During one of my interviews on WHUR radio with Harold Fisher, a caller asked a powerful question, “Can you really succeed at your side hustle?”
I’ve been a side hustler or “para-preneur” for 20 years (meaning I have a career and run a successful business). I’m a college professor and an entrepreneur.
I was actually an entrepreneur before I became a professor. So, I entered the “Side Hustle” world a little differently than most.
I started as an entrepreneur pre-internet with a brick and mortar business and for the past 10 years I’ve been teaching and coaching newbie and seasoned entrepreneurs to use combine purpose with profit as they use online marketing and sales to make honest money doing what they love.
Teaching is my gift. Helping entrepreneurs experience micro-wins, momentum and mastery over time is why I’m successful at what I do.
It doesn’t matter if you simply want to earn a few coins to add to your savings or pay for an extra special extravagance or maybe you’re ready to start with the side hustle and eventually transition to full time entrepreneur, either way, you’re going to need some help.
Yes you can succeed with your side hustle, but that’s if you make sure to do this main thing…
Don’t treat it like a hobby, which means you have to set things up correctly. For starters, register your business with federal and local agencies.
Beyond that important step, there’s lots more to do that will help you be able to survive your side hustle while you work your 9-5 and stay sane!
Below, I’m sharing 5 tips I’ve learned along the way to help you get started, stay motivated and grow your business.
1. HOW TO START YOUR SIDE HUSTLE
- Tell your family (if you’re single, you can skip this part!) what you’re about to do and have a discussion about how it will impact everyone.
- Determine your purpose. Yes, you can combine your purpose with profit. What would you do for free because when you do it it doesn’t feel like work? What makes your heart sing when you do it? What makes you feel deeply fulfilled when you do it?
- Determine your brand identity – the unique set of attributes that communicate the essence and story of your brand
- Establish the right digital footprint for your industry – set up your social media platforms with consist brand identity
- Understand that your job/career deserves your best. When you’re consistently faithful over little you prove that you’re able to be master over much
- Get the right training – I started with Score classes and with my local SBA
2. FIGURE OUT YOUR MARKET
- Determine if there’s a large enough group of people willing to pay for the problem you solve
- Determine who’s your target market – who will you provide services or products to and why?
- Determine the problem you solve and the target market who wants your solution.
3. BE CONSISTENT
- Get organized
- Practice time management – schedule time to get things done
- Prioritize your business. Focus on it for part of your day, everyday
- Let your family know that it’s important to you and you’re seeking their support and create boundaries
- Use automation – both free and paid services to streamline your life. Email marketing. Social media posting. Website, local papers, podcasts, etc.
4. STAY MOTIVATED
- Be in community with people who are actively and intentionally pursuing their dreams
- Join a class
- Read the right books – visionary business Marc Allen is one of my favorites!
- Join a mastermind
- Join an accountability community
5. GIVE YOURSELF ENOUGH TIME TO SUCCEED
- Give yourself 18-24 months to determine if you want to eventually transition from side hustle to full time entrepreneurship. You need 4 full quarters to begin to understand the seasonal trends and flow of your industry.
Maybe after reading these tips you realize that being a para-preneur isn’t for you. But, if you’re determined to join team “Side Hustle” use this advice. I promise I learned most of it the hard way!
When you nurture and grow your business the right way you can succeed at your side hustle and become a dope CEO! (Determined, obsessed with being profitable and exceptional).
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