Like many things in life, taking the first step can be one of the most difficult parts of the journey. You will often search for reasons why now isn’t a good time to start, and you are often successful at convincing yourself. Once you get started, you must do everything in your power to continue and not lose momentum. Below is my formula for ensuring you not only start your desired side hustle but that it is a success.
How to take the first step The first thing you must do is have an internal discussion with yourself. You must convince yourself of one thing: only positive outcomes can come as a result of trying. The worst case scenario is the idea doesn’t pan out but you learned a new skill. For example, maybe you learned how to edit pictures in photoshop, learned some online marketing tactics that work (or don’t work). Maybe you conquered your fear of recording and publishing a YouTube video or going on Facebook Live. So, worst case scenario is you learn something.
What your side hustle be If this is your first time venturing into the world of side hustles, I think you should start in an area that you have some type of experience in. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert but you should know the basics and the lingo. When you go through the process in your head, don’t just think of skills you have, also think about experiences you’ve had. The latter is where great businesses are born. If you had a negative experience with something, have a brainstorming session of how you could develop a product or service to make that experience better for you and others. Be sure to solicit feedback from people that aren’t simply going to say it sounds great - so unfortunately, no you probably shouldn’t ask your mother. Validate the idea online as well.
Keep the ball rolling Momentum is a powerful thing. Once you get started, you must do everything you can not to lose the momentum. You should try to work on your side hustle every single day in some capacity. It doesn’t mean you have to carve out 3 hours of deep focus work. Maybe it’s just posting a quick update on social media, or writing a few pages in your book. Whatever the project is, do something each day to move closer to the goal, even if it’s only an inch closer.
Build sustainable habits Remember, we are talking about a side hustle here. This isn’t your #1 priority in life at this point. You need to approach your side hustle accordingly. For most people, they actually don’t need to do anything drastic to find time for a side hustle like stay up an extra 3 hours each night. Most people will just need to cut out a nonvalue-added activity such as Netflix and mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook. If you cut out just 1 hour of these activities each day and substituted it with working on your project that would give you 365 hours per year of work by not doing anything drastic. If you broke that down into an average 8 hour work day, that means you would get about 46 work days each year purely devoted to your side hustle. I bet you could get a lot done in 46 days. Now think about if you carved out some time on the weekends… you see where I'm going here.
Set both realistic and far-fetched goals Even though they seem simple and straightforward, goals can be a very tricky thing. If you have goals that do not push you outside of your comfort zone you’ll likely never accomplish what you desire. If you only have goals that are huge you may get discouraged if you do not accomplish them. So how do you get the best of both types of goals? It’s simple - you need to establish both of them along with other intermediate goals. You end goal should be the most difficult, your intermediate goal should be a little bit easier, and your daily goals should be a guarantee to be completed. By completing the daily goals you will move closer to completing your intermediate goals and thus increasing the likelihood you crush your end goal. It’s a compounding effect.
People struggling with these topics above are exactly why I developed The Side Hustle Journal. It was painfully obvious that people needed a tool to help them get started and more importantly, keep going.
I created a system within The Side Hustle Journal to help structure the process and it is called The Molehill System.
This is the structure that will take you from just having an idea that you never act on, to executing on your idea and bringing it to reality.
As we were going through the development process with The Side Hustle Journal, it became apparent that not everyone had an idea for a side hustle, but they had the desire. This made us include a section devoted to idea generation and development. We take you through questions that have you search for those skills and experiences you have and it also connects with friends and family for feedback. In addition to validation from your network, you will validate through some tools on the internet that will show you the potential target market and reach of your idea and whether the idea is likely to gain traction or if it’s connected with an industry or theme that is in decline.
The daily section of the journal will ensure your day is productive and structured to make the most of your time. You will be amazed at how much you can hack your schedule while using The Side Hustle Journal. You will build healthy morning and evening routines
As mentioned above, the journal places heavy emphasis on your day job (whether that be something that a cubicle job or taking care of the kids). The logic behind this is simple; the better you perform at your day job, the more funds will that will continue to flow into your side hustle. In addition, by becoming more efficient and effective at work you will be sure to leave work or finish your duties sooner, which means more time for your side hustle. Get better and more efficient at your day job, it’s a no-brainer. It is a side hustle until it’s not.
Combining a well-developed idea with The Side Hustle Journal is the formula for your side hustle success. Enjoy the process, network with people, learn as much as you can - this journey could lead to a life you never imagined was possible.