From providing the means to pay off debt to creating the freedom needed to travel, a side hustle can be a life-changing endeavor. It is important to remember though, it is a side hustle until it isn’t. This vague and somewhat ambiguous statement should be revisited on a routine basis to ensure you do not get lost in the allure of a successful side hustle and let other areas of your life slip, especially your day job. Previously, we discussed the “four burner theory” and how some facets of life will have to go unmaintained for a period of time but whatever you do, don’t let your day job be one of those areas right now.
Like I said, it’s a side hustle until it isn’t. The chances of it being the activity that is keeping food on the table, is slim, especially in the beginning months and even years. So you must allocate time and effort accordingly. It’s like the separation of church and state, except this is your day job and your side hustle. Unless you are coming in early or staying at work late, you shouldn’t mix your side hustle activities into your working hours. The last thing you want to do is jeopardize your main source of income by working on something that is making you little, or often in the beginning stages, only costing you money.
The mindset that will serve you best is this: The better you perform at your day job, the more potential monthly income that you can make and thus the more money that you can funnel into your side hustle. Funding is the life-blood of any new venture. Although you can validate an idea for very little money, you often need consistent cash flow to grow and scale a business.
This does not only apply to side hustles involving physical products, it applies to all of them. At some point, you will need to pump more cash into the business to grow it. Let’s take a look at a few of the types of side hustles and see how funding from your day job can help facilitate growth and scale.
Affiliate marketing - If you want to increase your income from the sale of someone else's product then you will need to promote the affiliate product or service to your audience. Unless you have a big audience that is focused on this niche then you will need to expand your reach into other audiences. One way to do that would be paid or sponsored content. This means you would pay either a platform or service to promote you and/or the offering. Most likely, this will be through some paid advertising channels, such as Facebook ads. There are endless ways to tackle affiliate marketing but unless you have a large, targeted audience already, money from your day job could be effectively used for getting in front of the proper audience.
Physical products - One of the most funding intensive side hustle to get started with is physical products. The initial order of product will be your biggest gamble unless you have strong pre-order commitments through your website or crowdfunding initiative. As strange as it may sound, if sales are going well, this can create some issues in a low funded physical product business. If you want more inventory to meet customer demand then you will often need to fund the purchase of that inventory ahead of any sales. This is where the steady income from your day job can help accelerate the process.
Similar logic applies to all the other side hustles as well. The cash flow from your day job can often prevent you from having to seek outside funding, which often leads to giving up equity in your business. For example, if someone loans you $15,000 dollars then they may ask for 10% ownership in the business. This means they would own and be entitled to 10% of everything the business has currently and generates in the future. For some side hustles, this may be required but you should do whatever you can to bootstrap the business. Not only would you be giving up a portion of your business but you are also adding the unneeded stress of having an investor. This person, even if they are family, will be expecting to not only get their money back but to get a positive return on their investment. Do what you can to avoid taking outside money for your side hustle. Your day job can help you keep 100% of what you hustled so hard for.
By ensuring you are continuing to perform at a high level in your day job, you are ensuring you will have cash flow in your side hustle for as long as you need. Grow your hustle and quit your job, or create a steady additional income stream on top of your day job, whichever you do, one thing is for sure, cash flow into the business when it isn’t making money yet is crucial.
To help ensure I excel in my career and build a lucrative side hustle, I created The Side Hustle Journal. If you want to elevate your career while also growing a side hustle that allows you to make additional income, you can get a copy below.
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