Gone are the days when one job defined people. In today's digital era, the more you do, the more you get and the more you are. According to a 2017 study, CNN reported that over 40 million Americans have one or more side jobs or income streams. Having a side hustle is one of the surest ways to increase your income, build yourself, pay debts, achieve financial freedom, and eventually become your own boss.
However, starting a side gig and running it to profitability is not cakes and ale. It takes brutal prioritization, intense creativity, and a new look at how you define what's important in your life.
The good news is that it can be done. So if you intend to start a side hustle this year, here are five tips to help you get started and balance your day job without blowing your mind.
Define Your Purpose for Your Side Hustle
When starting your side hustle, the initial enthusiasm and adrenaline will get you through launching and a few days. But after a few months or years, you will require a deeper connection to your purpose to sail through rough waters.
Therefore, always remind yourself why you started the side gig. Have a specific purpose and display it on your working area or any place you visit more often.
Set Clear And Realistic Goals
It's normal to dream big. But you will get nowhere if you don't set realistic goals when starting your side hustle. It's wise to start small and increase gradually. For example, start by getting one satisfied customer and then target two, three four and more.
Most startups who aim big often fail or give up too fast because they get overwhelmed. So, be bold enough to start small. Set daily, weekly and monthly goals that are specific, realistic, achievable, measurable and time-bound.
Know Your Money
Side hustles are typically hyped as easy and flexible ways to earn extra income. But these ventures usually come with tax headaches. You could face complex tax scenarios especially when you combine it with the regular tax obligations of your main job. Solution?
Start planning for tax as soon as your side gig earns money. Keep in mind that any income received must be reported. In addition, keep sufficient records to support any deductions as this tends to be the biggest hurdle facing individuals with side hustles.
For example, have a different bank account for your side hustle. This way, you will not have your side gig earnings tied to your personal accounts.
Be Prepared For Burnout
Taking two or more jobs can be extremely hard. It's normal for stress levels to build up and you may feel tired, worried or miserable sometimes.
If that happens, take a step back to rejuvenate. Unfortunately, many side hustlers tend to push themselves harder to finish certain projects or get more clients only to end up feeling disinterested in their work.
Instead of burdening yourself, admit that you're experiencing side hustle burnout and use your purpose or passion to motivate yourself. Also, avoid comparing yourself to others and don't overlap between jobs.
Delegate Or Outsource
The reality of starting and growing a side hustle is that you can't be good at everything. That means you may have to outsource other skills to be efficient.
The best approach is to do what you're good at and outsource or delegate everything else. Although you may be tempted to learn new skills, it may not be wise, especially if they are not related to your area of expertise. So learn to delegate or outsource when necessary.
Starting and growing a side hustle to profitability is easier said than done. But that shouldn't deter you from trying. The best time to build a side gig is now- when you're employed full time because you can test its viability.