Very few businesses today are started by those without existing careers. Instead, many choose to take a well-paid job and then create another business in their spare time, only to go full-time when they’re confident. In principle, the side hustle provides a low-risk creative money-making outlet that allows a graceful transition into becoming a full-time business owner. However, the reality is sometimes harder.
A side hustle is, by nature, going to eat away at your free time — therefore you must be dedicated and passionate, as well as equipped with the right tactics to overlap from your current job to entrepreneurship.
Saving Money from Your Job
Even the leanest of startups are likely to require some capital, and if not, they’ll demand large amounts of your time before they generate revenue. In this case, it’s wise to have as much personal savings as possible so that you have a safety cushion and so that you can continue to work on your business even without any income from your job or the company.
Although it can be wise to keep some of this money in a checking account so that it can be easily used by your business, an investment account will generate greater returns. Choosing between two of the most common options, Variable Annuities vs Taxable Mutual Funds can be tough, and the right choice depends upon your financial situation.
Regardless, both offer far greater returns than the interest from a checking account. Saving in this way will give you a financial buffer that you will need to either invest in your company or to use for your costs during the transition from a job to entrepreneurship.
Identifying the Right Side Hustle
Some companies by definition will require large amounts of time even from the beginning, and these are unlikely to make a great side hustle. Instead, you want to identify a business which can be started as a side hustle and eventually scaled into a full-time company that can generate you millions of dollars in revenue each year.
Often you might have a skill or talent that you can use as an entrepreneur. For example, if you’re employed as a mortgage advisor you might more easily be able to start a company that buys and rents out condos or homes.
Regardless of your job, you’ll have some skills that can be transferred into a business, and as long as that business is something that interests you, it could make for a brilliant side hustle that eventually can be a large company. While it pays to think long-term and to consider the future, you must also ensure that it is possible as a side hustle in the evenings and weekends.
In almost all circumstances a side hustle shouldn’t require large amounts of money to begin, and you should identify a small entry point which you can expand from. For instance, if you’re a cleaner you might decide to start freelance cleaning, then hire cleaners to work for you and eventually buy shabby houses and clean them up for resale.
Do you see how you can go from a small entry point into a potentially tremendous business opportunity? While you’re not restricted to businesses that use your existing skills, it can make the transition far more accessible, and it prevents you from having to learn on the job.
Managing Your Time Effectively
The most difficult part about a side hustle is that the time you have to work on your business will be the time slots that you want to use for relaxing with your friends and family. The weekends and evenings are no longer yours, they are the businesses and to overcome this and still have an enjoyable life you need to learn to manage your time effectively.
If your current employer is willing, you might consider adjusting your work schedule so that it fits better with your new lifestyle. For many this could mean working from home where possible, starting earlier and leaving the office at 3 p.m. instead of 5 p.m., reducing your commute at both ends.
Similarly, once you get home, it’s important to make a conscious effort to sit at your desk rather than on the couch, working on your side hustle before relaxing for the evening. Every minute counts when you’re working a job and running a business, so doing things like bulk cooking on the weekends can save you valuable hours each week.
The side hustle has become immensely attractive in recent years, but it can be incredibly challenging. If you want to succeed and eventually transfer that side hustle into a full-time business, you need to make the sacrifices necessary to provide yourself more time and financial flexibility.
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