits and a lack of financial savvy. Before starting your own side hustle, be aware of the pros and cons of working for yourself. The following might strengthen your resolve and its food for thought.

Cons:

  • Commuting to various customer sites
  • Lack of flexibility with regards to holidays
  • Childcare issues
  • Lack of autonomy
  • Any pay rises are likely to be minimal and infrequent
  • You are unlikely to immediately feel the effects of any company success and growth
  • Lack of employment security
  • Lost earnings when holidays and vacation days are taken
  • The blurring of work and home time; your home becomes an office
  • The isolation of working alone and the risk of becoming jaded

Pros:

  • The freedom to fit work around family life
  • Answering only to yourself and your customers
  • Escaping the costs and pressures of commuting
  • Working on a variety of projects, allowing you to broaden your experience and skillset while meeting new people for new projects
  • The excitement of taking responsibility for the success of your side business

Here are some tips for starting your own side hustle and setting yourself up for success:

  1. Be authentic.Once you begin to show your customers that you have ups, downs and struggles in your business just like everyone else, you become trustworthy, by virtue of your transparency.
  1. Don’t over promise.I could have avoided a few struggles in my side hustle had I known this when I first started. Over promising and under delivering makes you look insincere and inexperienced. Under promise every side-hustle job and over deliver to exceed customer expectations. When you do this, your customers will refer others to you, which I have seen over the past few years.
  1. Build a network of experts.Nothing shows potential customers that you are the best in your field like building a network of like-minded professionals with whom you can consult on projects that are not in your area of expertise. It is important to find other professional to sub-contract side-hustle work and pay them a portion of your fee. Have them work on projects for which they have greater expertise than you. Just remember to edit your customer information before sub-contracting your projects to others to maintain client confidentiality. Where necessary, bring other professionals in to join your side-hustle with agreed rates and a signed contract. Get an A-team in place. At a minimum, have a lawyer available to read your contracts before submitting them to potential customers and an accountant to help with your business taxes.
  1. Find a strong support network.For a long while, I tried to do everything on my own and with little help from others. I later realized that having a strong support network of friends and experts to share my experiences and seek feedback is quite rewarding. Finding and cultivating new relationships with others who will love and support you no matter what is important to have in life and when you’re a budding entrepreneur.
  1. Develop an effective social media campaign.If you manage your business social media accounts, you must have a plan in place to update information and interact with customers. Use YouTube to promote and market your service and IFTT { https://ifttt.com/} to cross share updates across your social media platforms. Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to increase business.
  1. Don’t make comparisons.Measuring one’s side-hustle to others you know well is one thing but comparing your business to someone else’s can be detrimental. There will always be someone who is smarter, better connected or better off than you, and you will just have to accept that.
  1. Save for the unexpected.This should be a no-brainer for anyone who is self-employed. Getting used to higher cash flow from your side-hustle can be tempting. However, your customer base will constantly change, and you can expect the unexpected. So, saving for the unexpected is a smart and sound practice.
  1. Give back more.For some this could entail volunteering time with a charity or offering expertise to loved ones. Volunteering your time to do something that doesn’t directly benefit you in any way can keep you grounded and thankful for what you have. Altruism has the added bonus of a feel-good factor.

“As an entrepreneur, never miss an opportunity to showcase talent.” ~ Phidelia Johnson

Running a side hustle can be difficult but it can also be extremely rewarding. Along the way, you’ll discover talents you didn’t know you possessed and develop a greater appreciation for time management. Just remember to not work on your side-hustle projects during your regular job or it becomes the property of your employer. With a bit of time management and creativity, you might even get to keep enjoying those little luxuries that makes life worthwhile. Master this formula, commit to your business and you will succeed.

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