Considering a side hustle? We’ve got some advice for you.
These days being a single-job worker isn’t always going to bring home the bacon. Many of us need a side hustle to supplement our income so that we can afford little luxuries – some of us need them to afford necessities.
But you hate the idea of becoming a retail slave, and the unpredictability of end times to shifts in the restaurant industry aren’t conducive to healthy living. Not to mention the wear and tear on the body both job categories entail! So how do you start and build a side hustle?
- Ideas & Passions
- Support Group
- Investments: Time & Money
- Free Tools
Ideas & passions
We’ve all got hobbies that we enjoy, and some of those hobbies are passions. If you’re thinking of starting a side hustle, make a list of your favorite hobbies. Review your list and highlight your absolute passions– the hobbies that make you wish that you could do them for a living. The activities that bring real joy to you. Make a serious assessment of yourself and ask if any of these are things you’d sacrifice time for– because side hustles will take away time with family and friends, not to mention time with yourself. You must be sure this is something that you want to do for a long time– you must be motivated to do it and to stick to it. Then start researching the internet to see if any careers are related to your passions, and the base wages at entry, intermediate, and professional levels.
Behind every successful person is a support group of friends, family, and professionals who helped them build their roads and navigate their way forward. Your side hustle will take you away from birthday parties, sports games, and meaningful time with your friends and family. Talk to them– make sure they understand why you’re building this side hustle and what it means to you. Reassure them that it’s not you choosing it over them, and talk to them about how to best support you. (If you have a therapist, get some advice from them or invite your family in for a session.)
It’s also important to build a professional support network. Attend networking events and business meet-n-greets and amateur hours. Go to conventions and expos. Find out where your professional tribe will be and get out there and meet them. Follow up with emails, phone calls, business lunches– whatever it takes to keep the connection alive. These people can mentor you as you build your hustle, and provide other business contacts for you. What’s more– as your side hustle takes off– you’ll encounter work that you just don’t know how to do. Now you need to call in experts to do that work for you– or teach you how to do it– and your professional tribe will come through with names and phone numbers for you to utilise. Learn when to outsource the work you just can’t do, which might mean some money on your part.
Investments: Time & Money
Some side hustles will require you to invest your own money– or take out a loan from somebody else, like a bank or credit union. Maybe you need it to buy equipment, rent or build a studio, pay for babysitting, or– as we stated above– hiring a professional to do something you can’t. Make sure that when you are planning your side hustle, you take this spending into account.
You should also figure out how you want to measure your success, to know whether or not it’s a smart move to continue building your side hustle or to abandon it for something else. Give yourself deadlines to stay motivated, and have realistic expectations for spending and income.
It’s also important to remember that side hustles require an investment of time. Make sure that you’re scheduling all of your side hustle work outside of the realm of your day job. After all, it’s unethical to do side hustle work while you’re getting paid to do an unrelated job. Schedule and set aside time outside of your career to work on your side hustle– maybe this means getting up a few hours earlier or take up a few hours later, or giving up your workout a few times a week. Either way, you will need to invest your time– preferably some every day, but at least three to four times a week.
Now that you know about the money you might need to invest, it’s time to talk about free tools.
Seems too good to be true, right?
Sometimes, it is – sometimes there are scams. However, there are a lot of really good free tools out there to help you start, grow and build your side hustle. Let’s take a good look at some of them.
Dropbox is ideal for side hustles and small businesses. This app is free and utilises cloud storage and file synching to keep all of your files in one place, updated, organised, and accessible. It works with all kinds of software– Photoshop, Adobe Acrobat, Microsoft Office, PowerPoint – and allows you to send these large files to anyone, even if they don’t have a Dropbox account. Use this app for marketing, branding and collaborating. You can literally create, store, and selectively share everything your side hustle demands in one spot– official documents, contracts, marketing and branding, presentations – everything. Even clients and collaborators who don’t have Dropbox accounts can be granted access to the files they need, and everyone can contribute edits and suggestions in real time without changing the original file.
You need to be business-savvy and up-to-date with the business world if you’re going to have a side hustle. Utilising podcasts is an easy and quick way to accomplish this. Find a few podcasts that are popular and relate to your side hustle– or to small businesses and side hustles in general– and make a point of listening to them on your commute, while cooking dinner, or walking the dog. Not sure where to start? Try TED Talks— they have a massive variety from which to choose and most of them are under 15 minutes. A quick Google search will reveal a lot more options, too.
Free Webinars, Classes & PDFs
Yes, most free webinars, classes & PDFs will be from people trying to sell you their classes or methods. The information in them will be fairly general – just enough to get you interested in signing up for more – but it often lays excellent groundwork to use as a map. For example, you’re cruising Facebook one day and you see an ad for a free webinar on how to build an online class. You sign up and log into the class on the assigned day. You’ll learn the blueprint you need to follow to build an online course – which is an excellent side hustle – but you’ll need to sign up and pay for the full courses in order to receive the coaching, troubleshooting, and extra planning goodies the webinar’s creator made just for you.
The webinar costs you nothing – maybe it even comes with a free PDF that outlines the “class” you just watched – and you’ve gotten a much clearer idea of what that side hustle is like. Knowledge is power, folks – and while free knowledge might try to sell you a course or a planning system, it’s now in your hands to decide how to use that knowledge.
One last piece of advice.
This is very, very important and can make or break your side hustle.
DOUBLE CHECK FOR CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITH YOUR DAY JOB.
Look over your employment contract, and consider speaking to HR or a supervisor with whom you have a good report. Talk to a lawyer. Get all of the possible issues out into the open – if your day job has any clauses about side hustles, you need to know. You certainly don’t want to lose your bills-and-rent-paying job over a simple mistake.
Have you already started building a side hustle? Have you turned your side hustle into a new career? We’d like to hear your story! Sound off in the comments and share any wisdom– or questions– you have accumulated!
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are my own. Dropbox is not affiliated with nor endorses any other products or services mentioned.